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Live Streamed Piano Recital with Murray McLachlan

A new piano recital series has been launched in Stockholm this fall. The first recital, with pianist Peter Jablonski took place on September 15 and today, you can hear British pianist Murray McLachlan play live from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Xenakis Piano Concerto "Synaphai"  (Read 28743 times)
soliloquy
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« on: June 01, 2006, 06:17:38 AM »

I just felt everyone should hear this piece

Rawr

Potatoes<3

Flash mp3 player

* Synaphai.mp3 (15588 KB - downloaded 1016 times.)
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etudes
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 06:57:11 AM »

this true?  Grin
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jre58591
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 09:21:14 PM »

i actually kinda liked this piece, and i thought it was very unique. i kinda found erikthon more enjoyable, though. i can just imagine the grunts of distaste from other members though.
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gilad
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 09:48:22 PM »

thats the first time i've heard anything by  Xenakis, i was planning on checking him out. but god, that was freaky. it made me really uncomfortable. have that effect on other people? is a lot of his music the same? very good though of course.
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"My job is a decision-making job, and as a result, I make a lot of decisions." --George W. Bush,
soliloquy
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2006, 05:34:17 AM »

is a lot of his music the same?

Xenakis went through three periods of composition: the sort of "engineering" one, the "New Complexity" one, and the "block" one.  These aren't actual names, but just sort of what fit in my mind.  As you probably know, Xenakis was an architectural engineer and mathematician, and used a lot of mathematical/scientific formulai in his music (this type of composing is called "stochastic").  The first sort of period is where he very rigidly used stochastic composition EG "Herma"- Musique Symbolique, which was based on Gestalt Periods and Boolean Algebra.  The second, which is not really "New Complexity" but sort of is, is where he sort of focused on technical aspects of performing the pieces EG ST/4 for String Quartet, Nomos Alpha for solo cello, "Evryali" which uses up to 10 voices at a time on solo piano, and Synaphai, this piece posted, which uses up to 16 voices (or "attack points") simultaneously on the piano (NOT an easy piece =P).  The third period is probably my least favorite and produced a lot of his least-inventive work.  He basically created large blocks of sound and sort of toyed with them.  A lot of it is kind of boring.  Honestly, this was really not a good piano to do this piece with since it wasn't really loud enough; the piano got drowned out a lot.
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donjuan
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2006, 07:57:43 PM »

man, I know I sound ignorant, but *** man this is some weirdass ***  I havent been so weirded out since watching Herzog's hypnotized actors in "Heart of Glass"
As you probably know, Xenakis was an architectural engineer and mathematician, and used a lot of mathematical/scientific formulai in his music
nope, didn't know that one.  so skepto, what calculus course should I take to appreciate this stuff?  maybe Im just not smart enough for Xenakis Undecided

how do you say xenakis anyway?  is it pronounced like 'ZEEna kiss'?  "ze KNACK-is?"
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soliloquy
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2006, 05:28:13 PM »

Don't need calculus to appreciate this one; you either like it or not.

Iannis Xenakis:

YAN-iss zen-AH-kiss

AH like aww, how cute, a kitten.  Not like AH, monster!
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gilad
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2006, 09:52:12 PM »

hey, thanks soliloquy. yeah i knew a bit of that, but not all, thanks.
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2006, 09:00:06 PM »

Arrrrgh! It sounds almost like the orchestra is playing sul ponticello throughout... Strangely cool though, once you get over the initial shock.

And I though Bernstien's On the Waterfront was weird...
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yuc4h
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 12:49:56 AM »

Ehm... Can someone actually listen the whole piece without getting a headache?

Edit: And the piano sounds so random that I doubt that even the performer knows what notes he/she should hit and when, since apparently there is no time signature, tempo or anything else except random notes whatsoever. I wouldn't be very surprised if the performer plays it differently each time since noone can tell the difference. At least the piano couldn't sound crappier?

Xenakis looks like he was seriously insane btw ;<


Edit2: Hey, I got it, maybe you need to be synaesthetic to enjoy this. Then, after you have listened it you can atleast say that it looked really cool.
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soliloquy
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 07:44:02 PM »

Ehm... Can someone actually listen the whole piece without getting a headache?

Edit: And the piano sounds so random that I doubt that even the performer knows what notes he/she should hit and when, since apparently there is no time signature, tempo or anything else except random notes whatsoever. I wouldn't be very surprised if the performer plays it differently each time since noone can tell the difference. At least the piano couldn't sound crappier?

Xenakis looks like he was seriously insane btw ;<


Edit2: Hey, I got it, maybe you need to be synaesthetic to enjoy this. Then, after you have listened it you can atleast say that it looked really cool.


