Saturday, October 25, 2008

They Just Aren't as Cultured as We Are

I must agree that the workshop on Friday was totally cool. I was so neat to see these people who actually put into practice all (or most) of the things we've been talking about this semester -and I must agree that I was pretty impressed that they all seemed to be experts on Cage and experimental music themselves. I loved having the opportunity to ask them how they do things, like, whether they write in the composition when they use the cowbell or pie pans and when they stop. It makes sense they way that Tim Daisy said he implements those tools, not writing down a play-by-play, but having a set mood or sound for those few measures. I was actually surprised when he said that other composers write in precisely when they do things like that.
I also have to agree that the performance was made even more interesting by the reactions of the rest of the audience. I listened in on some conversations afterward just to see what other people though of it. I'll admit I was disappointed with some of their comments, but then, I supposed everyone can't be as cultured as our FYS class... I think it's good that the band members are aware of this, though. They even said that, yeah, they do this for a living, but they can't do just this. They'll admit that they have to do more conventional jazz too, because -like we saw- lots of people just don't get it. I thought it was pretty telling of this attitude when the clarinet player was talking about manipulation of the audience. He said that they know they could manipulate some of their sounds to make them more appealing to the audience, but it's not always about what the audience wants (which is a pretty bold statement for someone who makes his living as a musician, I think). Though he said that he doesn't always agree with Cage's never wanting to force an emotion on someone through music, he seems to hold the same ideas about music being for its own sake; not for the musician, not for the audience, but music for music's sake.
I was pretty bummed out that I couldn't go to the concert on Friday night (work gets in the way of everything!) but I was glad I was able to ask all -or most- of my questions. I didn't realize I had so many until the clarinet player pointed it out (then I thought I'd better stop, or risk being too obnoxious). Overall, I think that one piece -for all you Croatians out there!- that meant "explore" was my favorite. Oh, and I made chocolate cake today. Maybe I'll make music with the pan later...

1 comment:

Mark said...

I agree with your statement that some of them just aren't as cultured as we are. In fact, a few of them were quite puerile (like the ones sitting behind me who wouldn't shut up). I enjoyed the workshop though, and actually really liked the last song and enjoyed the second one. I thought the first one was a little cacophonous, but that's what happens every now and then when personal taste creeps in.
I was also really hoping that he would use water when he pulled out the strainer. That would have been awesome (I don't know why, but for some reason I love the sound of water running through a strainer especially when it's dripping into a "pool" of water)