Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap

Subject: Re: electroacoustics - rap to tap
From: John Nowak (
Date: Thu Jul 01 2004 - 18:40:44 EDT

On Jul 1, 2004, at 5:46 PM, Eric Lyon wrote:

>> Anyway, I don't think Merzbow is emulating anyone.
> About 10 years ago I read an interview in a Japanese culture mag (wish
> I still had it!) where Merzbow stated that he wanted to be "the Sun Ra
> of Noise music".

Who doesn't?

> There was a time when Aphex Twin claimed that he was not influenced by
> other people's music (OPM), but in recent years even RDJ started
> owning up to being influenced by OPM.

RDJ has a history of lying in interviews. I wouldn't take anything that
guy says too seriously. If you haven't noticed by now, I'm not a big
Aphex fan. ;-)

> IMO the idea of music existing outside of social/historical references
> is more an interesting philosophical construct than anything that
> could happen in the real world.

Of course. However, while it is not possible to create music without
some sort of influences, it is possible to create music without any
significant influence from other composers. Most of my influence
actually comes from the visual art world.

> If there were some truly autistic music created by someone with
> literally no influences, it would only be heard as such only by the
> creator. As soon as anyone with a history of musical listening
> encountered the artifact, they would contaminate it with their
> preconceptions, listening strategies, and comparisons to other music
> in their mental database.


> Perhaps this idea is an extreme form of nostalgia for the modernist
> insistence on originality at all cost?

Personally as an artist, I can't understand how someone can be an
artist and not try to put originality ahead of (or at least not behind)
anything else. As a listener/viewer, I feel the same way, especially
with music. There is simply so much music out there nowadays, often
freely available, that unless something is "new", I can't be bothered
listening to it. Now I'm exaggerating a bit to make my point, but I
think with the amount of information overload we all experience in
today's society, its more relevant to focus on "new" rather than
additional versions of the unfathomable amount of artwork that we
already have. I'm more interested in revolutionary, rather than
evolutionary... except perhaps when it comes to the Porsche 911. Damn,
I love that car.

- John

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