Tuesday, December 7, 2010

it's time

Michael Matthews, my composer friend, sent me this:

> > In the UK, the race to become the number one song in the country at Christmas is a big deal. Last year, a Facebook campaign succeeded in making Rage Against the Machine's years-old track "Killing in the Name" the Christmas number one, upsetting X Factor winner Joe McElderry. This year, an indie-leaning all-star group of artists is attempting the same thing, with a "cover" of John Cage's experimental piece "4'33"", [*] which famously consists of four minutes and 33 seconds of silence.
> >
> >
> > The group of artists getting together to record the new version of "4'33"" are using the name Cage Against the Machine, naturally. Their number includes Pete Doherty, Billy Bragg, producer Paul Epworth, and members of the Big Pink, the Kooks, UNKLE, Orbital, Coldcut, and many others. (More artists may join up.) They'll all gather at London's Dean Street Studios on December 6 to record the track, and director DickCarruthers will film it. Wall of Sound will release it-- along with "pocket remixes" by Hot Chip, Herve, Adam F, and Mr. Scruff -- on December 13. (It's tough to imagine how a remix of silence will sound, but it's happening.) And even though this version hasn't been recorded yet, there's already a Facebook campaign to get it to number one.
> >
> > Proceeds from the single will go to five charities, including the British Tinnitus Association. Britain has a long tradition of "We Are the World"-esque all-star charity singles topping the charts; check Pitchfork contributor Tom Ewing's long-running Popular blog, which reviews every British number one ever, for evidence. But if this particular track succeeds in hitting the top spot, it'll be a massive coup for quixotic conceptual stunts. A college professor once told me that "4'33"" ended music forever, so maybe this release will end all-star charity singles forever?
> >
> > Posted by Tom Breihan on December 2, 2010 at 4:20 p.m.

Monday, December 6, 2010

topc doc says artworks can't change

I don't know if we'll get to it tomorrow, but I put copies of Levinson's "Artworks and the Future" in the pigeon-holes. He argues that artworks don't change. Check it out, especially ADDITIONAL NOTE 3 tacked on to the end of the paper. It's still all about the footnotes for him. If you're having trouble coming up with a paper topic, see if you have any ideas about his argument for the no-change thesis.

I'm grading your last set of papers asa quickly as I can. Some of you have already had comments returned to you. If you don't get comments by Thursday, let me know. Also, if it's important to you to get comments on paper #2 before you write #3, take a couple of extra days for #3.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another topic

If you're having trouble coming up with as topic for your Dec. 15th paper, consider this.

Levinson wants the following (HK = The Hammerklavier Sonata):

HK can be performed on the piano.
HK can performed on the fortepiano.
HK can be interpreted in various aesthetically interesting ways where each of those various performances are performances of HK.
HK cannot be performed on a perfect timbral synthesizer.

In answering this, try to be conscious of the difference between instances of a work and performances of a work for Levinson.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

article in The New Yorker

This may not be ontologically relevant, but it's an interesting article on the conservation of the wood panels used for pre-canvas paintings.

Onward and Upward with the ArtsThe Flip SideThe secrets of conserving the wood behind an early masterpiece.by Peter Schjeldahl
November 29, 2010 .Peter Schjeldahl, Onward and Upward with the Arts, “The Flip Side,” The New Yorker, November 29, 2010, p. 42

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/11/29/101129fa_fact_schjeldahl#ixzz170AX9olb

Unfortunately, you need a digital subscription to read the whole article, but it should still be on newstands for a day or so.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Has this been bugging anyone else? The fact that both Levinson and Kivy are trying to define a Musical Work such that it represents our use of the term in everyday language, even though it has become evident that what people are attempting to refer to varies from person to person. It seems their argument has been reduced to an argument about what the "general intuition is", and I'm just wondering whether this is futile, as no intuition is being globally accepted. Am I missing something critical? something in their arguments that does not depend on mere intuition? When saying things like "I could have written that work" our intuition seems to go with Kivy's. When saying "that work is unoriginal" we seem to be going with Levinson's. Both seem to be meaningful, though they have contradictory consequences. So something other than a further intuition seems necessary to determine which is the proper use of the term. Has any been given?

Pop Star Puzzler

A question for anyone and everyone who cares to answer: How would Levinson handle Hatsune Miku? Here's a link to an L.A. Times article, with a concert video.

Or other question: How should an ontology of music, that favours relations, handle representations of this sort? Is there really a problem to begin with?

Sunday, November 21, 2010