Re: International/national styles?

Subject: Re: International/national styles?
From: Phil Thomson (
Date: Sun Jul 25 2004 - 21:22:55 EDT

On nationality vs. globality in ea, see:


Neither of which are about national styles as such, but more about
globality *as* a style.

> This is of interest as there will soon be a conference festival (EMM
> at Lewis University outside Chicago,
> ) where there will be a
> subtheme of globalization.
> I would propose that a first step would be to place the term
> 'national' in some form of (socio-historical / geographical) context.
> An example right off would be Conlon Nancarrow (Mexico). Is this
> 'mexican', American (of the USA), western, or international.
> Stockhausen -- do the early Studies sound 'german' for any reason
> other than the technology existed in Germany at the time. I have
> always heard a great deal of Morton Feldman and Earle Brown in these
> pieces; Gesang has german text while using a melange of the
> internationalism of serial / total serialization / post serial
> (austrian / french).
> To modify the european sense of a 'national style', does 17th century
> Polish music sound so different from italo/german of the same time?
> The differences of italian, french and german musics of the 17 - 19th
> centuries can often be shown as reflections of the differing
> accentuation (and intonation) patterns of the language. (An example
> is Hungarian in which the first syllable is accented, or Polish where
> the penultimate syllable receives the stress.)
> But perhaps in the 20th century (ea) 'national style' becomes a
> matter of access to technologies, including those of the resources of
> distribution.
> If one has access to a springer machine in the 60s (allowing time
> stretching -- an early form of granulation), or the RCA digital
> synthesizer, the sounds would be characteristic of these unique
> machines.
> And the knowledge of this was a function of modes of distribution.
> DGG released KS. Those of us (who couldn't go to Bourges) growing up
> at the time would all hear the same pieces, by many of the same
> composers.
> Trivia question: How many times did Stockhausen win at Bourges?
> What is the historical impact of the franco/prussian conflict in
> europe over the past 400 years in terms of recognition of German
> composers by French institutions? What is the impact of the sense of
> cousin-hood of the english and the germans?
> The german / english / american love-hate relationship became a
> little muddled in the 20th century as the USA acceded to dominance
> over the brits almost 200 years after the Revolutionary War ... and
> the poor Canadian nation (a country that cannot work in theory but
> does in practice) sits betwixt and between the UK, the USA and France.
> (Canada is desolate enough that composers from opposites sides of the
> country need to meet in foreign cities to stay in touch.)
> In Canada, I found the early work of Michel Longtin
> to be Canadian in the sense of the Group of Seven painters
> , and that Glenn Gould's Solitude Trilogy (where I find both The Idea
> of North (1967) and The Latecomers (1969) presage both radiophonic
> art and soundscaping
> ) also
> as beacons of the time when there was a 'distinctive' (?) Canadian
> style.
> Some composers have no sense of 'national style', as they may have no
> sense of 'nation' as being their delimiting community. There may be
> discernable individual styles, or there may not be. It could be
> proposed that Berio or Takemitsu did not have individual styles, the
> body of their work in the field was so small that no 'style' evolved
> -- the individual works are identifiable, but not a global sense of
> 'style of composition'.
> Does Mort Subotnick have a body of work which is independent of the
> Buchla system(s) that is identifiable as being west-coast USA? Is
> there a group of people who would be able (agree) to identify these
> works as such?
> Apart from the impact of Jean-Francois Denis and Dim, how many of
> this list (would) have heard more than 8 works by any four of the
> listed composers? From the list, there are more than five composers
> of whom I have heard three or fewer pieces.
> The Concordia ea collection has between 2000 and 3000 (or more)
> pieces, and while 'style' is relatively easy to attribute (sometimes
> to the point of being able to predict the shape of the piece), if
> there is no spoken language, it is not easy to place a national
> characteristic. A resource to explore many works is
> .
> And where is Martin to speak on behalf of the (invisible) history of
> ea in Latin America?
> Best
> Kevin
> ... As a final (personal) example, I would have difficulty
> identifying the following work as by someone who is either Canadian
> (or English)
> At 11:49 -0500 2004/07/25, Larry Austin wrote:
>> Dear colleagues:
>> I feel/believe there are discernible international and national
>> styles of electroacoustic and computer music, exemplified especially
>> in solo tape and fixed media pieces. For example, these composers
>> are models of recognized national styles, if not international:
>> Paul Lansky, USA
>> Fracis Dhomont, Canada/France
>> Jonty Harrison, UK
>> John Chowning, USA
>> Jean-Claude Risset, France (USA)
>> Barry Truax, Canada (Netherlands)
>> Simon Emmerson, UK
>> Morton Subotnick, USA
>> James Dashow, USA (Italy)
>> Lars-Gunnar Bodin, Sweden
>> Natasha Barret, UK (Norway)
>> Denis Smalley, UK (France)
>> Karlheinz Stockhausen, Germany
>> et al.......
>> My point is that there is a recognized body of work in our medium by
>> composers based in various countries who have distinguished our
>> medium and their countries of origin as well. True?
>> I do not mean that the above list is all-inclusive, of course. Just
>> a list of the composers whose music and influence came to me right
>> away.
>> What do you think?
>> Larry Austin

Phil Thomson

SDF Public Access UNIX System
Geekier than you since 1987.

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