October 23, 2005

Internet - The End of MusicoPolitical Theatre?

A few more words about Rzewski's comments during Kyle Gann's pre-concert interview Thursday night.  He recommeneded an 'open source' approach to all musical scores.  He claimed that he was putting all of his scores that weren't under contractual agreements online for free download.  'Music should be free' he claimed. 

This was after his previously mentioned comments bashing the iPoddification of music away from live performance.  I'm just trying to figure this guy out...  So he sees the Internet solely as a means to promote performances but not listens.  Now, why would someone pitch that to an audience of Columbia students/New Music Fans? 

My theory is that there is a confusion at work here with regards to what listening is.  If the Internet essentially functions as asynchronous radio, how is that a bad thing for music? 

It seems that Rzewski, because he looks at his ouevre as very political and ritual music theatre, needs to believe that the iPod will never become the predominant venue.  His extra-musical message is lost.  You can't insist that the listener to 32 Variations look at a red curtain for an hour like he could at the concert.  This extra-musical infatuation with ideas, ultimately is what is problematic about Internet distro. 

Heh, he also could not explain the dearth of political music.  It's my guess that he blames the Internet for that too.  Right, the 60's were not a generation of me-obsessed narcissists.  The draft drove the anti-war movement.  Not music.  Duh?  Old Hippies... what can I say.  Do everything my way cuz I'm old and angry and know better! 

I kid... good concert after all, but strange interview.

Posted by jeff at October 23, 2005 10:34 AM | TrackBack