February 16, 2008
John Maus - Maus Space MP3
One of My favorite of Maus' Moments...
Here is his response when an interviewer asked him "how did you first become interested in making music?"
JM: Become interested in music? I am nothing except the making of music. Though I struggle to live compassionately, this is not where my significance is affirmed. It is only as induced by a truth that I chance upon my significance. Subject to a truth I become a local configuration of a procedure forcing the discernment of the indiscernible, I become the transformation of what there is.
Thinking my significance as affirmed only through subjection to a truth interrupts the current (discursive) regime's prescription of my significance as 'self-evident.' When my significance is not 'self-evident,' I become more than merely animal, more than a mere living creature, I become excepted from what there is. If difference is what there is, then subject to a truth, I am more than what there is, as I am induced by sameness.
I come from flatness - grey sprawling fields of flat nothingness - the country, my Innisfree. Throughout the night, sad cries of solitude - the shift change horn calling the horde of crusty workers back to the florescent plant for hog slaughter, the heartbreaking wail of a freight train off in the distance, the otherworldly doppler shift of semi trucks as they glide through a lonesome emptiness. These night time sounds, electrified thick either with humidity or a freezing cold, may have conditioned what I am about, though to what extent, I cannot say.
Bad poetry aside, the second-person singular pronouns in your question have been thought about, though we are still far from thinking music decisively.
Music is neither reducible to an art nor a science. The works of the integral serialists, with the medieval artes quadriviales, suggest it is not reducible to an art. Romanticism, from Weber to Schoenberg, for instance, suggests it is not reducible to a science. Cage and his circle, George Brecht, and the rest, followed by the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble, suggest it is not reducible to our sense of sound, even where we consider silence a sound. Finally, pop suggests music is not reducible to a dialectical entwicklung; music is more than the prescription of a given (discursive) regime.
Tentatively, it is this alone - that it is more than the prescription of a given regime - that is true of music; it is thus similar to mathematics, romantic love, political revolutions, and the rest. Music, and all the procedures induced by its singular truths - from twelfth century French polyphony to the twentieth century minimalists and beyond - will not be synthesized into any prescribed totality, aside from the unknowable totality that would include the untotalizable