The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 11, 2018

Parlor Guitar with Qin and Pipa Aesthetics

Martin 1917 parlor guitar, somewhat 'noisy' with square-cut
frets that buzz, with very low action that rattles somewhat, and
with very low tuning. I played through and with the sounds of
fingers and hand and nail, the pressed strings, and the
beautiful hollow resonance of the instrument. I considered these
sounds part of the improvisation, much as string-finger sound is
integral to qin music, a dialog between the 'noisy' physics of
the world and an idealized project that now incorporates these
physics. This isn't modernism, isn't 'pure' music, but includes
Cageian noise in relation to sound practice, within a habitus of
musician, instrument, and the construction and constitution of
the possible and its manifolds.

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