Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
From: Jean-Marc Pelletier (
Date: Mon Aug 01 2005 - 02:18:03 EDT

First of all, I'm an idiot who can't write: it's VLF (Very Low
Frequency) not VLT (Very Lame Typo).


> Much as I dearly love the soundscape in the woods here - it is really
> wunderschoen but it is not art.

"What is art" is a stupid magnet that continually drags discussions away
from more essential questions: "What value/qualities does this object
possess?" "Art" is a borderline useless and mildly dangerous concept.
The moment you label something as "not art" you effectively close
yourself to potential interpretations, potential assessment, enjoyment
of an object's qualities. Note that the same happens if you label
something "art".

You play your latest musical creation to some acquaintances. "That's
nice but it's not music" is their reaction. "Of course it is!" you
object. "It's not music; there's no tune!" is their explanation. From
then on follows an hour-long discussion/debate/debacle about what
"music" is or is not. In the end, however, it boils down to "I know
music when I hear it". Instead of wasting your time trying to logically
defends what amounts to little more than a gut feeling, you could have
had a constructive discussion about the sounds you just shared. That's
what I find dangerous about "art" and "music": they are perceptual

Of course, it's convenient to have a word for things like Beethoven's
Eroica Symphony and "The Birth of Cool" and "Sergeant Pepper" and
whatnot. This word, in the end, is little more than a convenient aid to
everyday speech; you should not let it dictate how you listen to *any*
sonic structure. It's quite possible to listen to natural sounds and
music in the same way. That's all.


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