Why, how ignorant of you Smiley

Firstly, Xenakis looks crazy because he got hit in the face by shrapnel during the French Revolution; just out of curiosity, how many wars have you fought in?  Now to answer your "questions" (and I use the term lightly seeing as how these are barely questions at all; more like some ignorant idiot making statements that happen to have question marks at the end):

1.  I would assume approximately 99.9999% of the population would be able to listen to this without getting a headache.  Maybe you were listening to it too loud?  I'm sorry you didn't appreciate the music; I guess it must be a bit above you Cool

2. The piano is not random at all; there are actually several major harmonies and counterharmonies; even the most amateur listeners would have been able to discern this at least several times through the piece.  There is a time signature; I have no idea where you would get the idea there isn't one.  Maybe because you're talking out of your ass and have never even seen the score to this piece?  I hope that's a fair assumption.  Actually, the rhythm/tempo in the piano part is insanely simple; very similar to Evryali.  It is almost entirely comprised of only 8th and 16th notes; almost identical to the Prokofiev Toccata in this respect.  That is the rhythm you weren't able to pick up on?  A Toccata?  The most INSANELY basic and formulaic rhythm structure that music has ever seen?  Wow; your ineptitude is overwhelming me.  Calling anything Xenakis wrote "random notes" is actually somehow even MORE ignorant than everything else you've said, and that realllly means a lot considering some of the BS you spouted, seeing as how he was more strict than Bach or Schoenberg with his composition.  This is like, a whole other level of stupidity that I wasn't even aware existed.

3.  "Surprise" as to whether the performer would play it differently each time isn't even a factor seeing as how it is purposefully written so it will be played different each time.  When you say "noone" would be able to tell the difference, I guess you mean "no one" would be able to tell the difference since "noone" isn't a word.  I wouldn't make broad assumptions about other people; especially when it would entail these other people being classed with you which I'm pretty sure they don't want to happen.  What I assume you MEANT to say was that YOU wouldn't be able to tell the difference, due to, apparently, a complete lack of any knowledge of music, modern or just in general, and just a general level of low IQ.

4.  It was a beautiful piano, but had no microphone.  Something that someone with any shred of knowledge on music would have been able to tell.

5.  Referring to your "synaesthetic" remark, I think you could switch out "synaesthetic" for "not retarded".
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pianiststrongbad
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2006, 08:59:26 PM »

yuk4h, I can completely understand where you are coming from, as I guess I am retarded aswell for not entirely appreciating this type of music.  With that said, apparently composers and a lot of other people must like this stuff a lot since this has been the direction that they have been heading in for the last 70 years or so.
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steve_m
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2006, 10:14:37 PM »

.
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yuc4h
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2006, 10:17:38 PM »

Soliloquy

Hehe, I saw this coming Cheesy
Actually, the piece was quite a shock for me since I have never actually heared any modern orchestral music. Well, there is always something new to be learned. I didn't think you could produce this kind of noise with an orchestra Smiley

Anyways, I guess you mean "really" with "realllly", am I right? I'm so glad we understand each other.

Edit: Anyways, I think that goal of the so-called modern 'music' is to create something that requires a tremendous amount of technique to play and sounds crappy. That is just sad. I also think that any tonal music beats atonality, since atonal music appears to be not 'music' at all but mere noise.
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soliloquy
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2006, 04:53:51 PM »

To make the claim that everyone who can't appreciate blaring noise with no musical value is retarded is ...retarded.


Ah.  You seem to very easily confuse the words "appreciate" and "enjoy".  It's an understandable mistake, I mean they sound so similar, and the both use the letter "E" Roll Eyes


Anyone who can't appreciate (notice, APPRECIATE!!!  Not "like" or "enjoy" or "love" or "orgasm to".  Just wanted to clear this up) this piece IS probably mentally deficient, or harbors an extreme bias against anything that has the slightest tinge of dissonance or atonality.  Now, let's go over the definition of the word "appreciate" for your learning use:

V: to recognize the value or significance of

ok now let's look at the definition of "enjoy":

V: derive or receive pleasure from; get enjoyment from; take pleasure in


Obviously modern music isn't for everyone so I wouldn't call someone who didn't derive and receive pleasure, get enjoyment from and take pleasure in this piece (AKA enjoy) a retard.  But, someone who was not able to recognize the significance or value (AKA appreciate) this piece, despite whether or not you ENJOY it, which we've now established is an entirely different thing, is probably not very bright.  Dare I say, stupid; maybe retarded?

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Anyone in the world could of written that piece.

What about blind people with no hands?  Or people who couldn't write 16 voices onto a piano and knew about enharmonic multiphonics?

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Often I think that people pretend to like this stuff just to make themselves look sophisticated.

Maybe you're right.

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I can appreciate more Xenakis' music that is based on mathematical principals because you need to be somewhat intelligent to understand it

Sounds like you're enjoying (hey, there's that word again) for reasons beyond it sounding nice.  Maybe to make yourself seem smarter, or dare I say, more sophisticated? Cool

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but still it is awful in comparison to tonality.

I thought you just said you liked Xenakis' music that was stochastic.  That's not tonal.


Let's recap before moving on.  You don't know the difference between two totally common and totally different words, you hate everything atonal but like Xenakis (see, you do have a bias against modern music, or do you?  Your selfcontradictions make it difficult to discern), and you apparently think you could write this piece, seeing as how you would fit into "everyone".  You should marry yuc4h.  You could have the meanest, most ignorance, retarded, modern-music-bashing babies ever.


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Soliloquy

Yes?

