Monday, June 27, 2011

Goodbye, Columbus.

So novelist Philip Roth has been interviewed and confesses...

"I've stopped reading fiction. I don't read it at all. I read other things: history, biography. I don't have the same interest in fiction that I once did."

Well, gee. That really doesn't make me enthusiastic about running out and reading some fiction by, say, Philip Roth. It may very well be true and he may well have earned the right to be bored with fiction after half a century of writing it, but was this really a wise thing to say? It's not exactly an infectious sales pitch for novels as a genre or the specific exemplars (54 and counting) of Mr Roth himself.

Unfortunately, a lot of composers — and composers without the 50 years of hard labor behind them — are prone to making similar statements, emphasizing that they don't listen/play/spend a lot of time thinking about new music. Instead, they offer up their bona fides as teenage garage band rockers or jazz musicians or would-be musical writers (remember Milton Babbitt command of Tin Pan Alley songs?) or anything other than new music maker/listener/devotee. As if it's something strange that one ought to be embarrassed about or at least qualify one's interest by admitting that you like the "real" stuff as well if not better. If the composer him- or herself likes other music better than why should we like the composer's music any better?

Here's a better sales pitch, and AFAIC, it's true:

I will now confess that I listen, play and think about my own music and other new music about 90% of my musicking hours, awake or asleep; it's the carbs, veggies, and protein in my musical diet. I top my musicking off off with trips into music history or ethnography (come September, I'll have been playing gamelan for 33 years!) but that's just dessert, friends. I like new and experimental, (ex/post/prae)modern, contemporary, avantgarde, circuitbent, scare-the-dog music more than any other, I like my own music and I like the music of my contemporaries and find a remarkable reserve of musical depth, integrity, excitement, charm, emotion, and continuous surprise in the music and I'd like to invite you to discover these qualities as well.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Harley Gaber (1943-2011)

News comes that Harley Gaber has died, too early. By the time I was a musical adult, Gaber had cleared out of Newmusictown and his career was already something of a legend, the guy who worked all the mainstream new music institutions in New York for a while then wrote and recorded a very long, very slow, and at-the-time-very-controversial piece for strings (The Winds Rise in the North), his adé to new music, after which he was said to have given it all up to be a tennis pro in Southern California.

Of course the story is more complex than that, with a parallel visual arts career and a late shift from tennis to 9-ball pool playing, but his music remains an interesting road not-quite taken, a student of Kenneth Gaburo who worked through one form of serialism to its own radical end, which the composer insisted had a directionality not shared with drone-based minimal music. One historical footnote: it is entirely possible that Gaber's 1965 Omaggio a Feldman for two pianos was the first piece written by another composer in a Feldmaniste style; in any case, it's an interesting piece that ought to be played more. Fortunately for us, he has a substantial website, here.

Lost & Found & Lost Again

After I posted my last item, in which I mentioned the composer Gladys Nordenstrom, I realized I just didn't know enough about her or her music. I had met her once, aorund 1980, as she accompanied her husband (Ernst Krenek) to a talk at my college*, but I have only heard two or three pieces. My curiosity piqued, I ended up, as so often, in the archives at, a project of Otherminds. There, I found a only short taped interview with Nordenstrom**, but once inside the archives you naturally start to wander. Soon, I located a performance of Barney Child's Sonata for Solo Trombone, played by its commissioner, Stuart Dempster. (One thing that younger composers might emulate from Child's catalog was the fact that he composed a series of significant solo pieces for a diversity of instruments, the kind of pieces which "useful baggage" as Aaron Copland is said to have put it, simply because good solo pieces are likely to find players.)

And then I did a search on the name of one of my favorite composers, Douglas Leedy, only to discover a newly-listed recording of a piece which was not listed in Leedy's catalog, a 1962 Trio for trumpet, horn and trombone. The performance recorded was a concert recording by KPFA played by a student group, rough edges in, but the contours of the piece were evident and attractive, especially the very long tones, the microtonality, and the bits of quasi-harmonic ornamental flourish. It struck me immediately as part and parcel of the West Coast radical moment, alongside the music of his comillitones like Young, Riley, Byrd, Oliveros, Rush or Moran. Since I publish, through Material Press, a number of Leedy's pieces, I immediately wanted to verify the piece and beg to carry the score in the Material Press catalog. So I called the composer ASAP and learned that it was, in fact, his piece, that he was unaware of the recording of what was probably the first and only performance, that the score had some interesting details — the staves were clefless (players chose their own clefs as appropriate), the loose pages were not in a fixed sequence, but some pages had indications affecting the tempo of the following page, and that the microtones were specified as slightly or more sharp or flat than the notated tone. Mr Leedy also indicated that he did not have access to the score. So that single recording is all the record we have of the piece. Lost, found, lost again. Here, a recording is clearly valuable, but frustratingly not enough to recover the piece for new performances.


