music and The Body
I stumbled upon a debate between these bloggers
about the nature of Sonic Youth, which was interesting in itself but I really noticed this:
I think BMR (Bad Moon Rising) is the point where Sonic Youth in effect reconnect discord with the body, restoring to it a libidinal force which you hear in The Rites of Spring, but which the cold geometries of Schoenberg and Webern subsequently evacuated.
Why is it that dissonance is always only sensual if it is loud and aggressive? To my ears Webern's Symphony op. 21 or Six Bagatelles String Quartet are two of the most sensually evocative pieces of early 20th Century composition, and I can see no rational argument to separate from "the body" the experience of hearing Webern's sounds as opposed to any other sounds.
Or consider late Feldman: the music is quiet and dissonant with no metric rhythm; exactly the type that might be categorized as cold/intellectual/not connected with the body, etc. But if you actually listen to all 4 hours of For Philip Guston it's obvious that the piece is completely
concerned with the body. It's about what happens to human perception when a piece of music lasts WAY beyond the scale we're accustomed to, and that is just as much about the body as it is the mind.
Frustrating how often criticism is premised on philosophically old-fashioned categorical dichotomies.