Attali on Composition


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I’ve mentioned Jacques Attali’s book Noise before, and his prediction of a period of musical development he called “composition.” Although an economist, Attali offers some wonderfully poetic descriptions of composition:

We are all condemned to silence – unless we create our own relation with the world and try to tie other people into the meaning we thus create. That is what composing is. Doing solely for the sake of doing, without trying artificially to recreate the old codes in order to reinsert communication into them.

[...]

Composition thus leads to a staggering conception of history, a history that is open, unstable, in which labor no longer advances accumulation….Time no longer flows in a linear fashion; sometimes it crystallizes in stable codes in which everyone’s composition is compatible, sometimes in multifaceted time in which rhythms, styles, and codes diverge, interdependencies become more burdensome, and rules dissolve.

Special thanks to Timothy D. Taylor, and his book Strange Sounds, for returning me to these thoughts.

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