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This 52 message thread spans 4 pages:  < <   1  [2]  3   4  > >  
   Misuc at 21:38 on 01 May 2008
 



  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  scott_good at 18:59 on 02 May 2008
 

(sorry, another tangential thread, but, these always tend to be the most interesting I think).

Misuc,

Glad you find something in my musical snippets. Send me an address and I'll send you some full, and good sound quality recordings.

Minimalism: I think perhaps the reason you most dislike this music, (as you have pointed out in previous posts), is indeed, the musics strength - the lack of content. Or, to be more precise, it's intentional repetition of minute musical gestures is precisely how this music creates it's purpose. So, one has to ask, what is the purpose? The best ideas I have is that when this music is effective, it can have the same effect as a mantra - to achieve meditation, or a meditative state. The basic idea is that one becomes aware of the music beyond the music - another state of conscious. Yes, it does sound flaky, but it has been shown through science to be very effective.

The rebelliousness really lies in that it rejects traditional concepts of music making - perhaps like Xenakis or Partch for instance. Perhaps even more so in that the overall effect of the music is very anti-music This is why I find it interesting - it adds insight the power of sound, and it's complex relationship to the mind.

Oh ya, the Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra has nothing to do with me - it is run by a man named Benjamin Heaslip who has also branched out the project to include podcasts interviewing musicians around Toronto whom he believes are doing new and creative things.

hope this works.

http://parkdalerevolutionaryorchestra.com/watt/watt.html



  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Jim Tribble at 22:50 on 02 May 2008
 

Surely responding to the restrictions of commercialism has created some of the greatest western music? This does not mean I am in favour of the commercial scene. I just think that it is a necessary part of the music scene, just as we non commercially orientated (and sometimes bitter/poor) composers are.

Without the patronage of church, state and industry music as we know it would not exist. There would be no venues, orchestras, performances or recordings.

So how do you differentiate, there will always be dumb money but there will also be a percentage of more inspirational money (one hopes) for the future composers.

Going back to restrictions do you feel as I do the drive to find the walls of a piece so that you can be more creative.

Jim

(Misuc, remember how I learn)

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 19:50 on 03 May 2008
 

For some reason, the 'discussion overview' is not showing your posting, Jim. Sorry if I haven't got your words quite right: and sorry that every time you put in a posting it makes me want to answer back. We seem to be doomed to lock horns perpetually.

From my point of view there are so many misconceptions in what you write that it is impossible to know where to begin. [I just spent some hours typing out another long posting and did just about get down what I thought was right, and then my computer did a blip and permanently wiped it all out. I'll see how it goes this time. I do want to reply because it's not a personal issue; it is bigger than you or me]

Can composers do good stuff for bad bosses?" or "Can composers thrive on limitations?" Of course they can. Most would sell their grandmothers. As far back as Machaut, the great composer went about with his boss raping and pillaging Europe for the sake of his getting new territory for the Duke. Bach, who was personally imprisoned by one Lord, had to glorify another Lord as a God [not to mention acclaiming his God as a Lord. 'Radical democrat' Beethoven, trying to seize possession of his nephew, was not above faking an aristocratic ancestry for himself to bypass the common court and have his 'case' heard in the special aristocratic court. Richard Strauss became Hitler's 'President of the Reichskammer fuer Musik" and composed a triumphal march for the grand opening of the 'Degenerate Art' exhibition, celebrating the mass slaughter/exile of his Jewish and democratic rivals. Shostakovich started out as a sincere revolutionary, but then refused to oppose Stalin's rise. [it is all too easy to understand why, but to call him a 'secret dissident' is a contradiction in terms: a dissident, by definition, is someone who speaks out] On the contrary, he went to international conventions defending his masters' judgement that Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Hindemith were "bourgeois degenerates".