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Hehe, I saw this coming

Good for you.  Have anything meaningful or apt to say?

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Actually, the piece was quite a shock for me since I have never actually heared any modern orchestral music.

I see.  You mean *sarcastic gasp* you're not an expert on modern music?  You had me fooled! (more sarcasm, btw)

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Well, there is always something new to be learned.

You don't seem interested in learning as much as making yourself look stupid.

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I didn't think you could produce this kind of noise with an orchestra

You should check out Krzysztof Penderecki and Witold Lutoslawski.  I think you'd be pleasantly surprised.

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Anyways, I guess you mean "really" with "realllly", am I right?

No I did not.  It was an affectation to display how "realllly" stupid whatever you said was, ergo no, you are not right.  Surprise surprise.

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I'm so glad we understand each other.

Your lack of coherency makes it straining.

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Anyways, I think that goal of the so-called modern 'music' is to create something that requires a tremendous amount of technique to play

You're right.  oh wait....... I forgot!  You even just admitted you have absolutely no experience with modern music.  Please excuse me if I don't take your wise and scholarly opinion too seriously.

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and sounds crappy.

Remind me, since when were Gershwin's Piano Concerto, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Corigliano's Etude Fantasy and Hindemith's Mathis de Mahler crappy?

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That is just sad.

Lucky for us, what you thought was sad isn't true.

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I also think that any tonal music beats atonality

Stravinsky Pulchinella Suite vs Stravinsky Rite of Spring.  Hmm.  Tough one.  Oh wait, no it's not.

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since atonal music appears to be not 'music' at all but mere noise.

Have you ever listened to anything in your life besides Handel?


In retrospect, I think the pianoforum needs to require an IQ test to get in.  Anyone who scores below a 40 is banned.
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donjuan
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2006, 05:32:16 PM »

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pianiststrongbad
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2006, 06:07:14 PM »

Soliloquy, you are making a lot of brash judgements.  I really don't see the point of you critisizing somebody who doesn't appreciate this type of music.  It adds a negative atmosphere to this forum.  What does it accomplish?
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steve_m
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2006, 07:28:48 PM »

.
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steve_m
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2006, 07:32:34 PM »

.
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ahinton
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2006, 08:34:13 PM »

Why, how ignorant of you Smiley

Firstly, Xenakis looks crazy because he got hit in the face by shrapnel during the French Revolution;
Er - not the "French Revolution", methinks - I don't think that Xenakis was that old - although my so saying is not intended to detract from much of the remainder of what you write here. Xenakis's appearance is precisely as you say it is for precisely the reasons that sadly made it so; I would have thought that anyone with a grain of sensitivity, intelligence and powers of observation would look at this photograph (or any one on a whole series of others) of Xenakis and realise that something profoundly unpleasant had happened to him...

Best,

Alistair
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Alistair Hinton
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thalbergmad
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2006, 08:44:59 PM »

My cat once fell onto the piano keys after a failed attempt to get to the goldfish bowl.

The sound was similar to this recording.
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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2006, 09:12:25 PM »

.
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soliloquy
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2006, 10:28:04 PM »

Ok, yuc4h wrote this:

Notice the use of the word enjoy.


Now, we could exchange witticisms all day, but I think it would be best to just admit we have different tastes.

Notice this is what I was responding to:

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To make the claim that everyone who can't appreciate blaring noise with no musical value is retarded is ...retarded.


Tell me when you finally say something witty so I can respond to it.  *waiting*
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debussy symbolism
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« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2006, 11:22:18 PM »

Greetings.

Soliloquy, I understand that you are loquacious and enjoy to be invective to other people, but you have to understand that you are just simply insulting others. This is really an equivocal situation here concerning mental capacities. I don't want to prevaricate you, but I just don't see why you would so rashly vituperate others in order to prove "superiority". Just ensconce yourself and be nice.
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kelly_kelly
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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2006, 01:43:18 AM »

Greetings.

Soliloquy, I understand that you are loquacious and enjoy to be invective to other people, but you have to understand that you are just simply insulting others. This is really an equivocal situation here concerning mental capacities. I don't want to prevaricate you, but I just don't see why you would so rashly vituperate others in order to prove "superiority". Just ensconce yourself and be nice.

It sounds as though you don't understand half the words you've used- that paragraph made very little sense. And you accuse Soliloquy of trying to prove superiority?
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It all happens on Discworld, where greed and ignorance influence human behavior... and perfectly ordinary people occasionally act like raving idiots.

A world, in short, totally unlike our own.
yuc4h
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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2006, 03:18:15 AM »

Quote from: soliloquy
...
Okay, since you apparently don't have any valid arguments about why this 'piece' should be universally enjoyable I consider this argument over. Even me (in my overwhelming ignorance and 'stupidity') know that when one starts to insult others, he/she has already lost the argument, so in this case, the argument supposedly has not even begun yet. Anyways, I don't really care about what you say/think about me, this is internet, give me all you've got.

Since when has the intelligence quotient of a person been even remotely proportional to whether or not one can enjoy or appreciate random noise created by orchestra? It seems that you must have profoundly studied the essence of intelligence since you talk so much about it. Maybe you should consider joining Giga society?

