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Author Topic: 'Annihilating Noise' book available now  (Read 7711 times)
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JLIAT
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2021, 09:42:08 AM »


He makes the point of the idea from there being a pre existing 'field' to be recorded to that of the recorder choosing and so effectively 'creating' the field.  


The chapter on field recordings is what seemed most interesting to me while looking through the book's contents, and I am tempted to get it just to read more about this point that you mention.  So is his position that the "field" of a field recording does not come into a full/explicit existence until after the recording has been made?


 Yes - I think his point is the recording 'creates' the field, which wasn't already there, though we might like to think it was. Then the choice of the recorders bias in selection is not at all neutral. And of course the technology of recording and playback. - mean if you listen to a field recoding without headphones there are two fields present?

An example, I was messing with Google earth with scripts, (it lets you draw shapes etc. onto the views) where you select the long and lat and magnification factor in the script. As an aside i made a script which selected the long and lat at random. What I got, blue screen, blue screen, blue screen...
thinks "doh - yes the earth is mostly water!"  Playing with this eventually some mountains - i got bored before any signs of humanity. So while the field recordings sound interesting- is this a very biased selection...


From the book...

English - in A Beginner's Guide to Field Recording "English is keen to stress that artists and documentarist recorders are communicating their listening"  than capturing "the real of a place" but this just moved the "location of the presumption" ... i.e.the presumption  that something 'real' is still being presented.



« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 09:43:53 AM by JLIAT » Logged
JLIAT
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2021, 09:52:07 AM »



Funny - I brought up the same reference in this thread, but didn't want to be the first one to mention it again, least of all in the context of "black noise"... http://www.special-interests.net/forum/index.php?topic=10857.msg88540#msg88540

Well other pieces make fun of illness...  Hegarty (wrongly IMO) argues 'White' in 'White noise' is racist, but fails to mention race in discussing 'Black Metal'?


And Pink Noise?

The naming of Quarks - I would think the anti Quark to 'Up' would be 'Down' but its not it seems  ;-)
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theotherjohn
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2021, 10:50:13 AM »

I believe the correct term is "noises of colour"...
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JLIAT
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2021, 12:16:07 PM »

I believe the correct term is "noises of colour"...


:-)
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Duncan
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2021, 12:34:22 PM »

Haven't and wont read the Hegarty book but the question of 'field' recordings is an interesting one and something I've been noticing more and more. I hope I don't sound too anti-intellectual in positing that I think the term at this point is mostly just a super colloquial misuse of a highly specific thing (what's new?). It seems like for most artists now a 'field recording' is just something that happens when you use a portable recorder or record outside. Even if you use it to record the same old shit you normally do. Perhaps the argument that the act of recording creates the field is valid and could explain this, but I doubt most practitioners would make that case themselves and would probably admit to just using a term they've heard used elsewhere. It's fine for people to use incorrect terms of course, who really cares, but I still think that embracing something more like 'situational' or 'environmental' might lead to a bit more thought and hopefully creativity in that whole act. Not just 'let's throw a recording of a busy or serene outdoor area into this synthesizer improvisation.
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Soloman Tump
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2021, 01:00:02 PM »

I believe the correct term is "noises of colour"...


:-)

Well yes.  In one issue of my snare rush zine I briefly discussed the rainbow of available noise colours.

Pink, Brown, Green, White.... all well documented.

I love the definition of Grey noise - which makes it a subjective noise depending on who is listening to it.

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JLIAT
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« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2021, 01:05:10 PM »

the question of 'field' recordings

Hmmmm...

Of course being an “ARTIST” its possible to PLAY in music, make stuff up...

jliat.com/bravo.mp3


bravo 18:45:00.0 28 February 1954 (GMT) Bikini Atoll. Surface burst. Yield 15 Mt. A 15 Mt two stage thermonuclear surface burst. The Bravo test created the worst radiological disaster in US history.

jliat.com/fire1.mp3

Fire fight west of Kabul....
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MyrtleLake
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« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2021, 03:41:25 PM »

I hope I don't sound too anti-intellectual in positing that I think the term at this point is mostly just a super colloquial misuse of a highly specific thing... It seems like for most artists now a 'field recording' is just something that happens when you use a portable recorder or record outside.
A worthy example. I rather love this release:

Anthony Janas "Field Recordings of Mythical Beasts." (2019)
https://anthonyjanas.bandcamp.com/album/field-recordings-of-mythical-beasts

"Exploring the intersection of sound libraries and ethnographic recordings, ‘Field Recordings of Mythical Beasts’ is a series of fake field recordings of mythical creatures. The recordings were created using traditional foley techniques originally developed for films. Field Recordings of Mythical Beasts represent explorations of a long forgotten expedition group on its journey to remote regions of the world. The Phoenix, Hydra, Griffin, and Holga have all been documented in their 'natural' environment. - Leicht Records"
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JLIAT
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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2021, 07:07:47 PM »

Part Four Undermind

The final section deals with 5 topics. Joy Division and music production. Organum, noise and the uncanny, Nurse with wound,  TNB and the cover version. Dante's Inferno and black metal theory and finally harsh noise and harsh noise wall, all 5 were originally papers presented at various symposia.

Supplementing (in) Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures.

First presented at Atrocity Exhibition: A Symposium on Joy Division, 2015. This opens with a discussion of music production which I couldn't follow, Hegarty asserts ”The culture industry has always liked to 'do it clean'”. This I don't understand. Then the introduction of producers giving a particular – I assume clean sound? such as Phil Spector? And states “The more interventionist the producer (or non-artist involved in the recording process), the greater the danger of noise entering the circuit” Which is at odds with the idea of a cleanly produced sound? Moreover is the producer an artist? Spector I'd say was, as many producers who used the studio as an instrument. What of Brian Eno's work with Bowie. Well Eno IS an Artist. Who then are these non artists who engender noise entering the circuit? The sound engineers? Who I assume are responsible for the very opposite. Slightly on topic, Spector's 'back to mono' – e.g. on the original release of All Things Must Pass was identified as a 'Wall of Sound'. We move on to dub “the forefront of musical experimentation through production.” I guess that is because it was pioneered by recording engineers and producers?  And from this to Martin Hannet the producer of Unknown Pleasures, the first Joy Division album.  Hegarty uses the writings of Peter Hook, Bernard Summers and Stephen Morris on Joy Division, and concentrates on the tracks on Unknown Pleasures of 1979. “Authenticity was a false value to pin on punk. What is peculiar about Hannet's production … is how a overt level of 'falsity' of something extraneous is able to bring the music toward a more authentic expression.” Is this the honesty of open hypocrisy of Post-modernism? Irony? Hegarty goes on to locate this work in the turbulent decade from the mid 70s to mid 80s. I have to disagree with his history though understand an academic in the humanities in 2021 has to accept certain 'givens'. I will say that “I was there”, if you look at the image on the left of my Synthi AKS, that was my bedroom studio in my mom's council flat in 1975 in Chelmsley Wood Birmingham. For certain it was a miserable decade. I will say that Hegarty I think is right about the industrial collapse, down to the trade unions and governments, but also by then multinational finance in The City. I found myself working there in the 80s – pure greed.  But this is nothing to do with noise, and this history is complex, the oil crisis of 74 because of the Yom Kippur War, whose origins far from beginning with the Suez crisis of 56, is literally biblical in its origins. Enough of this, Lennon was killed in 1980 and so 'The dream was over.'

Less Familiar: The Near-Music of David Jackman and Organum

Originally published in Revue & Corrige December 2017. I'm less familiar with David Jackman's work, though it's now available on YouTube. Hegarty explains “Organum, has been producing a steady stream of strange records, that sit uneasily between noise, industrial, ambient and contemporary classical” These Hegarty writes is  “the uncanny and 'the double', as identified by Sigmund Freud” Jackman's work surfaces in the 1980s, “Organum's music is part of a specific movement in the breakdown of generic divides that comes in a key moment in Western 'popular' music.” His works are typically short, many on 7 inch Vinyl. (Has collaborated with  Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound, Christoph Heemann, Robert Hampson, Jim O'Rourke, Michael Prime of Morphogenesis, Eddie Prévost of AMM, Andrew Chalk and noise artists The New Blockaders, and was originally part of Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra between 1969 and 1972.) Hegarty discusses several of his releases, The Tower of Silence (1985), Pulp (1984), Raze pt. 1 Hori (1986), Crusade (1994) “pretty much as close to 'noise music' as Jackman gets” and others “in the early 2000s … a more resonant minimalism”. Hegarty explains that “Noise music, in many forms, attempts to dismantle or destroy the edifice of music” and gives Merzbow and John Cage as examples. Though finishes this chapter saying “Ultimately; this is Jackman returning us to the origins of music, where it was never self-contained , nor simply itself” I have listened to a few of Oranum's works, and they do strike me as ambient drones, In Extremis was the most 'noisy' I could find. I think Hegarty has a problem with the term 'noise' and its application, such that at times it (for him) can more or less apply to anything, but then sees it as being negative, and as above Crusade gets close to noise music, so I would assume therefore isn't, in Hegarty's terms? The other problem I have is his assertion that “Organum's music is part of a specific movement in the breakdown of generic divides that comes in a key moment in Western 'popular' music.”  Firstly just what is popular music. People in SI  will no doubt know of The Rita, Nurse With Wound, and Merzbow got some Red Bull sponsorship- but popular? In terms though of popular, and this kind of music, I think The Orb and The Future Sound of London etc are better examples of both being popular and breaking down generic divides. But what of Brian Eno - Ambient Music - 1978 earlier work with Fripp and his Obscure Records label of 1975 – examples being his Discreet Music, David Toop / Max Eastley New And Rediscovered Musical Instruments, Michael Nyman Decay Music ‎ et al. all of 1978, and popular, my mates had copies. OK back in 1972 when I tried in a local record store to get Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air, they'd never heard of him and wanted to sell me the  Curved Air LP (English prog rock band). Though latter there was the collaboration with John Cale. As for drone, La Monte Young - 1962 The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer, The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys (1964–present) - based on the air pump for his terrapin? Obviously not popular, but avant garde? OK picking out Black Metal, Jackman, NWN & TNB etc. maybe OK, and to cover the Avant-garde would need volumes, but my problem is that though genre's blur, with Noise, as in HN and HNW there is something different, something missing, even the idea of 'performance' which singles it out from others.

BUNK: Origins and Copies in Nurse With Wound and The New Blockaders

From an article which appeared in  Organised Sound – 'Just what Is It That Makes Today's Noise Music So different', a riff on Richard Hamilton's famous pop collage, 'BUNK' a term used by Eduardo Paolozzi, another Artist associated with Pop Art. Hegarty begins by making several assertions which I'm not in particular agreement, but as a précis, I'll do just that, and number my replies which anyone can then skip. First we can't fix what noise is & “Noise raises the question of an avant-garde as such.... Noise is a negativity: defined in opposition … to something else, for example, meaning, music, structure, skill, beauty, etc. [1]… the noise is in how noise and music relate, the noise is the differential” [2] … “The recognition of originality, of avant-gardness, is not the end of the story but the place around which noise circulates” Hegarty goes on to discuss the problem of defining noise with examples... “many types or instances of music can become noise, through the process of assessment, rejection or acceptance, disruption or assimilation. This is not a subjective way of seeing noise as a thing that is personally found to be good because noise, or bad because noise. It is instead based on statistical or normative listening that deems something to be outside.” Hegarty then rasises the question of influence –  “literally, and obliquely” which “might be one way of identifying something as noise music.” He then begins a review of Nurse With Wound and The New Blockaders. NWW centred around Steven Stapleton, who claims “Nurse music is surrealist music”.  NWW first album Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella “live improvisations, free of rehearsal, plan or pretty much any other sort of musical convention... blank materiality of the music (free of meaning, explicit purpose etc.) is counterposed with the accompanying materials...” A list of influences numbering hundreds. “The sounds within are to be imagined as a crystallisation of those influences... We have to remember that in 1979 there was no established discourse of a history of experimental music”. [3]  The work is “a new subversive canon”  Hegarty describes the sounds and those of the 2001 reissue, and work following Chance Meeting... “atmospheric collages..” comparing these to Schaeffer's musique concrete. “if an experimental artist does a cover, it raises curious questions: how does the artist who wishes to break with musical convention engage with respect? Is an homage by Nurse With Wound any different to a pop 'diva' doing the same? Possibly not...”  Whatever, NWW avoids, Hegarty states, the use of irony and kitsch (despite Sylvie and Babs announcing itself as kitsch). In summary  “Nurse With Wound have managed to summon influence without either letting it go, becoming slavish to it or even adapting it.5] “The New Blockaders set themselves apart from Nurse With Wound: the former are genuinely rehearsing and re-presenting the purpose of Dada – a continual questioning and destruction being in its own right creative...1] But many in and making noise uses just these terms 'meaning, music, structure, skill, beauty' to describe noise and or their work.

[2] Hegarty says he can't fix what noise is, but it's negative, and yet elsewhere it is other things. And
the term Avant Garde – 'new and experimental' is not circular, or was noise in the sense it is used here new by the 1980s.

[3] Michael Nyman - 'Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond' first published 1974
Ballantine, Christopher. 1977. "Towards an Aesthetic of Experimental Music".
Benitez, Joaquim M. 1978. "Avant-Garde or Experimental? Classifying Contemporary Music".
Beyond  first published 1974
Cage's definition, "an experimental action is one the outcome of which is not foreseen" 1961.
In the 1950s, the term "experimental" was often applied by conservative music critics—along with a number of other words, such as "engineers art", "musical splitting of the atom", "alchemist's kitchen", "atonal", and "serial"—as a deprecating jargon term, which must be regarded as "abortive concepts", since they did not "grasp a subject" (Metzger 1959, 21).Metzger, Heinz-Klaus. 1959. "Abortive Concepts in the Theory and Criticism of Music"

[4] “without either letting it go, becoming slavish to it or even adapting it.” ?

[5] Destruction – Metzger was a tutor of Pete Townsend.

[6] The Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS) was a gathering of a diverse group of international artists, poets, and scientists to London, from 9–11 September 1966. Metzger. I don't see how TNB could be considered avant garde. I think, as TG sort, it was more an Avant Garde for the non elite? Like NWW, Surrealism was by the 1980s long gone. What replaced it was Abstract Expressionism – which IMO relates to HN, and Minimalism, HNW? The current problem in Noise is Что дѣлать? Наболѣвшіе вопросы нашего движенія (What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement. Vladimir Lenin -1901).

To have the category 'Noise' (or 'Tree') and look for examples, which I think Hegarty is in danger of doing, is to put the cart before the horse, or resort to Platonism. In the latter there is a perfect ideal horse, to which horses are botched shadows. The Platonic forms exists first, things then are identified by being their shadows. Art IMO doesn't work like that. There wasn't the idea of impressionist painting, which Monet and Manet came along and manifested, any more that the idea of 'Tree' was prior to actual trees. Noise, like trees are more 'family resemblances', in Harry Potter you never see a Weasley, you might think you do, but you only see specific examples. Here the danger is in the word 'example' – example of what, not of anything that exists (other than a family resemblance). Without Ron and his family no thing called  Weasley would exist, and no Weasley can exist as a pure non specific thing. Same with Impressionism, same with 'Noise' or HN / HNW.  Now 'Noise Music' IMO is like noise (in nature) as it doesn't represent anything other, has so been called “noise”. If Power Electronics represents – like surrealism, it's not IMO 'noise'.

Noise as the binary opposite of music doesn't work. If music is organised sound, much of noise music is organised sound, if music has meaning then many have said that noise has a meaning, if only a negative one. And from that they can argue that such things as a red sky at night can have a meaning, 'a shepherd's cottage on fire' in the joke. Buds on trees mean spring is coming... This is however a mistake, music can be a 'language' – just as any art. In language one thing stands for another. So 'Dog' stands for the actual animal, the word wont bite, or will the drawing of the dog. The word Dog represents something, the buds on the trees don't re-present the Spring they are part of it. Part of its presentation. So before any music, before even mankind existed – there were sounds, noises on the early earth. There was noise from the creation of the universe, though not a sonic 'Bang'. The difference in Power Electronics and Industrial Music, and Black Metal et al is that these do represent, are intentionally  representative of. Vomir, some HN, and HNW are non representational.  Now maybe the term Noise – in music is a coverall for PE, Industrial, HN and HNW for some, just as 'Modern Art' has within it representational work, Cubism, Surrealism, and non representational Art – Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism. So maybe I'm talking at cross meanings when I see noise as being non representational. Again the sound of a Lark ascending doesn't represent a Lark ascending, it *IS*, The Vaughan Williams 'Lark Ascending' is not the sound of a Lark ascending but music representation of it and connotations of this. Noise as noise qua noise IS non representational.
 https://d1oqwsnd25kjn6.cloudfront.net/production/curio_primary_images/11685/original/Aug30_2017_AdReinhardt.jpg

Vile heretical Misprision: Dante's Commedia as Metal Theory

First delivered as part of the Dante lectures at University College Cork in 2016. Hegarty sets out to use a Catholic Christian text, one of 'one of the greatest works of world literature' based on The Summa Theologiae,  a compendium of the main theological teachings of the Catholic Church, as a basis for a theory of Black Metal which is generalized by its anti Christian, misanthropic ethos. (some  may be puzzled at this seeming incongruity, worse may see the conflation as merely an mercenary act, however IMO too soon to judgement) I know a little of Catholic theology, and very little of Black Metal, well I wikied it, and have had conversations with those I think support some of its 'theories' and watched numerous videos and those of Varg Vikernes. Hegarty begins,  “Three beasts  circle the intrepid poet [on] his journey through hell and on to Paradise... the leopard [false pleasure], the lion [pride], and the she-wolf [avarice].”  Hegarty needs more than the she wolf for his riffing, [a technical term in lit crit] “she is theory, she is metal music, and she is the spirit of these in strange collusion... black metal theory.” The chapter, he explains, will not analyse metal music in depth “instead place it in … an entrapped yet radicalised way out through 'outness' which may, of course, look a lot like being further in.” I'll stab at this,I think he is saying  'in providing some supportive theory of Black Metal, this may back-fire and make Black Metal look more non theoretical. I could say- more stupid' – which would be unkind save for many in Black Metal are I think very opposed to intellectual thinking and human beings in general. I must quote “Dante's book is recursively heard as itself metal, an unwitting attack on all that is holy” Tricky?  “ recursively heard” - read lots of times over (like black metal riffs) and so becomes meaningless (unwitting) and so contradicts (attacks)  its own idea of a journey into holiness – clear light of day - understanding?  (Black metal is opposed to the light of reason.) “Inferno is full of gleeful descriptions... (The Black Metal bit?) Purgatory … a relentless bureaucracy (boring everyday work, like Neo's day job in the Matrix) and Paradise is  a song filled beatific realm – (religious and political utopias)”  Hegarty argues you need the other two to make the Inferno. (Black Metal is a rage against nice liberal healthy living) He adds to the effect to get out of the Inferno and into the paradise of light you need a theory of black metal, hence the above, getting out of black metal, theorizes it, to its cost. But of course this act on Hegarty's part against Black Metal's anti theory, by theorizing it, does it harm, but if you are into black metal that's precisely what you crave- harm. True evil looks at understanding and smiles. He then begins a chronology of Satanism in Pop Music, and its link with Hellraising, which of course goes way back before pop. He says, in the way a reasonable and nice understanding guy would, that this was nothing demonic but just about a good time, sex drugs and rock and roll. But I guess he doesn't believe in the devil, but if there was a devil then having this kind of good time is precisely how such a devil works, from that perspective like the pied piper he leads the children to hell. But that in the light of reason is nonsense. If we replace this devil for a more modern version, 'the id' – or Will - then unbridled pleasure is demonic – in modern agnostic psychological terms - in medieval terms is the work of Satan. Metal in its decent into unreason by ever extremism is 'demonic' in one of these scenarios. And the personification of that is the devil. Eventually we arrive at Black Metal, in Scandinavia, Varg Vikernes et al. Though it wasn't IMO a “heretical take on critical theory” - more simple, it rejected or simply ignored or was not aware of Critical Theory as it was not theory, but pure animal action. Hegarty concludes “Black Metal eats away at sound... the only process that can resist is death” Below I make the argument that this 'death' is a very part of the process of a line of flight which is Black Metal. He continues with his heat death scenario “In the real universe, entropy will one day become total … everything , has become unified into an absent or zombie existence”. I've already pointed out more recent alternatives to this 'Victorian' scenario. And 'to sleep with the fishes'  in the afterlife would seem to some not that bad a fate – especially for the hedonist, serial rapist, murderer etc.  But in this already overlong exegesis I will give a more 'gruesome' account of the future... “our entire Universe [in the far future] will have some minutely small probability of  undergoing a quantum-transition into another type of universe. … When there is an infinite time to wait then anything that can happen, eventually will  happen. Worse (or better) than that, it will happen infinitely often” Prof. J D Barrow FRS. - very like Nietzsche's most gruesome (and nihilistic) of ideas. Some may think to eternally repeat a hedonist life wouldn't be a bad thing... but I think with a little more thought the utter pointlessness in eternal repeating is The Greatest Weight. However I think once unpacked this chapter offers useful insights into not only anti-Christian, misanthropic and  ultimately anti intellectual Black Metal, a rejection of liberalism and social justice as the aims of society, whether true or not of western democracies. That Black Metal, it seems flourished in Scandinavia maybe because those countries at least by standards of others, the USA, UK, appear more liberal and have advanced social services and less deprivation than areas in Europe, and the USA. It would also explain the general interest of Industrial and PE in occultism, Fascism violent crime, serial killers, paedophilia mutilation and disease etc. If one other feature is suicide and self harm again an explanation can be given, but I need to use the Deleuze and Guattari model of a plateau. Imagine a plane, or simpler a straight line. Pick an arbitrary point around the centre, that's where (probably) you are. To the left is the place that represents a sedimented society. I.e fixed and unchanging where citizens are robots, examples, the fixed class structure of mediaevalism, and “communist” states such as North Korea. To the right “Anarchy Crowned”, total freedom, a Body without Organs. There is a relentless pull towards the left and sedimentation -a sea millions of years ago was alive with creatures and moving sediments, we now find blocks of stone in which they are now dead fossils. Even the extent of getting a good job, *settling down*, raising a family is the process of sedimentation...   'Authentic' life is then the struggle against that, this struggle is a flight from settling, a line of flight. Obviously a “good” thing if one sees oneself as an individual. But it has dangers, move too fast and the power can overcome, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away” (Kurt Cobain's suicide note) Hedonism is dangerous. The Fascism  of the Futurists... And in collectives, if “communism” is dead sediment, for D&G Fascism, surprisingly, is not. It's a collective suicide of the Will to Power, out of control. You see it historically in the Gotterdammerung of Nazi Germany. If the one extreme today is North Korea, I'd say ISIS is perhaps the other. It's a thought. And one which surprisingly arose from reading this chapter.


Last chapter to come.
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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2021, 08:32:25 PM »


He makes the point of the idea from there being a pre existing 'field' to be recorded to that of the recorder choosing and so effectively 'creating' the field.  


The chapter on field recordings is what seemed most interesting to me while looking through the book's contents, and I am tempted to get it just to read more about this point that you mention.  So is his position that the "field" of a field recording does not come into a full/explicit existence until after the recording has been made?


 Yes - I think his point is the recording 'creates' the field, which wasn't already there, though we might like to think it was. Then the choice of the recorders bias in selection is not at all neutral. And of course the technology of recording and playback. - mean if you listen to a field recoding without headphones there are two fields present?

An example, I was messing with Google earth with scripts, (it lets you draw shapes etc. onto the views) where you select the long and lat and magnification factor in the script. As an aside i made a script which selected the long and lat at random. What I got, blue screen, blue screen, blue screen...
thinks "doh - yes the earth is mostly water!"  Playing with this eventually some mountains - i got bored before any signs of humanity. So while the field recordings sound interesting- is this a very biased selection...


From the book...

English - in A Beginner's Guide to Field Recording "English is keen to stress that artists and documentarist recorders are communicating their listening"  than capturing "the real of a place" but this just moved the "location of the presumption" ... i.e.the presumption  that something 'real' is still being presented.

This is very interesting.  I must admit that I do want to think that the field does preexist the recording - at least in some way.  It seems that something must be "there" to be recorded in order for someone to even begin to consider recording it.  Maybe something like the field recording makes a listener explicitly aware of the existence of the field (previously ambient or unnoticed) might be more accurate?

Also, that is a very interesting observation about listening to field recordings without headphones!
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« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2021, 12:14:53 PM »


This is very interesting.  I must admit that I do want to think that the field does preexist the recording - at least in some way.  It seems that something must be "there" to be recorded in order for someone to even begin to consider recording it.  Maybe something like the field recording makes a listener explicitly aware of the existence of the field (previously ambient or unnoticed) might be more accurate?

Also, that is a very interesting observation about listening to field recordings without headphones!

I agree that the sounds exist prior to recording. I'm afraid some academics have made the mistake, maybe deliberately, in saying that before the sound is perceived it doesn't exist. It comes from saying before we perceive a sound we have no perception of it - obviously, and that perception is ours. They move from that to assert that the thing itself, the object, field thing didn't exist, which is crazy. Its part of the theories of "Reality" being a social construct which is all the rage in humanities departments  :-(

It's a simple mistake - i.e. Cage's 4' 33" shows there is no such thing as silence. ..... untrue.... 4' 33" shows we cannot perceive silence. i.e. we cannot hear no hearing. You cannot feel no feeling.... etc.

