Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm intrigued by the crossover aspect--where music (including voice intonation--detonation--you said it better!) won't fit in the box, maybe in spite of the desires of the composer(s); or even vice versa: where an individual or group strenuously try to break out of the box, but the wider culture-gravity...

I'm curious, what do you mean with the latter?

I think this culture-style thing is fuzzier than that, and fuzzier than I first made it. Even if say French hip-hop is not like US-American English hip-hop, it's still different from what was there. The combination (language+style) has to work, meaning changes to both, and I would even say there will be a change (enhancement, addition, new variant) the 'entire' language. In the example, I mean both English in which it grew originally and French into it it was transplanted and then grew on on its own. I think "self-consciously nationalist music" is a somewhat different thing; not in practice: it also involves creative adaptation of styles from outside; but in its ideology: the focus is not in the mixing and fitting but on the creation of categoric separation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm curious, what do you mean with the latter?

(These are my muddled thoughts):

In the attempt to break out of limited (in this context musical) cultural environments, it's hard not to end up tinkering within, making superficial changes without being able to hear (because we're using music as context)--in some way--the wider structural impositions.  My simple example is the four beat: it's ubiquity is recent (here's my guess: before the advent of television the most common beats were threes and twos, the folk music steps, foxtrot, polka, mazurka, tango, waltz, etc.)  The four beat of, say, Johnny B. Goode, with its chugginess is--if we think of dancing to music--more a ONE an TWO an ONE an TWO an... oompa choompa, which (my knowledge of folk dances is very limited)...is sorta polka-like (?) but with an added hip kick...

Anyways, (I may have that all wrong!) groups and individuals will experiment with guitar sounds, vocal sounds, verse-chorus structure--but...move away from the four beat?  (And I'd go a bit further and say its actually a sub-element of the four beat that is to the fore--but I haven't listened to much contemporary music recently--so I'm throwing a few stereotypes around--trying to make my point, badly!)

Ach: how about this non-musical example?  I don't know how true it is now, but in the late eighties, early nineties, the japanese who came over to england had a uniquely japanese approach to western fashions: what they'd do (this was my experience) is, they'd dress from head to toe (from hair cut to shoes) in the fashions they'd seen in magazines.  Thing is, very few people here actually dressed like that.  There'd be one item or two from the fashion rails maybe, but there was actually a term (fashion victim) for a person who bedecked themselves is bought-fashion.  The idea was (as I say I'm way out of the loop now) that you'd have to invent a bit yourself--

So within the UK culture there were limits imposed--to break out of that might be an urge, but the wider culture (you have to invent a bit yourself and...I dunno....people have to notice and give you the positive nod in some way) was unseen--but it was clearly there because the japanese, who didn't know these rules, loved the fashion culture but they couldn't quite get...that they had absorbed it in their own way.

Of course, from all these mixings and matchings and clashings and contrastings new forms arise.  I don't know much about all the nineteenth century nationalistic movements in music, but I'd guess that the very idea of trying to create a national sound using modern techniques (e.g. full orchestra) must have bent whatever Tchaikovsky chose to use as source material (whether musical, ideological, or other(s))

Is all that confusing?  The compare and contrast in the context of this diary would be to find musicians stepping wide outside their cultural situation, but in an enlightened away, using synthesis because they can, for some reason (my guess: their upbringing in the home) see within and without and rather than passing value judgments they can synthesise such that the new sound(s)...is and are traceable but the package is very much in a (I want to say higher, but only because I'm using the thesis-antithesis-synthesis model--how about 'more encompassing'?) way.  The best example in this diary (for me) is Yat Kha, though I think some of the nordic material you've posted has that element (and northern germany?)  An alternative comparison is with Einstürzende Neubauten who (again, for my ears) turned the other way and attempted to decontsruct western music by pointing to its industrial structure...or maybe not--!  ;)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 10:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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