><<The recycling of existing music into new music will only grow from here.
>It is the forseeable future of advanced music since there is virtually
>nothing "original" possible in any other kind of "pure" music anymore. (This
>requires a long essay of observations to prove to you involving the entire
>history of music making, but it's finally true!) The only interesting
>future left to music, the only relatively unexplored direction for sonics,
>the only way to be "new," is in synthesis, recontextualizing, collage - the
>recombining and remanipulation of what already exists in unimaginable
>See, Don, you start to get me going and then say something unbelievably
>arrogant like this. LOOK at the incredible variety of great, ORIGINAL music
>we've been blessed with over the past 50 years -- that YOU deem worthy of
>recombination, by the way -- bake in all musical ethnicities and their
>potential, then "prove" to me that collage is the only way for music to
>advance in the foreseeable future.
>It'll take a long essay? Okay, I'll read it (if I made it through Grout I
>can make it through anything). For better or worse, I have a hard time
>believing the message when I can't believe the messenger. And when you make
>statements like the one above you're as guilty as any corporation of spin
>doctoring to advance your agenda.
The essay, called "The End Of Music," is not ready yet. It began as a joke
by Crosley Bendix (and he certainly can be accused of spin doctoring to
advance his agenda!) but personally, I soon began to see how actual his
fantasy is. The title remains for it's shock value. This is not the end of
music, just the end of creating the "original" sounds music was always
capable of throughout its entire history up until, I would say, the 70s or
so, when electronic sound generation had finally been added to almost all
kinds of music.
Now you cannot concieve of ANY sound in music that has not already occured
there. - But never to tedium, that's why it's still not the actual end of
music making, just the end of its ability to originate anything, any "new"
sound, style, or concept any more. There is nothing left to do but
rearrange the musics we have. The catch phrase against truly original sound
might be, "been there, done that." This ranges from Cage's Silence, to
field recordings of natural sounds, to all the musical and non-musical
notes all instruments have now fully explored, to all possible acceptable
and unacceptable styles and genres of music, to every possible vocal
manipulation of the human voice acoustically and electronically, to sound
effects, to noise, to white noise - it's ALL music now. And beyond
electronic sound generation, there is...nothing new.
So now music goes on recombining and resynthesizing this now complete set
of givens, but as an artist, you cannot present any music that could be
considered a new form of music. We always have been able to do this
throughout the history of music, most especially throughout and right up
until the end of the 20th Century, during which we succeeded in exploring
all possible extremes of form, style, and sonic invention with no
boundaries as to whether it might or might not be "music." The 20th
Century's final exploration of what might be music actually succeeded in
exhausting the subject! This is no longer a subject of musical
investigation. Only recombining and rearranging what has already been tried
is now possible hereafter. No new precedent can be set, music can only
rearrange existing precedents.
I did not say collage is the only way for music to advance, I'm saying that
ALL possible music is now recombining existing forms, styles, and sounds,
and that is the future of ALL music from here on out. Collage happens to be
one kind that acknowledges this fact about itself in a more "advanced" and
unequivical way. Collage was invented in the late 1800s, musical collage
via recorded media in the teens and 20s, it's not a new or "advanced" form
in any way.
People's reaction to this "joke" concept seems to be immediately serious
(no one laughs like I do) and they want to debate the point, as if were
this concept true, it would be an insult and defamement of music or
creativity or something. Actually, this has been more or less the case
since the mid 50s, and we've had plenty of music we all like since then.
The fact is, we actually like music to sound familiar for the most part,
composed of elements familiar to us, and all mainstream musics have always
been recombining the tried and true exclusively, so it's really not a
problem, except for whatever we want to think of as the music avant guard
who are out there thinking they are inventing some kind of music. It's all
already been invented. So I'm keeping the title as indicating a fully
explored "end" to the human practice of original musical invention.
"Originality" will hereafter be considered, as it has been for some time
now, a matter of how creatively we steal from what exists, adding our own
invention, our "personality," to whatever we steal of course, which is
really the subject of our music appreciation, not "originality."
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