“Without Music Life would be a Mistake” ? Nope…

“Without Music Life would be a Mistake”

You can find this quote from Nietzsche on all kinds of tee-shirts.

In fact, you can replace “Music” with some other pleasant words, like “Wine”, or “Love”, or “Philosophy”, “Fashion”, who cares ? Is it an order, some kind of pressure ?

Of course, without music life would not be a mistake AT ALL.

The Persuaders

If you suddenly take seriously how music is important to people, you’ll be SO surprised that you will be floored. I use this “floored” expression because I’m french and I LOVE it. Floored, you on the floor, voilà pour vous.

I asked about the opera, one day. One loves opera because of the magic of the place. Some because of the archetypal terrible stories. For some others, it’s the performance of the singers (ahhhh the “high notes” !). Some guys are in love with one voice only (Callas !). Some guys love only one composer (Wagner, or for me : Puccini). Many love opera and only opera. You can find fools who love to collect all versions of the same thing. Etc.

Elephant Woman

You should and you have to think about it when you want to SHARE a music. You give YouTube links to your lover and most all the time you’ll be surprised. She doesn’t care. What moves you does nothing to the others.

Personaly I love risky modulations (I love Mike Oldfield, John Barry, Progressive Rock and Royksopp, and Puccini, and Prokofiev for this reason). I love to analyse production (Floors of sound in Depeche Mode Violator, different veils in Brian Eno’s work). I love crescendos. I love when the magic is hidden in a mist (Royksopp, Blonde Redhead). I love David Sylvian’s voice. OK I stop here. What about YOU ?

Brilliant Trees

Some like an era (the sixties !), a style (new wave !), an energy (dance !), an attitude (punk !), a flow (rap !), productors (Trevor Horn ?), a sound, a label (4AD), a social field (gothic culture), a movement (house), a nostalgy (“I listened to The Police when she kissed me !”), the singer (Arctic Monkeys oh he’s so cute)…

Tools :

Oh, just this : It’s always more complicated.

Do not think that you have a human typology in mind. You’re wrong.

(and fuck Nietzsche on this quote)

https://youtu.be/cFig-OiIwDo

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Reason & Pleasure : An Interesting Braid

Why, and how does music bring us pleasure?

I understood one day that human beings love music for very different reasons.  Melodies, the energy of dance, or the voice of a singer, nostalgia of an era or personal moment, to feel part of a community, for solos or the virtuosity of an instrumentalist, for a “sound”, or a production work.  Some people stay stuck their entire life on the Beatles, or Yes, or a single singer – Callas and everything around her. Why not?

Today I wonder, and I turn down the dial, or one of the cursors on musical pleasure.

1 – At the beginning of this dial you’ll find pure simple pleasure. You listen to Brahms‘ German Requiem and you feel bliss: “That is beautiful” bravo, and good for you.

2 – In the middle of the dial, reason and culture begin to become important.  You know where Brahms is in the historical timeline of classical music (say, between Mozart and Ravel), and you know a little of what’s happening in the music (here’s a soprano, there, woodwinds are playing a fascinating part with the horns…).

3 – At the end side of the dial, there is the connoisseur listener.  He is knowledgeable in the other works of Brahms, reads the sheet music, and understands what forces are in play (articulations of the different movements of the Requiem, what is said in the texts, how the instruments work together, etc…).

One could say this dial moves “from pleasure to reason,” but it’s not that simple. Why? Because the specialist, who is plunged into analysis and reason, is feeling pleasure as much as the amateurs.

More: I think that his pleasure is multiplied tenfold.

Tool: What is this strange way to mix reason and pleasure? Can we apply this to other territories (seduction, poetry, warfare ?), and how would this look?

What is this pleasure? Who knows the mechanisms of its birth?

How do we weave the braid made from different forces?

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