Boring Formless Nonsense Experimental Music and the Aesthetics of Failure
Boring Formless Nonsense intervenes in an aesthetics of failure that has largely been delimited by the visual arts and its avant-garde legacies. It focuses on contemporary experimental composition in which failure rubs shoulders with the categories of chance, noise, and obscurity. In these works we hear failure anew. We hear boredom, formlessness, and nonsense in a way that gives new purchase to aesthetic, philosophical, and ethical questions that falter in their negative capability. Reshaping debates on failure as an aesthetic category, eldritch Priest shows failure to be a highly dubious concept. The book frames recent experimental composition as a deviant kind of sound art whose affective and formal elements reflect on current issues in contemporary culture, and offers analyses of musical works and performance practices that are rarely heard, let alone considered as significant cultural phenomena - showing the role that obscurity and the esoteric have in articulating current cultural realities. Ambitious in content and experimental in its approach, Boring Formless Nonsense will challenge and fracture your views on failure, creativity, and experimental music.
"The skilful navigation of modes of failure in composition that is "Boring Formless Nonsense" achieves a rare balance between theoretical crispness, fascinating detail and the murmurs of an avant-garde comic turn. It's like setting out on a journey over and over again."
- Paul Hegarty, author of "Noise/Music" and co-author of "Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock since the 1960s
Introduction; One: Boring; Introduction; A boring history; Cage, Fluxus and Extendedness in the 1960s and 70s; The Aesthetics of Boredom and the Art of Waiting; The Premises/Promises of Aesthetic Boredom; A Less Promising Boredom; Uglier Feelings of the Stuplime; Post...Death...; Afterthought...; Two: Formless; Pretext; Informe; How to read this chapter; Story; Becoming Formless; Music Noise; Recording Distraction; ---Multitasking; Capture and Escape; Lull ; Listening to SoS#16's Lull; Listening Away; Muzak's Way of Dreaming Ubiquitously; ---Notes on Muzak; ---Quantum Modulation; We don't listen anymore; The Sound of Habits; Sound-Effects; Charm and Dissatisfaction; Last; Another Again; Three: Nonsense; Voodoo; Metareferentiality, Metamusic and Hypermusic; Grupat and Pseudonymity; Symptoms, Syndromes and Hyperfiction; In a Sedimental Mood; Hyperstition, Magick and Nonsense; Becoming Karen et al, a Real-Time Hyperstition as of March 30, 2007 By; Karen Eliot; iv; Of Lies; What does music feel like? or, 'on the refrain of pain and imagining':; Discursive Remainders from glossolalia stress positions by Engram; Knots; glossolalia stress positions; Occult dualism; Illustrative Interlude: Practicing; The sleep side of music and dream-work; Inconclusion/This chapter is false; "Disclaimer"; Four: Confabulation; Bibliography; Index.