Please, feel free to dissect this post also and comment everything I said and don't forget the punctuation. English is my tertiary language so I'm sure you'll have a lot of things to complain about.

The fact that you got so strong sence of being superior to everyone not liking this 'music' just because you apparently like it(which I doubt since you propably only say you understand and like this just because you want to make yourself look clever or something) is quite amusing but well, people get enjoyment from different things.

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Derek
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2006, 03:55:13 AM »

soliloquy, you are the sort of person who drives people away from modern music by trying to diminish them and make them feel stupid for not immediately being drawn to the music.  Can't you at least give people a little time and/or space? It took me a long time to begin to appreciate atonal music.

However, even now I still don't like Xenakis. I see little value in determining precisely why; I just don't.


Please take example from our friend Quantum; he does not try to foist his musical aesthetic upon everyone with boorish invective such as what you indulge in, he simply presents music he has genuinely created according to what he likes to hear and lets others listen or not listen or judge as they see fit.   This makes his music much more inviting to listen to and as such he is one of the people who have helped me to see the value in more disjunct atonal works.

That said however, it is still not quite my favorite style of music to say the least.  I really don't like this Xenakis piece.  It sounds, as a friend of mine has put it, like orchestral flatulence through almost the entire piece.

Pointing out a few incidental major chords won't be enough to convince anyone that it is anything but nonsense.  I don't care how many nice math equations he used to compose the piece, it is crap.

I can imagine, I suppose, that there are individuals who do genuinely enjoy being awash with dissonance. There's something fascinating by mind bogglingly complex disjunct music, I have become aware of this myself. So...if you like it more power to you.

But please---stop calling everyone an idiot/retard who doesn't react precisely the same way you are reacting.
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thalbergmad
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2006, 10:34:11 AM »

soliloquy, you are the sort of person who drives people away from modern music by trying to diminish them and make them feel stupid for not immediately being drawn to the music. 


Very well put.

He starts off threads like this knowing that it is going to court controversy.

He will then display his superior musical and intellectual genius by putting down those with different tastes to him and dissecting their posts almost word for word.

If needed, he will start to list all the famous pianists/composers he has regular correspondence with that agree with him, to add further weight to his point.

We are ALL retards compared to him.

If anything was going to put me off listening to Xenakis, it would be this thread.

Thal


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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2006, 11:18:11 AM »

i don't care how genius was xenakis or how sophisticated his music was
it's not pleasent to my ears and mind

Xenakis' music sound like random notes.
he thought a lot before writing his music, but the result was the same as my little sister plays the piano randomly
actually, my sister might be smarter than him, because she doesn't have even to think to create this music XD


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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2006, 01:08:37 PM »

It sounds as though you don't understand half the words you've used- that paragraph made very little sense. And you accuse Soliloquy of trying to prove superiority?

Not to say that I agree with Soliloquy; I don't particularly enjoy this music either. But seriously; "Just ensconce yourself and be nice"Huh
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It all happens on Discworld, where greed and ignorance influence human behavior... and perfectly ordinary people occasionally act like raving idiots.

A world, in short, totally unlike our own.
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2006, 01:34:58 PM »

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soliloquy
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2006, 07:12:47 PM »

Ok.  Obviously arguing with you people is like trying to argue with a brick wall, so w/e.  I'm stuborn, you're stubborn.  But this one.  I simply must respond to this one:

Greetings.

Soliloquy, I understand that you are loquacious and enjoy to be invective to other people, but you have to understand that you are just simply insulting others. This is really an equivocal situation here concerning mental capacities. I don't want to prevaricate you, but I just don't see why you would so rashly vituperate others in order to prove "superiority". Just ensconce yourself and be nice.

ENSCONCE- fix firmly; "He ensconced himself in the chair"

What do you suggest I ensconce myself in?  Velvet?  Are you aware that you don't make any sense when you speak?  Are you aware that nobody thinks you're smart for using the word "loquacious"?  Are you aware that we know you're just dropping words into a Thesaurus to try to make you seem smarter?  Cool  Don't ever talk to me again.
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steve_m
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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2006, 07:29:05 PM »

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« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2006, 07:31:33 PM »

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« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2006, 08:11:33 PM »

Just admit the mistake instead of coming back with a crappy insult.


Probably beyond him.
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« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2006, 11:56:06 PM »

I've come to a conclusion.  There are two kinds of people who enjoy/create atonal music:

1) Self deceived, hateful and bitter people who loathe themselves.

2) Genuine individuals who are fascinated by being awash with dissonance and strange sounds and like exploring it like a deep sea marine biologist might marvel at the fearsome visage of an angler fish.

Whenever someone in the second category appears, I generally at least appreciate what has gone into the music, if not enjoy it sometimes.  Whenever someone in the first category appears, it makes me not want to listen to them at all.

I actually find that there are similar categorizations of people in traditional music as well.  However,  fans of atonal music are a bit more sparse so when they separate themselves thus, it is more noticable.
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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2006, 01:45:43 PM »

I've come to a conclusion.  There are two kinds of people who enjoy/create atonal music:

1) Self deceived, hateful and bitter people who loathe themselves.

