[rumori] more about Audience - have you been Avant-Garde?

Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Sun, 17 Oct 1999 17:33:15 +0000 ( )

on Sun, 17 Oct 1999, matt ranted:

>>clearly that musicians are the audience for this music.
>you call THAT music? -- no but seriously, i would be interested
>in what other people's thoughts on this is - thinking about it
>i go back and forth between not caring and really embarrassed
>and pissed off at the world,etc..

At the risk of being roasted alive, I will say this: a lot of this music
is about technique. Or at least I think that's how it is percieved by
many. As long as it is about technique, it will be music for musicians.
Additionally, to the degree that it is about "extended" technique, it will
command even smaller audiences of even more specialized musicians.

This is related to one of the most important (to me) things i ever learned
in music school, something Mort Subotnick said which i'll paraphrase here:
Historically, the Avant-Garde has always been and meant music for other
composers, or, more generally, art for other artists. It's literally
meant as work to "show the way" for other artists, not intended for mass

 Mort had meant the comment positively, as in "hey look, class, we're in
the avant garde, isnt that great?" I took it differently. Before that
moment, I had often referred to my work as "avant-garde". I had never
known what it really meant, but i guess i had thought it was just another
way to say "experimental", or a more art-school way to say "alternative".
Since then, I no longer use the words "avant-garde" to describe what i do,
and i have tried to think conciously about intending my work for an
audience of regular people, not just other composers.

In light of the above definition, I think it would be useful for anyone
who does any sort of "challenging" creative work to consider whether they
count themselves in the avant-garde or not, and why or why not. It's a
hard thing to think about. In the list of important questions to ask
oneself, this comes probably right after "Do I care about my audience?"
and right before "Why do I do art in the first place?" Or maybe i have it
backwards. ;-)


Steev Hise, Head Chump
steevAThise.org http://www.cyborganic.com/people/steev
recycled art site: http://www.detritus.net
"UNIX is like a rubic's cube ... you feel so smart for figuring
it out, but you still aren't getting any work done. "
                -Mykle Hansen

Rumori, the Detritus.net Discussion List
to unsubscribe, send mail to majordomoATdetritus.net
with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
Rumori list archives & other information are at

Home | Detrivores | Rhizome | Archive | Projects | Contact | Help | Text Index

[an error occurred while processing this directive] N© Detritus.net. Sharerights extended to all.