Speaking in Salzburg today, at the AAAS conference. The landscape is absolutely stunning, the weight of History and high culture in absolute contrast with the ethereal quality of the light, the air, the sound.
Here’s my abstract:
An attempt to listen to it all: extreme digital compression as a mechanism for the obsolescence of “personal taste” in popular music
This talk will focus on current popular music languages and aesthetics that emerge as a consequence of recent, exponential technological advancements facilitating and shaping music production and dissemination.
By observing key examples of contemporary electronica focusing on conceptual and revisionist approaches to music History, we will argue that the current over-abundance of music availability, the blurring between legal and illegal music distribution, and ever-more-potent means of online and off-line storage, have fostered the appearance of a distinct kind of music making and listening: trans-geographical in essence, invested in eclecticism and paradox as imperatives in affirming one’s status of glocality, and replacing aesthetic concerns of “pure enjoyment” with an underlying consensus that music is made to be “clever” – that, in itself, an aesthetic loop.
Its semantic discourse firmly rooted in pop music, this kind of meta-music thrives however in dissonance and the convergence of pop and avant-garde languages, amongst an audience that is by now immune to aesthetic epiphany if not via the ever-evasive “pun”.