sǝıbǝʇɐɹʇs ǝnbıןqo

December 2, 2011

n.b. Don’t forget to check out Alexis del Palazzo’s “Breaking the Cycle” here.

I. – The Shuffle
In the not-too-distant past, I finally acquired a deck of Oblique Strategy cards.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Oblique Strategies, it is a deck of over 100 cards authored in 1975 by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Each card contains a short aphoristic instruction such as “Honour thy error as a hidden intention” or “Work at a different speed.”  Like many owners of the deck, I use it in somewhat of an oracular fashion, occasionally drawing a card at the start of an artistic endeavor or perhaps consulting the deck if I’m stuck within a particularly thorny creative conundrum. Interested parties can purchase a deck here. 

II – The Deal
In the much-more-recent past, I set about strategizing my initial essay for IPAP’s current series of responses and reactions to Listen To ThisAlex Ross’s recent collection of essays. My essay, as it had originally existed in my head, drew from the last three-and-one-fifth pages (from the bottom of p. 18 in the U.S. hardcover edition) of Ross’s “trumpet-blast manifesto” of a first chapter in order to sound a complementary call-to-arms.  It hoped to encourage performers to base their artistic identity in their instrument itself rather than in any specific repertoire and to move towards a type of pan-stylistic model of performative musicianship, using – as an example of one approach to this – the music of Janice Whaley, whose work we will be discussing here in the near future. To accomplish this, the essay would synthesize, among other things, the financial straits of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the role of improvisation in organ pedagogy, Michael Tilson Thomas, Marx’s mode of production, Deadmau5, Duke Ellington, David Foster Wallace, the Oxford comma, and Locatelli. Read the rest of this entry »

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