December 3rd, 2010 | Published in Blog
The latest chapter of one of my favourite ongoing debates: Guardian music critic Alex Ross on why audiences seem more ready to accept experimental avant garde art than experimental avant garde music. Some of the comments give interesting food for thought… my two cents are that most musicians involved in making weird music don’t have much interest in contextualising what they do for a casual audience; that music and cinema have a temporal dimension that makes experiencing them more of an obvious time investment than painting or sculpture; and that music has no easy parallel for the manner in which galleries are able to perpetuate a sense of an experimental canon while still acting as a tourist trap. And in purely sensory terms, you can close your eyes, whereas you can’t close your ears (unless you’re a character in a Haruki Murakami novel).
See also David Stubbs’ book, Fear of Music.