A few thoughts: single lines, raw and cooked

Single lines are shitful things.

Fear of unmediated sounds. This applies just as much to traditional notes as extended techniques. By themselves they are unrefined, vulgar, dated and/or reified. Hocket comes as a solution because it is primitive ‘contrapuntalisation’ of sound synthesis, covering up the shame of the sounds’ nakedness. Complexism likewise, since it is constantly changing the technique of sound production in a single line and no one technique gets presented long enough to be totally ‘immediately posited’. This means that slow lines are not possible, since they would not link into hockets so immediately, and would not have the constantly changing techniques of complexism (since this would ‘speed up’ the line).

If I want to break from a dependence on the hocket, what’s the solution?

a) Allow for some rawness in the single lines, because life will be recuperated in the whole if it is genuinely polyphonic and there is tension between the lines;

b) Make all lines complexist, and try to get them to maintain a degree of internal coherence so that they don’t fuse into hockets;

c) Insist upon rawness as an aesthetic statement;

d) Only compose for at least 4 instruments?

Polyphony requires tension. Without harmonic tension and release rhythmic tension and release can take its place. This is the case in Carter. The danger then is that to uphold the tension of a polyrhythmic polyphony, each of the parts lose their fluidity, since they have to communicate the polyrhythm. The more fluid, the more convincing they are as lines, but the less convincing the overall is, since it loses the tension of the polyrhythm.

The instrumentation influences the polyphony, bigtime: the trio…

“Capitalism produces its own gravediggers” – this idea that by putting them in factories, capitalism prepares workers for their revolutionary role, is mirrored in Adorno’s idea that the autonomous artwork is born from absolute commodification… not by resisting it in favour of some pre-lapsarian artwork of non-alienated social relations. Both emphasis on the immanent contradiction – a determinate negation, rather than an abstract one. But! As Silvia Federici says, capitalism didn’t actually produce its gravediggers in this way, and a lot of things that are thought to not be immanent to the negation that is capital (indigenous groups, peasants, women, informal workers) turned out to be more of the revolutionary subjects for the 20th century than the ‘working class’. Capital didn’t organise them in the way that Marxism traditionally had suggested (although they were all certainly touched by capital). In the same way, could we say that Adorno’s emphasis on the immanence of the truth of the artwork to capital (i.e. the artwork must go fully through the abstraction that is commodification), is idealist? Could we say that not everything has to be fully cooked by commodification before it is allowed to speak the truth of capital? Could some raw elements play the role of the cooked? In what context would that be permissible? Could there be a cooked rawness or a raw cookedness?

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