To say that there would be no 'classical' music without church, state and business begs the question. Those wonderful pyramids would, supposedly, not have been built without the Pharos and their slave-masters. Does that mean we should all be slaves? There are anthropologists who maintain that there was a stage when cannibalism was necessary for human survival. Does that mean we should revive the practice? What you fail to take into account, Jim, is that, however cruel and arrogant the old ruling classes were often useful people: they [or at least those of them that acted as patrons to the classical composers understood and loved music with a [sometimes unhealthy] passion. The duke of Brunswick, for example, was in the habit of selling off his subjects as soldiers to neighbouring princelings, to finance his private opera house. Power and wealth came from land. Landowners (including the Church) were the people who could house and feed armies of servants, soldiers and musicians. A tasteful and expensive music establishment was a good way to impress rivals and find a good match for your son or daughter: a cheaper way of acquiring land than warfare.

Nowadays, in Britain aristocrats have gone into business, but have lost few of their former privileges with regards land-ownership - less than 1% of the population owns 70% of the land, and ordinary citizens live on 5% of it! - but as a class no longer do they have a useful role to play. They are of course incapable of appreciating music.

As for business, they don't engage with composers. The only real patron I can think of is Paul Sacher of Hofmann/Laroche For some reason, the 'discussion overview' is not showing your posting, Jim. Sorry if I haven't got your words quite right: and sorry that every time you put in a posting it makes me want to answer back. We seem to be doomed to lock horns perpetually.

From my point of view there are so many misconceptions in what you write that it is impossible to know where to begin. [I just spent some hours typing out another long posting and did just about get down what I thought was right, and then my computer did a blip and permanently wiped it all out. I'll see how it goes this time. I do want to reply because it's not a personal issue; it is bigger than you or me]

Can composers do good stuff for bad bosses?" or "Can composers thrive on limitations?" Of course they can. Most would sell their grandmothers. As far back as Machaut, the great composer went about with his boss raping and pillaging Europe for the sake of his getting new territory for the Duke. Bach, who was personally imprisoned by one Lord, had to glorify another Lord as a God [not to mention acclaiming his God as a Lord. 'Radical democrat' Beethoven, trying to seize possession of his nephew, was not above faking an aristocratic ancestry for himself to bypass the common court and have his 'case' heard in the special aristocratic court. Richard Strauss became Hitler's Music 'Reichskanzler' and composed a triumphal march for the grand opening of the 'Degenerate Art' exhibition, celebrating the mass murder/exile of his Jewish and democratic rivals. Shostakovich started out as a sincere revolutionary, but then (perhaps understandably!) refused to oppose Stalin's rise. [One can understand why, but to call him a 'secret dissident' is a contradiction in terms: a dissident, by definition, is someone who speaks out] On the contrary, he went to international conventions defending his masters' judgement that Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Hindemith were "bourgeois degenerates".

To say that there would be no 'classical' music without church, state and business begs the question. Those wonderful pyramids would, supposedly, not have been built without the Pharos and their slave-masters. Does that mean we should all be slaves? There are anthropologists who maintain that there was a stage when cannibalism was necessary for human survival. Does that mean we should revive the practice? What you fail to take into account, Jim, is that, however cruel and arrogant the old ruling classes were often useful people: they [or at least those of them that acted as patrons to the classical composers understood and loved music with a [sometimes unhealthy] passion. The duke of Brunswick, for example, was in the habit of selling off his subjects as soldiers to neighbouring princelings, to finance his private opera house. Power and wealth came from land. Landowners (including the Church) were the people who could house and feed armies of servants, soldiers and musicians. A tasteful and expensive music establishment was a good way to impress rivals and find a good match for your son or daughter: a cheaper way of acquiring land than warfare.

Nowadays, in Britain aristocrats have gone into business, but have lost few of their former privileges with regards land-ownership - less than 1% of the population owns 70% of the land, and ordinary citizens live on 5% of it! - but as a class no longer do they have a useful role to play. They are of course incapable of appreciating music.

As for business, they don't engage with composers. The only real patron I can think of is Paul Sacher of the infamous Hofmann/Laroche (curently knwn fo their $billions profiteering out of the mass AIDS deaths in Africa). But the age of the great entrepreneur with a penchant for music has gone. the only contradictory example I can give is that of the unfortunately-named Derek Bougeois who didn't mind writing a 'wine symphony' on behalf of his sponsors: 'Bristol Cream Sherry' (Harveys). (But if you're looking for commissions from them, anybody - I can't really se it. They have moved into international brokerage. Here is a statement from their website:

..."Harveys International are a firm of bespoke corporate brokers operating internationally in a variety of different sectors.
We understand fully that confidentiality is crucial when exploring and undertaking any corporate transaction and pride ourselves on our performance, attention to detail and contacts in the international arena. Due to the personal nature of our service, we do not advertise our clients on the web, if you wish to discuss any transaction with us, please contact Charles Cook at our Bristol Office......"

