Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Avant-garde fin de siècle?

“No matter what path of experimentation a new composer might attempt to clear, it has been previously explored at great length — generally by composers several generations removed. Microtonality? Partch. Noise-based compositions? Varèse. Electronic sounds that are impossible to create through acoustic means? Been doing that too, for nearly 100 years. Works that assault the audience or involve self-mutilation? Done and done. Silent musical compositions? Done. . . . I believe that our generation's contributions will be incremental rather than revolutionary. We are living in an era of consolidation,” David Smooke writes in a NewMusicBox posting:


A century ago, present- and future-tense composers were convinced that there was nothing original left to say within bounds of traditional tonality. Hmm.