Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rise, Recede

The experience of sound, as a form of perceptual awareness, varies with the listener. 

It is more than a matter of taste or learned behaviors. Like poetry, it is often considered to be entirely emotional in effect. This is erroneous in both cases; subjective emotions are not the sole measures of aesthetic appeal any more than the sense of moral reason can be the entire basis of judgement in regard to artistic merit, whether in terms of musical composition or poetic expression.

Generic musical forms dominate the attention of the listener.  But the natural capacity of listening--and hearing-- is intrinsic to human awareness, and is capable and worthy of much more than that.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Contemplation and insight may inspire the arts as much as external experience.

Give attention to those things considered to be exciting, and they are predictable, inconsequential.

Consider the commonplace, and it is filled with mystery.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grasp, It Cannot Be Held

The past breathes deeply of the future.

Regardless, the observer considers the limits of conformity that are everywhere apparent, manifestations of emotion over reason and nostalgia for appearances that never existed. 

Look and listen beyond the horizon, perceive and think forward, and thereby create tomorrows.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Concept, Material

Sounds converge, are perceived by the listener, evoke moods, and enhance environments.

In the creation of these sounds and combinations, the composer must listen with fullness of mind and being, forming auditory imagery out of experience, perception, idea and emotion while coming to terms with process and potential.

From steam to ice, steel to gossamer, luminous to obscure, aspects of sound are awakened in elements of creative vision.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Silence and Foresight

Consider the aims and efforts of musicians and composers in the nineteenth, seventeenth, or thirteenth century; think beyond those times to the sounds of joy and lament at the dim edges of prehistory, before Homer and Herodotus seized upon their culture's vision, poetry, and memory.

Hear those sounds in the inner ear of imagination.

The sharpening of a bronze blade.  The voices of children chanting nonsense at a well or stream.  Hymn and harpsichord, lute and drumbeat; the bullroarer, reed flute, gong, and wind chime, violin, trumpet, and bell.

Such sounds, and the thoughts and actions of those who brought them to life, are at the heart of the sound of this day and this moment, now in the twenty-first century and into the far distance beyond.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chronological Development, Total Effect

Unity and completeness are expressed through interdependence of elements.

The central effects of ambient musical works may be experienced as objective asethetic qualities made present in environments, and subjectively, as works designed especially for a combination of active listening and passive hearing conducive to thoughtful and reflective activities.  Each series and sequence of tones and patterns, each cluster of notes, every sound texture, dynamic subtlety, and shade of instrumental color contributes to the mood and tone of the composition.

Additionally, in terms of historical forces, the meanings and implications of any specific piece by an artist are found with reference to the works that come before and after it, and included in this process of understanding are the creations of other relevant artists, regardless of the media in which they express themselves.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Impressionists and composers of tone poems merge sensory perceptions and atmospheric environments; cubists and jazz artists connect with perspectives on time and space.

After the wars, renewal, upheaval, and change.  Rethinking the popular arts, and the degrees to which they disconnect from the fine, or serious, arts.  Ideological conflicts.  Shifts in conscience, sensibility, and consciousness.  Expansion of media and technology.  The modern and the passing of the postmodern, with the questions asked from time immemorial remaining.

Scattered throughout, simplicity, virtue, clarity of reason, intellectual integrity, imagination, visions of individual freedom and artistic originality, combining with like historical forces to drive their realities into the moment.