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  bmh at 00:40 on 04 May 2008
 

It's a shame to drop my 'lurker' status here just to make an apology - but my website's stats told me that there were a number or people trying to connect to Scott Good's session of my podcast show from this forum and not quite making it. So I looked for the problem and... Mea Culpa: when I last updated that page I typed "// " where only "/ " should be.

It's working now. Here:

http://www.parkdalerevolutionaryorchestra.com/watt/watt.html

Scroll down to previous episodes, look for "No. 3 - Scott Good" and click the link just to the right of that.

Back to your corners, combatants! Personally, I think the "degredation of music" argument is what people call a "straw man"; by which I mean that it's the sort of dummy one puts together when it's too difficult or dangerous to either identify or confront real challenges.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  bmh at 01:02 on 04 May 2008
 

Before I go back to lurker-mode:

It's Mueller-Heaslip, Scott! I had to fill out so many damn government forms to change my name, so I'm not letting you get away with cutting it in half!

And thank you Mr. Misuc on the compliment on my ensemble's name. It's really hard choosing the name for a performance ensemble: in one sense it's completely arbitrary and random, but, much like a person's name, it's damn hard to change it after the first couple years of life. You have to fill out forms, and that's terrible. But you'd also have to buy a new domain name for your website and every bit of press referencing the old name would become suddenly worthless. More trouble.

So I'm glad The Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra has worked out for us and that people get a kick out of it. But no need to be jealous - since this is an international forum the chances are that you've never lived in Parkdale, Toronto, Canada, and can therefore name your ensemble The xxxxxx Revolutionary Orchestra without any reservations.

I guarantee it'll work for you like it did for me.

If you want to know more, you can purchase my new booklet "How Become Rich And Famous By Starting A Revolutionary Orchestra" from Amazon.com for $9.99. Also now available in audio book form ($15.99).

Back to lurker-mode.



  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Jim Tribble at 11:17 on 04 May 2008
 

Hi Misuc, I hav'nt a problem with your reply. I said that I learn by asking questions, always have. I am not very good at studying as you seem to be (not a criticism).

My main point in the previous post is that for me I have to set down restrictions before I write, and I feel that the restrictions help the artistic process as too much freedom and choice is counter productive.

The point about the necessary pursuit for money and the art is that the restrictions and rules placed on money in different times have created wonderful artistic solutions. It also gave the composers something to focus on and fight against. Bach continually clashed with his employers over the restrictions and duties that he was given. Handel ran away to England from his employer only to find that his employer became the King. He had to write some good music as an apology.

Every one artist or not has to live in the situation that they find themselves. To house and feed my family I work for a Scottish Council doing a job that does not stimulate me and is depressing at times. I have to do it though, this is my reality. I can only write music late at night or down the pub to have my own space.

My growth as a composer is completely self taught after college (as you can probably tell) and I dont have the luxury of funds for courses or concerts. And has been frustratingly slow setting up the website took 2 years.

How are you going to solve your own restrictions of getting your music heard?

Jim

PS for a technique for posting, try opening the forum using a right click on your mouse in another tab then you can refer to it.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  scott_good at 12:41 on 04 May 2008
 

Mr. Mueller-Heaslip! (sorry 'bout that)

I hope you will consider contributing to more to these postings - I know you have many ideas to share, and I think they will spark up conversations to tackle hard topics.

And, although the commercial music discussion my be skirting round the issue, it is still a part of the puzzle. In particular, where this began, composing for commercials (a somewhat different topic that composing commercial music - ie. to sell the music rather than selling something which has nothing to do with the music), to me is a dead end road.

