noise concept theorie und geschichte von noise musik

  Short history + theory of noise music
Music Noise & Politic by Dror Feiler, Stockholm

My music is a part of a new international network of experimental music moving trough the spheres of the improvisation, electro-acoustic, the serial and post-serial contemporary music, the techno, ambient, noise & other micro genres of new electronic music and that music comfortably navigate between clubs & concert hall, between (post-)popular youthculture & the avant-garde of 'contemporary classical'. As a new dimension and complement to the orderly dialectics of classical Marxism it uses the theory of chaos & complexity : a method of complications and implications as an antithesis to the dialectic method of restricted sequence of cause and effect. That means crossing the borders of categorization, exposing and even creating unexpected relations, like composers do in their computer, sampler and synthesizer based music and DJ's do in the mix. Such is the praxis of the NEW AVANT-GARDE : a democracy of sounds breaking through predictable hierarchies of instruments, ensemble combinations and instrumentation (the usual privilege of voice in classical music, sax solos in jazz and guitar solos in rock music) and of narrative structures (the familiar dominance of plot and character in art).

Music is more than the reproduction of tones, it is a process of creating and producing sounds and forces. The tone is first of all just a noise that is bound in a canon of rules - and only becomes a tone under these circumstances. The music of the whole occident builds systems, creates models that filter the noise.

We are becoming deaf and musically unconscious when we hear nothing but perfect harmony, perfect structures, just new academism, repetition and its refrain. Perfect melodies and perfect chords in popular music, perfect structure, instrumentation and electroacustic sounds in the ³new music² scene, just the circulation of clean and sound sound currents, cleaned of the noises and sounds that could disturb prosperity that's what music offers us today. This use of chords, melodies, voices, structures and electroacustic sounds that claim to be the music itself, create an aesthetic of boredom, a self sufficient repetition and artistic conformity. The tracks are overwhelmed by signature tunes, the concert halls by ³classical² compositions and ³new music² academism. This is the potential fascism in music. People are being manipulated into passivity and confimity by the the computer sound, the synthesizer, the ³new² pop tune and the ³new music² academism . So the structure, the harmony, the chord, the sound even the tone itself must explode; one must open the door to noise itself, make even the channel to the sound currents quake.

Music & noise

My music is a flow of sounds, noises, forces, it develops to a point where it goes beyond itself. The speed with which different sound elements follow each other, and the density with which they superimpose vertically, are so great that a sort of overload occurs, one which transcends the restlessness of arousal, like a film run through at a too hight speed. The occasional passages with tones, harmonies and sounds in a more ³normal² rate can, in context, seem almost banal measure of the distance we have travelled in the music. The intuitive molten metal brutality of the music brings the player into the energy of a hot improvisation. A new music is created, a new speed of thinking and feeling where the intellect meets the manic raver. We experience an energy born of rapid movement, sound, noise, flow and expression. The music does something palpable to its listeners, or at least incites them to a form of action, of awakening.