I mean the argument that the recording makes the field would mean the Perseverance rover - was a waste of money sending it to Mars. It is recording both images and sounds of something other than it- some field recording!




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« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2021, 10:12:42 PM »


This is very interesting.  I must admit that I do want to think that the field does preexist the recording - at least in some way.  It seems that something must be "there" to be recorded in order for someone to even begin to consider recording it.  Maybe something like the field recording makes a listener explicitly aware of the existence of the field (previously ambient or unnoticed) might be more accurate?

Also, that is a very interesting observation about listening to field recordings without headphones!

I agree that the sounds exist prior to recording. I'm afraid some academics have made the mistake, maybe deliberately, in saying that before the sound is perceived it doesn't exist. It comes from saying before we perceive a sound we have no perception of it - obviously, and that perception is ours. They move from that to assert that the thing itself, the object, field thing didn't exist, which is crazy. Its part of the theories of "Reality" being a social construct which is all the rage in humanities departments  :-(

It's a simple mistake - i.e. Cage's 4' 33" shows there is no such thing as silence. ..... untrue.... 4' 33" shows we cannot perceive silence. i.e. we cannot hear no hearing. You cannot feel no feeling.... etc.

I mean the argument that the recording makes the field would mean the Perseverance rover - was a waste of money sending it to Mars. It is recording both images and sounds of something other than it- some field recording!


That view of the world that you describe sounds anthropocentric and more than a little disappointing (I wonder what the later Heidegger might have said in response).

I think the Cage example is apt and correct.  I think that people have a constant tendency to engage themselves with the sounds around them, and that the types of sounds they engage with just change depending on the circumstances they find themselves in.  The quieter it is, the smaller the sounds you find yourself noticing.

It also makes me wonder, is any "recording" of 4' 33" best classified as a field recording?  It certainly seems to have a different intent than any field recording, but would otherwise be very similar in regards to the sounds it would capture.
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« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2021, 11:11:38 AM »

That view of the world that you describe sounds anthropocentric and more than a little disappointing (I wonder what the later Heidegger might have said in response).
I find Heidegger's latter work more difficult than the earlier, the famous 'Turn', but I don't see it as less anthropocentric, if anything even more dismissive of science and technologies impersonality.
If you mean the idea of 'Reality'  as a social construct found in the Humanities it results in absurd nonsense, LaTour claiming that TB didn't exist before Robert Koch discovered the  bacillus causing tuberculosis in 1882, more recently Timothy Morton claimed that Heidegger said that gravity  didn't exist before Newton (he didn't say that of course) and he claimed the Higgs particle would not be found as according to the theories of his (and Harman's) ontology it couldn't, he made this 6 months before it was found. Interesting that Hegarty picks up on Morton's Dark Ecology in his book.

I think the Cage example is apt and correct.  I think that people have a constant tendency to engage themselves with the sounds around them, and that the types of sounds they engage with just change depending on the circumstances they find themselves in.  The quieter it is, the smaller the sounds you find yourself noticing.

It also makes me wonder, is any "recording" of 4' 33" best classified as a field recording?  It certainly seems to have a different intent than any field recording, but would otherwise be very similar in regards to the sounds it would capture.

I'd say any recording of 4' 33” is no different to any recording of other works of Cage or any musical performance. I suppose you could call them field recordings, of any un-edited live or studio music. But I wouldn't, for me a field recording is an attempt to record something – sound- which  occurs that is not a 'performance'.  But there are obvious problems there, what of recordings of the cries in a street market? What about Messiaen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivier_Messiaen#Birdsong   I think 'intent' might be useful.

But then one can appreciate Birdsong, the noise of waves, is this different to appreciating music? This throws the Art status onto the listener, but then Art becomes a social construct. I have to disagree to that. Cage created 4' 33" not society...?   




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« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2021, 05:35:45 PM »

Last Chapter.



