Friday, May 04, 2007

The Circle Widens

Two thoughtful bits of writing about composition:

Elliot's Funnel, a new blog by composer Elliot Cole has a smart post on the economics at work when materials are deployed in a composition, identifying two global strategies for constructing unity in work, which Cole defines well as "continuity between a form and the forces that formed it". (I'm not certain that I share Cole's claim that we "learned everything we know about forces from our bodies"; as important as the corporeal is to music, Polyani's notion of a tacet dimension, from which we can know more than we can say, is an intriguingly optimistic suggestion that the corporeal is mot a perceptual limit).

Randy Nordshow, at the New Music Box, makes a case for music that aims for radical somethingness rather than the middle of the road all-of-the-aboveness. I agree, of course, and add that, in the often paradoxical economics of form, taking one parameter to an extreme -- duration, for example -- can offer a composer an opportunity to push a meager or banal material set into unexpected configurations and transformations. Landscapes that appear near-empty or featureless at first glance -- deserts, for example -- acquire a vivid glow (for lack of a better word), exploding with details, when allowed to enter the senses on their own timescales.

No comments: