Archive for August, 2010

Listening For Silence: Notes On The Aural Life – Mark Slouka

Posted in Critical Research on August 16, 2010 by crystallinesphere

– Music is the stuff between the notes. – Debussey.

– …silence, like light or love, requires a medium to give it meaning, takes on the colour of its host, adapts easily to our fears and needs. Quite apart from whether we seek or shun it, silence orchestrates the music of our days.

– The aural Universe is more invasive and subtle.

– We hear in our sleep. There is no aural equivalent for the eyelid.

– Silence, requisite for the forming of self.

– Silence reminds me of death.

– Silence a tool of repression. 

– …..the artist, in his or her minutes and seconds, attempts to say – to paint, to carve; in sum to communicate – what ultimately cannot be communicated.

– …if silence is the enemy of art, it’s also it’s motivation and medium.

– Silence is the only voice of our God.

– ….most of the noises we hear are the noises of buying and selling.


The Music Of The Environment – R. Murray Schafer

Posted in Critical Research on August 16, 2010 by crystallinesphere

– Acoustic ecology. Based on the idea that the cosmos itself is a musical composition.

– Soundscape.

– ….the world soundscape, the vast musical composition that is unfolding around us ceaselessly. 

– What is the relationship between man and the sounds of his environment and what happens when these sounds change?

– Is the soundscape of the world an indeterminate composition over which we have no control or are we its composers and performers, responsible for giving it form and beauty?

– Which sounds do we want to preserve, encourage, multiply?

– Only a total appreciation of the acoustic environment can give us the resources for improving the orchestration of the world.

– … the world soundscape as a macrocosmic musical composition.

– “Music is sounds, sounds heard around us whether we’re in or out of concert halls.” – John Cage

– ….experiences in the sounds and sights of nature an inexhaustible entertainment. – Thoreau

– 2 theories of what music is or ought to be: 1) Music is conceived as subjective emotion breaking forth from the human breath, 2) It is external sound possessing secret unitary properties. It suggests that the universe is held together by the harmonies of some precise acoustic design, serene and mathematical.

– God was conceived as sound or vibration.

– When man lived mostly in isolation or in small communities their ears operated with seismographic delivery.

– In a Hi Fi soundscape even the slightest disturbance con communicate interesting or vital information.

– Originally all sounds were originals…… Sounds were then indissolubly ties to the mechanisms which produced them. 

– Tests have shown that it is physically impossible for nature’s most rational and calculating being to reproduce a single phoneme in his own name twice in exactly the same manner.

–  Earphones (internal sounds) and Nada Yoga, in which internalized sound (vibration) removes the individual from this world and elevates him towards higher spheres of existence.

– Using earphones, the listener is the Universe.

– ……musicians are the architects of sounds; they are concerned with making balances and arrangements of interesting sounds to produce desired aesthetic effects. 

– The essence of sound is felt in both motion and silence, it passes from existent to non-existent.

The Future Of Music: Credo – John Cage (A.C.)

Posted in Critical Research on August 11, 2010 by crystallinesphere

– Whereas in the past, the point of disagreement has been between dissonance and consonance, it will be, in the immediate future, between noise and so called musical sounds.

– The composer (organizer of sound) will be faced not only with the entire field of sound but also with the entire field of time.

– The all-sound music of the future.

– The principle of form will be our only constant connection with the past.

The Joys Of Noise – Henry Cowell (A.C.)

Posted in Critical Research on August 11, 2010 by crystallinesphere

– Russolo offered a largely historical argument in favour of noise, embodying the Futurist idea that speed, power, and noise will progressively overtake music and art traditionally conceived.

– It presents a deconstruction of the binary opposition between music and noise, arguing that the latter is always contained in the former. 

– Rhythm is a conception, not a physical reality.

– Sound and rhythm thus are the primary musical elements, sound comprising all that can be heard, and rhythm the formulating impulse behind the sound.

– Tone = sound produced by periodic vibration.

– Noise = sound produced by non-priodic vibration.

– …there is a noise element in the very tone itself of all our musical instruments.

– As musical sound grows louder, the noise in it is accentuated and the tone element reduced.

– ….the emotions are aroused by musical noise and lulled by musical tone.

The Liberation Of Sound – Edgard Varese (A.C.)

Posted in Critical Research on August 10, 2010 by crystallinesphere

– Redefined music as “organized sound.”

– When these sound-masses collide, the phenomena of penetration or repulsion will seem to occur. Certain transmutations taking place on certain planes will seem to be projected onto other planes, moving at different speeds and at different angles. There will no longer be the old conception of melody or interplay of melodies. The entire work will be a melodic totality. The entire work will flow like a river flows.

– We have actually 3 dimensions in music: horizontal, vertical, and dynamic swelling or decreasing. I shall add a 4th, sound projection.

– Uses space to create effects. “Zones of intensities,” which create different effects in our perceptions. Music as a 3D process.

– Electronics is an additive, not a destructive, factor in the art and science of music.

– Best definition of music: The corporealization of the intelligence that is in sound.” 

– Musician is “a worker in rhythms, frequencies, and intensities.”

– “In my own works I have always felt the need of new mediums of expression….which can lend themselves to every expression of thought and can keep up with thought.”

Sound, Noise, Varese, Boulez – Morton Feldman (A.C.)

Posted in Critical Research on August 10, 2010 by crystallinesphere

– Organized noise can have the impact and grandeur of Beethoven.

– Sensuousness vs excitement. (See Post Humanist explanation of art.)

– Music is academic.

– Sound is all our dreams of music. Noise is music’s dream of us.

The Art Of Noises – Luigi Russolo

Posted in Critical Research on August 6, 2010 by crystallinesphere

– Ancient life was all in silence.

– Noise became a byproduct of the industrial revolution.

– Among primitive peoples, sound was attributed to the gods. It was considered sacred and reserved for priests, who used it to enrich their rites with mystery.

– Musical art was preoccupied with caressing the ear with suave melodies.

– Noise-sound.

– Musical Noise.

– Modern man has become desensitized to natural sound due to machines and needs ever increasing sound stimulation to evoke emotion in himself. 

– We want to give pitches to these diverse noises, regulating them harmonically and rhythmically. p.12

– Noise differs from sound, in fact, only to the extent that the vibrations hat produce it are confused and irregular. p.12

– Every noise has a pitch, some even a chord, which predominates among the whole of its irregular vibrations. p.12

– Every manifestation of life is accompanied by noise. Noise is thus familiar to our ear and has the power of immediately recalling life itself. Sound, estranged from life, always musical, something in itself, an occasional not a necessary element, has become for our ear what for the eye is too familiar a sight. Noise instead, arriving confused and irregular from the irregular confusion of life, is never revealed to us entirely and always holds innumerable surprises. p.13