* For a previous account of an afternoon in Santa Cruz with Krenek, read here. Composer and UCSC Professor David Cope, in his memoir, Tin Man, also recalls the day.

** Later, I found a lengthy video documentary about Krenek with extended interviews with Nordenstrom, online here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ignoring the Music In Our Own Backyard

Mark Swed gets it absolutely right. Music Festivals in California have been doing a terrible job of paying attention to music from California and the West. I have previously complained here specifically about the Cabrillo Festival, founded by Lou Harrison, Robert Hughes, and friends, which had a long history of taking local composers seriously. While the present directorship has, to its credit, put the focus on contemporary music right up in the name of the festival, it has largely focused on the same set of middle-of-the-road names that can regularly be found in East Coast regular season orchestral programs. Indeed one gets the impression that the music director uses Cabrillo as a try-out for her own regular season repertoire. The complaint that West Coast Experimentalists are not welcome at Cabrillo has been met with the line that these composers don't have enough experience working with orchestras. I call BS and I call this a bad bit of vicious circularity: They don't have enough experience, so Cabrillo can't invite them even though Cabrillo was one of the few places which made it possible for West Coast composers to acquire orchestral experience in the first place. But, in fact, there are numerous current West Coasters who have the orchestral chops and who ought to be in play at Cabrillo. Here are just some senior names (that is, older than me), just from the top of my head: How about Paul Dresher, Chris Brown, Brian Ferneyhough, Bill Alves, David Cope, Janice Giteck, Paul Chihara, Aurelio de la Vega, Lloyd Rodgers, Roger Reynolds, Chinary Ung, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Anne LeBaron, Clarence Barlow, Karl Kohn, Jim Fox, Anthony Davis, or Gladys Nordenstrom? And how about some of the composers in the West Coast musical legacy — in addition to Harrison and Cowell — Robert Erickson, Glenn Glasow, Barney Childs, Will Ogdon, James Tenney, or Mel Powell and even some interesting conservatives-but-all-the-same-West-Coasters like Gail Kubik, Ingolf Dahl or William Denny?

Manual Transmission

Before sound recordings became widely available, a primary medium for the spread of new orchestral music was the piano transcription, in particular the transcription for four-handed playing.* Nowadays, I don't think there is a major music publisher that would pay for the extraction of a four-handed arrangement of a major new piece (piano concertos perhaps excepted.) While some things were definitely gained in the change of media — timbral variety, of course, but certainly the volume and spatial presence of a large ensemble in a larger room, as well as the record of particular musicians' interpretations, with all the wonderful nuances that can be included — some things were also lost. These include a tactile relationship with the notes that can only come from playing them oneself and also — in four-handed playing especially — the joy of making music in company. But also, the fact that practice, even for the most gifted sight-reader, means working in fits and starts, moving in and out of the piece's own temporal continuity, can leads, in combination with that tactility, to a more immediately analytical and interpretive engagement with the music. This is not to say that listening to recordings can not be analytical and there is certainly music which is so technically difficult to play from the page, that one may scarcely have an instant's thought about what one is playing, but generally speaking, recordings do invite passive listening (you can, after, do the dishes while listening to a recording, but not while playing secundo in a four-hander of a Mahler Symphony) and playing from the page is a qualitatively different experience, not least because, when playing, you, with all of your experience, tastes, and talents, are an essential element of the performance.


