Re: Quick guide to postmodernism (was: Re: Gibson (was: Re: Computer chicken))

Subject: Re: Quick guide to postmodernism (was: Re: Gibson (was: Re: Computer chicken))
From: Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (
Date: Sun Oct 02 2005 - 19:22:00 EDT

At 06:35 PM 10/2/05 -0700, Eliot Handelman wrote:
>It was an
>article of faith with
>12-toners that if you grew up with 12-tone music, it would be to you
>what Elvis was to
>other people, instinctual, basic, a "language" of expression that gets
>you right there. 80 yrs
>later or so we still don't see this.

I am your evidence. I'm that tiny, isolated, musically aboriginal culture
you haven't discovered yet.

My childhood growing up involved a lot of moving from town to town in a
race against poverty that included no radios or record players. When that
tinny tech finally appeared in the living room, my first experiences with
music were varied and included Duke-of-Earlian pop. But those that stood
out as thrilling to my musica rasa teenage self were all simply compelling
musics having nothing to do with their tonality -- Stockhausen, Coltrane,
Berg, Varese, Webern ... things I bought for their covers that were cheap
and dumped into the cutout bins because they didn't sell. For me they were
treasures of sonic lust.

Among the musically experienced, tonality is the incredible, unceasing,
soaking torrent of sonic life in a recorded society. You can never get
un-wet and the mildew cannot be scrubbed out.

Unlike folks who thump the postmodernist drums a bit too loudly, I didn't
suffer from an academic experience wherein I was forced to 'like' atonality
(as so many converts claim now). I just did. Maybe it was simply my good
fortune that undergraduates were forbidden to compose at Rutgers University
in the 1960s.

Yet like most everyone, I've moved past those dated old dodeadophones of 40
years ago. What remains instinctual nevertheless is the thrill of sound,
irrespective of the sounds' theoretical origin. As I said, I was a tiny and
isolated culture, and you're welcome to study me. :)

But I find this comment...

>In fact I
>find that to be a rather
>orwellian view of music -- get the rat cage on someone and they'll come
>out whistling "2+2=5".

...more frightening than you apparently do the idea that someone might
actually have been able to fall in love with the beauty 12-tone music.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:12 EST