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Re: How To Evaluate-Judge-Quantify

Philly the Kid (apriori@slip.net)
Mon, 2 Jun 1997 10:21:16 -0500

>At 09:23 PM 6/1/97 -0700, Mark Klemola wrote:

>I was just kidding ya. Minimalism isn't boring. It's constantly changing. I
>was sitting on a Metrobus one evening a few years ago, with my earphones
>on, listening to WETA-FM. They played a piece by John Adams called "A Short
>Ride on a Fast Machine." Stunning. I gotta hear that again. But nobody
>seems to record it.
>
>It was minimal, but there was a lot happening in there....

The first few times I heard "minimalist" music in the late 70's, it was
attractive to me because of several things. 1) It was very different than
anything I heard before. At that point I was constantly looking for new
experiences in listening. 2) The process was compelling, things
transforming slowly and the differetn phasing was a fresh approach to
rhythm. Harmonically it seemed to live in a pleasant modal space and didn't
seemd too bogged down in the more usual diatonic and chromatic genrated
harmonic prgressions...

But after a certain point in time, I began to notice differences in
composers and pieces. Not all were equal. I could make distinctions.
Ultimately, the genre as a whole grew tiresome. I encountered other music
that dealt with rhythm and phasing transformation but wasn't exclusively
built on it.

What I am getting at is this. As I gained more familiarity with the
elements of the style and the devices of the approach and as I understood
how it was put together and as I saw aspects of the process that appealed
to me brought out in other music that didn't share the rest of the
idiosyncrasies, I became able to a) distinguish what I found to be better
and worse, and b) came to reject most of the genre as a style built on
elements that alone, could not sustain my interest.

I found the comments about Sampling and appropriation very interesting, and
the comments about Boulez and IRCAM very funny.

The whole "found sound", "make art from artifacts", is compelling to me and
I employ it in my thinking and work, but I can't exztrapolate from it an
utter rejection of every other paradigm?!

Politics and pretensions aside, Boulez' piece Repons is still one of my
favorite pieces. It really grabbed me 10-11 years ago when I first heard it
and it still holds up. This music was put together with a thinking and
devices that grew out of the post-1945 European art music tradition. And
perhaps you do need a certain amount of information and experience to get
it...but I am not yet ready to reject these capcacities just so I can
committ myself to the "art from the hood" aesthetic 100%?

Context and relationship/connecting points - to an experience help a lot.
But it is possible to be compelled by something completely alien. To
understand it in your own way and not in its origianl context.

I was drawn to the Hip Hop and sampling culture not only because I grew up
in the inner city myself a generation or two before, but because in my own
development I had come to an affinity for "juxtaposing disparate elements"
and making fast 'jumps' and 'edits' and using things in ways that
hadn'tbeen originally intended...

rico