* I caught the tail end of the American music-making-in-the-parlor experience. My father's mother was a very good piano player and once even played Paderewski's famous Minuet for the composer who was taking his usual cure in her hometown of Paso Robles. Her favorite composer was, however, Sibelius, and she still had part of Valse Triste under her fingers in her 80s. My maternal grandparents were not wealthy, but they did afford themselves a piano, a pretty good upright Steinway, with a bench full of sheet music, mostly popular classics and the whole corpus of sentimental Irish-American popular songs. I loved to play four-handed with my grandmother, but I loved best of all, at the end of some party, when one of her school teaching colleagues would sit down to play what they called "Honky-Tonk". He played pop songs from the early 20th century and a smattering of tunes from the Methodist Hymnal (my grandmother, Irish, was R.C., my grandfather, Dutch and Reformed, but the Methodist Hymnal seemed to be preferred by all) by ear, all in F#, that is, mostly on the black keys, and everyone would sing along. To this day, I probably have a better command of popular music from the first three decades of the 20th century than of the last four.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sethares on Rhythm

I can recommend William Sethares's Rhythm and Transforms (Springer 2007), especially the earlier chapters which have as clear an exposition of the complex issues of perception and musical time — our ability to deal simultaneously with multiple levels of time in particular — as I've seen. For those of you who know Sethares's landmark Tuning Timbre Spectrum Scale, his approach, as an engineer and a musician, will be familiar, but it's still a refreshing way to look at some issues fundamental to music. While the book's grand trajectory — toward machine recognition of rhythmic activity — is more directly of interest to engineers than for musicians, there's plenty of real musical interest along the way. One warning, like most books intended for academic library purchases, this one is expensive, so it's likely to be library reading for most of us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Keeping Score(s)

Do you like to keep musical scores about? I don't have a huge library of sheet music, largely because I can't afford to have everything I'd like, but I make of point of collecting scores of the music that I value most and that's still several hundred items and continuously growing, in spite of transcontinental and transatlantic moves and a habit of giving things away.

My impression — and I may well be wrong about this — is that a score collecting habit has become something of an antiquated pastime. Certainly, more people are satisfied with just having recordings, but for me, (excluding, of course, those pieces made especially for recorded media) a score can still have a potential multiplicity of interpretations — readings, imaginings, hearings — that a recording can all too often cancel out. (Which is okay in a few cases; I don't need the score for Beethoven's Seventh, because I honestly don't think that there's more to it than in my favorite Kleiber recording...) Also, I think that collecting scores — whether bought, gifted, copied, or lifted, and whether an orchestral or chamber score to study or an album of piano pieces to play for my own pleasure — is one important way of being a good citizen in the community of musicians.

One very good thing about my blogging experience has been that it has led to some intense exchange of scores with colleagues, many of whom I only know online. Those scores, whether delivered by post or as email attachments, are among the most substantial pieces of mail I've ever received, damn close to love letters, I'd say.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Letting the hand slow down the ear

As I understand it, a good part of my job as a composer — my discipline, if you like — is paying attention to music other than my own, listening to it, playing it, finding out something about what makes it work (or not, as the case may (also usefully) be). I like to work with scores, to read through them, play through them, and — here is my own old fashioned (& maybe slightly perverse) way or working — copying or transcribing all or parts of them.

There is something deeply satisfying about being so close to a piece of music that you can rightly claim to have spent time with every single note, and not just listening to it or playing it, but actually writing it down in its scored context. I used to do this by completely by hand (& I swear there's no better training than copying by hand) but now I enter it into a notation program, which speeds some elements of notation up but I still insist on entering note-by-note, if only as a way of effectively slowing down my analytic listening process.* (I even use that program's playback capacity from time-to-time, but mostly for working with tempi or complex rhythms, a matter that I find enormously sensitive to the slightest changes; I don't ever quite trust the playback for its representation of pitches or instrumentation or articulation or balance, but it is one heck of a metronome. )

As part of my summer's plan, I've laid in my annual store of scores I'd like to know better and by the end of the summer, I expect that a good amount of them will have been copied, added to all the scores — from Machaut to La Monte Young — I've copied by hand over the years. It's an old habit, one that started as a teenager working in libraries, but not one I plan to give up any time soon.


* See this or this older post on Slow Listening.

Some Advice

Here's a small bit of unsolicited advice for my composing colleagues: Don't use the default layouts, but take an extra minute to make your computer-engraved scores look good.

