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What Do You Have On Order?

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Showing 126-150 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on 15 Jun 2010 19:19:45 BDT
JF - go for Schnittke, please. Do you mean the complete symphonies? If so, please do as I'm interested myself but haven't gone beyond buying a few of his concertos and his piano quintet yet. In fact, I haven't bought anything else of his for a fair while now.

Posted on 15 Jun 2010 19:46:51 BDT
That's good enough reason for me. Schnittke it is then.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2010 20:38:56 BDT
Top man.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2010 22:06:05 BDT
L. J. Wilson says:
Ay present working my way through Schnittke Symphonies 4 - 8 plus Concerti Grosso ( if thats the correct plural form) on Chandos - interesting but bleak, with a somewhat limited soundscape seems to be the picture so far. Currently awaiting the Hyperion box set of Simpson symphonies and the Bis box set of Tubin symphonies - the latter available at the bargain price of £25.50 from Presto.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2010 23:12:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jun 2010 00:29:08 BDT
Basilides says:
There is nothing exquisite about Schnittke that I'm aware of, with the exception of some of the kitsch passages in the Faust Cantata - unless you enjoy pain in much the same way as a serious masochist. Don't waste your time or money.
'Bleak' surely is the least unpleasant aspect of his work. Horrific is the only word to describe much of it and I mean that literally and objectively. As horrific as anything that can be created musically.
Schnittke is a Post-Modern Expressionist and you could say he is the musical equivalent of Francis Bacon. Mercifully you're spared the spectacle of homosexual sado-masochism as such but I suppose you are in a sense on the receiving end of pain being inflicted, so there's not much difference.
Of course if you want the real truth about the human condition in it's historical and political sense then this is as close as it gets - that is to say it doesn't leave out the physical tortures and atrocities inflicted on people throughout human history, and no less today. In this his music is similar to James MacMillan's. Both of them insist on this real pain and horror being brought into the concert hall - in as much as this can be done through music - to make us acknowledge it - and it may actually serve a purpose I guess if the audience actually understands what is being done. The trouble is that people believe that it must be experienced primarily as something 'musical', and music lovers so often, it seems to me, congratulate themselves on their musical toughness instead of examining their responses and motivation more sceptically.
If you think, as you have so rightly said, that there is absolutely no pleasure to be found in Petterson then I hope you will have the sense to say the same of Schnittke.
At least MacMillan perhaps offers us something else, of a religious or spiritual nature. He certainly means to and tries to, as apparently does Schnittke but, as far as I can hear, Schnittke doesn't manage it whereas maybe MacMillan does.

There really is an awful lot of this sort of stuff around. This is just a little more consistently extreme, though there are plenty of individual exceptions that are no less extreme, like the recently discussed 'Three Screaming Popes', and there once again we have the Bacon connection.
I think I've said before that I don't have much respect for, and I'm not much interested in, art that tells me what I already know or feel. To me it's just stating the obvious. And the means to state the obvious are pretty obvious too, so there isn't even that level of interest to be found on the craft level.
There is something else that is obvious, which is that pleasure or satisfaction has to come into it somewhere for it to be worthwhile as an alternative to reading the newspaper.
I believe that a great many music lovers substitute self-congratulation for pleasure and real satisfaction.

I've just had the weird experience of having to make the same corrections and additions twice because the first postings were not registered. My apologies for the clumsiness and awkwardness of the rough drafts. But the way it stands now will have to do. It's getting late.

Posted on 16 Jun 2010 10:22:22 BDT
Ssssh! Don't tell amazon! I've just ordered Robert Simpson's (1) Horn Quartet and Horn Trio (2) String quartets No.s 1 & 4. If you snap it up quick hyperion are selling the latter for £5.60!! With the message 'Please, someone, buy me ....' and a nice agate on the CD cover (just right for a geologist!) I couldn't resist .....!

No! I am not fickle - it is not just the price & the pretty cover that attracted me - Robert Simpson is one of the composers I am particularly interested in investigating at present!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2010 11:05:29 BDT
Nugent Dirt says:
I've also got Schumann's complete symphs on order, well underrated IMO, plus Brahms' complete symphs, Grieg's Holberg Suite and a comp of Listz tone poems. Gone a bit mad these last couple of months building up a CM collection which in March comprised just two CDs. That's the beauty of Naxos, DG and Brilliant in that you can put together a decent basic collection for less than £100

Posted on 16 Jun 2010 11:15:19 BDT
I've also ordered Ole Bull - A Norwegian Pioneer - it is 200 years since this violin virtuoso and composer died and there are lots of special events being held in Norway, especially the Bergen area this year to celebrate!

