What does non-objective music mean to me? Taking experimentation to the extreme, many artists don’t even include traditional rhythm in their compositions. Kind of like free jazz, these dudes (and dudettes!) are experiencing music through very thin guidelines and only rarely referencing what we’ve come to know as common structure. The mental dissection usually present in conscious composition is obscured by the investigation of aesthetics. How many or few synth stabs can you get away with in a piece and have it affect your listener in a positive way, or in any way? Non-objective (noise, experimental, non-representational) music is arguably less fun to listen to than to produce, but something in some listener’s heads allows them to appreciate it as they would any other music. It can be hard for some listeners to hear past the clicks and ambience and accept the gift the composer has given them, or to see any meaning in it, but for me, this otherworldly sound-art is all about surrender. Surrender to the limitations of your instruments, surrender to the raw feeling that sounds can evoke. It reminds me of nature, where sound is not following western trends or centuries-old rules of “proper” composition. Non-representational music is full of surprises, and if you let it, can catalyze the internal synthesis of thought and emotion. The field of psychoacoustics deal with the feelings and ideas that music can deliver, and explores the reasons for phenomenon like major scales sounding happy, minor scales sounding somber, etc. But in noise music, these notions aren’t present, at least not in an easily recognizable or traditional form. Most of us, and certainly our collective unconscious, do not have a strong frame of reference for what sound collages are supposed to make one feel. And that’s one thing I really love about sound art: the meaning of the composition is often intentionally left up to interpretation. I’m sure some composeres take it very seriously and know what they’re shoot for from the start, but strange noises make me feel something different every play through. Something painfully calm could stir and unnerve, or actually relax you, depending on how you were feeling when you started it. With digital technology becoming so common, more folks have the opportunity to explore themselves through sound, and that’s exciting.
KFW is too cool, he’s doooin it.