2) Genuine individuals who are fascinated by being awash with dissonance and strange sounds and like exploring it like a deep sea marine biologist might marvel at the fearsome visage of an angler fish.

Whenever someone in the second category appears, I generally at least appreciate what has gone into the music, if not enjoy it sometimes.  Whenever someone in the first category appears, it makes me not want to listen to them at all.

I actually find that there are similar categorizations of people in traditional music as well.  However,  fans of atonal music are a bit more sparse so when they separate themselves thus, it is more noticable.
At the risk of muddying some already fairly well muddied waters here, I do think that it's high time that due consideration be given to what is or should be meant by the terms "tonal" and atonal"; most of the references to the latter here (especially the more pejorative ones) appear to be based upon the quaint but unhelpful notion that tonality and atonality are fixed and finite concepts that are definable, applicable and understood universally in the same way by everyone and that the one is in some sense merely the "opposite" of the other. I have never understood this grossly over-simplistic attitude. Obviously there is a great deal of music that can reasonably be described as tonal and a good deal less that can reasonably be said to be atonal, but tonality and atonality are matters of degree. Obviously, there is a far greater and more consistent use of tonal centres in Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony in F# minor than in Schönberg's Second String Quartet in the same key, or between Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" Quartet and Schönberg's First String Quartet which are both in the key of D minor, but all these works are nevertheless "tonal". Perhaps I have been influenced unduly by my own early listening experiences, which were largely to the more "avant-garde" music of the late 1940s - early 1960s, but I have since - perhaps as a direct consequence - come to perceive tonal references in all kinds of music that some listeners might unequivically describe as "atonal". I don't think that this matters all that much, actually - even to me - but it would represent a worthwhile advance, it seems to me, if certain people were more inclined to speak or write about how tonal or otherwise a piece is, rather than whether or not it is tonal.

Were this to happen (and I won't hold my breath), the "conclusion" to which Derek claims to have come would be undermined, but then it is in itself simply untenable as it stands; his notion that everyone who "enjoys" and/or "creates" "atonal" music is so simply and rudely categorisable is hopelessly unsupportable, if for no better reason than that even the music he may think of as "atonal" is as vastly varied as are the responses of those many people who "enjoy" and or "create" it.

Best,

Alistair
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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2006, 07:19:19 PM »

I wholeheartedly agree. I think of music in terms of the unfashionable and more general term "tonality" which admits the objective fact that sounds sound the way they do no matter how we think about them. (how we REACT to them is the subjective part)

The categorization I used was simply the popular dichotomy. I used it purely for communication. Personally, I make no such dichotomy.  If you like, I should have made the split between "ear shattering" and "pleasant" music.  I qualify this by saying that I do in fact enjoy a lot of ear shattering (previously referred to as atonal) music.   

Of course one can listen to enough ear-shattering music such that it is no longer an assault on the nerves as it is when one first listens to such a work---then one can begin to appreciate it if it really has any musicality in it at all, which is quite rare.

However sometimes I really think music for all of history except the last 100 years was meant to be pleasant and uplifting somehow. This is where I and listeners of music such as Xenakis can't quite see eye to eye I suppose.


Also, I don't think you read my post. I was categorizing people, not harmonic paradigms---and people who listen to atonal, or, if you like, highly dissonant and disjunct music, do seem to fit into the two categories I described. Soliloquy alienates and revolts anyone he talks to about this music,  Quantum invites and intrigues all who read his posts and download his avante-garde improvisations.  I have done so with open ears and have enjoyed much of his work.   I feel these two people are prime examples of the two categories I described.
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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2006, 07:34:22 PM »

Haha, again, you were wrong, and now you're trying to skate around dealing with it.
Just admit the mistake instead of coming back with a crappy insult.

"Are you aware that we know you're just dropping words into a Thesaurus to try to make you seem smarter?  Cool"

Very clever  Roll Eyes...

Main Entry:        appreciate
Part of Speech:  verb
Definition:          enjoy

It couldn't get any clearer.

IT COULDN'T GET ANY CLEARER THAT I WAS TALKING TO DEBUSSY_SYMBOLISM.  Also, the reason I'm "skating around the subject" instead of wasting my time arguing with you is because no matter what I say it will have been just that, wasting my time.



On Alistair's post, I agree.  Also, there is a HUGE difference between "dissonant" and "atonal", which people generally like to use as if they're synonyms.
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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2006, 09:24:28 PM »

h
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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2006, 09:39:01 PM »

The categorization I used was simply the popular dichotomy. I used it purely for communication. Personally, I make no such dichotomy.  If you like, I should have made the split between "ear shattering" and "pleasant" music.  I qualify this by saying that I do in fact enjoy a lot of ear shattering (previously referred to as atonal) music.
OK - and I'm relieved to hear it - but I still think that it's worth pointing out (for the sake of clarification) that this particular "popular dichotomy" is fundamentally flawed. Furthermore, "ear-shattering" is an inappropriate word to describe certain largely atonal music; how much of mature Webern, for example (not that most of his music is especially atonal to my ears) is "ear-shattering"? Some of Varèse and Xenakis might be - but a lot more is not...