Posted on 16 Jun 2010 11:16:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jun 2010 11:24:36 BDT
Good post, Basiledes. I would hazard a guess that I possess works by others apart from Schnittke that would fit into that criteria! Apropos Schnittke (and, to be fair, I've only heard five works by him so cannot claim to be any kind of authority) I can appreciate your way of regarding him and his ilk. Post-modern Expressionist he may be, there's also a primordial violence to some of the work I've heard which I quite like, such as the crashing non-chords over the keening melody of the adagio from Bruckner's 7th near the end of one of his piano concertos.

Joanna - I'd quite like it if Hyperion could issue a box set of Simpson's quartets/quintets - it's not too cheap collecting them incrementally.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2010 13:01:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jun 2010 13:03:41 BDT
That is a superb post Basilides. Wonderfully articulate, and one which I so much wish I could relate to. The forum environment makes it difficult to give my truly honest response to what I acknowledge is your entirely healthy attitude. To do so would be to share with others more about myself than either they or I would be comfortable with. Why am I so drawn to music that is filled with the pain and the underside of reality (which I rationally accept has two sides)? Perhaps I am not looking for pleasure? Perhaps I am not even capable of pleasure? Perhaps all I can really hope for is a sense of communion and fellow feeling? Sooner or later discussions of music must take us to places of intimacy that can only be conducted between genuine friends. If that sounds terribly bleak, then I would say that we are all complex, multi-faceted beings, and that those facets are developed to differing degrees in each of us. I too have my sparkling Mozart days, my inspired Tippett days, and so on and so forth. It is not for nothing that Beethoven seems to me the composer that embraces the most thoroughly all the contradictions I find myself to contain. But I, as do most of us to some extent, contain demons who will at times demand darker, richer food. Is there not something to be said that music, like sport or drama gives us an arena for the catharsis of emotions and attitudes that would otherwise express themselves more damagingly in society? If you cannot recognise something in this then you must be a far happier and contented being than the temperament you betray at times upon these pages would suggest.

Posted on 18 Jun 2010 05:06:42 BDT
Ian Farquhar says:
Have just ordered Brahms Violin Sonatas and Schumann Violin Sonatas. This is because I am gradually upgrading my music collection from LP and Tape to CD

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2010 18:26:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2010 23:03:19 BDT
Basilides says:
I would dispute the phrase 'richer food'. That is exactly what I would say it is not, and in fact, as you know, Modernism is conventionally regarded as a reaction against 'richness' and Expressionism just takes the 'richness' of it's predecessor and deliberately distorts it to make it unpleasant. I suspect you may be avoiding using the term that we have argued about before: 'complexity' - which in much contemporary music can be reduced to 'too much foreground' set against insufficient background for there to be any meaningful contradiction of expectations.

It is because I have had experience of poetry and music that represents, or embodies, states of being and feeling, which are happier and more contented than I am in my natural everyday human condition (much the same state as everybody else's) that I incline towards that kind of music. If the music didn't represent, or embody, a more 'oceanic' (in the Freudian sense), 'participatory' (in the anthropological sense), blissful or visionary state then I would have no use for it.
Even if I accept the doctrine of catharsis, with or without a big C, I would not expect it to work through the music of the Pettersons and Schnittkes. I would say it's more likely to work with Mahler 9 and 10, the Rite of Spring or Schoenberg's two concerto's etc. If this is what you mean by catharsis I'm all for it.
But if I try to follow what I understand your line of thought on catharsis to be I end up wondering why you're so hard on Punk and why you wouldn't find the Henry Rollins Band and Public Enemy just the ticket. As I've suggested before, it seems to me catharsis requires a definite physical involvement if it's a catharsis of violent emotions. Even in drama you would need to be physically involved - writhing or squirming, or on the edge of your seat as it were - or at least suppressing the same if in a public place. The Mahlerian catharsis, if that's what it is, is a rather different matter in those two symphonies. But not SO different, as there is a certain exquisitely excruciating quality of feeling about his harmony and dissonant polyphony - so that here then we have Aristotle's 'pity', but in a selfish form.
But if the music in question actually produced this high level of affect or stimulation I would be very interested in hearing about it from you, or those, 'affected'.
Aristotelian Catharsis of course was never conceived as being effected by music alone. After all the music of his day would not have been capable of it. But I'm quite certain he'd have found what he was looking for in OPERA and much more powerfully than he could ever have imagined. In the opera house the sound and volume of the music has a strong physical impact and combined with the action on stage it can compete with the latest Hollywood blockbusters and thrillers. The sound can undoubtedly instil a state of 'fear and terror' in the audience.
Perhaps there is a way through here which you can claim.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2010 19:30:07 BDT
Androcleas says:
Yes - I have some music by Schnittke, but I don't listen to it very much - it is simply too bleak and despairing. Interestingly, I find Penderecki a lot more hopeful, despite his music including a whole range of terrifying and difficult effects.
However, Schnittke is positively joyous compared to Galina Ustvolskaya. Has anyone heard this lady's music? My question is simply why?

Posted on 19 Jun 2010 20:39:36 BDT
Interesting reply, and I'm glad you did reply. Briefly, gut reaction - yes, for better or worse I need the complexity before something even registers as music for me, so Punk or Public Image are out, they just constitute inexpertly crafted static as far as I'm concerned, like something a kid brings hime from school after their first pottery lesson. No, but I do value, when I encounter it, spite, cruelty, rage, gut wrenching despair and brutak honesty. On the other hand I have absolutely no time for the whining, petulant whinging, etc. embodied by so much of what is considered great in rock music today. Why do I like the seriously heavy stuff? I can think of no better reason than it gives a chance to safely vent or at least inhabit feelings that I never allow myself to express in my daily life. In short I have big anger issues, still apalled at human stupidity and not that pleased about the mediocrity of so much that passes for life in my own immediate circumstances. Perhaps discharging these feelings in musical contemplation allows me to carry on being a good citizen and a loving father and husband. I really can think of no other reason for such pwerversity. I repeat I also have just as profound relations with serious (my sense : perhaps = complex) music that expresses power, truth, dignity, love (personal, humane and cosmic), and even from time to time that preposterous little commodity, pleasure.

I've an interesting boundary case here. Last night I mad my first acquaintence with Brahms' Violin Sonata No.1 Op.78 and it took my head clean off. The first movement specifically hit me in a way that when you listen to too much new music you can come to forget that things can hiy you that way. It was like open heart surgery without aneasthetic. It was, sorry I found it, so poignantly bittersweet that it was like falling in love and then losing a love all in 10 minutes. Utterly beautiful, yet really very painful. Far more painful to me personally than the big abstract anguish of say Shostakovich, amd it sounds perhaps like Schnittke. Should I therefore avoid this posionously beautiful music because it hurts? I woke up this morning and iy was the first thing on my mind, and the first thing I did when I got up is inflict it on myself all over again. Now, how dumb is that?

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2010 20:40:34 BDT
No Androcleas, I've yet to make her acquaintence. But now you've bought her up I guess I'm going to have to give her a try.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2010 21:07:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jun 2010 12:19:03 BDT
Basilides says:
The last thing I wanted to do is revive this complexity thing which is just as much beside the point as far as I'm concerned as it always was - which is why I included in this last post a brief reference in the first para to the main reason why it is still beside the point in this debate now - but I forgot to mention that I was referring to contemporary SM/CM. Too much foreground is a feature of contemporary SM/CM - this is what happens when you 'throw away the rule-book' as you have put it, since the rule-book IS the background. I hope you did not interpret me as referring to complexity as such.
My position on this complexity issue is also implicit in my later reference to 'following your line of thought' on catharsis to Punk etc. in as much as 'Catharsis' has to do with physical or visceral affects and has very little or nothing to do with complexity in the notational or compositional sense. Anyway it was my intention that it should be read as implicit.
Also my intention was to point out that if you believe in the doctrine of Catharsis (and Schnittke), interpreted as far as I can understand you, then you can hardly object to the violence and anger of punk etc. (as you have done on the 'Politics and Morality' thread) or object to people who revel in it's hatred and violence - because of course it's just as likely to be cathartic for them as Schnittke and co. for you, and for the same reasons, because those are the only reasons you have offered.
My purpose here is not of course to defend Punk. Nor do I WISH to defend Punk. But the point is that I don't want to defend Schnittke or Petterson either.

