DDD Home Page
DDD Music Lists Page
DDD Movie Lists Page
It is currently Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:50 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 114 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:05 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
corrections wrote:
A tribute to silence would fix the level of silence indelibly. I think it more likely that Cage was more exploring chance music made not by the performer.


Wikipedia wrote:
In 1951, Cage visited the anechoic chamber at Harvard University. An anechoic chamber is a room designed in such a way that the walls, ceiling and floor absorb all sounds made in the room, rather than reflecting them as echoes. Such a chamber is also externally sound-proofed. Cage entered the chamber expecting to hear silence, but he wrote later, "I heard two sounds, one high and one low. When I described them to the engineer in charge, he informed me that the high one was my nervous system in operation, the low one my blood in circulation." Cage had gone to a place where he expected total silence, and yet heard sound. "Until I die there will be sounds. And they will continue following my death. One need not fear about the future of music." The realisation as he saw it of the impossibility of silence led to the composition of 4'33''.


So maybe we're both right. Silence will always include certain sounds (or "chance music" as you call it), which makes sense, as the whole concept of silence rests on the existence of sound. Silence without sound is unthinkable as paradox as that may sound.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
corrections wrote:
But here is the deal. We don't disagree that silence has power. The issue I have is that silence derives its great power from its contrast with noise in other musical pieces. Without providing this context does it really do a good job of conveying the ideal you ascribe to it?

That's a valid point that pnoom also raised earlier in this thread. One could argue that silence will always be embedded in the noise we encounter in everyday life and that's were any power in 4'33'' could possibly derive from. It doesn't try to establish some kind of noise first because that is already existing outside the piece. It's what the piece is surrounded by anyway and since the whole point of 4'33'' would be the pure celebration of silence, any sound inside the piece would take away a little from the pure silent beauty Cage is trying to create. But maybe that's a little far-fetched.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:29 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
corrections wrote:
pauldrach wrote:
Anything anybody says about a work of art will always be somewhat inferior to the work itself, since it won't able to provide any kind of final word to the understanding of the piece. That doesn't mean that discussion about a work of art could not enhance our understanding and appreciation of the piece. And if you think that artists only create art so that other people can consume it and make random judgments concerning their liking or disliking of the piece, then I think that you're not doing justice to most artists.


I'm interested in this last bit I bolded. What do you mean exactly? How does it follow that something said about a work of art will be inferior since it won't be able to provide final word. Does a piece provide final word?

What I mean is that any comment about a work of art will try to somehow analyze and explain what the work of art means to the person that made the comment. This person probably won't be able to provide a complete analysis of everything the artist may or may not have envisioned while creating the piece. There will always be additional ways of approaching the work of art, however bizarre they may seem, that could lead to different unconventional readings of the piece. The work itself though is fix and in a way already contains all the different ways of understanding it, even if they have not yet been discovered. Even the artist himself may not be aware of everything the piece could mean to somebody else. There may for example be details that somehow slipped into the piece via the artist's subconsciousness, that could reveal aspects of the artist's personality, that again could be crucial to a complete understanding of the work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 am
Posts: 51
Location: Southern California
RE: Anything anybody says about a work of art will always be somewhat inferior to the work itself, since it won't able to provide any kind of final word to the understanding of the piece. That doesn't mean that discussion about a work of art could not enhance our understanding and appreciation of the piece. And if you think that artists only create art so that other people can consume it and make random judgments concerning their liking or disliking of the piece, then I think that you're not doing justice to most artists.
_______

I agree that discussion of a work of art can enhance our understanding and appreciation of the piece. Perhaps if any discussion becomes too esoteric and philosophical, there may be a question as to whether a listener not so well versed in this level of discussion could appreciate what is being said.

Sometimes a work of art may need to be appreciated using our aesthetic sensibilities, presentationally, as immediate experience, maybe without a great deal of analysis as to what it "means."

