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Education: Rotterdam Conservatory, Cambridge University // Activities: composition, writing

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Conformist bubble

Every year, the Donaueschinger Musiktage - a festival of sound art - presents 'new works', chewing on aesthetics and ideas half a century old, with ever reinforced efforts to keep the myth of postwar modernism intact. The results are, however, primitive as always, and have nothing to do with music which is an art form based on fixed pitches which form relationships with each other. There is nothing wrong with sound art, but the stunning phenomenon that so many people call it 'music', and its creators 'composers', can only be explained by the thorough conformism which reigns within the bubble of sonicism. Elsewhere I have already written about the German sonic artist Helmut Lachenmann ('Be liberated!').....

..... with sufficient arguments. Festivals like the Donaueschingen can only be described as entirely conformist, conventional showcases for ambitious people without musical talents or musical understanding, parading as 'progressive composers', entirely unaware of the primitive nature of the results of their efforts and the old tradition of their futurism. It would be so much more honest if the festival would drop the claim that it is about music, and fully embrace the description of sonic art ('Klangkunst'), instead of presenting their sounds as music which is an entirely false claim. It seems that nowadays, females are entering the field, to give the art form another gloss of 'progressiveness'. That gendered conformism does not alter the results, is however an insight still escaping the sonic idealists.