Noise Hunger Noise Consumption: The Question of How Much Is Enough

First given as a talk at Noisexistance, Bremen, 2016. This is a difficult chapter to précis. It begins with a statement “Noise is not what it used to be.” Then questions, “Have we had enough? Too much?” then many more questions about the nature of noise and numerous sources and commentaries on noise including Hegarty self-referencing his own previous work. From noise being negative, primal, communicative order based on abuse, right-wing extremism... apathy, gentrified. “Noise music did not ruin either the idea of noise, or the practice of avant-garde shock.... we can observe is the sense of relief that noise is in some way over...”  “writers should acknowledge we have been slow to recentre the idea of thought, where music that was or would be caught up in tangled sets of judgements about what would or should not count as music, or as music of a particular genre, or of appropriateness.” I think in simple terms this is an explanation of something that occurred in Fine Art some 50 years ago, and is occurring in poetry now. It may not be so obvious in music, modernist music, but in Fine Art around the 1970s modernist ideas imploded. For various reasons, but all centring on validation and definition. “What is Art?” The answers are only two, in modernism. Nothing and or anything and everything. Either way its game over for a modernist art that shocked the bourgeoisie and was ever new, ever avant garde. To paraphrase Don Judd, 'if someone calls it Music it's Music'. Obviously this does present a problem for writers discussing the status of noise, or any sound for that matter. He makes the point that  “Like all anti-art, success is failure.” Hegarty identifies HN and especially HNW with an idea of excess or fullness, and associates this with 'pleroma' - 'the totality or fullness of the Godhead', in which this can be regarded as the succession of progress in the avant-garde, and I think he wants to challenge this idea “Harsh noise wall is a sign of completion, of being sated with noise, and is one of the last sounds...” but like all previous avant-gardes its is not necessarily so. So he adds “Harsh noise wall is not the culmination of noise, but it is a type of ending..." He uses Vomir and Puce Mary's Piss Flowers as examples, in the latter “noise about noise”. Having identified the seeming finality of HNW he argues it needn't stop, that Vomir's repetition without difference could be like Yves Klien's blue paintings, or what followed Cage's 4' 33”, however he also sees this as “A never-ending decline” of his heat death scenario. But the kind of Art which Kline was involved is no longer the case or possible, or is the 'music' of Cage, where it does it regains an aesthetic, as in Wandelweiser. If fine art is anything to go by this aesthetic will become shocking and then overtly political. If not an eternal return of the same, maybe a return of ever more queer differences.
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« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2021, 07:48:15 PM »

That view of the world that you describe sounds anthropocentric and more than a little disappointing (I wonder what the later Heidegger might have said in response).
I find Heidegger's latter work more difficult than the earlier, the famous 'Turn', but I don't see it as less anthropocentric, if anything even more dismissive of science and technologies impersonality.
If you mean the idea of 'Reality'  as a social construct found in the Humanities it results in absurd nonsense, LaTour claiming that TB didn't exist before Robert Koch discovered the  bacillus causing tuberculosis in 1882, more recently Timothy Morton claimed that Heidegger said that gravity  didn't exist before Newton (he didn't say that of course) and he claimed the Higgs particle would not be found as according to the theories of his (and Harman's) ontology it couldn't, he made this 6 months before it was found. Interesting that Hegarty picks up on Morton's Dark Ecology in his book.

I think the Cage example is apt and correct.  I think that people have a constant tendency to engage themselves with the sounds around them, and that the types of sounds they engage with just change depending on the circumstances they find themselves in.  The quieter it is, the smaller the sounds you find yourself noticing.

It also makes me wonder, is any "recording" of 4' 33" best classified as a field recording?  It certainly seems to have a different intent than any field recording, but would otherwise be very similar in regards to the sounds it would capture.

I'd say any recording of 4' 33” is no different to any recording of other works of Cage or any musical performance. I suppose you could call them field recordings, of any un-edited live or studio music. But I wouldn't, for me a field recording is an attempt to record something – sound- which  occurs that is not a 'performance'.  But there are obvious problems there, what of recordings of the cries in a street market? What about Messiaen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivier_Messiaen#Birdsong   I think 'intent' might be useful.

But then one can appreciate Birdsong, the noise of waves, is this different to appreciating music? This throws the Art status onto the listener, but then Art becomes a social construct. I have to disagree to that. Cage created 4' 33" not society...?   


In bringing up Heidegger, I was referring to the shift in emphasis from Dasein to Being that the later work seems to have, in which the human being is somehow dependent upon Being - rather than the other way around.  It is likely true that he remained anthropocentric, though.

Intent has to be a key concern, as without it many clearly different things would end up collapsing into one vague unity.  I wonder whether throwing the status of art onto the listener necessitates art becoming a social construct, though.  It might just be a broadening of potential venues for aesthetic experience to go beyond what is recognized as "art" in society?
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