Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

From: Tony Conrad (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 09:41:19 PDT

> the
> listener can only rely on the sound's inner qualities and evolution
> (given that conventional rhythm and tonality have been minimizes) to
> draw conclusions as to the original sources of the sounds... .
> This is my only assumption in my research, everything else
> follows this...

Exactly the difficulty: your deterministic (Shannon-like) model of communication (of reception) insufficiently accounts for listener variation, for the
unlimited variability of interpretation made contextually inevitable, and even the fact that sounds may never "loose their identity as 'real' sounds."
(There is a whole cult of people for instance who listen for signs of spirit voices or extraterrestrial signals in white noise.) "Spectromorphological
listening" is of course possible, but is a learned practice, and must be regarded as largely independent of its source material.


On Wed 10/21/09 7:21 AM , Peiman Khosravi email suppressed sent:
> Hi Rob,
> Thanks for your reply. I think the Chion quote is specifically
> referring to a "realistic sound". On the other hand the kind of
> acousmatic music that I am researching is really only concerned with
> sounds that lack direct source recognition (perhaps heavily processed
> or edited as to loose their identity as "real" sounds (not dissimilar
> to some of Brakhage's visual constructs). In this context the
> listener can only rely on the sound's inner qualities and evolution
> (given that conventional rhythm and tonality have been minimizes) to
> draw conclusions as to the original sources of the sounds. The
> listener needs to situate himself/herself in the real world and is
> therefore latching unto the only attributes of the perceived
> phenomena available: the spectral imprint of the sonic stimuli. And
> thus spectromorphological listening is born (a listening attitude
> that consciously focuses on the perceptual evolution of spectra in
> time) . This is my only assumption in my research, everything else
> follows this...
> Best,
> Peiman
> On 21 Oct 2009, at 11:46, Rob Gawthrop wrote:
> 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
> Rob
> On 20/10/2009 17:22, "Tony Conrad" 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?)
> -----t0ny
> On Tue 10/20/09 5:30 AM , peiman khosravi email suppressed
> [2] 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 [3]>.
> Email has been scanned for viruses by Altman Technologies' email
> management service - [4]
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at .
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at .
> Links:
> ------
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]

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