sábado, 13 de março de 2010

Au naturel

A recent article in The Telegraph describes the characteristics that separate “natural” from “un-natural” music and “explains” why audiences dislike the latter. This has raised some heated criticism. 
I didn’t know that there was such a thing as “natural” music. I always thought that there’s nothing “natural” about writing some symbols of sounds on paper and later have some musicians grab mallets, bows or use complex mechanisms such as a piano or an organ to recreate those sounds.
But according to these theories, certain types of music  may be  more “natural” than others...
This raises a personal and difficult to deal with question. Are we producing “un-natural” music, those of us who have been using electronically produced “un-natural” sounds or real sounds from our acoustic environment? Am I artificial? A cyborg of sorts...?
The title of the article is in itself an outrageous statement. We learn that audiences hate modern classical music. I always thought that audiences hated any attack on their aesthetic beliefs and on their culturally wired values. And I also thought that it all depends on the package and the wrapping. Audiences that may hate modern classical music, love it, accept it and fully understand it in the context of, say, a movie.
But I didn’t know this was “natural”. Otherwise I would have changed my musical lexicon years ago... 
Throughout the history of western music, scandal and outrage have surrounded a lot of “natural” music, that seem perfectly “natural” now, and the same scandal and outrage were present in many other forms of art.
What is “natural” music? Even if you can prove that there may be a common element that crosses different and seemingly opposite cultures, who would want to build an entire art form solely based on that? 
As Collin Holter puts it “Of course music with readily perceptible patterns is easier to grok. Crossword puzzles consisting of thematically related clues are, I imagine, easier to complete than the other kind.” 

So it is easier and more “natural” to let a patient die of leukemia than to replace that natural bone marrow... 

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