Re: observances, etc.


Subject: Re: observances, etc.
From: Eric Somers (somers@sunydutchess.edu)
Date: Sun Jul 18 1999 - 21:50:25 EDT


I don't know if still another opinion on the whole PAE issue and Kodwo
Eshun's defense of the judging are worth adding, but I would like to make
two small points:

1. There has been criticism of Eshun's use of coined terms in the defence.
Like the late architect, R. Buckminster Fuller, Eshun tends to use coined
terms where existing terms do not express his intent. This is very evident
in his book "More Brilliant Than The Sun" which I am sure infuriates some
people (because of its novel diction) but delights others (like me). To
me, the book itself is brilliant and adds much that is important to the
literature on new music.

2. Also, how many have listened to the CD by Kodwo Eshun and Franz
Pommassl? It is a live performance with sounds that are, in many ways,
minimalistic electronic (think of Alvin Lucier), but which are not dance
music, not "pop" music and I don't think are even "folk" music (in Linda
Seltzer's sense), but which, to me at least, are "art" music. [I am not
foolish enought to ask whether it is "academic" music or not as that debate
seems to recur forever on this list. :>) ] It is a brilliant CD which
deserves to be heard by a wide spectrum of the e-a community.

Thus what we see in the statement are not the self-serving words of a
commercial "star" making big bucks off banal music, but the the words of an
original artist, with an original vision, trying to define his broader
vision of digital arts.

Even if the actual administration of the competition was perhaps flawed and
ambiguous, the statement of the judges -- and the the views of Mr. Eshun in
particular -- deserve to be respected and treated as a serious argument and
attempt at making PAE open to serious digital artists with a variety of
artistic orientations.

Although I highly respect many people on both sides of this argument, and
realize the issue should not be treated simplistically, I would hope that
critics of Mr. Eshun's piece would read his book and listen to his music
before jumping to "off base" conclusions.

- Eric Somers



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