Vol. 29, No. 1 (2009)
Publication date: 2010-02-03
Number of articles: 16
Editorial: Nickel- and Dime-ing - PDF through Erudit
Tom Johnson : le simple du village - PDF through Erudit
Tom Johnson is a Chicago-born composer now living in France, where he enjoys a certain celebrity, thanks in part to the success of his operas. His case is interesting, however, as an anachronistic manifestation of simplicity in music—in the meaning intended by the complexity or chaos theories. A pupil of Morton Feldman as well as an admirer of Satie and Cage, he participated actively in the life of the New York school through his reviews in the well-known magazine The Village Voice, pushing the logic of minimalism to its ultimate entrenchments. Indeed, his post-Duchamp conception of the found object applies in particular to the mathematic formulae he puts into music in the strictest way, without any addition of feeling, without interpretation, yet with a dimension that could be called playful. A practising Protestant, Tom Johnson refuses the halo effect of being labelled a composer and prefers the humble status of “finder.” The unrelenting determinism of his sonic finds, their disembodied, clock-like mechanism go against many a listening reflex and many aesthetic tendencies. Thus can the “voice of the Village” be said to sound strangely “simple” in the grandiloquent jumble of the European intellect.
Pour une histoire sociale de la musique de George Crumb dans les années 1970 - PDF through Erudit
“Towards a Social History of George Crumb’s Music in the 1970s” wishes to show that the art of this American composer (b. 1929) reflects in a kaleidoscopic manner the changing nature of society. By readily applying various facets of the notion of “metaphor,” Crumb’s visionary output relates as much to the mysteries of spirituality as to the throes of death. Thus, the symbolic approach to musical composition follows the analysis of socio-cultural realities as well as the socio-political circumstances of the time.
The Apostasy Of George Rochberg - PDF through Erudit
An exploration of George Rochberg’s much-publicized rejection of musical modernism—in particular serialism—in the early 1960s. The paper will explore Rochberg’s conception of musical time and space, duration in music and its relationship to the roles of memory, identity, intuition, and perception in the shaping of human experience. It will explain his notion of the “metaphysical gap between human consciousness and cosmos,” which he derived in part from Wittgenstein’s proposition that ethical and aesthetic judgments lie outside the property of language. In Rochberg’s view, serialism fails to provide an organic three-dimensional model of duration as experienced through the human perception of time: past (memory) and future (anticipation) become conflated into a continuous present, and the crucial balance between information and redundancy has malfunctioned.
Madness in Linda Bouchard’s Black Burned Wood - PDF through Erudit
With its images of paranoia, anger, resignation, and infantilism, Linda Bouchard’s Black Burned Wood may easily be aligned with musical representations of madwomen. The text, a cycle of eleven poems collected under the title “Sara Songs” takes the form of a rambling monologue in which Sara struggles to come to grips with her role in an unspecified but horrible act. Although the syntactic structure and verbal content of the poems place Sara in a state of derangement, it is the musical setting that is responsible for the instantaneous and overwhelmingly raw portrayal of Sara’s madness. This paper explores the use of fragmentation, non-linearity, musical fixation, and dissonance to musically represent Sara’s madness.
Music, History, Autonomy, and Presentness: When Composers and Philosophers Cross SwordsMartin Kaltenecker and François Nicolas, eds. 2006. Penser l’oeuvre musicale au XXe siècle: avec, sans ou contre l’histoire? Paris: Centre de documentation de la musique contemporaine. 134 pp. ISBN: 2-9516440-9-4 (paper) - PDF through Erudit
Notes from the Discipline
Survey of University-Based Music Programs in Canada - PDF through Erudit
This study provides a compact overview of university-based music programs in Canada based on information gleaned from surveys of institutional members of the Canadian University Music Society (CUMS)—universities, colleges, and conservatories. The surveys took place between 2005 and 2009. The current report focuses on the metrics of enrolment and staffing, and goes on to provide basic data on graduate and undergraduate programs. It is a first step in sharing information that can facilitate informed advocacy in support of music in higher education both within and beyond individual institutions.