Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Educational" or "indulgent" composition?

I spoke about self-indulgence of improvisation I feel as a listener sometimes, but this is slightly different.   I just listened to a concert with a composition that represents a particular musical theory, and the composition was "showcasing" that theory.   I failed to understand the point of it, it seems, since it sounded to me as if we the audience were being "explained" or "educated" about this theory as a series of tonal experiments, or listening to a demonstration or lecture, making sure that we understand it.

I suppose it is "nice" to be explained, but I actually found this form of composition rather passive aggressive, another kind of "indulgence".   Why would you want to "explain" your theory via music, instead of "expressing" music?  Does the composer seek the justification of his composition or some kind of validation?

I am very curious, since I do "showcase" my Subharmonics technique, composing works for the violin that includes the "lower" pitches and the particular technique I am developing.  In my new album, "The World Below G and Below", I did include a set of 6 "Caprices" for Subharmonics, which "showcase" my various technique, and music is composed to use this technique.  But I hope that I am making those pieces for the sake of music, rather than the showcasing of the experiment, or for the sake of educating the public with my new technique.   I hope that people will hear the music as it is, and not as some kind of an educational experience I'm forcing upon people.

No comments: