dear david goldberg: response

[apologies for typos below] – hey, in keeping with a journal of reflections… :

On Aug 20, 2018, at 10:23 PM, mark wrote:


in the very early stages, couple of days so far, at thinking about this. no doubt you’ll have much to contribute!

and hey, i have to admit, being such a long term hostage to academia, this is truly a first! i mean, posting a somewhat personal communication in public… i’m sure i’ll suffer great trepidation for days to come… but here goes nonetheless: [what follows is an edit of a personal email exchange been goldberg and myself]

‘genre’ is such as devestating category, obviously, but has there been a term to designate the opposite? i mean, across wide spans of mucics and sound traditions? that focuses specifically on the wide panoply of intersectional musics/sounds?

David Goldberg: My first thought was of Graham Harman’s concept of “black noise” which is the sum total of peripheral “emissions” of objects that aren’t directly perceived – where perception is a general interaction between any number of objects. Since he defines objects as inexhaustible (what the tree is to you or me can never be exhausted or limited by what it is to the fungus or the sun) it immediately slays the concept of “genre.” “genre” would be an object, of course, but a dethroned one.

Mark Bartlett: that we are all aware of, but hasn’t been properly researched or given it’s due beyond subcategories within a broader context. it seems to me quite surprising how broad and inclusive they gave actually, historically, been. what i want to suggest goes beyond the various accepted categories of fusion or world, etc. both of those are important but subcategories of what i’m trying to articulate. i’m trying to articulate something that crosses wide swathes of what dick higgens in 1966 first articulated as ‘intermedia’.

DG: just DL’d his statement and graphic..

MB: but both of those are only subsets of what i’m trying to get at.

DG: wow! the 60s were so damned fertile. I was trying to explain this to my son (15) the other day… in the context of what made the 1970s special, being in the wake of the 60s.

MB: so, i’m roughing out the term, –hinge, to attempt to at least give a name to such. the problem, again obviously, is that SO music actually fits that category, how does one refine it in a useful/compelling way?

DG: “–hinge.” I like that. might be too literal for smaller minds… there is, of course, “entanglement” to borrow a non-locality concept from quantum physics.

MB: so… –entanglement? your call. i’m thinking only that something like –hinge, might resonate, as musical pop category, with something like, ‘grunge’…. or skat, or… some other single syllabic term… 🙂 + the meaning of the term with a graphic element –hinge. not sure a multi-syllabic term would have the same pop resonance… philosophically, entanglement is no doubt the better term. so again, you’re call.

MB: to do that would obviously, once again, require several volumes, each with multiple subsections. nonetheless, i think this is a worthy endeavor, but the q is: how to pitch it polemically to public that can only think in terms of commercial categories?

DG: my personal journey through what you are pointing out here is based on seeing how two folks like Lee Perry and Pierre Schaeffer were working with tapes and loops and ended up in such divergent but nevertheless connected spaces… For me it’s the application of electronic technology to sound-making that most clearly *illustrates* (but not necessarily metaphorizes or analogizes) what you are pointing at. and then i think about how pandora’s “music genome project” *technically* can address what you’re talking about at the level of signal and temporal analysis, but they opted for genres to make $ instead.

MB: so, let’s take the influence of varese on cage, boulez, stockhousen, la monte young, john cale, terry riley, velvet undregrond, nico, zappa; and takehisa kosugi, john paul jones [of zed leppelin], sonic youth, radiohead and sigur ros…

DG: sounds genealogical here… is *that* what you want? people would easily read this as a matter of lineage and not transmuted materials, or multiple people tapping into the same field of attractors and loops–partially influenced by each other, but also influenced by the sonic matter itself: e.g. REVERB.

MB: there is a verifiable line of intersectional connectivity between all the above. this is just the lineage i’m focused on at the moment since i’m writing about merce cunningham. but i’ve been tracing other similar lineages between a wide number of musicians at, but without calling it –hinge. i have been referring to it in several posts as ‘musical consciousness beyond borders’.

DG: again, i can resonate with you here because when I taught film classes at University of Hawaii i argued to my students that there is really only one film with specialized organs… later i learned that this was kind of an extension of “apparatus theory” but I don’t think that’s really what i’m pointing at. at this juncture i’d put money on there being non-western models for thinking about music creation that have already worked this out a few centuries ago… there’s such a rich global history of “music for…” and “music to…” that differs from the bulk of the Western tradition.

MB: my very rough and no doubt inadequate definition of –hinge is: any music that qualifies as hinge, must in some way, ’significantly put into association’, and therefore hinge, at least two quite different musical ‘networks’.

DG: I like that definition!

MB: and now that i’ve written this to you, i’d add: delineate a musical discourse formation, in the foucauldina sense.

DG: yeah!

many thanks for your response, for which i’m very grateful for your illuminations, as always.
so, are we going with a new music category called –hinge?
if so, should we start a new blog or equivalent about –hinge?
assuming you agree, i think this category might add something to P&P [Power and Poetics]
dear david goldberg: response

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