Friday, September 14, 2012

Music as Object

In 1997 there was a three-day conference at The New School called Technology and the Rest of Culture.  To my surprise some of the most insightful papers were on alphabets, stitching fig leaves together, and similarly elemental interfaces that man has developed to objectify experience. 

In the short span of time between then and now even more processes and products have been invented to remove us from the immediacy of listening.  Googling "music" yields CDs.  The "music" that one learns to read is supposed to be the real thing.  But it's not.

The real thing is what holds me rapt in a room where everyone is intent on not missing a hint of a vibration.  This happens mostly in a little boite in Brooklyn, Barbes.  There is a mike, OK, but the musicians use it well, that is, in such a way as to encourage paying attention rather than tuning out.  I have the feeling when I'm there that what I am listening to is algorithm-proof:  it will never again happen quite that way, nor do I want it to.