Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Where the Heart Beats 3

Chapter 2 is entitled "John Cage 1912-1938."  Considerably longer than the first chapter, it is broken into different titled sections:  "The View From Pacific Palisades," "The Shape of the Future 1: Men," "The Shape of the Future 2: Music," "The Shape of the Future 3: Art," "Buddha of the Bathroom," "Luigi Russolo," "Arnold Schoenberg," "Oskar Fischinger," and "Walking Water Walk."  Many more Cage quotes are used to create pseudo-conversation.  The opening sections have fascinating descriptions of Cage's early adult life.  He really bluffed his way into just about every aspect of his life, from painting to music to love.  I had no idea that Cage got married, though the author uses quotes to make the very good point about the underground lifestyle forced upon homosexuals in the 1930s that Cage found untenable.  Plus it sounds like he was very confused about his whole sexual identity, falling into and out of love very quickly.  Slowly, as Cage encounters more movers and shakers of the avant-garde, he moves from dabbling dilettante to serious practitioner.  And the seeds of his influences from Dada and Futurism are explored, though more from the perspective of Marcel Duchamp and Luigi Rossolo than from Cage's perspective (so far).  There are hints of the connections to Buddhism as well.  The quotes flow much better than in the first chapter, and the chapter ends with a tease about Cage's later success with Water Walk to show the results of those early influences.


Crisp Recording International said...

Hey! There is a new international symphonic metal band called Suncrown you should check out! We have a new music video called "Eyes of the World".


willimek said...

Music and Emotions

The most difficult problem in answering the question of how music creates emotions is likely to be the fact that assignments of musical elements and emotions can never be defined clearly. The solution of this problem is the Theory of Musical Equilibration. It says that music can't convey any emotion at all, but merely volitional processes, the music listener identifies with. Then in the process of identifying the volitional processes are colored with emotions. The same happens when we watch an exciting film and identify with the volitional processes of our favorite figures. Here, too, just the process of identification generates emotions.

An example: If you perceive a major chord, you normally identify with the will "Yes, I want to...". If you perceive a minor chord, you identify normally with the will "I don't want any more...". If you play the minor chord softly, you connect the will "I don't want any more..." with a feeling of sadness. If you play the minor chord loudly, you connect the same will with a feeling of rage. You distinguish in the same way as you would distinguish, if someone would say the words "I don't want anymore..." the first time softly and the second time loudly.
Because this detour of emotions via volitional processes was not detected, also all music psychological and neurological experiments, to answer the question of the origin of the emotions in the music, failed.

But how music can convey volitional processes? These volitional processes have something to do with the phenomena which early music theorists called "lead", "leading tone" or "striving effects". If we reverse this musical phenomena in imagination into its opposite (not the sound wants to change - but the listener identifies with a will not to change the sound) we have found the contents of will, the music listener identifies with. In practice, everything becomes a bit more complicated, so that even more sophisticated volitional processes can be represented musically.

Further information is available via the free download of the e-book "Music and Emotion - Research on the Theory of Musical Equilibration:

or on the online journal EUNOMIOS:

Enjoy reading

Bernd Willimek