Good to hear the Proustian report on Brahms. The chamber music of the 19thc is indeed it's strongest suit on the whole. There's so much that's so good, and it requires such concentration and discipline to appreciate it under 20thc conditions.
I'm sure you don't intend to forget Schubert either. He's so close to Brahms sometimes.

Beauty is always justified, however painful.

'Pleasure, satisfaction and beauty' - those are my watchwords.

Posted on 19 Jun 2010 21:37:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jun 2010 12:33:11 BDT
Basilides says:
Incidentally a couple of weeks ago I left some personal thoughts behind on Dvorak's symphonies and they certainly seemed to have brought out all his supporters on the 'float your boat thread'. But I was expecting someone to come back and dispute that ALL of his symphonies were particularly nationalistic (albeit harmlessly) in flavour.
- Because in fact I did carelessly leave an opening of about 45%. I've been meaning to follow it up but was distracted by matters of Greek Tragedy on another thread in the time available.
Actually I would have to admit that the first 4 symphonies are more or less international mainstream - and even strongly Wagnerian - in inspiration and aspiration. There are even similarities to Bruckner, where it isn't more of a similarity to Wagner, in the almost hypnotic or timeless serenity he achieves, or almost achieves, in the slow movements.
I do far prefer these early symphonies though they are perhaps in a sense less original, and less perfected in form. Apart from the hints of Czech dance rhythms and phrasing in the scheros of the 3rd or 4th there is nothing homely, homespun or folksy about them. Away from the symphonies though I do enjoy that homely quality in the extraordinarily 'Victorian' first movement of the Piano Quintet for example - for similar reasons to the ones I gave for preferring the tone poems to the (last 5) symphonies.
But of course these symphonies are never played unless in a complete Dvorak cycle of concerts so one does tend to mean the famous ones when referring to Dvorak's symphonies.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2010 09:45:36 BDT
Valid point - thinking...

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2010 08:49:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2010 08:58:54 BDT
Your persistent dismissal of complexity as irrelevant to musical values really makes no sense to me. It is a valid dimension in music, and a vital aesthetic dimension. If this were not so we'd all still be listening to nursery rhymes, Hildegaard von Bingen and the most primitive forms of plainchant. The general increase in complexity is the unifying theme in musical history. The great discoveries in musical theory, equal temperament, the cycle of fifths, sonata form, etc, etc, which underly the definitions of the eras by which we organise music history, all served one purpose, which was to liberate composers to explore realms of deeper complexity. Music IS pattern and pattern IS complexity. I'm happy to agree that what is most valuable in music takes over where complexity leaves off, but where complexity is entirely absent there is nothing for the musical mind to engage with, no actual music. I also accept that if we try and understand aesthetics purely in terms of complexity we end up with an AI (artificial intelligence) or merely cognitive conception of music, a la Nelson Goodman, etc. But that does not mean we can eliminate it as a musical value. Even in the special cases of the simplest songs where vertical complexity, as something which stretches the musical cognition faculties to their limits, is not obviously present, there must be some novel device, some unexptected twist in the melody or rhythmic quirk to lift the music out of the entirely mundane or predictable for a real music lover to begin to take notice, in such cases to a special horizontal complexity. To insist on talking about music as though complexity were an entirely irrelevant factor is, it seems to me, like trying to do botany when the only thing that matters is leaves (I've just been weeding in the garden, hence the image).

Incidentally, I would make clear here that I am talking about intelligent complexity based on heirarchical patterns of organisation, not the apparant complexity we experience through a chaotic overload of information.

If it is granted that complexity is the musical foundation, and for me it quite simply is the case, even if that makes me an android, or even an interesting sort of philistine, then any sort of music that has complexity, is actually worth listening to at least once. I might judge it defective in all kinds of ways, and decide not to bother with it again, but it will certainly warrant giving some attention to it. Alternatively someone, singing a trite tune, no matter how intersting or pretty their voice will lose my interest before their song is over.

