Deconstructing Sculpture in Music

Here are some notes made after a presentation or lecture by David Toop. They are dated November 14, 2002.

At one point David Toop touched upon the commonplace figure of the move in Western musical discourse about composition from auditory to haptic relations to the body. Asked to elaborate, he pinpointed the moment this way of speaking came into the discourse: jazz improvisation. A moment not untainted by the stakes involved in the praise of primitivism. [McLuhan caught the buzz in the air already there with such texts as Lévi-Strauss on le jazz hot] It was evident from David’s remarks that at some point in the development of a Western discourse about musical subjects it is the sculptural dimension of such objects that becomes predominant. And now in the work of such reporters/thinkers/composers as Toop it provides a pivotal spot for considerations of the connection between gesture and thought — rather amazing to watch musicians trace paths and movements in the air when discussing the shape of sound.

Also in David’s remarks there is something that triggers for me an interesting question: how theorists position themselves vis-a-vis la voix humanine. I think there is this tension to explore between the (in)attention to voice and to the clapping/slapping hand. Vocalization/percussion which of course at the level of the phoneme disappears: explosives, dentals, fricatives, nasals.

Intriguing to consider the vocal apparatus as a machine, humming along. A machine in touch — throat. lips, nose — sensing the movements of air. It is possible to still the hand and remain haptic.

And so for day 531

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