I was just sent a large-ish collection of piano scores by a colleague. I like what I've played through in the scores, but the (default Finale) layout is so bad that I refuse to play any more. The staves are too large, there is no space between systems (so that the bass of an upper system is hard to sort out from the treble of the system below), the title and composer's name are squeezed into the upper margin, the copyright notice practically buried in the bass of the bottom system, and all the text is in the default Times New Roman font (and everyone knows that nothing shows you could care less than using a default Times New Roman.)

As someone who is seriously near-sighted and astygmatic, what I want most is NOT the largest staff size possible, but the clearest image. Give a little extra space; you can afford the extra paper. Yes, there's a definite macho caché — and the dense-notating complexists have a definite macho streak, but that's for another item to discuss — to having a lot of marks on the page, but the page doesn't have to be more black ink than white space. Give enough room to your title and name above and copyright notice below, even if this means having one system fewer on the first page. (And, by the way, unless it's a piece with a composer and a lyricist to sort out, all you need in the right hand is your name, not a "by John Smith" as in grade school. We're grown-ups, now, and we know the convention that the composer's name goes up there on the right so that preposition is unnecessary.) And, let me repeat, choose a nice text font that says I care at least enough about my music to take the 15 seconds time and change the damn Times New Roman to something distinctive.

Legal notice: This advice is solely my own, kiddoes, and your own mileage may vary. And one caveat: When I was a composing youngster myself, there were contests in which the secret requirement was sending in (stinky, fading, yellowing) ozalid copies. Xerox copies were automatically discarded as "unprofessional." Only a small number of inductees were aware of these secret requirements. There were rumors, of course, but what the hell did "Ozalid" mean to some kid from the desert and even if he did know about it, how could he practically get an Ozalid made on a paper boy's income? There may well be some jerks running competitions or admissions committees nowadays who accept only scores with Times New Roman fonts or printed on saddle-stitched portrait-format 9"x11" paper or with embroidered lilies on Corinthian leather coverstock. I cannot accept liability for any failed submissions to such competitions and admissions committees due to such secret requirements.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pematurely interred orchestras in oversized mausoleums

Word has come that another American orchestra is closing shop, this time in Bellevue, Washington.

Oh, wait... it's not exactly shutting down: "It is the board’s hope that when Tateuchi Center (PACE) is completed, the orchestra may again play on the Eastside in a venue that will support us, both acoustically and in seating capacity."

Yep, "the orchestra", not "an orchestra" but "the orchestra". The intention is clearly to revive the same orchestra, absolved, of course, of any old contractual obligations.

And yep, at the same time they're putting the orchestra down or into mothballs, a new concert hall is being built to seat some 2000 people. An orchestra whose management couldn't sustain it in a 400-seat hall is now supposed to make it with a 2000 seat hall.

There is an absolute mania for large halls in the US and while they may be useful for large public assemblies where talk or travelogues or Amway recruitment evenings are the main focus or for (amplified) music from more popular genres, I think that this has been a seriously mistaken way of testing a dubious hypothesis that (a) halls of this scale are appropriate if not necessary for orchestral music and (b) halls of this scale are required to sustain large musical organizations economically.

As to the first point, a survey of the best concert halls and opera houses in Europe will quickly show that, except for a very few representative buildings, anything above 2000 seats is rare, with the acoustically best halls considerably smaller and 2000 an upper limit for even rather large cities (examples: the Großer Musikvereinssaal in Vienna seats 1744, the Concertgebouw is just around that upper limit.) Most of the "classical" repertoire has always been played in much smaller venues, and the earlier and more contemporary repertoire has been most often played in even smaller halls. I don't doubt that the Burghers of Bellevue take pride and have mighty aspirations for their metropolis and I have even less doubt that there are architects and engineers delighted to build a prestige object of such scale. But is architectural prestige really a trump for musical utility? Unless the hall is, acoustically, truly spectacular most of the repertoire playable by an orchestra is really going to suffer as it gets lost in a cavern of such size.

As to the second point, it is perfectly obvious that the orchestra had been able to sustain itself in a 400-seat hall for more than 40 years, but there is no evidence at all that it will have the draw, when resurrected, to sustain itself in a 2000-seater. Moreover, the possible image of that hall filled to 20% capacity for orchestral concerts is hardly going to be the stuff to create enthusiasm for orchestral music. I know that the professional thanatophiles out there on the lecture and consulting circuit will be perfectly happy with a new and underpopulated 2000-seat mausoleum for classical music, but that strikes me as a totally perverse use of limited resources and an embarrassing substitute for the orchestra's management and board actually doing the heavy lifting of enough fund raising and expansion of the audience base to get over the present hump.

Hasn't he run out of his "Get Out Of Jail Free Cards" already?

Here's another interview with Pierre Boulez including his inevitable sign-off line:

That is why, if I am healthy enough, I will now devote my time to compose (sic).

I'm sorry, but he's now publicly made this promise to retire from the podium and spend his full-time composing for just about the n-thousandth time in the past 40 years, and boys crying wolf do not get more believable with repetition. Leonard Bernstein was also famous making the same un-kept plan (and more recently Lorin Maazel has made similar announcements of intentions to abandon conducting for composing which he has similarly not kept, instead just moving on to the next music directorship.) Let's face it, the primary gig for these gents is conducting. They get paid very well for it, people like to see them on the stage, orchestras like working with them, and they actually appear to enjoy making music with high quality bands all around the world. Agonizing alone in a garret over a score is a different experience altogether. With Boulez, as with Bernstein, composing is a sideline, and there's nothing wrong with that. Blaming a successful conducting career for any faults in ones composing — whether of quality or of quantity — just doesn't wash.

So when Boulez compains about the work of colleagues like this:

But it represents creative exhaustion. If you spend a whole piece repeating just one chord [as Glass tends to do] it's like being in a red room, and staying in it for your whole life.

It is entirely keeping with the same spirit of criticism to ask if a career spent working with a handful of techniques developed in the 1950s — and saturated with those 0 1 6 chords — is also a lot like being stuck in a (insert your color here) room for a goddamn long time. While Boulez's music has certainly gained some polish over the years — and his practical experience with orchestras was certainly responsible for much of this polish — it is a perfectly legitimate question to wonder about the lack of development on a deeper musical and intellectual level in Boulez's music. And no, the interference of a conducting career is not an excuse. That stack of Get Out Of Jail Free cards ran out a long time ago.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

If recorded sports events are so boring to watch, what about recorded music?

An interesting essay pondering our disinterest in watching recorded rather than live sports events.

Okay, I'm being provocative with the title of this item.* Discuss.


*While I think Klosterman is spot-on about recorded sports and find his distinction between rational and irrational reasons to be extremely perceptive, tentatively, I'd say that my own take on recorded music (excluding music composed specifically for fixed recorded media) is different from my take on recorded sports. As audiences I believe we return, in memory, to music, in a fundamentally different way from sports, in that revisiting some stretch of music can reliably and sustainably comfort or disturb us in manifold ways and music happens to be so rich in such stretches that (a) we don't really ever play the same piece in the same way twice and (b) we don't really hear the same piece in the same way twice, so that playing it again, Sam, is not necessarily a boring proposition.

Beyond a small handful of remarkable plays (say Cal-Stanford '82 or Bob Beamon's jump in '68) , repeated viewing in sports simply does not carry the same detail- and connection- rich charge, so that revisiting some stretch of a sporting event is of interest primarily to specialists, for example coaches attempting to improve or recreate particular tactics or in evaluating prospective players or opponents.

Also this: the relationship of parts to the whole in a sports event has a bottom, carry-away, line: the final score and while the dynamics of these parts in their whole-game context may contribute to the immediate sense of drama, the value of the drama diminishes when the game enters memory, and viewing a recording of the game when the final score is known to exist — even if it is unknown to you personally — makes the viewing anticlimactic, diminishing its original temporal proportions, thus we are able to grab the remote and fast-forward with abandon. Music, even with the experience of sampling all around us, is much more protective of its continuity, leading to a very different sense of eventfulness with scores rarely parseable into discrete moves and plays. Yes, a football game or a hockey match can exhibit — and thrill with — considerable sense of momentum, but this sense is seldom recoverable, while the design of a musical work does not resolve to a score with a winner and a loser.

