Rembrandt: Aristotle contemplating the bust of Homer
"By aesthetics I don’t mean do I think this is pretty. I mean why do I think this is worth doing. The greek root for aesthetic means to perceive. So all this is meant to do is to clarify how I think about music, what I listen for, why I took a certain approach, stuff like that. It’s only context, it’s not an attempt to formulate a system or construct a set of rules to discredit what somebody else is doing (neither of which would interest me). It’s been my sense over the last decade or so that our ways of receiving (and consequently making) music have become increasingly knee-jerk, passive, and style(technology)-governed –in other words pre-disposed and unimaginative. I mostly blame this on the glominoid corporation cornering the market on broadcast media, severely limiting the general public’s exposure to anything but a few narrowly defined genres (i.e., capitalist brainwashing), but there’s more to it than that. Listeners seem more complacent than they have at any time in my life, lowering their expectations to accept the conformity they’ve been presented. In a time when so many possibilities are open to us, it’s depressing to see so few explored, to witness the forced closing of our ears.
A healthy underground does exist. Seek it out. Feed it. Listen.
Participate. Argue. Have opinions and express them. We don’t need to
agree. The logic of dismissal ("if you aren’t with us you’re against
us") is the essence of fascism. Music is not something that exists on
the margins outside of us, it’s one of the central ongoing projects of
our human race. It is ours, what we demand, not what we’re offered
through the filters of commerce, fashion, or accepted practice."
Silence on the subject of making music is not acceptable. All musicians should be required to explain themselves.
I believe a civilization that conserves is one that will decay because
it is afraid of going forward and attributes more importance to memory
than going forward. The strongest civilizations are those without
memory –those capable of complete forgetfulness. They are strong enough
to destroy because they know they can replace what is destroyed.
As a musician, I am interested in the sensual nature of
sound, its power of synchronization, coordination, release and
change. Hearing represents the primary sense organ – hearing
happens involuntarily. Listening is a voluntary process that
through training and experience produces culture. All cultures
develop through ways of listening.
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