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Is honesty at the base of all good music?

Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 04, 2009, 06:34:05 AM
Consider this interview and the music of Profanatica/Havohej.

Even music made by a complete idiot can be extremely powerful and meaningful as long as it is honest. If you can get an unfiltered expression of your true Self in musical form, as Ledney seems to have done, you probably have something worth listening to, even if it doesn't communicate some intricate philosophy of your intellect. Hearing that expression can be very useful to the listener, because it holds a truth about human nature, something useful to us all. On the other hand, music that is second-guessed and intellectually modeled is often fake, far away from the true Self of its maker and thus useless to the listener.

I find that the music I like most is music that is honest and unfiltered. Do you think that honesty is the most important aspect of good music or is it something else?

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 04, 2009, 08:10:24 AM
I used to think a lot about this (and like this) after hearing Ildjarn and reading about him. It always amazed me how a seemingly simple and obscure individual can create such music of revelation and mistery.

But really, I don't believe in honesty, at least not as applied to artists, or creators. They are, above all, beings that give shape to the confusing realm of reality, and they do it first of all through the strength of their spirit, a sublime affirmation of their own existence. Furthermore, I do not know how much they actually understand about the True meaning of their works. I think that conceptualization is better left for critics, and contemplative natures in general, rather then active, creative natures. Their works of art often have a life of their own, beyond what could be expected, or implied.

Of course, for Burzum and Ildjarn for example, they were fully aware of the atrocity or the moods they wanted to convey, but just because it is not conceptualized, and is seemingly simple, it does not mean it holds no philosophical merit (and philosophical would go better replaced with meta-physical). I guess when they talk about being your True Self, it is akin more to something like bringing forth my own vision without hesitation or compromise. Now of course, in the case of talented and exceptional individuals like these BM musicians, the expressions of their visions and feelings about the world are worth a check, and the ones from the Moat guy are worth shit. That's why any loser may consider himself true, and that's why even if I try to mimic the simple songs of Ildjarn, and may succed at it, it wouldn't be of the same value, since both approaches would be fake: we do not share the same spirit and we have none if we are stuck trying to mimic others.

That's why not any "unfiltered expression of your true Self" has worth for every dude out there. We are not equals, and brilliant, creative individuals are a rare breed. Music that is fake means just that the creators are shit / not interesting / boring / imitators / expressing human weakness in both form and content / unable to transcend their own knowledge for expressing something both new and eternal / not worthwhile.


Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 04, 2009, 08:53:48 AM
I might be using "honesty" in a strange way. What I mean by honesty is a reflection of the true Self, which is above the intellect. So, it is not about expressing your intellectual views exactly as they are (I think you're absolutely right that this is not enough to make your music good), but rather managing to channel these views unfiltered by the intellect. This would explain the existence of music that has no intellectual basis, but carries a deeply rooted meaning  (like the music of Profanatica/Havohej and Deicide). An imitator can never pull this off, because imitation involves filtering. A fake is a fake because he cannot reach that level of honesty in his music. Once you have the honesty, you can also formulate an intellectual explanation of it, like Burzum and Ildjarn. The key is not to let the intellect sully your honesty when writing your music.   

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 04, 2009, 02:40:06 PM
The best creative effort strives towards making something that works well for the sake of fulfulling a vision. It doesn't matter if it's new, original, old, trendy, or gimmicky, it has to have an honest vision towards something better. That's what makes it good. Things like talent in technique or aesthetic certainly add to the overall work of art, but they aren't essential.

This is why most bands that start with the idea "We are going to be an X metal band." rather than coming up with an idea and letting the method follow are usually uninspired boring.


Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 06, 2009, 01:34:13 AM
This is why most bands that start with the idea "We are going to be an X metal band." rather than coming up with an idea and letting the method follow are usually uninspired boring.



Having played with several people who use this as their philosophy, it's completely true. Instead of wanting to hear things I'd written with my own sort of vision and honesty; because they weren't "fast", they wanted to hear "thrashy" or "fast" or "heavy" things. As a result, everything that met their criteria was bland and left little to no room for me to expand upon.

I actually talked with one of these people recently, and he showed me a "track" from his "new band". It was 6 minutes long and seemed to incorporate every single staple of 80's heavy and speed metal. It was clear whoever put it together just put things there for the sake of a clean section, a chug, a gallop, solo, etc. It seemed so sterile and lifeless, I actually had assumed everything but the guitar was digital.

The worst part is, people like this seem to make up most of the metal "musicians" out there today. If it isn't being "a thrash band", it's power death black classical folk viking pagan metal. Nobody seems to have a vision of their own, so they construct one with the ideas and techniques of others.

