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New Concepts for Music And Sound – Part 8

(Excerpt from my e-book about this topic: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/537)

About Noise Art

I cannot make out a clear border between noise and more traditional musical sounds, and therefore I can´t tell where exactly to cross this border. Neither is noise something new nor has it ever been absent in the musical performances of human beings. Noise (breath sounds) is an immanent part of human singing, it´s an immanent part of a lot of the sounds of musical instruments as well. New is the emancipation of noise, the recognition of noise as an independent and shapeable part of a performance or composition. Yes, new indeed, but not in the 1950s. At least when Luigi Russollo worked on the matter of noise around 1913we can speak of noise as a compositional aspect of music. But Russollo´s noise was rather smooth and “tamed”, something that we can´t say about the noise art of today´s.

And we must see noise art in the context of at least some of the aspects (2,4,6,7 and 9) mentioned in the last chapter. So, where do we stand and in which direction can we possibly develop ahead?

I´m not going to walk you through all manifestations of noise art (be it distorted guitars or lo-fi movements or Japanoise etc.) here in this chapter. This approach would be a mere enumerating phenomenology, which would help us answering the questions that are at stake here. Instead let me try to find the deficiencies of today´s noise art, and point out the direction we may develop in to overcome these insufficiencies.

We have to accept that “interesting” is not the same as “bearable”. And there isn´t any advantage (nor pleasure) to get from something which I get a headache from. And if this “something” is meant to send me a message, well, the message won´t reach me, because I simply go away. Sounds as if I disliked noise art, right?

But indeed I do not dislike it.

But if noise art is meant to transfer or express social (or even political) statements, then it has to be produced rather thoughtful (like with all kinds of art). And if – on the other hand – noise is taken as a purely sonic phenomenon, then it asks for being heard, being listened to. Therefore it needs to be possible to discover the details in it (physically as well as technically possible). Because – probably unlike Punk – the charm of noise is in its details.


Enjoy your day!


… to be continued

New Concepts 1: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/503

New Concepts 2: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/528

New Concepts 3: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/529

New Concepts 4: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/542

New Concepts 5: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/544

New Concepts 6: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/548

New Concepts 7: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/553

New Concepts 9: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/572

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