I think that an artist creates a work of art as a means of expressing his inner aesthetic and creative feelings. If the work of art engenders an appreciation or other kind of reaction from other people, then it may become well-known and appreciated by others -- both artists and non-artists.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
I entirely agree with that, even if there may have been a slightly different tone to some of my previous posts. There are different ways one can encounter art and its abolutely legitimate to switch of your consciousness and just let the music carry you. Some music works best that way.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 am
Posts: 51
Location: Southern California
pauldrach wrote:
I entirely agree with that, even if there may have been a slightly different tone to some of my previous posts. There are different ways one can encounter art and its absolutely legitimate to switch of your consciousness and just let the music carry you. Some music works best that way.


That's an interesting point of view, especially when you say that sometimes it's legitimate to just let the music carry you, and that some music works best that way.

In my experience, listening to something like Cage's 4'33 is an entirely different experience compared with listening to something such as Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Because of my extensive musical background (M.A. in Music Education, and a couple of decades of public performance, band conducting and arranging, etc.), when I listen to the Rite of Spring, I can't help but recognize and try to analyze Stravinsky's orchestration, harmonies, rhythms, etc., while I'm enjoying the listening experience. This just comes naturally to me with that kind of complex, 20th-century work.

However, when I listen to (or play) one of Sousa's marches, it's an entirely different experience. Although to some extent my mind is recognizing the various countermelodies and band arrangement parameters, nevertheless, I also experience an immediate visceral and enjoyable reaction.

Then, when I play jazz, again it's an entirely different experience -- more visceral than analytical. I also find myself "playing to" what the other people in the jazz combo are also playing, trying to "fit in" what I'm doing with what they're doing. For me, this kind of improvisational jazz performance is almost entirely visceral and feelingful, with very little analysis going on in my mind. I kind of "get lost in the experience."

Something similar happens when I play rock (on the keyboard). There’s very little analytical stuff going on; and more of an "immediate musical experience" as the pounding rhythms and the harmonies sort of "take hold" of me.


Last edited by musicfunman on Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 am
Posts: 51
Location: Southern California
pauldrach wrote:
I entirely agree with that, even if there may have been a slightly different tone to some of my previous posts. There are different ways one can encounter art and its abolutely legitimate to switch of your consciousness and just let the music carry you. Some music works best that way.


To pauldrach:

BTW, you seem to have an in-depth understanding of music to be able to write the way you do. Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

1. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your musical background and experience? I'm just curious because of the level of discussions that have been going on in this thread.

2. Do you know of anyone else in this forum (or perhaps in some other forums) who are able to have the kind of discussions that the members of this thread have been having with regard to Cage's 4'33, and more broadly, about musical experience? If you do, could you point me to them?

Thanks in advance. :tiphat:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
musicfunman wrote:
That's an interesting point of view, especially when you say that sometimes it's legitimate to just let the music carry you, and that some music works best that way.

In my experience, listening to something like Cage's 4'33 is an entirely different experience compared with listening to something such as Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Because of my extensive musical background (M.A. in Music Education, and a couple of decades of public performance, band conducting and arranging, etc.), when I listen to the Rite of Spring, I can't help but recognize and try to analyze Stravinsky's orchestration, harmonies, rhythms, etc., while I'm enjoying the listening experience. This just comes naturally to me with that kind of complex, 20th-century work.

However, when I listen to (or play) one of Sousa's marches, it's an entirely different experience. Although to some extent my mind is recognizing the various countermelodies and band arrangement parameters, nevertheless, I also experience an immediate visceral and enjoyable reaction.

Then, when I play jazz, again it's an entirely different experience -- more visceral than analytical. I also find myself "playing to" what the other people in the jazz combo are also playing, trying to "fit in" what I'm doing with what they're doing. For me, this kind of improvisational jazz performance is almost entirely visceral and feelingful, with very little analysis going on in my mind. I kind of "get lost in the experience."

