Sound Opinions

Artworks are never finished, only begun. Is sound real? Some say no–rather it’s our brain’s reaction to minute changes in pressure. I guess this answers an age-old question: trees are quite mute when we homunculi are in absentia. So what, then, is the difference between noise and music? One of my favorite definitions–music as organized […]

I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One

I’m currently reading Kay Larson’s fantastic Where the Heart Beats, which highlights the impact of Zen Buddhism on post-WWII classical music. The fact that Larson is a practicing Buddhist, in addition to a respected art critic, makes this book an especially unique compilation of biography and personal history. It’s structure often references John Cage’s posthumous “dialogues” with Erik Satie when […]

Music Is _____

What is music?  What is music?  What is music?  Though not a tonal language per se, English is a language of inflection and affection. We find ourselves enrapt with music’s ineffable characteristics, however to reach an agreeable definition seems impossible and ill advised.  Below represents the dynamic and diverse conclusions of composers, philosophers and, of course, musicians on the […]

Under the Sun

I’m currently compiling an Über-list of definitions for “music.”  Big task, right?  Meanwhile, ponder this observation from acoustic ecologist Bernie Krause’s wonderful book The Great Animal Orchestra. Unlike the Ba’Aka’s music, Western song hasn’t been inspired by the biophony for thousands of years.  Rather, like many of our art forms, our music is self-referential–we continuously draw […]

Not Like the Others

Musical genres don’t mean a thing today.  In a long lost era, they might have helped record labels and stores (remember those?) categorize music, but since Y2K they’ve simply closed peoples minds and ears more than opened them.  It’s not that I think music is above nomenclature–obviously philosophers don’t believe thought is beyond words–but music should define […]