Ultimately, for me there is 1 fundamental question: "To what purpose does the music serve?" To serve is not bad, on the contrary, but to serve whom or for what is where my contention lies. Jim, it's not if a job is boring or financially necessary, but if it is moral. I feel that far too many people spend their time doing things which push the world down the darker path - and in the world of professional music making, composing for ads is one of those paths. Each choice we make has an effect, thus I think to direct ones career ambitions in this direction is making a bad choice.

We cannot change what has happened, but we can effect the forward movement, even if in small steps. Even if good things have been created from immoral situations in the past does not give license to do them now.

Scott



  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  bmh at 15:48 on 04 May 2008
 

Well, ok, Scott.

I suggest that it's a waste of time for someone creating art music to rail about commercial music. It plays into the pervasive and, I believe, completely incorrect position that there's a direct relationship between these things and that the presence of one diminishes possibilities for the other - that commercial music has played a really significant role in marginalizing the cultural role of composers.

That argument substitutes a symptom for a cause; it pushes the responsibility for establishing a strong voice for new composition away from You Guys and onto a third party that has no interest in responding to your concerns; which is, in fact, completely unaware of them. It's a classic case of "pissing into the wind".

Bashing some kid because he wants to do hack commercial work is very easy to do. It's a simple way to prove both your commitment to art and your position as a corporate victim. But it's much more difficult to confront the real reasons why composition is a universally negligible artistic voice:

Composers have reacted so badly to changes in every aspect of society that their voice has been forfeited. With very few exceptions, composers cling to an absurd cultural-economic model which hasn't worked from generations. Some of them manage to make careers out of it and do ok, but the end result is the complete decay of an art form.

This has nothing do to with commercial music: it's a question of neglected self-responsibility. Every other form of art has faced the same challenges that composition has over the past several decades: proving the value of their work while adapting to transformations in the resources and means available.

But I believe that composition has been a unique moral failure in this regard. Facing the difficult problem of reinventing the way in which their art form functions, composers have tacitly accepted a position in which the value of their work will be rendered increasingly negligible. The exchange is simple: for the price of taking a back seat you don't have to deal with a very difficult problem and at least a few composers will achieve positions of sycophantic significance.

In short: the only good argument against the degredation of music would be composers actually debating new ways to carve out a real role for their art in society. Bashing kids that want to write commercials just doesn't cut it. Something that easy isn't worthwhile. Instead, composers should consider their own roles: you're either doing nothing; or you're doing something constructive; or you're doing damage by maintaining this destructive status quo.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 17:54 on 04 May 2008
 

brmh, you say railing at commercialism is easy. So what? Writing commercial music is easy. Complaining about people who complain about commercialism is easy. It's all so f***ing easy! So what is your position on the social role of the serious composer? Have you got one? It's also so easy to say that they should 'redefine their art' whatever that means. What does it mean, brmh?

Of course I don't blame the commercial thick-heads and gangsters who dominate the world music-biz, for ruining serious music. Serious music has enough of its own independent thick-heads to do that without any outside help - although it is alarming to see how many of us have been ready to give up the struggle for a real authentic music for a miserable attempt to clamber up the music-biz band-wagon. I am just saying that I have no interest in helping another one of us join them. That is how this started. Don't just rail at those who are trying to make a stand. Tell us what you stand for.

I don't have a problem with the fact that my music isn't performed. At least if I do, that is my problem. I've had plenty of chances. But that's another story.

Let's stick to the general issue. It cannot be denied that the role of global capitalism in turning popular culture, sport, politics, music, cooking, religion even sex - as far as this is possible - into a spectator sport has played a destructive role. Do you deny it,brmh? The destruction of an active participatory culture is an objective problem, which it is not in the hands of composers alone to alter. Not until commissioning bodies, arts councils etc. are made up of elected representatives of listeners, performers, composers etc. would it be possible to even begin talking meaningfully about these problems in a practical way. What is your answer? What do you think is the problem? Do you actually think there is a problem? You want to sound so radical, but do you dare do the so easy thing and denounce those who are profiting from the destruction of human language and culture (90% of the present 7000 or so languages in the world are expected to perish this century: their subtle and real-need musics have been turned into superficial cheap commodities) and the very ways of life that make human culture possible?

Are you going to solve this by fiddling around 'reinventing' yourself? Why not try and do something real?

