Sunday, July 8, 2012

One of the crowd

While searching on post minimalism in music, I quickly came across the seminal essay by Kyle Gann from '98. It's a good read, and I'm in the camp of believers - believers that it existed that is - mainly because of the disconcerting fact that his post describes me well. One likes to think that one arrived at one's place in life by one's own decisions, one's own will, one's own process, but the reality is that one is swept along by the currents of history. I too was raised a believer in modernity, a believer in the goodness of complexity, and I too had the Damascene conversion while listening to Einstein on the Beach in the late 70s. I too can't shake off the old feelings while embracing the new and I too was led to the same places: rhythm and accessibility and tonality-with-an-edge.

It reminds me of a story that I believe Jim Bisso told me about his Palestinian friend asking him what religion he was, to which Jim replied atheist or whatever and his friend then saying no no no, what religion are you?  I mean, what religion were you born into?  That's a caste you cannot change. We put on the coat of our place and time and culture and family. I am the composer I am because I am here now and that's a choice I cannot unmake.
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