Abstracts of issue 20 (2011)

Konstantinos D. Kakavelakis

Human or electronic musical form? Some thoughts with reference to Franco Evangelisti, Theodor Adorno, Luigi Nono, John Cage, Earle Brown and György Ligeti

The present paper is focused in the examination of the questioning that has been placed in early ’60s in relation to the interrelations and complications of musical creation, human freedom and poetics of music. This interlacing concerned primarily many important composers, musicologists and philosophers of the Avant-garde era, but also Th. W. Adorno. It re-examines the problem nowadays, while surfacing new musical forms and original musical ideas and the dangerously increasing apathy in the field of how to product pure human music, in comparison with the threatening appearance of a new musical technological self-determination. Many crucial points of this new uncontrolled human situation had once expressed Adorno and Franco Evangelisti through their writings after and during the period of the Darmstadt Courses in Postwar Germany. They have characterized it as a human retreat which leads to atrophy. The human reflective authenticity in musical form is being threatened since decades by this becoming more and more technical antipoetic absolute: it tries to replace every human unpredictable visionary musical precedence. Via a new high violent objectivity admiring and using the machine as the only social liaison, this absolute obtain now to replace every pure human inspiration and bond to an unfair hyper-technical metamorphosis. While it offers a direct illusion of freedom, it tends paradoxically to replace human aesthetics with enjoyable machines of higher architecture. These machines are playing with the musical past interacting with human brains and by governing the cyberspace of a strange utopia. While in our days this tendency invades in the musical education, especially for the younger generations, is being created a new transient danger. A danger, in which every young boy and girl through this objectification can lose progressively its recreative ability to interpret the deeper meanings of the musical traditions of the past, but also to lose the privilege to be connected in an independent way with the reflective recreative process of the abstract musical expressions. From another point of view, however, this new situation calls us to re-examine and to discover again forgotten human mental powers, revealing that the deeper knowledge of universal laws is contingent on a deeper knowledge of the deeper sound of human nature and the nature of our environment. This knowledge connects us with the ancient encyclopaedic tradition, in which there was no schism between science, philosophy, music and poetry.

© Musicology