Monday, December 31, 2007

The Imperialism of Sound

A gorgeous and impassioned elegy for silence:

The Colonization of Silence

A composer, Andrew Waggoner understands and suffers more acutely than most (more's the pity) the impact our culture's indiscriminate celebration of noise has on music, and by extension....

I feel this so viscerally in the subway, where like most others, I assume, I feel more human and humanized by the occasional strains of a violin or guitar endorsed by the MTA's Arts Under NY program, but it's mostly because I like the idea that we're a city that cares about the arts. On the whole, the occasional great performance is lost in the mix of pan pipes and improvised percussion (I love going to the USq market on Saturdays; I hate the 4-5-6 uptown. The guy banging on overturned plastic buckets on the platform now has competition from Japanese girls clogging on a makeshift wooden stage at the top of the stair); and everyone is on an ipod and who's about to hang out in the subway anyway? For that reason the MTA program is probably more pernicious than otherwise. What difference can the artist make when you stage the concert on the tracks?

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