Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Music is a Pleasure Thing

World music is often inappropriately described as the music of indigenous peoples using indigenous instruments and voices.    Such a general term has very little communicative use in any musicological context.  The rhythms and instrumentations of the innumerable indigenous musics all deserve their own descriptor.  Throughout the late twentieth century, as the concept of indigenousness became exploited and altered by imperial interests, a more rugged brand of hermetically attuned world-conscious music began to manifest.  "Music can bring people together" is a pretty accurate description of the modus operandi behind this other kind of world music (i.e. http://www.discogs.com/Various-Music-And-Rhythm/release/451683) -- bringing together the scattered and dissociated enclaves of artists tuned-in to the primitive futurist vibe, and the followers.  Fourth-world (dance) music manifestly aspired to elevate culture above the three-world system via an ethnomusicological understanding of the "uses" of music.   The music aspired to cultivate a collective unconsciousness by tapping the human genealogy in a kind of philosophical anthropology.   The infinite tree of music -- recently revolutionized by the electronic music movement and electronic music sharing  -- bears infinite fruits of conceptual hybridization, deconstruction, and pure innovation. 

Musicians, dancers and lovers always already have a worldview regarding what they believe music can do -- for describing the ways things Really are, for enabling us to get together and/or feel in new ways, for healing, alchemy, dancing, celebration, prayer, for love, for hate, for wallowing, etc.  What music can mean to us is also a direct result of how deeply we invest ourselves in the research of what there can possibly be to feel, to make, and to mean (the unforeseen functions) -- so how we feel depends on the depth and character of our curiosity. 

Ashra, for instance, arrived at their world vibe coming from kosmische (a pretty curious scene), and were able to break through to the mainstream synthesizing electronic avant garde ideas with pop minimalism and psych primitivism, similarly to Kraftwerk.  They wrote songs using classical song-stucture as a template -- deconstructing and synthesizing classic psych rock with the gradual, beatific unfoldments of minimalist classical composers -- electronic and otherwise.  It's easy to get lost in the misleading simplicity of their song-structured ragas, as Manual Gottsching's isomorphic iterations attach seamlessly over Harald Grosskopf's spectral geometries -- it's a dream come true.

But just as with all dreaming (Music is dreaming -- structured like a language), we should perform a vibratory analysis on music to figure out what kinds of desires, drives and experiences inform the grammar of the artists -- what vibes are on the stage in the Real theater of personal images?   Some of those with an interest in the uses of music have militated against the music of unhealthy drives and desires -- Everything is everything, after all?  That is, at least, not everything is sadness, angst, paranoia, lamentation of lack, mere wishes for fulfillment.  Cosmic music has always prioritized curiosity about the Worlds we can possibly traverse/inhabit ( http://mutant-sounds.blogspot.com/2007/12/clara-mondshine-luna.html ) -- the levels of difference that can possibly exist.  Our (holographic) minds are mirrors of the (holographic) universe.  The people playing and enjoying cosmic music (and science fiction for that matter) must have always felt a fundamental uneasiness about remaining sedentary in their minds -- going elsewhere is sometimes a necessary utopia.  

Cosmic disco ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro/Cosmic_music ) -- maybe more than any other cosmic genre -- has been preoccupied with exploring the pleasurable zones of the universe -- similar to 90's rave subculture.  Fortunately, cosmic disco comes from a kind of healthy hedonistic drive, more inclined to figure out how to get to those strange and pleasurable regions than to settle on a simulation (or a shortcut).  Maybe this is because cosmic people have understood that,
"all experience can be seen to be vibration of one form or another, including the act of perceiving. This realization allows the individual to step outside the Physical experience, and see that Life is also a fundamental Element of existence."

By intensifying the relationship between experience and perception, we are taken deeper into the experiences and perceptions themselves -- the outline of the foreground becomes the inline of the background.  Hallucinations are the experience of the destruction of the boundary between inside and outside; life and art; time and space -- the things one chooses to explore define one's experience.  The disappearance of the subject and the reappearance of the self as a contributor to our own story brings us closer to the thing, the other, and ourselves as we become more fluent in pataphysical grammar and the play of subject positions.  

That is, perception and experience are resonant phenomena in a feedback relationship that is always in turn resonant with other feedback relationships.  In simpler terms,
Good thoughts bring forth good fruit
Bullshit thoughts rot your meat
Think right, and you can fly
The kingdom of heaven is within
Free your mind, and your ass will follow
Hypnagogia as the liminal state of enjoyment where we can pass thru any realm(s) and really play with the images behind our ideas (and so on) comes with a certain confidence of the It (that is, the Real you) and a certain cost (children are naive and get fucked with).  "getting in" and then exploring one's childlike states/cosmic space in the imaginal realm(s) requires a re-innocencing where expectations of the world are uninstalled and one can explore the fundamentally Unknown/unpredictable nature of thangs in the universe. 

The child's view is inherently an ethics of openness due to innocence.  Children only have the prejudices of their parents -- parents (and those the parents choose to involve their kids with) imprint their vibes on their child's view.   This is why children are able to rearrange their prejudices so easily if they have the gifts of reason and perspective -- their minds are fundamentally open to suggestion and prone to curiosity.  The child's view is also ruled by the drive towards pleasure -- like a more primitive Debussy -- "Pleasure is the Law. .  "  The child always asks the question, "are these toys relevant to my Desire?"

But isn't pop music then what World music was trying to be, though (ahem -- MIA?) ?  That is, music to unify people by tapping the Real OG unconscious desires.  Is it just all just music attuned to the lessons of the past?  is pleasure Really the Law?  ariel pink's hardcore pops may have repaved the way for subterranean pop fun to live again, but it should be noted that a cockroach unconsciously manifested the blueprint for the underground pop jollies of yestermorrow back in the early eighties (with a YMO flair) :

But Ariel's achievement isn't merely the re-mastery of homemade hermeticism, but being the first subterranean to wake up in the nu age of worth with the electronic enlightenment.  Amateur musicology can become a cosmic vision quest in the nu age with the right influences.  Therefore, it's pure kismet that an Ariel Pink DJ set would be an utterly viral, trance inducing set of other/worldly pop crystals. 

and never forget, music is Really a pleasure thing:

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