Also, I don't think you read my post. I was categorizing people, not harmonic paradigms---and people who listen to atonal, or, if you like, highly dissonant and disjunct music, do seem to fit into the two categories I described. Soliloquy alienates and revolts anyone he talks to about this music,  Quantum invites and intrigues all who read his posts and download his avante-garde improvisations.  I have done so with open ears and have enjoyed much of his work.   I feel these two people are prime examples of the two categories I described.
Had I not read every word of your post I would not have had the temerity to respond to it as I did; please be assured, therefore, that I did read it - thoroughly. I realise, of course, what (or rather who) it was that you were seeking to categorise; I just feel that your categorisation nevertheless fails to stand up to any kind of scientific scrutiny, if for no better reason than that your categorisations are far too inflexibly dogmatic and generalist in application to have much practical relevance, if you'll pardon my so saying. In other words, we're all different and our reactions are likewise all different, so such generalisations simply do not work meaningfully.

Best,

Alistair
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« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2006, 09:51:30 PM »

The main reason I made that post at all is because I am disgusted by the way soliloquy is responding to various individuals on this thread. I was hoping by contrasting him directly with someone with a similar aesthetic, he might realize there are better methods for getting people to listen to strange music than beating them over the head with a verbal sledge hammer.

I recognize no categorizations, in ANYTHING really can possibly encompass every individual or exception; however for the purpose of criticising soliloquy's decidedly questionable method of defending Xenakis, categorization provided an excellent means for contrast.
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« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2006, 10:16:51 PM »

there is a HUGE difference between "dissonant" and "atonal", which people generally like to use as if they're synonyms.
There is indeed - but I wonder why people either cannot or will not perceive this basic fact. One of the many strengths of what is generally accepted as "tonality" is that it is amenable to use in ways that can seem "dissonant" even though, in generally accepted terms, they are not. One may, for example, consider the grim and doom-laden chorale-like passage towards the close of Shostakovich's magnificent Fourth Symphony, with all guns blazing and a large brass section to the fore in full flight; the palpable sense of sheer hopelessness and bitterness that this passage instigates is arguably almost suggestive of a kind of psychological "dissonance", yet it opens with - and continues to return to - unequivocal outbursts of C major before collapsing into the quiet extended exhaustion of the symphony's C minor based coda. This may well be far from the best example, I know, but if, for instance, one sets this beside the largely atonal gossamer delicacies of certain moments in Webern's orchestral writing, the whole idea of "dissonant" and "atonal" being synonymous is quite unceremoniously and unequivocally blown out of the water.

Xenakis in general - and "Synaphai" in particular" (to return to the original subject of this thread) is not - and is never likely to become - everyone's glass of musical nectar and I openly admit that I wouldn't want to write like that even if I could (and, please note, I am a composer and can therefore say without any equivocation - if I really need to - that "anyone" could certainly NOT write like that!), but any suggestion that Xenakis was less than one of the most remarkable musical minds of the last century is - even to me - rather absurd. He once stated in an interview that he "lacked lyricism"; what he may have lacked in that department he more than made up for in others, for that was his way. It is not mine. But it was his and it had to be so. Xenakis did, I believe, have far more difficulty figuring out and coming to terms with his rightful place in the music of his time because, unlike certain of his sometimes polemical colleagues, he did not necessarily feel that his artistic aspirations and achievements belonged exclusively to his own time. Many who encounter Xenakis's music find this hard to understand - even hard to believe - but this, I humbly suggest, is largely because they are mostly conditioned to regard him as an arch-modernist (whatever that may mean, if anything) rather than as an individual who in some senses did some of what he did irrespective of the time in which he lived and worked. Xenakis was a man of rare courage. He was also, I believe, an artist of equally rare honesty.

Best,

Alistair
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« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2006, 12:07:20 AM »

When the second renaissance comes around, xenakis and others like him will be put in the "lemons of music history" section. No matter how nice they were as human beings. Who cares about that? I'm never going to interact with Xenakis or read a book by him, I could care less if he burns churches or helps old ladies across the street. His music sucks.
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2006, 09:03:44 AM »

When the second renaissance comes around, xenakis and others like him will be put in the "lemons of music history" section. No matter how nice they were as human beings. Who cares about that? I'm never going to interact with Xenakis or read a book by him, I could care less if he burns churches or helps old ladies across the street. His music sucks.
May we still assume that you are the same "Derek" who recently wrote
The main reason I made that post at all is because I am disgusted by the way soliloquy is responding to various individuals on this thread. I was hoping by contrasting him directly with someone with a similar aesthetic, he might realize there are better methods for getting people to listen to strange music than beating them over the head with a verbal sledge hammer.

The reason I ask is that the abrasiveness of your remarks here seems ironically parallel to that of which you accuse "soliloquy"; indeed, it is almost as though you are trying, with at least equal vociferousness, to discourage people from listening to Xenakis by "beating them over the head with a verbal sledge hammer". That said, let's examine each of your "points" in turn.

