Curating The Week: Music-Related Stuff Online

 

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1. A short film about the American artist Agnes Martin with a soundtrack by UK electronic musician Actress.

“You are what goes through your mind, whether you are aware of it or not. But if you can become aware of it and if you then can try to express it, then you are an artist.”

2. An article about how job applicants are screened for “poshness” which includes the sound of their accents.

“I recruited somebody…she’s short of polish. We need to talk about the way that she articulates, the way that she, first, chooses words and, second, the way she pronounces them.

“When I went home…I could go back to, if you like, my old slight twang. When I’m in this environment I pretend I’m posher than I am.”

3. An article about electronic musician Moritz von Oswald and his musical interests.

“Drumming was fascinating…It’s something that grabbed me immediately – the sound I got from this variety of instruments. When you study classical drums, it’s a high range of colours of sound. The drum sounds to me are three-dimensional, the way they open up a room. I call them ‘non-tonal structures’: snare drum and cymbal, these are in-between sounds. I tried to get further into this, and get the best sound from all these instruments. I was always a sound guy.”

How Music Lost Its Body

Not so long ago music
was a relationship between a musician and an instrument,
a performance in front of an audience,
a sharing of a space through sound.

Then those spinning discs took music
from the musician, the instrument, and the space of performance,
bringing sound right into ears, minds, and hands as a commodity form.

The discs became larger,
then were joined by tape spooling
and digital discs promising perfect sound forever.

But forever turned out to be
about twenty years,
as discs
slipped into computers
found themselves further reduced
to bits, copied and shared, spun
into downloads.

We used to pay for music as a thing–
an LP, cassette, CD,
or downloadable chunk–
until its thingyness became a stream.

Now music lives on my phone,
in my pocket,
a flow of sound for a monthly fee.
Where music was once a relationship,
a concerted sharing,
it’s now a portable soundtrack
following me wherever I go
but without a body of its own.