Re: more observances

Subject: Re: more observances
From: James Paul Sain (
Date: Sat Jul 17 1999 - 22:11:52 EDT

naut humon said:

>The music should speak for itself as a first impression
>regardless of source...

As for first impressions (or 3 min. excerpts), I recall my first impression
of the music of Ligeti, his Requiem, when I was 16 years old. I am
embarrassed to reiterate said first impression for now I view this work
with great wonder and amazement; it has inspired many musical excursions of
my own. First impressions at best are "first impressions" (at least I was
intellegent enough to give Ligeti a second listen...maybe even a third and
forth before I began to understand...and then I read...and listened once
more). At worst first impressions can be grave mistakes!

No matter what you call it, "academic"..."institutional"..."serious"...etc,
there is a depth to the best of this music that is not seen by this
observer in most of the popular "digital musics" (whether Orbital, NIN,
etc). I'm not saying that I don't listen to the latter, or purchase their
albums, for I do and often enjoy the music. Once again, I also eat the
occasional McDonald's hamburger...but it's not high cuisine (and a Big Mac
is more immediately palatable than cold soup...or snails [oops escargot]).

Why must the academy embrace that which is "popular"? Is it to justify? I
suggest that "popular" music has it's own reward, and that is money. For,
if it is truly popular with the masses (and thus a "folk" music or music of
the people), then the royalty checks and popular awards should be enough.
Perhaps "popular" music is trying to justify itself by seeming to become

But, then again (especially in those grey areas in between academic and
popular), perhaps I have no clue as I'm just an academic! Thanks for your

Jim Sain

(note: please read the above with a very fast jungle beat in the background)

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