Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:

Subject: Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:
From: Morgan Sutherland (
Date: Fri Nov 04 2005 - 12:57:36 EST

Yes, I once read an article about the balance between unpredictability
and predictability in a piece. Predictability gives the listener a
"reward" for guessing what comes next while unpredictability grants a
surprise. A "good" piece is categorized by a perfect balance suited
for the listener.

I think that the discerning EA listener has an extremely developed
taste for unpredictability.

For instance, you may be very annoyed to recognize Resin in an EA
piece, yet a rock 'n' roll listener would be horrified not to be
hearing guitar bass and drums.

I find it very interesting, the EA listener/creator's obsession with
innovation and "freshness", almost as if they/we are not listening for
enjoyment, but listening for the thrill of something new. In a way,
it's very comparable to the capitalist consumer culture that the punk
movement spoke against for the last 20 years. Maybe it's not a
coincidence that all punk music sounds more or less the same?
(socialism vs. fascism)
Capitalist society is all about being discontent with what you have
and lusting for what is new and different, which drives the economy,
which translates to the pursuit of happiness (albeit and endless one).

It's almost like you are the evil force in one of the many 90's
American movies focused on taking what is good and consuming it
("Independence Day" for instance). An insatiable lust for innovation.

Not at all that this is a bad thing, it's just that metaphorically it
compares with ideas that are mostly agreed to be "bad".

So are EA competitions that reward mastery of the art based not on
innovation, but on raw listener's pleasure, such a bad thing?

I personally think that it's mostly useless to produce EA for the
listener's sake because EA is mostly a FUBU (for us by us) affair.
Better to achieve a sense of content-ness from recognition in your
field as an innovator.

That's the problem I have with John Cage. I know very little about
him, but I know he practiced zen Buddhism to some degree, yet his life
work consisted of stirring things up.
I like the idea of a mix however.

On 11/4/05, Ian Chuprun <> wrote:
> Eliot Handelman wrote:
> > I've recently been playing around with an idea I call
> > "structural favoritism." This means the kind of listening
> > where you "wait for the good parts." This used to be
> > considered a very low-class way to listen to classical music.
> I think you might be on to something here, but its not necessarily
> restricted to a musical experience. In art school I had many profs,
> painting/drawing/printmaking, who would point to a work (student or pro)
> and say that they thought a particular section of it was 'good', but
> isolating that section alone, without the bad parts, it would no longer
> be 'good'. It seemed the good stuff needed to be imbedded in 'other'
> stuff. I guess a good piece is one where the bad parts make the listener
> suffer just long enough to appreciate the good parts;-)
> Ian

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:14 EST