Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Music: here. Everything else: over there

... just realized that if you asked me about books or films (and probably food or dance or motorcars or visual artworks as well), I could probably rattle off a list of five to ten titles for any best of/worst of category you might come up with. But when it comes to music, putting any of it into lists is a stretch of imagination and will: I don't want to lump the music I value together, let alone rank it. I suppose that's also why I get nervous around folks for whom talk about music mostly turns into references to items in their totally awesome record collections (and which is probably why I can't read much pop and jazz criticism, either): getting close to a piece of music is forgetting the music it resembles or differs from so as to engage the music on its own terms, to change the act of listening into an act essentially indistinct from composition.*

* once again, my debt to Weschler's Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin is self-evident.

No comments: