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Metal is reading?

Metal is reading?
March 03, 2008, 02:35:04 AM
As I was remembering parts of the "metal is fun, so is reading" topic, and as I was reading Ildjarn's Final Statement, it really did dawn on me on how this music we listen to, on how any music that's truly worthy, is essentially a novel. What I mean is, the music is not really about its subject at all, but rather its author, its composer. When we listen to music, we look at a world through another's perspective. We experience their thoughts, their feelings. This is strongest when we listen to compositions wrought in misery and torture, or exploding with joy and ecstasy, or in valiance and triumph. As some of the articles I've read here have pointed out, and as even Ildjarn said himself, arts speaks of itself. In this case, while the individuals involved in the creative process may have been searching for ways to channel their hate, or perhaps they were looking for meaning or reason to exist, or maybe striving for some ideal - they leave with us their music, if at their own expense. So is that what the best music is - that which is sacrificed by the composer?

Re: Metal is reading?
March 03, 2008, 07:59:59 AM
It's a reasonable stance to treat a work of art as another person, giving it the benefit of the doubt and trying to understand what its intended message is. This relates to putting things into context - no song, or album, or band is a creation which justifies its own existence by the sole virtue of its existence (a vicious circle which aestheticists seem to overlook), and therefore is but a segment of its creators life, worldview, or possibly a subtler structure of thought and feeling.
On a sidenote, stating that "the music is the person" might seem risky - it serves as a pathway that leads us to a general model of how music relates to the musician and/or composer; this route is open only to those who can fling aside the egalitarian/utilitarian paradigm and state the obvious: some people have something relevant to say, and others don't. Some people can do that - most can't or don't really give a shit.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 03, 2008, 11:19:27 AM
Yes. I was trying to hit that on how music that's not really provocative generally doesn't speak much and is therefore not worthwhile. Of course, beware of angst, but that shouldn't be a problem here.

I should also note that as when I conjured up this thought, I wasn't attributing these aspects to be the sole definition of music.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 03, 2008, 04:14:19 PM
Quote
So is that what the best music is - that which is sacrificed by the composer?


I think all good art--or any true triumph, really--entails some degree of sacrifice. The real artists always suffer in the creation of their artworks, thus we should admire their sacrifices with due homage. I say "real artists" because rappers like 50 Cent are not artists, just douchebags trying to make money from sound. The great classical composers put extraordinary effort into their compositions and certainly suffered in the process. Likewise, some metal musicians make sacrifices for their art; Ildjarn became a complete misanthrope and quit making music, and Varg ended up in jail. Nietzsche even made great sacrifices, having been in extremely poor health, constantly taking different medicines that either didn't help or made him vomit, staying up late straining his eyes and hands reading and writing for many hours at a time until he was physically unable to do so.

Try reading Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice", which essentially deals with that kind of sacrifice.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 03, 2008, 04:17:02 PM
I think you make a very amazing point. Music is like a story that some people take into the wrong perspective. Like a thrid grader trying to read "Gone with the Wind". ;D

Re: Metal is reading?
March 04, 2008, 06:52:00 PM
I think that the problem with your thesis, AuralPerplexions (being, essentially, that pieces of art are ultimately reflections of the subjective world of the artist) is that while this is partially true, it could lead one to forget something very important: that the genuine artist is not merely expressing him/herself, but is actually channeling something objective and superpersonal THROUGH him/herself.

One of the problems with modern literary culture, and all other artistic culture, is that it has committed precisely the mistake I just mentioned. This has lead it further and further away from the Traditional task of art (recognition of ultimate truth, ultimate beauty, ultimate reality, ultimate virtue, etc.) and deeper into a kind of degenerate school of "personality cults". When academics discuss literature now, they do it almost from a clinically psychological and sociological perspective, believing that the work in question is a kind of symbol of the artists psyche, rather than it being a symbol of anything greater.

For example, take Bach. The modern mind hears Bach and thinks, "Oh, this is so brilliant! What a genius! I wonder what his childhood was like?" as opposed to the Traditional mind, which hears it and thinks, "This music is a finger pointing at the divine."

Re: Metal is reading?
March 04, 2008, 07:37:37 PM
I'd take a synthetic stance here. A person communicates his own experience, and therefore expresses himself - which doesn't presume that the person in question is in any way self-obsessed. It seems to me like a matter of living in a degenerate age. We ponder on Bach's (or Varg's) childhood in order to uncover the "superpersonal" you mention, meaning that which led our endeared artist to communicate those ideas, or possibly just open his eyes to the objective.

This is the issue I tried to point out: while most of us know angst when we see it, it's easy to succumb to the opposite and identify any personal/"subjective" experience with disjointed vomit, as well as lose the trail altogether and worship the individual, rather than treat his life as an integral element of the divine construction.

Imagine a sage or retired warrior telling his tale by a fireplace. I've been fiddling with this visualisation for a few weeks or so, and it still seems like a reasonable modus operandi.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 04, 2008, 09:15:51 PM
That is all very well expressed, deadjew. You've successfully identified and nullified the dualism that my comment may have inadvertently promoted. As you seem to point out, the "objective" is translated through the "subjective". To have an authentic experience of art, neither can be ignored, and the relationship must be understood.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 07, 2008, 09:16:44 AM
Quote
As I was remembering parts of the "metal is fun, so is reading" topic, and as I was reading Ildjarn's Final Statement, it really did dawn on me on how this music we listen to, on how any music that's truly worthy, is essentially a novel. What I mean is, the music is not really about its subject at all, but rather its author, its composer. When we listen to music, we look at a world through another's perspective. We experience their thoughts, their feelings. This is strongest when we listen to compositions wrought in misery and torture, or exploding with joy and ecstasy, or in valiance and triumph. As some of the articles I've read here have pointed out, and as even Ildjarn said himself, arts speaks of itself. In this case, while the individuals involved in the creative process may have been searching for ways to channel their hate, or perhaps they were looking for meaning or reason to exist, or maybe striving for some ideal - they leave with us their music, if at their own expense. So is that what the best music is - that which is sacrificed by the composer?



I have an incredible distrust in authors and writers, it is manipulation through the ears the way you put it. For me, musicians are idealists and thus the music, is their perspective ideals in another medium.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 08, 2008, 01:46:05 PM
that's interesting.  I've always been somewhat distrustful of musicians for the potential to easily manipulate.  I've always thought writers came closest to actually EXPLAINING things, not just pointing to it.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 08, 2008, 03:20:07 PM
Quote
I've always thought writers came closest to actually EXPLAINING things, not just pointing to it.


They do, but unlike music, writing is not an intuitive art, so it's easier to separate necessarily connected ideas and create illusion. They can explain falsely.

Still, the best truths we have come from literature and philosophy, because music is mute to anything but feeling, spirit and general sense of what is needed.

Re: Metal is reading?
March 08, 2008, 06:30:57 PM
well said.  that makes a lot of sense, actually.  by the way:  do you do reviews on amazon.com under the name "death metal black metal" from austin tx?