Friday 12 October 2012

Infinite Music Talk in NYC, 23rd October

I'll be speaking about Infinite Music in New York later this month, so if you're in the area come on down - announcement and blurbs below:


ADAM HARPER, INFINITE MUSIC: IMAGINING A 21ST CENTURY MUSICAL MODERNISM - followed by a conversation with Martin Scherzinger

Where: 20 Cooper Square, Room 471 [East 5th Street and Bowery]
When: Tuesday 23 October 2012, 6:30pm


Much as it has done across the arts, faith in modernism seems to have faltered in music. In this talk, ADAM HARPER attempts to sketch a way we could imagine the broadest and most subtle possibilities of musical change and invention, so as to create and understand new music in the present and the future while avoiding all constraints, hierarchies and divisions in its cultural production and even its ontology. His talk will draw from continental philosophy and information theory in seeing all possible ‘musical objects’ as spaces of possibility described by variables, whether they be pieces, instruments, styles, melodies or anything else. When it comes to listening, these become ‘images of music’ that both regulate and emancipate how we think of music. Harper will also discuss the philosophical, aesthetic and methodological consequences of this move.

ADAM HARPER is a music theorist, critic, and author of ‘Infinite Music: Imagining the Next Millennium of Human Music-Making’ (Zer0), as well as pamphlets on the future of music and underground pop music for the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts and Precinct respectively. He is a PhD candidate, tutor and teacher at the University of Oxford, writes regularly for The Wire and Dummy magazine (where he writes a biweekly column) and blogs at Rouge’s Foam. He has given talks and seminars at the Darmstadt Summer School of Music, spoken at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival and for the Guardian Music Weekly Podcast.

MARTIN SCHERZINGER is Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. His research specializes in sound studies, musical culture, media and politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular interest in non-western music, the political hermeneutics of absolute music, cultures of musicology, philosophy, and music theory, in relation to political economy in an international frame.  Forthcoming book projects include ‘The Political Stakes of Musical Form’ and ‘African Genealogies of European and American Concert Music (1950-1980)’


Thursday 11 October 2012

Column: Music or Game?

Illustration by Joshua Armitage

Sorry for the delay (been relocating to Washington DC) but here's my latest column for Dummy (click here to read), entitled 'Music or Game?' about musical games and game-like music, especially recent releases.

Music is always interactive, even when we just listen to it... Music is always a game, an adventure of the mind and the body and the wider cultural values they connect to.


If underground music artists and fans are encountering games through Exo, underground games designers and fans, on the other side of the equation, have been making many more in-roads into music.


Much like traditional music, the game [Proteus] has no particular goal other than the appreciation and exploration of the space it sets up, but to someone like me, who of late has been experiencing music by listening to gigs, records, CDs and mp3s almost exclusively, this fresh type of musical encounter, requiring a little imagination as it also does, felt quite enlightening. Now I can say that one of my most intriguing musical experiences of the year has been chasing a frog up a mountain.