That said, it's obvious that a recorded performance of a work of music is fundamentally different from a live performance because the recording is fixed in ways a live performance cannot be, and a live performance is unpredictable in ways a recording cannot be. Being able to operate within the range of possibilities offered by this distinction strikes me as very useful and interesting. I happen to avoid recordings in preference for live performances, but your possibilities and preferences may well be different from mine. In any case, it would be a loss not to have that variety.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Electronics &

There's some heavy thinking going on about electronic music as instance and opportunity for composition, performance, and audition. Composer Nicolas Collins (aka Mr Hardware Hacker) has a smark and usefully provocative essay, Semiconducting — Making Music After the Transistor, online here as a PDF. Another useful & related recent item online is Colin Holter's note at the New Music Box, here. Casting a big shadow over both of these items, ithinks, is Richard Maxfield's classic essay on Music Electronic and Performed, in which Maxfield's ideas for presenting ostensibly fixed recorded sounds in live performance settings remain richly suggestive.

It is striking how much the topic of electronic music continues to be discussed in terms of oppositional pairs* — electronic versus acoustic, recorded versus live (in turn related to composed versus improvised), analog versus digital, hardware versus software, homemade and commercial, etc. — and ultimately, thinksmyself, the liveliness of these discussions turns on the ephemeral qualities of music, with the advent of electronic technology making these issues more explicit and acute. Again, I am astonished by the prescience of Maxfield's analysis and his ephemeralizing tactic of un-fixing recorded media as a reminder that these pairs need not be seen as strictly segregated but rather more productively as poles within a continuum, with very rich possibilities to move and position musical work in between.


* Several of the terms in these pairs are, due to their vagueness and ambiguity, very tempting to frame in scare quotes, but I assume here that we are adults and understand this, accepting the terms as the conventions they are rather than precision instruments of discrimination they are not, so no scare quotes.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Plate of Shrimp

Although my own reserve of faith is modest and my religious interests mostly ethnographic, I do have a special pocket of conviction in the power of the lattice of coincidence. (Don't know about the lattice of coincidence? See Miller in Alex Cox's film Repo Man: "A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, "plate," or "shrimp," or "plate o' shrimp" out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.") On the one hand, this is mostly surprising but ultimately trivial connections that are, statistically seen, bound to happen, like those six degrees of separation games. For example, I would eventually study with La Monte Young, but as a kid, without any knowledge of Young's music, I had already encountered a number of people with non-trivial connections to him: a neighbor in tiny Mt Baldy Village who had been La Monte's housemate and best friend in the 1950s, who was then living with composer Terry Jennings and happened to have the most beautiful singing voice I have ever heard, and when we moved down the hill to our rock house astride the border between tweedy Claremont and working class Montclair, one of our neighbors would turn out to have been composer Richard Maxfield's partner during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and Maxfield has been another close friend of Young's. But more important to me are the kinds of coincidence that can help kick a musical work into the realm of the astounding. John Cage's Winter Music is a piece that seems to do this unreasonably well, with unpredictable continuities between those cold and brittle aggregates continuously shattering the expected discontinuity. Or this: Berlioz's "intermittent sounds" which seem to be scattered across the surface of the music like salt on snow, unpredictable in pattern, but so right in coincidence. The ostensible non-sequitur is all too often the most convincing, if surprising, sequitur.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sharing: Costs and Benefits

From The Wire (Hat Tip: Jonathan Segel): poet and archivist (UbuWeb) Kenneth Goldsmith, following a series of minor epiphanies, supports file sharing (ironic and so-Zeitgeistlich money lines: The minute I get something, I just crave more. And so something has really changed – and I think this is the real epiphany: the ways in which culture is distributed have become profoundly more intriguing than the cultural artifact itself) and in response, musician Chris Cutler discusses the Collateral Damage. (Carry-away line: Where is honour?)

I am not much of a recorded music person, so I've not been much affected by this debate, but I have followed the discussion and have been disappointed by the reluctance to find a reasonable and ethical middle ground. If I say "Share and sample away!" then fine, permission granted, but if I say that I would prefer you not share or sample my work, in my my honest Bartleby-inspired tone, the you shouldn't share or sample my work. But not because of my time-limited, fair-use-limited legal title to the work (let alone the financial consequences of that title), but simply because my connection to my work is personal, even intimate, and it is a simple matter of dignity and respect among human beings to recognize that creative works do belong to a personal sphere that can only be entered with consent.