Friday, October 30, 2009


I love patterns and symmetry, here is an answer for part of the reason.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wild Card Wednesday

Today I was invited to speak about my life as a graduate student at UCSB and about an upcoming concert (Nov. 6 2009 The Hub @ UCSB's Lotte Lehman Concert Hall) along with my teacher Clarence Barlow. This was an AM radio station in Santa Barbara, KZSB and the show is call Wednesday Morning Wild Card, hosted by Barron Ron Herron(he is the gent wearing a hat and seated in the above picture that I found online. I have no idea who the other person is). It was an amazing experience. Listen.

Oh, and the reason that we were late... The email that we received from John Villar accidentally directed us to 1317 STATE Street, not Santa Barbara St. It is a simple mistake to make and Clarence and I should probably have double checked the address before embarking,but we didn't. That meant that Clarence and I, both fresh as one can be after an evening discussing music and drinking red wine can be, showed up to the Arlington Theatre and were a bit perplexed. Eventually, modern technology, in the form of a cell phone made this happen.


Sunday, October 25, 2009


When I was completing my Qualification Exams (and that must be capitalized), I created an installation in conjunction with Alejandro Casazi. We later made a movie from that same material and we are once again working on that material and developing it further. For the exam, I completed the installation in 2 days. And upon completion had to answer questions about the installation and then my written answers from the previous week. One question that has stuck in my head since the exam was asked by Curtis Roads, "What is the form of the piece?" At the time I provided an answer about my experience of the piece, remarking quite honestly, that I had thought very little about that aspect but rather had entrusted that component to my subconscious or intuition.

I am led back to the that question tonight having spent some time with the words of Adorno. He goes into some discussion on what is an expressionist form and a surrealist form and offhandedly remarks about montage. This remark on montage got me thinking about the ideas of montage in Luc Ferrari and micromontage in Curtis Roads or Horracio Vaggione. Then it occurred to me that there is another form, one that is often present in electro acoustic music (but certainly not limited to that medium), that of the unfolding. By this I mean to indicate an algorithm or maybe more basically a set of procedures that are allowed to unfold, when the process has completed, the piece is done. James Tenney and Clarence Barlow come to mind. This is a form that has often drawn my admiration and attention, yet I can't think of a time that I have come across it in "the literature" (please, dear reader, alert me if you are aware of the verbiage and bibliographic information that I am so necessarily need_. Surely, this is an over-site on my part. I shall spend some time in the library to rectify this.

All this thought about form brought me to notions of exactly what role it plays in our existence. Chunking and demarcation of cognitive bits... is it our role as creative artists to suggest new and elaborate/elegant forms? Such that these new forms allow us access to new and possibly better means of experiencing life and the universe? What formal designs do other animals appreciate?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quotes and Notes

Celestial points in an emerging notion of the aesthetics of the modern situation.

"Art has the privilege and the mission to shape, regardless, whether matter-of-fact reality wishes to borrow the experiences gathered in this process. In that respect, true art has always been unselfish, something which is not likely to change in the future." Dick Raaijmakers - Cahier M Page 120

"Among the reproaches most obstinately repeated by these critics, the most widely spread is that of intellectualism: modern music has its origins in the brain, not in the heart or the ear; it is in no way conceived by the senses, but rather worked out on paper. The inadequacy of these clich├ęs is evident. The critics present their arguments as though the tonal idiom of the last 350 years had been derived from nature, and that to go beyond these firmly established theoretical principles were a violation thereof; whereas these ossified principles themselves are actually the very evidence of social pressure. The idea that the tonal system is exclusively of natural origin is an illusion rooted in history."
Theodor Adorno - Philosophy of Modern Music
Page 11

This passage has led me to consider the possibility of acoustically based music (spectral music, or electronic music based on the known perceptual realities) could be an unconscious reaction to years of criticims of modern music being unnatural. The idea being that it is in-fact more natural and perceptually agreeable than tonal music as it is based on factual information that tonal music does not account for.

"When people say apologetically that they don't know anything about music it is quite often that they have a very broad and deep experience of listening to music, with strong likes and dislikes , and in some cases a considerable ability to reproduce music previously heard or improvise new music. What they really mean is that they don't read musical notation or that they know insufficient words about music. Our predominantly symbolic way of communicating musical process has so distorted our general perception of what 'knowing' about music is, that somebody with a command of everything that matters in 'knowing' about music can be made to feel ignorant. Meanwhile the people who have charge of the symbols and words remain reasonably complacent that they do 'know' about music."
David Keane - At the Threshold of an Aesthetic from The Language of Electroacoustic Music edited by Simon Emmerson Page 104

The experience of music.... sound as a medium that is interacted with on some or multiple levels (movement - dance, melody - singing, intellectual - recontextualization, recollection - revelation, extension - perceptual exploration, transformative) is something that is common to all people. The level of awareness and interaction determines what the individual understands of the experience and what they take from it. This is based on the assumption that the "music" that is a genuine and expression of the musician.