ENGAGEMENT WITH THE fundamentals of music and sound deeply influence the formation of a composer’s aesthetic. There is such a thing as musical logic, which is based on a mix of physical factors around sound, psychoacoustics and cognition, and complex culturally specific factors that shape the musical experience for individuals and in society. Musical logic can at times seem stupid – even wilfully anti-intellectual – but it functions in a way that is not primarily based in verbal language or scientific thinking. It is its own domain, and the best definitions and explanations of musical logic are always seen in the work itself.
As a composer I have tried to put my arguments in musical form: in the native language of the ideas. My development has come from experience as a composer, performer, listener and thinker – what I have learned and how I have learned it have led to my aesthetic position, which itself is an organic thing and constantly transforming. An aesthetic position can emerge from inherited traditions or be the result of a more conscious activity, filtering through what is important in search of musical elements that could form a kind of bedrock: ‘musical truth’, to adapt Theodor Adorno’s term.[i] To some my point of view may seem conservative, to others radical, but these critical judgements are themselves based on extraneous and often ideological thinking outside the musical domain.
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