Friday, February 27, 2015

A new humility in music, Juhani Vesikkala guest blogs

I am very happy to say that the first guest blog here on ACUTETHICS (and I plan more) is Juhani Vesikkala.
His predictions of music in 2020 inspired me to write my last blog and I think it is great that he responded with this, as he put it, "crystallisation" and continuation of the things he started upon on his conference blog, which quite understandably could not touch upon everything in such a vast subject.
You can read it here and my responce to it here. But lets listen to Juhani:
The “local context” indeed is and has been the prevailing way of delivering music and interdisciplinary artistic experiences especially. That is where the most effort will be put in the future as long as most consumers of the arts tend to stay for extended time in one city and enjoy the supply of cultural experiences locally. Experiencing local performances allow for more visual- or physical –oriented forms of art that are poorly presented with detached recordings or even live streaming. On the other hand, a local cultural supply doesn’t easily happen to offer those influences and initiatives that a consumer would need (knowingly or not) at a given moment. More personally, the culture of being able to voice your opinion about new music heard in a concert right away seems problematic to me. I do however participate in that culture since the standard concert venues and concert etiquette seldom allow for alternatives. Listening to performances with a subgroup of the same select few thousand people (be it locally or in international festival contexts) means being part of a pretty homogeneous aesthetic niche and the contemporary music etiquette, and that’s a hard-to-change situation. Many initiatives for change inside the niche might actually counteract each other. I actually prefer consuming music at home, being able to pause, mix, rewind, analyse, or stop entirely, and always have all the references available to me per web or elsewhere. Is that a social form of music that brings us nearer to funders? By no means. It is a form of listening made feasible in the last three decades or so, a selfish consumerist tactic that relies on everything interesting or emotionally functional being available, which of course has its flaws. Neither forms of listening, namely: observing a live social acoustic performance or listening to medium-quality audio privately without many visual elements and regardless of an existing timeline, are at all complete ways of experiencing music. And I don’t think we need a given piece of music to deliver to us in full, we just take what our perception, interests, and allotted time allow us to.
Extremely often, “local structures for creatives” are indeed more important than international ones. Creatives however tend to travel a lot, even when they have a limited number of headquarter cities for their support systems to dwell in. That can make schemes of funding less effective or less transparent.
As it is now, we have very little “active responsibility” in the present system, convention, or tradition as you say. Young people working for and in a new music have immense responsibility towards forming a new system.

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