Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

From: Rob Gawthrop (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 03:46:23 PDT

Hi Peiman

In one sense to 'test' things out as an exploration or research rather than for personal gain is perfectly acceptable, it is essential however that assumptions are challenged in this process. This is the main problem in that there is a pre-determining aspect of your research that seems counter to the above principle. In this respect I'd endorse Tony's points.

To add to the discussion there are many issues regarding the acousmatic as a genre (acousmatic music) that need contesting. Michel Chion in fact contradicts the point from him that you quoted.

 from"Audio Vision":

... when the spectator hears a so-called realistic sound, he (sic) is not in a position to compare it with the real sound he might hear if he were standing in that actual place. Rather in order to judge its 'truth', the spectator refers to his memory of this type of sound, a memory resynthesized from data that are not solely acoustical, and that is itself influenced by films.

It is also self-evident that we don't see the source (image) of most sounds that we hear at all, except perhaps in cinema ( a cinema founded upon mimesis that is). Schaeffer's 1948 piece Etude aux Chemins de Fer is far more radical than his subsequent modernist formalist work as it does not deny a connection to the world simultaneously to its experience as automonous....It is worth refering to Walter Rutman's film for radio Weekend in this respect.

A need for critical listening.

Best Wishes


On 20/10/2009 17:22, "Tony Conrad" <email suppressed> wrote:

Hi Peiman-----

Unfortunately you only dig yourself in deeper. You even use an example of discursive universalizing to claim you don't do that; then you actually claim to be making "an attempt to subjectively measure
the perception and conception of musical form" as a way of trying to state that your aim is not, as I asserted, the "mensuration of physical and physiological variables." Next you privilege your
knowledge of "acousmatic music" by saying that I must not be an insider on this topic. If you wish to claim superior knowledge of this pigeon hole of modernist composition, that's fine with me. I am
not unaware of new music composition in this vein, which is practiced at my university too, though personally I prefer noise music, with which in turn you may be less familiar.

For others who may read this, let me say that "acousmatic music" means music that is heard but not seen. In its unrestricted sense it should apply to ANY and all film sound that does not involve live
performance. But you are restricting this further, by using obscure technical nomenclature, to what we in cinema might more simply call electronic sounds, speech, noise music, and sound effects. The
technical nomenclature is associated with the specific compositional tradition of "musique concrete" that goes back to the work of Pierre Schaeffer.

In any case, that's enough; I can't say too much more that would be suited to Frameworks on this topic, so I won't carry this squabble further. (But as for tempering all this about "listening
expectations," let me suggest some readings in reception theory and John Cage?)


On Tue 10/20/09 5:30 AM , peiman khosravi email suppressed sent:
> Firstly I should mention that you can refer to Khosravi as he.
> I have already made it clear that this was my first post to
> Frameworks and i did apology in advance if this is not the place to
> post this notice.
> Those with the patience to plumb Khosravi's published article will
> perhaps see,
> as I do, that she or he pursues an approach that should by now be
> numbingly
> familiar: a reflex Enlightenment-like aim to "rationalize"
> cultural reception by
> using (what I think of as Helmholzian) mensuration of physical and
> physiological
> variables. Personally, I feel that this approach is absolutist,
> universalizing,
> retrogressive, bankrupt, and repugnant; this is a socio-political
> standpoint that
> will evidently find me and Khosravi hopelessly divided.
> If you had read my article carefully you would have come across this
> line:
> In acousmatic music where source-bonding and note-based or rhythmic
> musical structures are weakened, spectral space
> becomes the focus of our listening experience, yielding direct
> listening expectations that inform our perception of
> musical form.
> I am already clarifying here that I am not universalizing, and that I
> am speaking about a very specific type of acousmatic music.
> ..."Helmholzian) mensuration of physical and physiological variables"
> is a misunderstanding of the concept of spectromorphology, which is
> based on perception. It is an attempt to subjectively measure the
> perception and conception of musical form in a very specific genre of
> western music composition. Not a measurement "of physical and
> physiological variables".
> It seems that you are intentionally misunderstanding the concept
> discussed in the article (or perhaps you have not read it thoroughly)
> for the sake of reinstating your "socio-political standpoint",
> whatever that it may be. If my initial post was ignorant about the
> history of filmmaking and Brakhage's writings, which I myself was
> the first to highlight and I thank you for reminding me of this fact
> (after all I hardy have your experience, knowledge and reputation in
> this realm), yours is certainly ignorant towards the history of music
> and musical writings in relation to electroacoustic music, at least
> here in Europe.
> Best,
> Peiman

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.