For me, excitement in music arises from complexity, period. Even when we're talking about those points of tension in that utilise silence or stillness, what's ultimately being exploited is the removal of complexity and the anticipation of its restoration. Complexity is also the common ground which enables me to assess the different forms of music side by side, to consider them all as manifestations of a single phenomenon, music, and then to begin to tease apart their differences and similarities in form and psychological impact. If I find myself at odds with the world musically then it would seem to be that most people seem to find excitement in loud noises in their own right and a particular distribution of frequencies across the audio spectrum.

Satisfaction - a formal requirement
Beauty - a manifestation of power (possibly even ugly), intelligence, sensation or human virtue
Pleasure - a definite bonus, a fickle guest, but always welcome when it comes

I could gibber on, but today is a day for getting things done.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2010 09:22:43 BDT
Fompous Part says:
Androcleas - I have a CD of Galina Ustvolskaya's "Symphonies", and they are immensely depressing. But they are meant to be her take on Russian plainchant, and so have a deep underlying religious sensitivity. I am afraid I do not share that kind of depth of religious conviction, and so I am either unmoved by her music or if there is a response that involves emotion on my part, I have a shiver at the depths of coldness in her sound world.

Your question is "why?" Why did she write in such a style? Or why would anyone listen to her work?!

I have kept out of this discussion involving Schnittke, as I have found absolutely nothing in his music that appeals. The same goes for Allan Pettersson, whose huge symphonies sound a tad too self-indulgent for me (and I adore Mahler...). Penderecki is another matter, although I find he has become less interesting in his old age, even if he is more approachable in his newer works. The effects you mention are maybe more prevalent in his earlier stuff (Threnody etc). I recently saw the Wajda film about the Katyn massacre, and the use of Penderecki as background music (I hesitate in saying "film score" here) was very clever, subtle and wholly appropriate.

Posted on 21 Jun 2010 17:03:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2010 17:05:27 BDT
Edgar Self says:
Eight hours of Schnittke here plus "Faust Cantata" and the opera that includes it, mainly out of interest in Schnittke's loyalty to Shostakovich and his reverence for Thomas Mann, previously mentioned. More interested in Gubaidulina than Ustvolskaya, though. And more in Gyorgy Sviridov ("Petersburg - A Suite" and Pushkin and Esenin songs magnificently recorded by Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Mikhael Arkaadiev) than Valentin Silvestrov, although the latter's "Silent Songs" and "Larissa" are here.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2010 19:45:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2010 23:07:01 BDT
Basilides says:
As I have said, the last thing I wanted to do was to get involved in trying once again to get you to move away from this obsession of yours with complexity which you have had from the start on this forum. I long ago said (on this forum), as one of my many attempts to have done with this subject and lay it to rest, that obviously 'complexity needs to be good enough' in exactly the same sense that psychologists now say that parents need to be 'good enough parents'.
Apart from that it is not relevant to the present debate which is about 'catharsis' or some other sort of justification for the expression of extreme physical pain in music, even to the point of representing screams time and time again as Schnittke does. We are discussing the motivation or justification for listening to it more than once when we could be doing something that makes more sense in terms of reward, even if it's only reading the newspaper.
'Complex enough' for the type and length of the piece of music concerned is a given, or a requirement, obviously, and I have already said a few things in the past which I hoped would lead you to move away from the conservative notational, compositional idea of complexity, and the macro idea of complexity of form, towards a way of considering complexity in terms of performance - which could even for example involve the considerable added spontaneous complexity that can be added by drums alone (at least in theory even if examples are few) - or the words of a song or aria which should be as much - or I would suggest more - of a focus of attention than the music. In the case of some of the best popular music created in the studio there are often considerable extra details added in the production where the backing arrangement continually introduces new elements. This is also a form of complexity which can occupy the mind - and more valid than excessive arbitrary flashy foreground, especially as this music has a genuine audience and purpose to please and socially lubricate it's environment.
I have also said many other things arising from the issue of complexity trying to take a slightly different viewpoint each time - such as for example the psychological onus on ourselves to have adequately rich inner responses to fairly straightforward pieces of music. This you might say brings us back to Proust - or could take us some way towards Adorno. The complexity can be partly in ourselves. Like a book it is as complex as the way we read it, or the ways that we can be prompted to read it by the text. Subtlety is another form of complexity.
Otherwise what you have just said about songs is perfectly true of course and I'm very glad we've got it established once and for all since you havn't responded before to the subject of songs when I've brought them up in this connection. Like I said, that sort of 'interest' must be a given, or a requirement. Obviously, obviously, obviously! There's no need to argue about it. There is no need to keep going on about it as if others (or at least the regulars on this forum) don't take it for granted in the first place. It is not a new discovery by software designers like yourself. You might like to read by the way 'The Hidden Order Of Art' by Anton Ehrenzweig, which has been around for a long time - well before the new subject of Complexity in science.
It's largely because of your earlier attitude to many centrally important composers in relation to your notion of complexity that I got stuck on this forum in the first place. Thankfully you are a bit more broadminded now in this respect. But I've also had misgivings about your over-estimation of foregound complexity when there isn't enough behind it and I'm glad to see now that you talk of 'apparent complexity through an overload of information' - and I would add that this sort of information is largely without content or meaning and is only capable of communicating the sublime, which is inscrutable and implacable.

