Wary of linguistic traps

Subject: Wary of linguistic traps
From: Kevin Austin (kevin.austin@videotron.ca)
Date: Wed Jul 28 2004 - 12:25:34 EDT

The word serious has many meanings, and many shades of these (for some people).

Consider for a little lite reading on how Marcel would awake ...

"There was at first a silence, amid which the whistle of the tripe
vendor and the hooting of the trams reverberated through the air in
different octaves, like a blind piano tuner. Then gradually the
interwoven motifs became distinct, and others were combined with
them. There was also a new whistle, the call of a vendor the nature
of whose wares I never discovered, a whistle that exactly resembled
the whistle of the trams, and since it was not carried out of earshot
by its own velocity, it gave the impression of a single tram-car, not
endowed with motion, or broken down, immobilized, screeching at brief
intervals like a dying animal.

And I felt that, should I ever have to leave this aristocratic
quarter - unless it were to move to one that was entirely plebeian -
the streets and boulevards of central Paris (where greengrocery,
fishmongering and other trades, established in big stores, rendered
superfluous the cries of the street hawkers, who in any case would
have been unable to make themselves heard) would seem to me very
dreary, quite uninhabitable, stripped, drained of all these litanies
of the small trades and itinerant victuals, deprived of the orchestra
that came every morning to charm me."

The Captive, Marcel Proust, p 175

This form of writing (esp when drawn out to seven medium-size books)
somewhat parallels concepts found in many cultures, that there are
arts which are reflective. Listeners continue to mine the depths of
The Ring 130 years later, with added interpretations / understandings
coming out every couple of years.

A term previously employed, depth of identity, is one which tries to
dig into the idea that 'serious' art, in varying degrees has been
accepted by many patrons as allowing them to return to it time and
again and discover new facets, new angles and outlines, other modes
of perception, expanded horizons on life, living and love.

At 15:38 +0100 2004/07/28, Li-Chuan Chong wrote:
>On the 'good fancy artwork' itself (which is good by the way), Steve
>wrote: "...on track 12 is my first attempt at a serious
>Now, with all the banter on "electroacoustics - rap to tap to zap to
>frap" etc. here's someone who believes that 'serious electroacoustic
>composition' exists, and attempted it for the first time.

As you imply, this is not to deprecate the value of other work,
however I would venture that many people who have worked in a studio
at some times have had to 'learn the ropes', and upon having
developed some control of the tools of creation, have attempted to
filter their work so as to present a more concentrated form of their

The jazz musician practices improvisation to get their chops
together. Many here have boxes and files of 'not quite what I wanted'
sounds. A student who wishes to represent themself by "their best
attempt" will need to find a term to help the listener know to pay a
little more attention, if they care to.

Many hundreds of thousands of people had heard Marcel's soundscape;
he took the time and energy required to formulate his ideas into a
fixed form for others to read. He was one serious dude.

>My question is, again shouldn't be taken personally, why belittle
>anything else that one does or had ever done as 'less serious', or
>'non-serious'? In contrast, isn't those things leading up to one's
>"first attempt" to do anything seriously just as important, and thus
>equally 'serious'?

>Or is it a case of YCBS (McEnroe et al.)?

You cannot be serious



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