Thursday, July 27, 2006

rich get richer, & little-c-communism, the désoeuvrement of music, cont.

Here...(and out of sight)...

Incidentally, if you haven't been digesting these radio shows yet, well you should be (the latest one being, "Rich Man, Poor Man").

(The forthcoming album, it seems, will provide a bit of balance to the older stuff. Update: leaked samples here. For a good bootleg summer concert, meanwhile, this decade (his best yet, as far as I'm concerned), you might see here.

In other tangentially related news, Thom Yorke is apparently going solo. Not sure I feel much of anything about that one, to be honest. But, you know.)

Why do We Like Music?:
...Most of the "uses" of music mentioned in this article–learning about time, fitting things together, getting along with others, and suppressing one's troubles–are very "functional, but overlook much larger scales of "use." Curtis Roads remarked that, "Every world above bare survival is self constructed; whole cultures are built around common things people come to appreciate." These appreciations, represented by aesthetic agents, play roles in more and more of our decisions: what we think is beautiful gets linked to what we think is important. Perhaps, Roads suggests, when groups of mind-agents cannot agree, they tend to cede decisions to those others more concerned with what, for better or for worse, we call aesthetic form and fitness. By having small effects at many little points, those cumulative preferences for taste and form can shape a world.

That is another reason why we say we like the music we like. Liking is the way certain mind-parts make the others learn the things they need to understand that music. Hence liking—and its relatives—lies at the very heart of understanding what we hear. 'Affect' and 'aesthetic' do not lie in other academic worlds that music theories safely can ignore. Those other worlds are academic self-deceptions that we use to make each theorist's problem seem like someone else's.

Thanks be.


John said...

I was wondering if you had heard (or had any thoughts on) Yorke's solo thing, The Eraser. After only a view snatches heard here and there on momentarily borrowed headphones, I chanced upon this.

Then, I read your post and thought:

Désoeuvrement, or disparition?

mac said...

Thanks John...I'm just fucking around of course, but might they be related?

Or, does it make any sense at all to speak of a 'will to disappearance' or to purity (however impossible to realize, or precisely in its failure), or indeed of a 'will' (for which one would presumably need a subject) at all in relation to MB's 'passivity.'

Or maybe i've just been in the sun too long today (moving rocks in order to build a stone wall underwater, actually–which is fun because the water is like a constant ice pack on your arms and the rocks are 50% lighter, &c.)

mac said...

So no, to answer your question, I haven't heard, and no thoughts yet. thanks again for the link, tho.

John said...

An underwater wall - sounds very cool, indeed. In both senses, that is.

Re: "...but might they be related"

I think so. For example, take MB, from "The Disappearence of Literature":

"Whoever affirms literature in itself affirms nothing. Whoever seeks it only seeks that which slips away" (From The Blanchot Reader, Holland, ed. Maclachlan, trans. p. 142)

and Yorke, from the title track:

"The more you try to erase me
The more, the more
The more that I appear
Oh the more, the more
The more you try the eraser
The more, the more
The more that you appear"

The lyrics caught me off-guard, and I'm still wondering about them. Doesn't the slippage from the "I" to the "you" there evoke both the radical neutrality of the "passive" and the failure of the will?

What do you think?

Luc said...

In another vein of promising new music, here...

Matt said...

Thanks Luc, I agree Steve has impeccable taste.

Just possibly of related interest, I had read The Rhine River wondering about "a different kind of popularity.." tonight.

John, I don't know. An origin of forgetting, too?..Anyway I confess to liking what Yorke is up to, at least the little bits I've heard...insofar as they seem more minimalist, mature and subtle.