Re: Prix Ars Digital Musics results

Subject: Re: Prix Ars Digital Musics results
From: Alexandra Hettergott (
Date: Sun May 30 1999 - 16:08:52 EDT

-- "with cynical naivety ... persuading oneself of having got a monopoly on the true
spirit of the age"..., isn't it, "the preponderance of its [the light music's]
character of goods versus any aesthetical one"..., and, of course, not to forget
about the notion "fetishism" -- any neo-adornoism wanted?
"The notion progress loses its right where composing [becomes] bricolage"..., and
"the addiction to [implied: light] music ... is fixed to technology emotionally
engaged anyway"... -- Weren't we already a little further as the 50/60s Th.W.Adorno
was writing this (e.g., at apodictical length in his "Music Sociology" or his
"Dissonances"...), who, btw, did detest dance music as sexual-instinctive, listening
to radio as quasi-synonyme to any superficial listening behavior, and condemned
functional music in its entirety.
Hence, repetition and reproduction of the same regarding both the aspects of
production and content, where "only calculated effects that spice the everlasting
uniformity without putting them at risk, themselves following certain schemes" are

>High redundancy in music can be a point of departure for
>musical adventures which don't slavishly adhere to the fetish for
>repetition and the state of instant familiarity it makes possible (you've
>already heard it once, it does what you expect it to, you know where you
>are...) - the work of Panasonic (now Pansonic) is a fantastic example -
>not to mention old school mimimalism...

-- Serving expectations, yet this can be found in traditional musics also, and don't
forget that fellow people did dance to baroque music...

>Prix Ars jury member Kodwo Eshun rejects what he calls the 'trad sublime' and
>its romantic notion of originating genius
-- yet you're calling it yourself a "romantic" notion...
>in favour of a musical aesthetic centred on what he calls sonic fictions.
>Fictions built out of a process of bricolage and assemblage, in which
>meaning emerges through recontextualisation,
-- That's for sure...
To verify there where the reflection re the function of music becomes thematical,
hence a medium included in the plan, like in film, Adorno dicit; and the
entertainment "light" listener is to be described adequately only in context with the
mass media radio, film, and television...

Btw, as far as I remember, the AE jury members do change every year, so your "sublime
enemy" Kodwo Eshun won't be there next year again, quite probably...

>But on the other hand the aesthetics of
>'sonic fiction' is entirely opposed to the language of EA beacuse as soon as
>one decides to get all acousmatic and start buggering about with the
>spectromorphological potential of a sound then the cultural resonance of
>that sound (its extrinsic value - if I remember Smalley's terminolgy
>correctly) goes out the window - or at very least is abstracted and
>obscured - at which point we start talking about referentiality.
Oh oh...; (a) if so, you couldn't prevent it anyway, (b) referentiality and cultural
resonance are not necessarily inconsistent, (c) wouldn't it yet be wiser to not that
exclusively oppose the terms to one another...?
As you are stating yourself, doubtlessly, there do well exist several kinds of
aesthetics ; regarding the last point, (c), I would rather appeal to not forget about
blurred boundaries and intersections.

>Furthermore, EA is still largely a displine which is about the individual
>as originating genius, ..
...while any mass culture-influenced product necessarily originates from ego-faint
pre-individuals... (said Adorno).

>it's just that in its hipper-than-thou way it remains so conservative.

-- while the (everlasting) conservation of old values would be the actual revolution

Alexandra Hettergott
(who likes commercials just because of their functional and evoking character...).

     Long live anti-intellectualism and instinct economy... !

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Wed Jun 11 2003 - 13:08:59 EDT