Saturday, 19 January 2013

Live Blog from New Projects Weekend (3)


Eric just asked me whether I felt that the question “what is music?” was valid. Personally, I’m not that interested in it, since it has been asked often enough during my lifetime (and before). But that’s a function of my being an old fart. The reason that I spend so much time comparing one artist to another is because I have had twenty odd years to read up about them. And Wikipedia made that even easier.
Eric recognised that Caries was perhaps more about the artist’s aims than the audience experience but, as a critic, I am supposed to be writing about the audience experience.
Supposed to be… what else can I do? I don’t know what the artist experiences, unless I read something about their experience and then it’s just a critique of a critique.
Still Graham Mack looks like he’s my age. A guitar, some drums, some pedals wait while the musician has nipped off to the bar.
The problem with the Live Blog is that it has to be fast. I have enjoyed the two musicians so far, but the tumult of experience, and the conflict of trying to write down thoughts as they occur makes the usual clarity of expression difficult. Best to think of this as being like a version of automatic writing. It isn’t what it appears to be. It’s gibberish and the meaning is in the subtext.
I am sneaking a peak over Eric’s shoulder. He is asking questions about noise and art. I might have a little chat with him. But Graham Mack’s is strolling past. He is wearing a beard and a flat cap. He is preparing himself.
Eric is asking questions about the meaning of the music. I have replied that the meaning happens at that point where the audience and artist touch.
“Isn’t that what got you kicked out of the lap-dancing club,” answered Eric.
“I mean metaphorically. What you feel is what the artist is communicating to you.”
“So I just felt annoyance.”
“Maybe that is what he wanted to communicate. There’s plenty to be annoyed about.”
“I understand that with punk.”
“Punk tends to evangelise about itself, saying you ought to be angry at certain things. But Caries might be encouraging the audience to go to a certain emotional space and see what is there. If music evokes emotions, the listener can give that emotion content. For you, Caries was rage. For me, it was melancholic but also grand. A story of lost love…”
“Maybe you had that emotion already and Caries just soundtracked it.”

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