Thursday, January 23, 2014

I, Too, Fall Asleep

When there is nothing happening I fall asleep, just like a lot of other people.  The trouble is that too many people are already asleep thanks to unrelenting noise and sameness of audio feed (to use an idiotic modernism).

Yesterday I was listening to a series of brief performances showcasing ensembles at the Chamber Music America conference in NYC.  After one startling early music group, the Alta Consort (highly recommended)
came a modern group, whose name I don't even recall.  By their second piece I was already drifting to awake only when they stopped playing.  Could it be that silence is more interesting than what they were up to?

I do not question their sincerity (again, a la Flanders & Swann "whether you mean it or not").  I do question where we all are in relation to what we hear.

I commented to the total stranger sitting next to me, who had been there also for the preceding group, how it struck me that so much modern music performance seems to be for avoiding pitch involvement.  She would not put it that way, she said, but rather that there was a notable absence of fine crafting of compositional detail.  To me it is the same thing: nothing to hold onto -- not that we need a melody: a tone, a succession of events, if you will, will suffice.