I don't know when you anticipate this "second renaissance" - or even whether you have any idea when to expect its dawning.

It is also unclear why a general assessment of Xenakis - if indeed there were ever to be one - would necessarily be different during such a "renaissance" than it would be now or at any other time.

Lemons are wonderful fruit. Since we are discussing Xenakis, I should say that the Greeks grow excellent lemons (although, to my mind, there's no finer lemon than an Italian lemon - which statement is not, incidentally, intended as any kind of invitation to you to start making derogatory remarks about Berio...).

Although I did not clarify this in my last post, I will now confirm that I was not writing about Xenakis as a human being; I was referring specifically to his courage, honesty and integrity as a musician. I never met Xenakis personally; it would therefore seem inappropriate in any case for me to make remarks about Xenakis as a person when I did not know him. I have no idea if you ever met him (although I suspect that you did not); whether or not you did so, however, your remarks about burning churches or helping old ladies across streets are accordingly unhelpful, tastelessly unedifying and less than meaningful.

Unless some kind of mediumship is one of the weapons in your armoury, you are indeed "never going to interact with Xenakis"; he has been dead for some five years. Whether or not you will read - or have read - any of his writings and whether you will continue to listen to his music are, of course, your personal prerogatives, but I do hope that you will at least have already listened to sufficient of his music from the various periods of his creative career to qualify you to observe, as you just have, that - IN YOUR OPINION - all of it "sucks" (which, as best I recall, is not exactly a technical term) - in other words, even a personal opinion should be based upon sufficient experience, otherwise it fails even to qualify as a credible opinion.

For the record, I am not interested in beating anyone over the head to get them to listen - or to stop listening - to any music, regardless of whether it's by Xenakis, or by Schönberg, or by the German composer so admired by them both, Brahms - or by anyone else, for that matter. The forcefulness and power of musical expression is the responsibility of the composer alone, just as it is of the performer when presenting any music; I have never, for example, forgotten how Michelangeli and Ogdon, at their best, used to capture almost 100% total attention from their audiences, almost as though "taking them over" - and contemporary accounts of Sorabji's 1930 première of his Opus Clavicembalisticum likewise attest to how even audience members who hated the music with a vengeance felt unable to move a muscle or abandon concentration until the composer had finished playing it (a fact which, considering the work's vast dimensions, seems to me to represent a not insignificant achievement).

Best,

Alistair
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« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2006, 12:02:43 PM »

I'm not going to make much of a contribution here, but i'd just like to thank ahinton for finally supplying an articulate, well-informed and above all inoffensive contribution to this post.  Like or dislike of contemporary music is very much a matter of taste and to make concrete statements about its value is as much a waste of time as with any form of music.  No one can say that Mozart's music is "better" than any other, only that the listener finds more to appreciate in it.  I personally don't find a huge amount to appreciate in much contemporary music, though, as i have recently started at a university which very much stresses its importance, I have been thrown at Berio, Ligeti (who i hugely respect and do enjoy sometimes) Stockhausen and others.  However I realise that this is only my own personal view, and would hope others have the decency to realise that that view is just as valid as theirs, no more or less so.
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« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2006, 04:38:27 PM »

It seem to me very different to say of a composer who will never read my remarks that his music sucks than to say to a specific member of this forum that they are "retarded," such as Soliloquy has. In all such discussions I refrain from strictly personal remarks (except to call Soliloquy on his questionable behavior).  Saying Xenakis' music sucks is just my opinion, I haven't tried to influence anybody by saying that. Thus, I have only shown you that I own a sledge hammer, but have not used it.

Anyway, your posts are just further evidence of the mind bogglingly aloof elitism which listeners of this musical garbage adhere to. It quite frankly disgusts me. There, verbal sledge hammer to the face.

Now you're probably going to say YOU ONLY LISTEN TO BACH AND BEETHOVEN YOU ELITIST CONSERVATIVE MUSICIAN, but I would caution you from doing that because I have already stated and do in fact genuinely enjoy many atonal works.

But...Xenakis sucks lemons. Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2006, 06:12:20 PM »

Anyway, your posts are just further evidence of the mind bogglingly aloof elitism which listeners of this musical garbage adhere to. It quite frankly disgusts me. There, verbal sledge hammer to the face.
I am no more or less élitist than anyone else who listens to Xenakis, or Bach, or Beethoven, or Chopin just because I may do so.

Now you're probably going to say YOU ONLY LISTEN TO BACH AND BEETHOVEN YOU ELITIST CONSERVATIVE MUSICIAN, but I would caution you from doing that because I have already stated and do in fact genuinely enjoy many atonal works.
I was going to say nothing of the sort, actually - and in any case I think that I prefer to say what I wish to (if anything) rather than have it said for me in advance, if you don't mind...

But...Xenakis sucks lemons. Smiley
Not true. You didn't read what I wrote - which was that Xenakis is dead. Dead men don't suck lemons.

I realise and appreciate that you have indeed refrained from castigating the living individual in what you write, but this alone does not make your remarks about Xenakis - or the way in which you expressed them - defensible, in my opinion.

