Re: Stan Brakhage Copyrights _Experimental sound-art

From: Peiman Khosravi (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 21 2009 - 10:05:00 PDT

On 21 Oct 2009, at 17:41, Tony Conrad wrote:

>> 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.

Yes I agree that it is a learnt practice. I am sure you agree that it
can also be a compositional attitude, which in turn leads to the
creation of certain types of sound material that are more or less
removed from source recognition. This latter is what I am researching,
not spectromorphological listening as a universal attitude.



> ------t0ny
> 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
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> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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