PAE philosophy wars?

Subject: PAE philosophy wars?
From: Naut Humon (
Date: Sun Dec 19 1999 - 23:09:53 EST

 -- as a reply to John Young's response message

I would add that age has little bearing on my
appreciation of Bob Ostertag's article which
triggered years of thoughtful,controversial reaction.
"Relatively" ancient refers to seemingly how long these
similar discussions seem to go on and if that is too
radical a term for some peoples perception of
time spent on these re-emerging topics then
I stand corrected. What I was remembering
is perceived mind fatigue regarding the
constant ongoing criticism of ea's supposed
secular state. A hope to somehow travel
outside last spring/summer's heated interchanges
has worked in the interim. This slight return
seems ok but new perspectives are desired
to add reader participation in the process as brought
up by many earlier this year on this and other lists.
If we're just beckoning more computer music wars
here then I'll surrender because PAE's overall
agenda isn't always necessarily my own view.

 And if a PAE PR notice is innappropriate for this
particular list I will decline future informations
of this nature to cec. If speaking as a representative
of this Ars organization puts me in a position
perceived to others as a "validation" mechanism
of personal acknowledgement then why the hell do
I even bother trying to convey the collective sentiments
of years of jury and organizers various opinions?
Surely if I fail to be objective and fair to speak
on behalf of this large team my efforts as one of
the spokespersons should be held in question.
I really don't need to write to these lists -
but my keen admiration of those who participate
(including the exceptional audio works of John
Young) compels me to drop a line. (Don't worry
John - my positive personal opinion of your music
will not lead to any "nomination" - I don't
think you would accept)

As far as cliches go I subscribe to the great ones
in pop, rock, and instrumental with high respect.
Remarkable songwriters and sonic craftsmen who
follow formula to achieve their impact are in every
decade sometimes successful to their intended
audiences. But when I'm asked to be on a jury
that in theory is evaluating progress in the
Cyber-Arts world then generalizations on
generic manifestations in these specified
categories is less promininent. We try to
look also at those who attempt to break the
rules not just adhere to them. And after
listening to so many sessions of similar
sounding noises and arrangements from
techno to ea the word "cliche" magically
appeared to somehow describe the repetitive
formations of the majority of'free' canvas work
submitted year after year. Focus is put
on recognizing the exceptions to the
masses of submissions whose efforts illustrate
perhaps fewer so-called cliches so
rampant in the hundreds entered.
Then as judges we become 'critics' eternally
flawed by our own personal experiences
as wide or narrow as they might be
in reference to knowledge of digital
manifested musics internationally.

 --- to Larry Austin (in memoriam )

 Undoubtedly the PAE will forever miss your
participation in the the "money baited"
competition you so willingly once entered
in past years when the prizes were still
similar -- but now that Ars consists of
"aesthetic bigots" who picked winners
 that didn't always align themselves to
the style of music honored at Ars for over
a decade. I'm sure your acute personal awareness
of listening to 99's selected winner pieces
hasn't biased you in any way? I would
NEVER think of Larry of ever being aesthetically
bigoted about Aphex Twin ,Mego and the rest.
(No, these may not be ultimate masterpieces but
what an entire panel felt rose to the surface.)
So now this panel will resign and Larry we
invite YOU to bring back what 'digital musics'
took away and reinstate for all time the
power and the majesty of TRUE computer
music by one of the original pioneers!
Don't be a sucker - be a ducker!



>>-so apparently we're back again bringing up these
>>relatively ancient discourses on Ostertags '96
>> ever infamous article -- I've been out of touch
>>with cecdiscuss since the summer due to travels,
>>events and yet these relics of the reactions to
>>the Ars competition results still occasionally
>> well get set for the PAE 2000 Digital Musics appeal
>>set for deadline by April. For those disillusioned
>>by trends indicated in recent years need not
>>apply -- but those challenged by the quest for
>>fresh and unusual approaches in ea that DON'T
>>have to be marginalized by contemporary
>> "electronica" hipness or the repetitive
>>cliches of modern generic acousmatic - DO
>Delusions of reference? Surely a piece of writing can stand on its own?
>When people care about the music they write, and the professional
>conditions in which they participate, they can react like this. Perhaps in
>the worlds of some 1996 is ancient history, but issues relating to musical
>meaning and significance are ever current.
>The reference to cliché is interesting. Clichés actually (IMV) actually
>consolidate positions within a practice or language. If there are truths
>to be discovered, they may always be seen as cliché, though we will need to
>hear under the surface for new insights (as in just about every pre- and
>classical symphony) ... in short, we can still say 'I love you' (sic.).
>Cliché can be a form of legitimation, it's true - and, if it is based on
>powerful corroboration of like minded-individuals who feel the same
>potentials in musical materials, then go for it! I guess this would even
>have to extend to the various techno derivates cited by Bob Ostertag which
>would not be subject to their cute labels without cliché.
>Since Mr Humon asks, I would suggest that for PAE the idea of nominations
>be scrapped, and that the subject of and decisions in the competition not
>be used as a vehicle for personal validation or PR on internet lists.
>Dr John Young Email:

Naut Humon wrote:

> ... well get set for the PAE 2000 Digital Musics appeal
> set for deadline by April. ...

Apologetic hype not accepted.

> DO
> consider!

I have considered the book PAE recently sent me, immortalizing its
supposed significance by listing my name as an entrant. I don't want
to be counted among all the "computer music" suckers...and certainly
not as a converted "digital music" composer.

> Lets try and move beyond the factionalism
> of genre specific recognition because many
> things are being blurred these days between
> these arbitrary categories.

You started it with all the anti-computer music
diatribe in the jury's report.

> This of course
> means that those who wish to remain 'pure'
> or music specific will not be discounted.

What's this??!! Are you backing off that tract,
so that you can boast how many suckers have
taken your money bait?

> Any suggestions on judging procedures,
> types of jurors, and evaluation
> calendars are most welcome.

Some resignations from the panel would
be in order, I suggest.

> Last year there were around 700+
> entries/nominees to reckon with and to
> be uniformly fair to each one
> was a big issue.(2 -3 minute excerpts,
> 3 day full judging period etc.)

At 3 minutes per entry, that's 2100 minutes
or 35 hours. Ahhhh.... What about deliberations?
That must have been well nigh impossible to
do. I guess you had to cut down the listening
to a few seconds per piece, if that.

> Good computer music does not suck--

Still backing off, huh? Can't stand by your
new banner...DIGITAL MUSIC forever!!

> and even though we all have personal
> opinions on what is really "good"
> most of EVERY every music genre
> SUCKS! Its those fantastic exceptions
> that consume our listening lives.
> And there are enough of these
> musical masterpieces to inhabit
> our valuable time. Seek and ye
> shall still find......

"...musical masterpieces...", such as the ones this
year's panel declared as winners??? Give me a

> my apologies for this public address
> intervention but I wanted to remind
> anyone still interested about
> submitting to the renovated Prix Ars
> this coming spring .......

Apologies? None needed. For this one composer,
I don't want ever to enter the Digital Music
category...because of what it declares philosophically,
I needn't apply. I will not "submit" to PAE 2000 because
of its stated aesthetic bigotry. "Computer music composers
need not apply" is the message I get.

Computer music solidarity forever!!

Larry Austin

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