Friday, September 30, 2011
From a Diary I:iii
Statement from GEMA, awarding me five cents for two performances of a piece in the US. Can't figure out why one performance was worth two cents, the other three. But at least those are Euro cents! Norman O. Brown: The dynamics of capitalism is postponement of enjoyment to the constantly postponed future. Tonality is likewise about postponement via diminution, prolongation; sustained dissonance, functional cul de sacs, harmonic misdirection: musical capiscum, the pain that makes the suspension of resolution ever more pleasurable. The dynamic of tonality is in large part masochistic, like a good mole or curry, a mixed succession of pains and pleasures. Cadences — see Cage/Thoreau on syntax and armies marching — are a settling of tonal accounts. Graeber emphasizes the role of violence (or implied violence) by the state in reinforcing the payment of debts and, yes, musical sound — pace Girard, Violence and The Sacred — is a violence done to silence. But consider cadential resolution, the final reckoning, whether in a stretch of music, an accountant's ledger, or in an act of state-controlled force: is perpetual suspension actually worse than the alternatives?