Re: Lack of clarity regarding the term EA, clarification

Subject: Re: Lack of clarity regarding the term EA, clarification
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Mon Mar 21 2005 - 16:32:52 EST


>> It's as good as describing quattrocento painting as "the application
>> of smearable pigmented matter to a surface," or "it uses brushes."
>> It's a creative cop-out, Kevin, and you need something better.
> I'm sorry, I don't understand the need for a personal attack at this
> point, or maybe I do understand.

None intended. I've been thinking about your definition more and how
 expanding the domain of EA to potentially anything is potentially
meritorious. At the
same time, I stiull have problems with the idea that EA is centrally,
and necessarily, something
that happens through loudspeakers.

a. the impending obsolescence of loudspeakers.

b. what happens when we're doing sound by stimulating neurons? Clearly
whatever EA
is (as music or as approach) it wants the whole potential of
revolutiuonary ways of
exciting sound, perception, etc. We won't want to say, we EA
composers/thinkers regard
neurojacking as impure because it doesn't use loudspeakers.

c. I continue to find neurojacking a nice metaphor for how we encounter
music. By thinking ahead
we can get into a few interesting metaphors. By thinking behind (the
retro word "electro") we tend to
cast our ideas in terms of the previous technoilogy, as McLuhan says.

d. because of 4'33" EA def. should include a way of doing it that
doesn't produce
sound, also by not proiducing sound in different ways. Without this,
the subject has no
conceptual dimension.

e. it's important to open EA up to students as something that REQUIRES
vision about
what music/EA/etc is. It may be that your definition does require
vision to understand -- maybe my fifficulty is
that I have a different vision.

>> Jim Randall once showed me a music appreciation book he was reading
>> for a course on writing about music, that described the opening of the
>> Beethoven 9 as "a sustained dominant pedal." "That really says what in
>> that opening contributed to this piece coming to be known as the
>> crowning achievement of western music, doesn't it?" he asked.
> ??

He meant that writing about music should try to convey ideas about
what makes the music exciing or worth paying attention to. I was
suggesting that your phrase suffers by its refusal to convey any sense of
why one should be interested in, eg, what comes out of a loudspeaker or
why this
is an important issue.

-- eliot

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