The most immediate audible characteristic of my music is its noisiness. Abrasive, loud, fast. The textures and rhythms are never sweet or satisfying in the conventional sense; one has only to hear the primal screams of ²Pig iron² (The celestial fire CD/ANKARSTRÖM-Ö10 (Dror Feiler Solo) for tenor saxophone & live electronics)), the punk-free improvised thrash of ²Tio Stupor² (Saxophone con forza PSCD 81 (for alto saxophone & live electronics)) or the new composition ²Ember² (for symphonic orchestra & electronics (1997 Donau Eschingen festival commission) to realize that neither a pathetic World music prettiness, a pretentious new romantic resolution, nor new music academism has any place in those improvisations/compositions, except as an antagonistic element. Nor do these compositions allow the conventions of modern and contemporary music unproblematically. My music uses ²noise² that is ²noise in itself; but noise, in this connotation, is not simply a haphazard or natural sound, the audible "background" that encroaches on a work such as Cage's 4'33", as the audience is forced by the tacit piano to listen to its own shufflings, or to the urban soundscapes that emerge through an open window. It is a noise that is always impure, tainted, derivative and, in the Romantic sense of the term, beautiful like in Alka, OpFor & DiaMat ((FYCD 1007) By the Too Much Too Soon Orchestra). Noise, in the widest possible sense, is one of the central elements in my music as for its more popular ³musical cousin² the Noise music. The abrasive raucousness, in the music is an attempt to alter the way people hear. Noise, as sound out of its familiar context, is confrontational, affective and transformative. It has shock value, and defamiliarizes the listener who expects from music an easy fluency, a secure familiarity (it can be a ³modern² one), or any sort of mollification. Noise, that is, politicizes the aural environment. The music is difficult in the sense that Adorno finds Schoenberg's music difficult the music demands from the very beginning active and concentrated listening, the most acute attention to simultaneous multiplicity of movement, forces and expression, the renunciation of the customary crutches of listening which always knows what to expect and the intensive perception of the unique, the specific and the general. The more the music gives to listeners, the less it offers them. It requires the listener spontaneously to compose its inner movement and demands of him not mere contemplation but praxis.

Music, noise & politics

Che Guevara made the choice to dedicate and than sacrifice his own life to a revolution. A last inaccessible event that mostly leaves the survivors only with traces of desperation and loneliness. And yet it is this last absolutely unique choice that allowed him to become his own and from one moment to another, left us only with the power that is found in his work. Perhaps it was not the kind of suicide which Foucault spoke of as an act which should be thought about, that illuminates life, but more the radical refusal to give up the realistic dream of the revolution ... Che himself thought of life, the energies that life releases within itself and the act of forcing the struggle, as a great experiment to overcome the possibilities of existence and the ways of life which one is a prisoner in. Life is more and even beyond than the biological force, in every moment it should create new constructions by opening the lines of resistance. Just as life is the discovery of the new and setting itself free of the self to be able to think of the new, so must music draw vanishing lines, withdraw from the mechanisms of being shut in, avoid the permanent control and hyper-information.

As part of the modern capitalist society music is in danger of perishing in random samples, data, markets, instrumentation patterns, institutions and computer nets, or of suffocating in the gigantic tautological machinery of the media industry, that continuously sends back the opinions of the masses, that they, as media, formulated. The music of the NEW AVANT-GARDE, is the differential, that neither compromises or thinks of surrender, but carries on even in the shadow and disguise like the guerilla fighters and draws active disappearing lines in the fields of society.

The music of the NEW AVANT-GARDE is a labyrinth, a rich ensemble of relations; diversity, heterogeneity, breaks, unexpected links and long monotonies. It is the vision of a life that opens the ways and allows the horizon of resistance to light up. The right to life, the right to power for all.

In my music I want always to deal with the grim problems in life: Shrapnel (war) ; Beat the White the red wedge (Revolution) ; Schlafbrand (Second World War) ; Let the Millionaires go Naked (Revenge of the poor); Intifada (Israeli- Palestinian conflict); Ember (the anti imperialistic struggle). Aesthetics per se does not interest me. More than that, it is dangerous. When I compose or play, I do not look for beauty, but for truth. I often depict, fortissimo and at great length; a violent struggle is heard but as in Maavak (struggle) the composition does not describe the struggle it is the struggle itself. Whenever I dedicate a composition or write IN MEMORIAM, i.e. Che Guevara in Ember, the palestinian peoples struggle in Intifada and the foreign workers in Europe in Gola¹, it is not so much a question of an inspirational motif or a nostalgic memory, but on the contrary, of a becoming that is confronting its own danger, even taking a fall in order to rise again: a becoming as far as it is the content of the music itself, and it continues to the point of end... Becoming, so that the music goes beyond itself.

Dror Feiler

Go back to Theory Page
© Noize Concept 2001. This page is part of the Noize Concept frameset.