David Stubbs on Experimental Art vs. Experimental Music

February 20, 2011

David Stubbs argues that new music doesn't get the same respect as new art.  His book is "Fear of Music: Why People Get Rothko But Don't Get Stockhausen."  He tells Jim Fleming he was inspired to write it after watching the 1961 film "The Rebel" for the twelfth time.




Hi. Love the show. I listen every week in Tucson, AZ. I have a comment about whether or not experimental music is harder to digest than experimental art.
I myself have dedicated years to developing an ear for experimental music of all types for the very reason that it IS a more difficult art to digest. It pleases me so very much when I hear something that throws me just a bit off my everyday orbit and after researching this community, I have found that there are A LOT of abstract music lovers all over the world. - more than enough to construct an entirely new segment dedicated to the culture and fans of avant garde music. You guys should do it!!

thx for the topic, this music is the way of the future

Hi Anonymous. I was wondering if you know of any online sources about the abstract music lovers that you can direct me to. I'd like to learn more about this community and possibly even connect with them. I tend to listen to a lot of instrumental music (ranging from classical to indie to world), and I like to listen (that is, I value listening in general) to sounds that I might never have heard before. But abstract, avant garde music still is new to me, but I am more open now to listening to it. Thanks.

Great show, excellent points made by David.
He mentions at one point how the visual element in 20th and 21st century music may help the listener to connect with music that may be more abstract than one is used to.
Along those lines I would like to point you toward some work being done in this realm by myself and small group of composers throughout the U.S., Iceland, and Europe.




These notations, or at least the way I use them, are intended to activate performers by communicating complex compositional ideas in a simple way, but not necessarily with the aim of engaging the audience. However, a nice byproduct is that it seems to draw people into the music more so than if the score weren't projected.

Again, great show!

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