Re: Solo ea

Subject: Re: Solo ea
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Sun Feb 13 2005 - 10:28:41 EST

This is not an uncommon experience, and is often the clash of expectations.

At 22:54 +1100 2005/02/13, miriam clinton (iriXx) wrote:
>i rebelled - in the middle of studies. i wrote a piece called 'is' -
>which is anti-academic, it was purely about being myself. it's
>called 'is' because 'it just is' - no need to justify anything i was
>doing. in doing so, i had to battle every bit of academia that i
>ever experienced. it was a rough ride.

The academy is about getting a piece of paper that attests that
certain conditions and criteria have been met. If one is not capable
or chooses not to meet these standards, then the 'certification' is
not given.

There are exited doctors, lawyers, engineers, pharmacists, pilots,
accountants etc etc. They have professional associations that
'accredit' that a certain standard has been achieved.

Have you eaten in many un-accredited 'restaurants' lately?

If you wish to be free and untainted, then the course of study is
outside of academia. You will to a large degree also remain
certificate-less. Some people are happier being free, untainted and
away from the academy -- these are the ones that I recommend that
they find their instruction through individual artists or their own
path in the world.

>... i feel free. i make whatever i want - academic stuff is out the
>window, analysis is out the window - the learning is somwhere
>retained, the discipline - but not the rigidity.

The rigidity is a function of the individual student. The academy
sets standards and conditions and some find these rigid, others
accept them as what they are designed to be, standards to be met.

>rigidity is dangerous, and i never taught my students to be so. i
>taught them to explore, to have /fun/ - where is the fun in academic

If you want 'fun', then a Masters or PhD program is not the place to look.

>... first year students, fresh out of high school where rules are
>the norm. there /are/ no rules in music,

ah ... this is silly. They may not be 'rules' in the written sense,
but I would think that your brain runs on 'rules'. We may not be
aware of them moment to moment and many of them may be ingrained into
one of the lower levels of the physical brain, but they are used to
receive and assess the information that is coming in, and determining
the usefulness, appropriateness / behavioral response to the

A historical and cross-cultural look at music as it has been
practiced for the past 3000 years will show that there are rules.
Sometime in the mid-20th century a few western individuals proclaimed
that music could be free from rules, but that has not altered the
practice of music in wider culture and society.

Most often the rules are specific and context driven by the language
constraints of the style, and sometimes they are driven by biological
and physical forces. (eg for dance music, have the beat fall between
30 and 240 beats per minute -- limitations of pulse and sustainable
response times.)

Hmmm .... I can see it coming now ... the idea that the "finite
number of compositions" concept is simply because of quantizing




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