By the way it seems that you might still be confusing beauty with the sublime when you describe it as a manifestation of power. This may be true in connection with some kinds of beauty in women, and in fact this is quite a deep and fascinating subject with complex psychoanalytical aspects, but your description, if it's meant to be a definition, seems to leave out the meaning which is fundamentally opposed to the sublime. Ugliness in modern and contemporary art is often found in the form of the Ugly Sublime, but I regard as highly contentious the idea that 'beauty' is found in the primary sense in visually ugly subjects such as portraits of ugly people though it may be found in some sense 'morally' or in the painters vision. If we call a portrait of an ugly person beautiful we have to work quite hard to distinguish the ugliness from the beauty because it's a difficulty we have created by not having a word for this kind of meaning.

Posted on 21 Jun 2010 21:48:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2010 23:18:21 BDT
Basilides says:
The Faust Cantata is a good piece in my view with some enjoyable passages in the worst possible taste. There is plenty to keep us interested. The Faust opera on the other hand is just unbearably boring. It's the majority of his other pieces which I've been talking about in recent posts.
I'm afraid I've only just finished my last post which kept demanding that more things be added and filled in along with the adjustments that needed to be made because of the interpolations.

I am now transferring to the 'But is it art? Philosophy Aesthetics and Music' thread to restate my suggestion made on that thread a long time ago that we should subsitute the concept of 'interest' for that of 'complexity'.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2010 23:54:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jun 2010 00:26:18 BDT
Basilides says:
John Ferngrove - I must say, on reflection, that I do rather resent your saying that I have persistantly dismissed complexity as irrelevant to musical values. I havn't and this shows either amazing inattention on your part or a very bad memory.
Even in the post you were replying to I made a distinction at the start between meaningless complexity and the 'meaningful contradiction of expectation' which I made quite clear, at the beginning of our debates two years ago, is the basis of the best kind of creative invention and is the essential form of complexity in communication in art. The 'meaningful contradiction of expectation' is Hans Keller's famous formulation of course and it requires a 'background' which is what you 'expect' and a 'foreground' some of which you don't expect. Composition is a process in which you vary the 'confirmation of expectation' with the 'meaningful denial of expectation'. I had thought that by now you would recognise these ideas in inverted commas straight away and not fail to notice when I have carefully embedded them in my argument, even without the inverted commas.
Even if this idea of foreground and background wasn't well established by now I would have thought you'd have noticed the implications of 'meaningful contradiction of expectations' in terms of it's significance in terms of 'interest' and the way it would inevitably produce sufficient complexity. Therefore you should have deduced that I was not dismissing complexity but only dismissing it's relevance for this discussion even while offering a more practical or useful way of applying it in art and explaining of how it actually works when not simply a matter of pure design as in some visual art.
The first time I mentioned all this to you two years ago you said that it would provide you with much food for future thought. So what happened? Have you just got a bad memory for conversations and debates? Is this why you have depressingly described our debates as circular? Is it just that I have to keep going back to the beginning because you have forgotten points that I was confident were already established?

Posted on 22 Jun 2010 00:57:35 BDT
This is just too nasty. I'm trying to have a discussio in a spirit of open minded enquiry, but your response is full of the most hostile language. Most dispiriting, and most annoying that I've let myself in for this treatment all over again. I just so totally don't need this kind of unpleasentness. I'll leave you to scribe away on whatever threads take your fancy, I'll not be pursuing any of this any further.
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