Monday, May 14, 2007

paper trail

I guess for creative music to be important, we need to write a paper about it:

"Improvised and creative new musics have been on the upswing in recent years, but listeners, critics and scholars have said little, so far, about the relationships of the various forms and practices of improvisation to gender and sexuality. With an ear to addressing this gap, the second Creative Music Think Tank, presented by Coastal Jazz and Blues Society in conjunction with St. John’s College and the Department of English at the University of British Columbia, is inviting proposals for critical and scholarly conference papers on gender, sexuality and improvisation. "

Now, I'm all for bring more attention (of any type) to what we do. And certainly while there are more, and more prominent, musicians who don't meet the traditional stereotype of the jazz musician (i.e. assumed straight white or African-American male) there are not nearly enough. (particularly in prominence, not necessarily in number or qualiy) But do we really need more papers with names like "Auscultation and other Apparatuses of Audience"?

I had several bad experiences with "The New Musicology" in college (in the classical, not the jazz tradition, but I fear it would carry over). It seemed like it was trying to hard to be cutting-edge, and seemed to treat the music it studied like a medical class treats a cadaver, as an object to pick apart instead than a living, breathing organism to engage. I think of the Pavarotti quote: "Learning about music by reading about it is like making love by mail."

No comments: