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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
Rhys Chatham on Musical Talent
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jbenzola



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:25 am    Post subject: Rhys Chatham on Musical Talent Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I found this to be a very interesting quote, taken out of an interview with the composer Rhys Chatham:

People think that if you have two ears you have the same right as anybody else to make judgments about music. That is not true at all. Being musical is something very special, which is recognized even among families who have no special training, when the father and the mother can say a child is very musical because he can immediately pick up a tune and sing it, whereas the other children can't. Or whenever he gets an instrument in his hand he does something meaningful with it, so that it begins to sound, whereas others have no talent whatsoever. The idea that all music is for everybody is equally ridiculous. People can be influenced by all music, of course: that is natural. But certain people simply respond to sounds far better than most.

I never thought of myself as exceptionally gifted. Comparing my own work with the work of my colleagues, I think that I have just worked very hard all the time and that my special talent of always trying to explore new possibilities and enlarge our consciousness seems to be more needed at the present time than being able to convince people of one's genius as a fantastic performer or composer in an established style. I do not know for sure whether or not I am the reincarnation and ultimate expression of a long line of composers beginning with Perotin and continuing through Monteverdi, Giles Farnaby, John Bull, Bach, Beethoven, Webern... All I can say with any certainly at all is that I respond to sounds. Directly. Sound is my air. Whenever I deal with sounds, they organize themselves, so to speak. I have intuitive visions of sound worlds, music. I could not receive any exceptional flash of intuition, going on beyond what I know or what might be deduced from what I know of the past if there were not a constant stream of new influences on me, coming from all of humanity and its achievements and the interferences of their vibrations, and equally, influences from outer space, from the stars and centers of energy that emit waves that are structured in a particular way. Ultimately, I would say that all music, or more specifically all the new music that takes us further, is already there in the intuitive domain. I realized early on that I was able to tap into it easily, which is how I came to be a composer and musician.


The complete interview can be found at http://perso.wanadoo.fr/rhys.chatham/Recent_Interview.html


Some food for thought...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That interview is a wild read. Laughing

I don't agree with him about some people having more rights to make musical judgements than others.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
That interview is a wild read. Laughing

what do you expect from someone having "trumpet player's lips" Question Shocked

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jbenzola



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
That interview is a wild read. Laughing

I don't agree with him about some people having more rights to make musical judgements than others.


I do agree with Rhys about most of his premise. Musical talent/ability I believe is an inborn talent, like writing, math, athletics, gardening, etc. I think that you can study and practice and not have the talent to actually say anything with music just like I can practice running everyday and not be a track star. This is not to say that you cannot pick up an instrument for your own enjoyment...not everything has to be shared with the general public. Conversely, there are others who never before picked up an instrument and in a short period of time, what they produce has very good musical/aesthetic results. I do not and never will agree with the premise that we are all equals...it kind of goes against evolution (if you are a believer). We are all good and have talents for different things. That is not a problem or a negative comment, that is just the way life is.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

He wasn't talking about talent or ability, he was talking about making judgements about music. Not the quality of the judgements, but the right to make a judgement.

I know several people don't have much talent for singing or playing an instrument, but they love music and they have great musical judegement. I respect them tremendously for their judgement.

Rhys' attitude just limits Rhys.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
That interview is a wild read. Laughing



Cool

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7/4



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
I was a hard-core minimalist and was experimenting with extremely high levels of pure sound, which was of course one of the factors that contributed to my massive vitamin B deficiency, which lead to the partial loss of my short term memory and damage to my hearing, which is also why I compose things that are, basically, one chord.


Oh, that's why I make this music. Shocked
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7/4



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

But I don't get the hot sex he gets...
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

7/4 wrote:
But I don't get the hot sex he gets...

those trumpet player's lips are a great asset imho Cool

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

7/4 wrote:
But I don't get the hot sex he gets...

maybe he doesn't actually get it. Shocked
if not, its at least a good way to dodge a question.
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7/4



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

zynthetix wrote:
7/4 wrote:
But I don't get the hot sex he gets...

maybe he doesn't actually get it. Shocked
if not, its at least a good way to dodge a question.


Good point!
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jbenzola



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

7/4 wrote:
zynthetix wrote:
7/4 wrote:
But I don't get the hot sex he gets...

maybe he doesn't actually get it. Shocked
if not, its at least a good way to dodge a question.


Good point!


Ha....the whole sex scence sounds very made up and contrived! It's funny about Chatham, he is one of those guys who's name is more well known than his music. 7/4...have you ever run into him??

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dmosc



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
mosc wrote:
That interview is a wild read. Laughing

what do you expect from someone having "trumpet player's lips" Question Shocked


OUCH!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dmosc wrote:
seraph wrote:
mosc wrote:
That interview is a wild read. Laughing

what do you expect from someone having "trumpet player's lips" Question Shocked


OUCH!

don't tell me you got pianist's hands too Shocked

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Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
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deknow



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:

I know several people don't have much talent for singing or playing an instrument, but they love music and they have great musical judegement. I respect them tremendously for their judgement.


...i also know people with no discernable musical talent that love music that i think is terrible....ever see a 4 year old dancing to a sloppy "band music" concert outdoors (or a brittney spears record for that matter...or a bad cover band at a bar with people dancing)? could you possibly make an argument that such children (or adults) are "wrong" for enjoying such music? (i can't...the value has nothing to do with the music itself...it's the experience of the individual that has value....i don't necessarily respect the judgment, but i am happy that they are having a meaningful experience).

i like the binary system of musical judgemet...there are only 2 kinds of music, music i like, and music i don't like.

deknow
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:

i like the binary system of musical judgemet...there are only 2 kinds of music, music i like, and music i don't like.

if you really were into binary system your sentence would be:
i like the binary system of musical judgemet...there are only 10 kinds of music, music i like, and music i don't like Wink

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dmosc



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
deknow wrote:

i like the binary system of musical judgemet...there are only 2 kinds of music, music i like, and music i don't like.

if you really were into binary system your sentence would be:
i like the binary system of musical judgemet...there are only 10 kinds of music, music i like, and music i don't like Wink


lol. I feel like replying in aski
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

We are limited primarily by what we believe are our limitations. Most of the time, these limitations are stories that someone else taught us when we were children or that we made up to explain some apparent failure or disaster in our lives. Many biographies are about ordinary people that do extraordinary things by casting off these limitations.

By our perceptions of other people, we impose similar limitations on them. Everyone looses by this.

The Beatles were once just another undistinguished cover band. If we were open to the possibility that every cover band we hear had to potential to be as great as The Beatles, we would enjoy music more, or at least we would enjoy more music.

I haven't evolved this far yet, but I'd like to get to the point where there are two kinds of music, music I like, and music I haven't yet learned to like.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jbenzola wrote:
7/4 wrote:
zynthetix wrote:
7/4 wrote:
But I don't get the hot sex he gets...

maybe he doesn't actually get it. Shocked
if not, its at least a good way to dodge a question.


Good point!


Ha....the whole sex scence sounds very made up and contrived! It's funny about Chatham, he is one of those guys who's name is more well known than his music. 7/4...have you ever run into him??


No, but I did hear him play at the Knitting Factory a few years ago. I don't remember too much about it

There was a box set of his work on Table of the Elements, but I didn't invest in a copy.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Twisted Evil somehow a post by dmosc disappeared Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Twisted Evil somehow a post by dmosc disappeared Twisted Evil


lol, it won't be the last to do that I'm sure
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sorry, I deleted it... I sent a PM to D. I should have posted something here to that effect.

In retrospect, I should not have deleted it.

To paraphrase, he essentially said that no matter how enlightened one would become, it would be possible to prepare a suitable meal that would not be liked. Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
In retrospect, I should not have deleted it.

gee.. Howard you sound like one of those computer error haikus:

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

Very Happy

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dmosc



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

what's the forum without a little father son gripe every now and then? LOL. IMHO it wasn't the worst post on the forum but certainly not the nicest and I wasn't going to argue it with you. It is my style to say things without regards for how people will take them. Some people find that level of truth refreshing... most find me a pain in the ass.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for taking it so well... You're a good man, D, despite your father. Laughing
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