Creating filtered version of banner image.

Be the Mule Blog


Tonight I was hanging out with a student, a friend really, that I began teaching about 6 years ago. We don't really have lessons anymore, but we keep in touch irregularly and trade music, improvise when I am around, and find ways to challenge each other. He's a natural creator, since he was 12 or something when we started. He was curious to take things and place them in his own way, or ask a question in regards to something we hadn't gotten to. Learning a major scale, he would ask what happens if you change a note, if is it still the major scale. It was hard for me to say, "we're learning the major scale right now, we will deal with that later". I love that inquisitive nature, and Im that way as well. To a fault, as it can leave things half done or half studied, but I'll take it, its where Im able to feel truly artistic. I just need an editor friend. And someone I am willing to listen to when they tell me to be patient.

So my friend and I were hanging out and we improvised for like 40 minus or so. Its very natural and there is no competition, nothing to prove, so you can find something worth exploring. There also is no audience, so my shame cycle is turned off. Music for music's sake. Afterwards we were talking about new bands we listen to, or old bands we listen to in new ways. Its encouraging, fascinating, all sorts of things, for me to hear how someone thats 17 is finding new music, what they are looking for out of music and its role in their lives. I often relate to young people, or people on the fringe, as they are seeking. They want new, and they are unafraid of it, and by it. They are aware much of what they were told or taught has been complete bullshit and unimportant, they are naturally resistant to compliance, and this guides their taste in music. My student would be I guess a special case, but nonetheless, he's got friends, and they hang and listen and do all the digging and non-conforming Im still doing. 

I want to be startled. Thats I need from music right now. That changes, but for now, some artists and pieces Ive been checking out. My students can be the same, show me some new shit! They don't want to learn how to sound like someone else.... yet. 

The artists that Im increasingly finding the most interesting right now, and really worthwhile, as Im seeking something beyond enjoyment, are guided by the rebellious spirit of creativity that many now call "self sabotage" as it is non-marketable. Challenging is of course relative, but Im talking about people whose artistic drive was to discover something completely new. I find inspiration in that. Its complete commitment to artistry. 

Whether the music below speaks to us individually or not, the art of these people, and their vision, and willingness to get behind it with word and action, is something Id argue we are all better for. 

Luigi Russolo (April 30, 1885 February 4, 1947) was an Italian Futurist painter and composer, and the author of the manifesto The Art of Noises (1913). He is often regarded as one of the first noise music experimental composers with his performances of "noise concerts" in 1913-14 and then again after World War I, notably in Paris in 1921.He is also one of the first theorists of electronic music.

Aside from having fans like McCartney and Lennon (sorry Yoko), Stockhausen's piece here boasts a personal favorite title, "Song of the Youths".


By now, we've either decided to dig harder into these composers or its not for us. Thanks for reading as always.

Be the first to respond!

Post a comment