Best,

Alistair
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« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2006, 08:21:43 PM »

the mind bogglingly aloof elitism which listeners of this musical garbage adhere to.
On reflection, I think that I should perhaps have been clearer in my response about this so-called "élitism" to which Derek has drawn attention.

To an alarmingly large majority of people, anyone who in any way espouses what is generally (albeit inadequately) termed "classical" music thereby exhibits - or at the very least reveals - "élitist" tendencies. "Élitist", in this specific contextual usage, is more often than not an intended pejorative. By association, then, the conscious act of involvement in "classical" music - be it as a performer, composer, conductor, teacher, listener et al is deemed by many to warrant some kind of pejorative epithet.

Leaving aside for a moment the appropriateness or otherwise of this kind of response to those who espouse "classical" music, let us consider instead the whole business of the use of the term "élitist" in relation to such music and its practice. For me, the pejorative is the first thing that falls down here; such music involves, to a greater or lesser degree, the concentrative powers of all those involved in any of the above capacities - there's no denying that, for this is the nature of the kind of music we are addressing, be it by Elliott Carter or Johannes Brahms. What we should then ask ourselves is whether or not this is a "bad" thing, rather than whether or to what extent it may be - or may be thought to be - an "exclusivist" thing in the sense that Derek touched upon when suggesting that there are those who like to use their involvement in such music as some kind of superiority card with which to beat those who don't happen to posses - or wish to possess - such a card (and yes, beating someone with a card is not a very effective thing, I admit!).

Speaking (or rather writing) as one whose principal involvements in such music are as a composer, as a literary executor of another composer and, of course, as a listener, I have less than no patience with the idea that people should use their experience of any area of such music as some kind of weapon with which to beat anyone else who may have less such experience - indeed, I find this abhorrent in the extreme, as it seems to me to contravene the very puspose of such music. At the same time I deprecate unnecessary ignorance of such music. I am not, however, here to demand that anyone who doesn't think that they feel especially inclined to get to grips with the music of Mozart, Xenakis et al should do so unless their inclination changes, any more than I am here to pour scorn on them if their desires do not happen to go in such directions at any given moment. What is important, however, is that the composers do things that will end up engaging the concentrative faculties of listeners regardless of the extent (if any) of their prior technical experience and expertise; this is, I believe, a crucial part of our responsibility as musical creators. I know from my own very earliest musical experiences (when aged 11) that a handful of works by Chopin, Ravel and Roussel suddenly excited the hell out of me at a time when I'd never listened to any "classical" music before in my life and therefore had no experiential armoury with which to help address and respond to these encounters.

So - let's understand that the music in which we involve ourselves is, by definition, in some sense "élitist" but that this is not a bad thing but a good one; we aspire to something greater than our previous experiences through such involvement. I was speaking at a party a few days ago to someone whose principal musical experiences had for years been certain types of jazz and rock-and-roll but who happened more recently to have developed more than a small interest in the symphonies of Vaughan Williams. What really interested me, however, was his remark that he'd just acquired some reissues of recordings by the old Quartetto Italiano of late Beethoven Quartets and found the first movement of the C# minor in particular one the most moving musical experience he had ever had. Why? Not because he already had any artifically contrived "élitist" attitude to such music, but because it just happened to speak to him in a way that, because it may not speak similarly to tens of thousands of other listeners, is frankly nevertheless "élitist". So what's wrong with that? It did what it was supposed to do...

That's quite enough of that from me, methinks! I'm off now to have a (hopefully) well-deserved gin and tonic - with ice and a slice of - er - oh, never mind...

Best,

Alistair
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« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2006, 08:49:14 PM »

I suppose that may be true for a large number of classical listeners, however I also like listening to indian sitar music, death metal, boogie woogie, POP, and on rare occasions, rap. I dissociate myself from this group of people who think classical music is better than anything else...because ...they're wrong, in my opinion!

Okay, I think I've got it. Here's my biggest problem with people who are enthusiasts/listeners of atonal, er, ear-shatteringly dissonant and alyrical music.

Do you ever have a child-like reaction to the music and say something like: "ooh, ooh! I like that part! It gave me goosebumps! What a genius Xenakis was to have been inspired to write *THAT* passage!!"

If you say yes then of course I can't claim to know what goes through your mind--music IS after all very subjective. 

If, however, in your heart of hearts, the answer really is no, then I suggest you try to think carefully about the role music plays in your life. Is it purely a tool for being a pompous wind bag and attempting to appear vastly more intelligent than others, or can it be a force for good in your life, something you enjoy deeply?

What makes you and soliloquy and others like you suspect in my opinion is I have never seen you people EMOTE in any way shape or form about the music, except to express frustration and to condescend to those who dislike the music. When have I ever seen a listener of alyrical/atonal music declare: GOD I love this music, it is SO BEAUTIFUL!   Not once.  That makes me suspicious.

This observation is in vast, vast contrast to those other elitists who only listen to baroque and classical. They are annoying for a different reason---but at least they're ENJOYING the music.

See that's just it isn't it? When did Western art-music composers throw away the idea that music is to be enjoyed simply, with melody and other basic elements? What happened to that?
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