Sunday, October 14, 2007

This is a picture of the temporary festival headquarters and theater that was built for Steirischer Herbst 2007. I attended the sound week, Modes of Listening and made field recordings, listened to concerts by Philip Jeck, Francisco Lopez (among many others) and discussed the logic of music with philosopher M. Vogel. It was 50 years of this avant garde festival of sound, dance, theatre and general rowdy art making and I enjoyed most every minute of it. There are countless events and people I could mention, but rather I wasn't to note that this was about the act of listening as a The Kunsthaus has beautifullights at night (as the video shows and looks marvelous in the context of the city (below).means for approaching music. We in fact uncovered that many of the common terms associated with music have very little basis in the perceptual reality of the experience of organized sound. I am looking forward to reconnecting with many of the people that I met there, but the immediate result is that I find myself developing an appreciation of for the wide range of possibilities that organized sound encompasses and that the term music simply has to many connotations. So many that I almost prefer to not use it, as it nest the idea of sonic artistic design within the historical context of the imperialistic western music tradition and that has less and less appeal to me.

As regards the place, Graz Austria, this is a beautiful corner of the planet and the people are warm, kind and very well mannered, even if I could not understand 98% of what was said as I do not speak German! This was actually a very interesting thing for me. I was in a place where everyone was speaking a language that I can understand parts of but can not speak at all. I began to listen for meaning less and less and focused on the sounds of the language more and more, so at night (after a beer or so) I would launch into a Dada-esque composition of German language sounds, much to the amusement of Christine. What I really loved about this place was the architecture, the US is really one of the more ugly countries in terms of buildings, it was refreshing to see such interesting and adventurous buildings juxtaposed with very old and sometimes bizarre buildings.

I came away from this event realizing that I have a fairly good sense of what it is that I do and an ability to articulate my ideas and my aesthetic rather clearly. I feel that I need to perform more of my work live and explore more than my provincial definition of organized sound (or music) has let me do in the past. (The fault is my own).

Back in Santa Barbara the quarter has begun and this is a busy one, but if all goes well I should have most of my, if not all of my requirements out of the way at the end of this year. So that would mean having some time to actually do some work. Speaking of work, the trombone piece that Mark Brochinsky commissioned is moving along and I even synthesized a 6 and a half second section this evening.


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