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 06, 2009, 03:08:28 AM
Are you implying that Paul Ledney is a complete idiot?

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 06, 2009, 04:19:42 AM
Are you implying that Paul Ledney is a complete idiot?

It wouldn't be an insult to say that he was, if he is capable of making good music.

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 06, 2009, 06:37:02 AM
Are you implying that Paul Ledney is a complete idiot?

If you assume that his answers from the interview are real and serious, then it's hard to say otherwise. But I think esoteric said it already, idiot or not, Ledney's made extraordinary music and that's more than you can say about the vast majority of people. I was only trying to figure out how a guy who barely knows what he's talking about can do such a thing. There must be something beyond his intellect that gets through in his music, like a tunnel to his ideas in their pure states, beyond even his own intellectual comprehension. This might sound stupid, but is it possible that music can do such a thing? That it can communicate from such a deep level within its maker? And if so, isn't this what ultimately separates the true from the false?

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 06, 2009, 07:05:00 AM

A different side of Paul Ledney

You seem to be a little hung up on that one "interview" you found. But if you look at the bottom of the page you'll find this:

Quote
This feature consists of various different interviews, originally done by Mike Minicucci ("Blood-Shed" zine, issue # 4, 1992), Craig Lagace ("Abysmal Desolation" zine, issue # 3, 1992) and excerpts of Gavin Baddeley's book "Lucifer Rising" (1993). The history was taken from the PROFANATICA website http://profanatica.cjb.net/ Compiled, mixed together and re-edited by Frank - used without permission.

So your link is a presentation of Profanatica by a third party and not necessarily representative of the band. But yeah Paul Ledney shouldn't be taken that seriously and neither should Profanatica's music. Profanatica is good but not great, certainly not up there with Burzum or Darkthrone but still miles above Dark Funeral or nu-black metal band X.

I like how you refer to the possibility that an artist might be unaware of his own genius, I feel Ildjarn would be a better example of this. But remember that both Profanatica and Ildjarn (or Impaled Nazarene, to name another) are genius for their simplicity.


Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 18, 2009, 10:55:43 PM
Paul Ledney is a spoilt brat with a ridiculous sense of entitlement and unwarranted self importance. The music he makes is probably the result of an epic internal struggle between his views of himself, the world/the way he thinks it should be and reality. For some reason he has been gifted with extraordinary musical abilities and so the result is Profanatica - an amazing expression of hatred, rage and jealousy.

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 24, 2009, 03:41:29 PM
Consider this interview and the music of Profanatica/Havohej.

Even music made by a complete idiot can be extremely powerful and meaningful as long as it is honest. If you can get an unfiltered expression of your true Self in musical form, as Ledney seems to have done, you probably have something worth listening to, even if it doesn't communicate some intricate philosophy of your intellect. Hearing that expression can be very useful to the listener, because it holds a truth about human nature, something useful to us all. On the other hand, music that is second-guessed and intellectually modeled is often fake, far away from the true Self of its maker and thus useless to the listener.

I find that the music I like most is music that is honest and unfiltered. Do you think that honesty is the most important aspect of good music or is it something else?

Quote
I don't believe people can go on hating forever without lying to themselves because you'd no longer be able to function.

He was honest about that.

Why do you say he is a complete idiot ?

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 24, 2009, 07:20:25 PM
Consider this interview and the music of Profanatica/Havohej.

Even music made by a complete idiot can be extremely powerful and meaningful as long as it is honest. If you can get an unfiltered expression of your true Self in musical form, as Ledney seems to have done, you probably have something worth listening to, even if it doesn't communicate some intricate philosophy of your intellect. Hearing that expression can be very useful to the listener, because it holds a truth about human nature, something useful to us all. On the other hand, music that is second-guessed and intellectually modeled is often fake, far away from the true Self of its maker and thus useless to the listener.

I find that the music I like most is music that is honest and unfiltered. Do you think that honesty is the most important aspect of good music or is it something else?

Wow, I didn't think anyone picked up on this but myself. From what I've observed, honesty is the key to all knowledge. If you can be honest with yourself, you're more than able to do great things with a mindset like that. This is really great for problem-solving as well!

Re: Is honesty at the base of all good music?
October 25, 2009, 06:42:42 AM
authenticity is necessary but not sufficient.

examples: Absurd, early Mayhem, "Storm of the Light's Bane", early Marduk, Mutiilation, most Demoncy, most Krieg, Judas Iscariot, "Battles in the North", Lord Wind, .. speaking of, most Graveland (admit it), most Summoning (admit it), most Ildjarn (admit it), and lastly but not leastly Profanatica/Havohej. Come to think of it let's just say USBM and NSBM in general.