Something similar happens when I play rock (on the keyboard). There’s very little analytical stuff going on; and more of an "immediate musical experience" as the pounding rhythms and the harmonies sort of "take hold" of me.

Interestingly I completely understand what you mean. This "letting the music carry you" is very important for appreciating minimal music for instance but occasionally works with other styles as well. Pharoah Sanders' "Karma" comes to mind. With other music it doesn't appear to work at all. I automatically start counting when listening to music with unusual time signatures and my brain won't rest until it has figured them out. Other music may also carry you but not in the sense that you passively sink into it, but it rather animates you to move to the point where you maniacally jump around the area. Some music (IDM styles and such) may both animate you to move and at the same time consciously engage with it, which usually doesn't work that well, at least not for me, which means that I have to use different approaches on repeated listens. With making music it can be similar. Sometimes it may work when you just play yourself into ecstasy and let the fingers do whatever the hell they want, while for other kinds of music you first have to analyze the piece you want to play in detail and then have to always be consciously aware of every single move you make while playing it in order to make the piece breathe. All of that's what makes music so endlessly fascinating.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
musicfunman wrote:
BTW, you seem to have an in-depth understanding of music to be able to write the way you do. Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

1. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your musical background and experience? I'm just curious because of the level of discussions that have been going on in this thread.

2. Do you know of anyone else in this forum (or perhaps in some other forums) who are able to have the kind of discussions that the members of this thread have been having with regard to Cage's 4'33, and more broadly, about musical experience? If you do, could you point me to them?

Thanks in advance. :tiphat:

First of all let me say that I'm really honored by that first statement.

As to the first question: I study music and English teaching at the University in Potsdam now in my fourth semester. The instruments I play/have played are the piano, western and classical guitar, bass guitar, harp and recorder. I also take vocal lessons and have played in a couple of bands and sung in a couple of choirs.

As to the second question: There are quite a couple of posters on this forum who are able to lead an educated discussion about music from what I've seen. I'd recommend you just start a topic about whatever you want to discuss and see how it develops.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:07 pm 
Offline
moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 23362
pauldrach wrote:
corrections wrote:
pauldrach wrote:
Anything anybody says about a work of art will always be somewhat inferior to the work itself, since it won't able to provide any kind of final word to the understanding of the piece. That doesn't mean that discussion about a work of art could not enhance our understanding and appreciation of the piece. And if you think that artists only create art so that other people can consume it and make random judgments concerning their liking or disliking of the piece, then I think that you're not doing justice to most artists.


I'm interested in this last bit I bolded. What do you mean exactly? How does it follow that something said about a work of art will be inferior since it won't be able to provide final word. Does a piece provide final word?

What I mean is that any comment about a work of art will try to somehow analyze and explain what the work of art means to the person that made the comment. This person probably won't be able to provide a complete analysis of everything the artist may or may not have envisioned while creating the piece. There will always be additional ways of approaching the work of art, however bizarre they may seem, that could lead to different unconventional readings of the piece. The work itself though is fix and in a way already contains all the different ways of understanding it, even if they have not yet been discovered. Even the artist himself may not be aware of everything the piece could mean to somebody else. There may for example be details that somehow slipped into the piece via the artist's subconsciousness, that could reveal aspects of the artist's personality, that again could be crucial to a complete understanding of the work.


If the piece is recorded, I buy this. If it is not, I don't. I get your general thrust here and I agree with it that the piece itself will tell you more about it than anyone could because your own relationship with the piece is what matters. However, if the music is live and not recorded there is no final word because every performance will be different.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:10 pm 
Offline
moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 23362
pauldrach wrote:
musicfunman wrote:
BTW, you seem to have an in-depth understanding of music to be able to write the way you do. Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

1. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your musical background and experience? I'm just curious because of the level of discussions that have been going on in this thread.

2. Do you know of anyone else in this forum (or perhaps in some other forums) who are able to have the kind of discussions that the members of this thread have been having with regard to Cage's 4'33, and more broadly, about musical experience? If you do, could you point me to them?

Thanks in advance. :tiphat:

First of all let me say that I'm really honored by that first statement.

As to the first question: I study music and English teaching at the University in Potsdam now in my fourth semester. The instruments I play/have played are the piano, western and classical guitar, bass guitar, harp and recorder. I also take vocal lessons and have played in a couple of bands and sung in a couple of choirs.

As to the second question: There are quite a couple of posters on this forum who are able to lead an educated discussion about music from what I've seen. I'd recommend you just start a topic about whatever you want to discuss and see how it develops.


To add to this specifically the best and most interesting musical discussions will probably be had with george, dreww, John 17, pnoom!, and dreamcoil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 am
Posts: 51
Location: Southern California
corrections wrote:
pauldrach wrote:
corrections wrote:
pauldrach wrote:
Anything anybody says about a work of art will always be somewhat inferior to the work itself, since it won't able to provide any kind of final word to the understanding of the piece. That doesn't mean that discussion about a work of art could not enhance our understanding and appreciation of the piece. And if you think that artists only create art so that other people can consume it and make random judgments concerning their liking or disliking of the piece, then I think that you're not doing justice to most artists.


I'm interested in this last bit I bolded. What do you mean exactly? How does it follow that something said about a work of art will be inferior since it won't be able to provide final word. Does a piece provide final word?


What I mean is that any comment about a work of art will try to somehow analyze and explain what the work of art means to the person that made the comment. This person probably won't be able to provide a complete analysis of everything the artist may or may not have envisioned while creating the piece. There will always be additional ways of approaching the work of art, however bizarre they may seem, that could lead to different unconventional readings of the piece. The work itself though is fix and in a way already contains all the different ways of understanding it, even if they have not yet been discovered. Even the artist himself may not be aware of everything the piece could mean to somebody else. There may for example be details that somehow slipped into the piece via the artist's subconsciousness, that could reveal aspects of the artist's personality, that again could be crucial to a complete understanding of the work.


If the piece is recorded, I buy this. If it is not, I don't. I get your general thrust here and I agree with it that the piece itself will tell you more about it than anyone could because your own relationship with the piece is what matters. However, if the music is live and not recorded there is no final word because every performance will be different.


The moderator makes a good point here: if you buy a recorded piece of music, its performance parameters will always remain the same. But if the music is experienced in a live concert, it's true that every performance will be different, depending on the performer's mood, the audience's mood, the temperature in the concert hall, the listener's mood and orientation to a piece at the time of listening, and numerous other continually-varying parameters.

It's also true that, whether you listen to a recorded piece, or a piece in a live concert, it's your own reaction to and relationship with the gestalt performance experience (who performs it, all the other factors mentioned -- and not mentioned -- above, the quality of the recording/performance, and so on) that really "defines" the piece for you specifically. Other people may have similar experiences of the piece (or even experiences which are different, or even diametrically opposed to yours), but only you have your own unique experience of it. And your personal experience may change as any of the parameters listed above change in subsequent hearings.

Therefore, it seems that a person's unique experience of a particular piece is dynamic, not static, whether the piece is recorded or done in live performance, no matter how many times that particular individual experiences that piece.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 am
Posts: 51
Location: Southern California
corrections wrote:
pauldrach wrote:
musicfunman wrote:
BTW, you seem to have an in-depth understanding of music to be able to write the way you do. Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?

1. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your musical background and experience? I'm just curious because of the level of discussions that have been going on in this thread.

2. Do you know of anyone else in this forum (or perhaps in some other forums) who are able to have the kind of discussions that the members of this thread have been having with regard to Cage's 4'33, and more broadly, about musical experience? If you do, could you point me to them?

Thanks in advance. :tiphat:


First of all let me say that I'm really honored by that first statement.

