Friday, March 11, 2005
When I was a doctoral student, I had a seminar in composition in which the class was divided into essentially two camps: the constructivists vs. the representationalists, for lack of better terms. That year may have been unique in its equal and acute division, each side passionately defensive, each zealously dismissive of the other. Each side thought the other was misguided, at best.
It was fascinating. This followed a year that was extremely supportive and remarkably tolerant, and I don't know what tipped everyone into such a competitive stance. Perhaps the job market changed.
But I often wonder about music's power to conjure such dogmatic reactions over sounds that appear then evaporate. When misdirected or coopted, this passion we feel can be propagandized, as in the excellent illustration that Rodney posted. It can result in terms like "Entartete Musik." It can be racialized, genderized, elevated, dismissed, and otherwise problematized.
Perhaps it's the nature of the human endeavor....
Anyway, are any of you working on interdisciplinary projects? Film? Dance? Politics? I'd be curious to know what the issues are.