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February 2010
 
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Sun, Jan. 25th, 2009 04:02 am
Siding with Cage against Branca

70CommentReply

imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jan. 25th, 2009 08:40 am (UTC)

Yes, that's exactly it. As soon as you make music a political battleground, you deny it the luxury of experimental non-judgmentalism and openness. Let's go back to Cage's line that there are toxic mushrooms, but no toxic sounds. If you don't make music a political battleground, you can afford to say that nothing in music is ever toxic. If you do make music a political battleground, suddenly music is like mushrooms -- there are fatal outcomes for wrong choices. There are toxic sounds. By making music political, you've made it responsible, and by making it responsible you've made it less free. You've also thrown away the political power, precisely, of music's non-political status. So Cage loses the political metaphor of saying all sounds are as important as each other (radical egalitarianism, anarchy) by demanding that music do political work (ie represent the ideal society), and then disliking the music/society that another composer creates.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jan. 25th, 2009 08:54 am (UTC)

I suppose the music-as-country idea should lead to diversity, multiculturalism, live-and-let-live, and harmony (which of course requires difference). "We can both live," Cage says of Branca, though he admits harmony is not his strong point.

I think the problem here was that Branca used the word "indeterminate", which made Cage think they were working on the same ideal country. He was then shocked by Branca's view of that country.


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uberdionysus
uberdionysus
Troy Swain: Black Box Miasma
Mon, Jan. 26th, 2009 08:42 am (UTC)

Oh that's silly and you know it.

Music has been political for a very long time; much longer than punk; and to claim that political music is toxic is as bone-headed as the opposing claim, which claims that non-political music is part of the problem and is perpetuating a distinction and fantasy that perpetuates political problems. That isn't true either.

Or I hope you don't believe in it.

Anyway my point is simple: there is a VERY GOOD argument against non-political music, and a very good argument that non-political music is the most toxic of all.

But I don't buy it. And I don't buy your argument either.

And that your readers didn't point that out is disappointing.


ReplyThread Parent
lana_sv
lana_sv
lana_sv
Mon, Jan. 26th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)

"We can both live,"
he said it
but he can personally dislike it and he can express and describe his particular association
why not

well music is art
as any art
it is creation of "world"
it can be new
it can resemble our own
it can be personal
it can be political
it can be active
it can be quiet
you name it infinitely

best of all it is different

but no one allowed to destroy it
or forbid

propaganda or "active" popularization can make "end product" from anything I believe
that already become "politic"
it enters the "game"

interview is the part of the game already
performance is part of the game moreover



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