As to the first question: I study music and English teaching at the University in Potsdam now in my fourth semester. The instruments I play/have played are the piano, western and classical guitar, bass guitar, harp and recorder. I also take vocal lessons and have played in a couple of bands and sung in a couple of choirs.

As to the second question: There are quite a couple of posters on this forum who are able to lead an educated discussion about music from what I've seen. I'd recommend you just start a topic about whatever you want to discuss and see how it develops.


To add to this specifically the best and most interesting musical discussions will probably be had with george, dreww, John 17, pnoom!, and dreamcoil.

I heartily agree. With all due respect to all participants -- and I mean this in a clearly complementary manner -- I didn't expect to get involved in this kind of in-depth, almost philosophical, discussion of exactly what the musical experience means.

I personally think it's great, and I encourage us all to continue -- maybe even to broaden our focus -- in this interesting and illuminating thread. :tiphat:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
corrections wrote:
If the piece is recorded, I buy this. If it is not, I don't. I get your general thrust here and I agree with it that the piece itself will tell you more about it than anyone could because your own relationship with the piece is what matters. However, if the music is live and not recorded there is no final word because every performance will be different.

I think you might have misunderstood some parts of what I said. I didn't mean to say that any piece itself could provide a final word for its understanding, but it provides the basis for it. All the different possible meanings are inside the piece, whereas any reaction to the piece would not be able to cover all the meanings or ways of understanding it. The piece itself will always be more multifaceted than any comment about it (unless you view that comment as an independent work of art, but in its function as a comment it is less definitive). It doesn't matter whether the music is live or recorded, only the main focal points may be different since a live concert setting includes relevant aspects that a sound recording doesn't and vice versa.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Discussion on John Cage's 4'33
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 3487
Location: Berlin, Germany
musicfunman wrote:
The moderator makes a good point here: if you buy a recorded piece of music, its performance parameters will always remain the same. But if the music is experienced in a live concert, it's true that every performance will be different, depending on the performer's mood, the audience's mood, the temperature in the concert hall, the listener's mood and orientation to a piece at the time of listening, and numerous other continually-varying parameters.

It's also true that, whether you listen to a recorded piece, or a piece in a live concert, it's your own reaction to and relationship with the gestalt performance experience (who performs it, all the other factors mentioned -- and not mentioned -- above, the quality of the recording/performance, and so on) that really "defines" the piece for you specifically. Other people may have similar experiences of the piece (or even experiences which are different, or even diametrically opposed to yours), but only you have your own unique experience of it. And your personal experience may change as any of the parameters listed above change in subsequent hearings.

Therefore, it seems that a person's unique experience of a particular piece is dynamic, not static, whether the piece is recorded or done in live performance, no matter how many times that particular individual experiences that piece.

I think in any case there are certain objective features to a work of art that all its consumers can agree on and then as you rightly pointed out there are also some parts to a work of art that may appear different to different people based on their physical appearance, cultural and social background or whatever else. Even a recorded piece of music will not always sound the same, neither to different people nor to one person listening to it on different occasions. There is a huge difference if you listen to recorded music over headphones, over a stereo, in a disco, while getting to sleep, working on an essay, jogging or just listening quietly. A live piece that can only be experienced once, obviously will sound even more different on another occasion, as it will essentially be an objectively slightly different piece.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 114 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:

DigitalDreamDoor.com   

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

DigitalDreamDoor Forum is one part of a music and movie list website whose owner has given its visitors
the privilege to discuss music and movies, and has no control and cannot in any way be held liable over
how, or by whom this board is used. If you read or see anything inappropriate that has been posted,
contact webmaster@digitaldreamdoor.com. Comments in the forum are reviewed before list updates.
Topics include rock music, metal, rap, hip-hop, blues, jazz, songs, albums, guitar, drums, musicians...


DDD Home Page | DDD Music Lists Page | DDD Movie Lists Page