MUSIC, SOUNDS, GARBAGE, NOISE & POLITICS
About music, art & the anti-fascist existence
Music is more than the reproduction of tones, it is a process of creating and producing sounds and forces. The tone is first of all just a noise that is being filtered and is bound in a canon of rules - and only becomes a tone in these circumstances. The music of the whole occident builds a system, creates models that filter the noise, the “garbage”, the “rauschen” (a german word for rustle (leaves, silk, radio), rush (flowing water, wind), roar (storm, waves); rausch - intoxication, drunkenness; rauscshend - rustling etc., orgiastic (party) swelling (music)). Here the word is used to describe the electrical noise and allude to the other meanings of the words) and the currents of sound. The computer, the sampler and the synthesizer are machines that through the varied possibilities of sound synthesis and calculations not only make new sounds audible and new structure possible but also restructures the process of music production itself. It is the musical work with structures and sound material itself that allows new energies and intensities to be captured.
We are becoming deaf and musically unconscious when we hear nearly nothing but “perfect” harmony, perfect structures, just new academism, repetition and its refrain. Perfect melodies and “perfect” chords in popular music, “perfect” structure, instrumentation and electro-acoustic sounds in the new music scene, just a circulation of clean and sound currents, cleaned of the noises, “garbage” and sounds that could disturb “prosperity”, that's what music offers us today. This use of chords, melodies, voices, structures and electro-acoustic sounds that claim to be the music itself, create an aesthetic of boredom, a self sufficient repetition and artistic conformity. The tracks are overwhelmed by signature tunes, the concert halls by “classical” compositions and “new music” academism. This is the potential fascism in music. People are being manipulated into passivity and conformity by the computer sound, the synthesizer, the “new” pop tune and the “new music” academism. So the structure, the harmony, the chord, the sound even the tone itself must explode; one must open the door to noise itself, make even the channel to the sound currents quake.
I work with methods, instruments and tools that can directly inspire the process of producing sound structures, which will molecularise (break down) the forms of music and at the same time expand them. The new music-machines (computers, music software, algorithms) can be used to reject technologically or musically defined precision ideals, and to continuously produce unpredictable results, complications and implications. All this by multiplying noise, sounds, politics, notes and creating interfaces for the new.
About my music & noise
In classical music, and in the new academic modern music, the emphasis is on the relationship between various pitches and durations of a note, which are the reasons for melody and harmony, in my music
I place importance on other elements, for example the relationship between synchrony and asynchrony, or precision of sounds versus imprecision. Going from disorder to order in music interests me. Going from disorder into a greater disorder interest me even more. The most immediately audible characteristic of my music is its noisiness. Abrasive, loud, fast. The textures are never sweet or satisfying in the conventional sense; one has only to hear the primal screams ”Pig iron” (The celestial fire CD/ANKARSTRÖM-Ö10 (Dror Feiler Solo)) for tenor saxophone & live electronics, the punk-free improvised thrash of ”Tio Stupor” (Saxophone con forza PSCD 81 Jörgen Petterson)) for alto saxophone & live electronics or “Point Blank” for chamber ensemble & live electronics (commissioned by Donaueschingen festival and performed by Klangforum Wien at Donaueschingen festival 2003; (Point Blank PSCD 155) to realize that neither a pathetic classical prettiness nor a pretentious romantic resolution has any place in those work of music, except as an antagonism. Nor do these works admit the conventions of modern and contemporary chamber music unproblematically.
Noise, in the widest possible sense, is one of the central elements in my music as for its more popular “musical cousin” the Noise music. The abrasive raucousness, in the music is an attempt to alter how people hear. Noise, as sound out of its familiar context, is confrontational, affective and transformative. It has shock value, and defamiliarizes the listener who expects from music an easy fluency, a secure familiarity, or any sort of mollification. Noise, that is, politicizes the aural environment.
My music uses ”noise” that is ”noise in itself; but noise, in this connotation, is not simply haphazard or natural sound, the audible "background" that encroaches on a work such as Cage's 4'33", as the audience is forced by the tacit piano to listen to its own shufflings, or to the urban soundscapes that emerge through an open window. It is a noise that is always impure, tainted, derivative and, in the romantic sense of the term, beautiful like in OpFor & DiaMat by the Too Much Too Soon Orchestra (What is the point of Paris? CD/FYCD 1007).
My music is difficult in the sense that Adorno finds Schoenberg's music difficult - not because it is pretentious or obscure, but because it demands active participation from the listener (as well as from the players, who are themselves listeners). As organized sound, this music demands from the very beginning active and concentrated listening, the most acute attention to simultaneous multiplicity, the renunciation of the customary crutches of a listening and the intensive perception of the unique and the specific. The more it gives to listeners, the less it offers them. It requires the listener spontaneously to compose its inner movement and demands of him not mere contemplation but praxis.
About music, Che Guevara & the revolution
Che Guevara made the choice to dedicate and than sacrifice his own life to a revolution. A last inaccessible event that mostly leaves the survivors only with traces of desperation and loneliness. And yet it is this last absolutely unique choice that allowed him to become his own and from one moment to another, left us only with the power that is found in his work. Perhaps it was not the kind of suicide which Foucault spoke of as an act which should be thought about, that illuminates life, but more the radical refusal to give up the realistic dream of the revolution ... Che himself thought of life, the energies that life releases within itself and the act of forcing the struggle, as a great experiment to overcome the possibilities of existence and the ways of life which one is a prisoner in. Life is more and even beyond than the biological force, in every moment it should create new constructions by opening the lines of resistance. Just as life is the discovery of the new and setting itself free of the self to be able to think of the new, so must music draw vanishing lines, withdraw from the mechanisms of being shut in, avoid the permanent control and hyper-information.
As part of the modern capitalist society music is in danger of perishing in random samples, data, markets, instrumentation patterns, institutions and computer nets, or of suffocating in the gigantic tautological machinery of the media industry, that continuously sends back the opinions of the masses, that they, as media, formulated.
We need music that is the differential, that neither compromises or thinks of surrender, but carries on even in the shadow and disguise like the guerrilla fighters and draws active disappearing lines in the fields of society.
We need music that is a labyrinth, a rich ensemble of relations; diversity, heterogeneity, breaks, unexpected links and long monotonies. It is the vision of a life that opens the ways and allows the horizon of resistance to light up.
In my music I want always to deal with the grim problems in life: Shrapnel (war) ; Beat the White the red wedge (Revolution) ; Schlafbrand (Second World War) ; Let the Millionaires go Naked (Revenge of the poor); Halat Hisar (Israeli-Palestinian conflict); Müll (the filtering process of the unwanted).
Aesthetics per se does not interest me. More than that, it is dangerous. When I compose or play, I do not look for beauty, but for truth. I often depict, fortissimo and at great length; a violent struggle is heard but as in Halat Hisar (Under Siege) the composition does not describe the siege it is the siege itself.
Whenever I dedicate a composition or write IN MEMORIAM, i.e. Che Guevara in Ember, the palestinian peoples struggle in Intifada and the foreign workers in Europe in Gola’, it is not so much a question of an inspirational motif or a nostalgic memory, but on the contrary, of a becoming that is confronting its own danger, even taking a fall in order to rise again: a becoming as far as it is the content of the music itself, and it continues to the point of end... Becoming, so that the music goes beyond itself.