Friday, July 20, 2007

Silence (and what to do with it) Part 2

Terrific interview by Dan Warburton with Radu Malfatti, a composer and player I have become obsessed with over the last few months. Almost seven years on his ideas about music (and the absence of it) still are more relevant than ever. He is also totally my kind of guy, sparing nobody and nothing, saying what has to be said and ever looking forward.


Following extract is, I think, the most important passus of the interview. I will deconstruct (and reconstruct) this further in the following days when I have got the time. For the time being I will refer to an earlier post of a few months ago which led to a minor discussion with K-Punk at the time (who got his point from - or agreed with the point of - Simon Reynolds) and whose argument I find I have neglected to rebut. The dichotomy/oppposition under discussion has nonetheless been grinding at the back of my mind ever since. (Incidentally, it also ties in with Ralf Wehowsky's quote I referred to a few posts below.) Anyway, more on this the following days.

"Warburton: (...) I can't decide if it's a blessing or a curse to be fantastically aware of very tiny details (acoustic or otherwise) of wherever you happen to be."

Malfatti: For me it's a blessing: the more we are aware of things the better. We can decide later if we "need" them or not, but look at all those people who are unaware of most of what's going on around them. Sure, it would be a curse if every little detail entered our brain and passed through the short-term memory gate and stayed in long-term-memory - then we really would have a lot to carry around with us! - but someone once said that we don't use more than 65% of our brain capacity, and I'm absolutely sure that most folk don't even use that. I assume that this is the underlying structure or meaning of the meditational aspect of certain human knowlege. What happens if we elevate the known into the realm of unknown, the unimportant into the realm of important? We sharpen the consciousness and I think we then are able to become aware of the acoustic environment surrounding the music - and: the music itself!!

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