So many new releases from talented, energetic, ambitious music producers of all ilk every day of every week/month/year … how c’hell is one supposed to decide what to listen to? And, with such a glut of new music, can any single piece *matter* anymore? Beyond the rush of hearing it for the first (and probably [...]
All animals learn by imitating, even fancy apes like us. It’s the most efficient way to master the basics of a new field of knowledge. Want to become fluent in conversational Italian? Spend a year in Venice surrounded by native speakers, listening to everything and imitating it like a four-year old: words, inflections, rhythms, phrases, [...]
Different cultures have different takes on what makes music beautiful. Conyach, a term used by the Scottish travellers, is a quality of music that inspires strong emotional response in listeners. Salsa, as in salsa music, is used to describe musical wildness and ecstatic frenzy. Duende is a mysterious and difficult-to-translate term from Spanish music (especially [...]
The Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi is an approach to aesthetics (and life) based on impermanence: change, aging, transformation, loss, death. Wabi expresses simplicity, austerity, modesty – all of which impart freshness of character. Sabi implies the serenity, melancholy and loneliness that comes with age. Together, in wabi-sabi, they point to a bittersweet beauty based on [...]
We all have it. Everyone/everything has it. It’s just a question of removing the crap that gets in the way of it, right?
Does music history – that which has already been explored/composed/performed – matter to a composer? It depends. If you compose pieces to add to an existing body of music (dubstep, modal jazz, microtonality, modular synthesis, whatever) and to help this body develop/evolve … then, sure: history matters. It’s like doing scientific research; you build on [...]
I grew up enamored of science and rational thought, assumed that the “answers” were out there waiting to be found by some form of logical empirical(ish) analysis. These days I cultivate a naive, unknowing attitude toward the world and my activities in it: a kind of magical approach. The scientific method, for all its obvious [...]