Saturday, December 13, 2014

Go By, Strange and Commonplace

Contemporary expectations are predictable, as they reliably call for more of the present sameness.

This is but one reason among many why, in cultural terms, the modern remains at cross-purposes with the contemporary. The modern perspective proceeds apace, speculatively seeking developments that bring the future to bear on the present.  The contemporary viewpoint is in the moment, which is to say, as unenlightened and grasping as history records and reveals in any epoch, with the so-called post-modern as its function of nugatory semantic posturing.  That which is clever is interesting for what it is, but what it is not is meaningful and consequential.

This has everything to do with music and the art of sound.  It is the composer's responsibility to be informed as to whether the work reaches those who listen, and hear, or simply falls upon deaf ears.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Every composition begins with apparent perception of movement.

Begin in medias res. Allow the movement to reveal time present and time future simultaneously.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Night is Black and Sounds Like These

One accustomed to the absurd fails to observe the depth of simplicity.

If a simple visual metaphor representing an idea as plain and unadorned as an uphill climb or a reflection suggesting balance makes no impression, one need not expect a musical or auditory metaphor to be grasped.  Such is the extent to which the artist will continually be challenged.

But if such things were of any moment to any artist, nothing at all would be created.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Sound Like Water

There is an essential balance in art, and especially in the art of sound.

Obviously this is not true of music, per se, in which this balance is continually and intentionally undone, often in violent ways through dynamics, volume, poorly rendered themes, and emotional bombast.

The art of sound, from our perspective, is that of aural imagery, its tones, colors, shading, and phases, its flow and variations, and all those elements that lead to equilibrium of force and feeling.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Cold Eye

Take a critical view, distant from collective thought, emotion, and impulse.

But this places one at a distance from sensationalism and so-called controversy, that is to say, in the realms of reason, restraint, and equanimity, at a far remove from the public imagination and interest, such as it is.

Nonetheless, such things as clarity, integrity, cultural continuity and essential artistic expression demand it.  No small things, these.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Prevailing Atmospheres

The contemporary, for some little time now, is characterized by pointless chaos; what is given, for the most part, to be common culture, is, in fact, detritus.

This is the consequence of error, of a commonly held belief that indiscriminate, unthinking activity is the norm throughout the culture, and that any other attitude is untenable in a random universe. But it is transparent, shallow posturing, promoting and promoted by a sense of passivity and collective self-absorption.  One subject to such attitudes is continually manipulated through propaganda in various forms of information and entertainment.  Simply put, it is the error of ignoring cause and effect.

Like ideas, artistic works do not merely happen spontaneously.  They are conceived, attended to, cultivated, and brought into being through conscious processes as well as creative impulses. To expect otherwise is to be deluded, disappointed, and culturally impoverished.

Think, and do so freely, unimpeded by the mediocre and mundane. Act and create accordingly.