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  scott_good at 19:24 on 04 May 2008
 

bmh, thanks for posting,

just for clarity,

i think that someone might give a second thought to their path from reading these posts - it wasn't just for the original posting - this is a public forum with many readers. someone might think again about what it is they are actually doing with their life, and for society etc. that's all i am trying to do - put up an opinion, simple as it is, that at least challenges the seemingly normal consensus.

...i have has numerous people ask if i write commercial music as if this is THE way to make a living as a composer...i say NO WAY! you know my interests span outside of just the "art classical" music. sure, i could write a groovy little tune to hawk doritos - to help consumers feel all warm and gooey and cool about their crap product - i chose not to. so should others.





  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  scott_good at 19:25 on 04 May 2008
 

bmh, thanks for posting,

just for clarity,

i think that someone might give a second thought to their path from reading these posts - it wasn't just for the original posting - this is a public forum with many readers. someone might think again about what it is they are actually doing with their life, and for society etc. that's all i am trying to do - put up an opinion, simple as it is, that at least challenges the seemingly normal consensus.

...i have has numerous people ask if i write commercial music as if this is THE way to make a living as a composer...i say NO WAY! you know my interests span outside of just the "art classical" music. sure, i could write a groovy little tune to hawk doritos - to help consumers feel all warm and gooey and cool about their crap product - i chose not to. so should others.





  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  bmh at 21:44 on 04 May 2008
 

Misuc:

You, by your own admission, don't bother having your music performed. And yet you seem to be completely full of yourself: I wonder if more people than just myself find this patently absurd.

Have you considered the possibility that - by actually doing things - you might gain experience and knowledge with which to form your opinions? And that your opinions might carry more weight should you do so?

I make music and have it performed regularly; in fact I've invested myself entirely in the artistic and economic risks associated with building a life in composition and creating something unique and real.

If you haven't the artistic conviction to follow through on your ideas about what music should be by having your work performed, by experiencing the vulnerability and fragility of public performance, and by contributing in a real way to the art of composition... then it'd be nothing more than common decency on your part to avoid insulting people who actually do these things.

Instead, you show yourself to hold the most artificial and presumptuous point of view. You attack serious artists while doing nothing but whining and spewing nonsense (mixed in with little factoids you seem to come up with by flipping through the 'Music, History Of' section of an encyclopedia) - can this be anything other than a remarkably transparent inferiority complex at work?

To cut to the chase: you seem to be little more than a sad windbag. Of the 90% of languages you reference as possibly going extinct in the near future, I'm sure many people who've had the bad luck to read your vacuous, self-righteous drivel hope that one of these is 'Forum Boorish".

Anyway, Scott, thanks for inviting me to post - but this is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. As our good friend Blitz would say:

Later!


  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 22:27 on 04 May 2008
 

I do bother. I just don't succeed. All i said was I'm not blaming anybody else for not doing me favours. Unlike you I can't afford to "take economic risks" i.e. pay for my own performances. Also I have not said a word about myself in this whole discussion. I have spent my whole adult life performing, teaching and learning and every day of it composing. I note that bmh has decided to hide his profile from everybody, so nobody is in a position to call his bluff. By the way there is not a serious artist that I have attacked.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  bmh at 22:50 on 04 May 2008
 

Ooops! ...whose "bluff is being called" now?

Benjamin Mueller-Heaslip
Age: 32
Height: 5'11"
Hair Colour: Black
Race: Mixed Caucasian
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Founder of and composer for the Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra
http://www.parkdalerevolutionaryorchestra.com

I'm proud of who I am, and of what I do. It's a life's work and the result of years of determined effort. And it is a new model for creating and presenting music that challenges the conventional system I've found so damaging to the art of composition. This work exists because of my commitment to its creation. So yes: there is a serious artist you've attacked.

As for your nonsense about not managing to get your music performed, I suggest there's nothing that fails so surely as fear of failure.

"Now you say you're lonely
You cried the long night through
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you

Now you say you're sorry
For being so untrue
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you"

Really, I do feel sorry for you.

This 52 message thread spans 4 pages:  < <   1  [2]  3   4  > >