Sunday 29 November 2009

Essence and Memory

I'm on a roll with this stuff at the moment. Nothing settled, but the questions are pouring out.

Essence seems to me to be tied up with memory. We recall essences. Find words to communicate them. Our capacity to remember would seem to be related to our capacity to perceive the essence of something. If our ability to perceive the essence of something is related to our ability to coordinate the regulating mechanisms of perception then inability to regulate perception effectively will cause forgetting. What this may mean is that memories do not 'exist' in the head, but are the result of a process of controlling perception. Alzheimers (for example) screws up the control mechanisms.

I'm trying to explore this with this improvisation.

Essence and Identity in Lachenmann

Here's another analysis pursuing the same line of argument as with the Schumann. It is a real challenge to situate an abstract model with real pieces. But I think here, there are definite things to point to. The prolongation of moments through disruption and coercion, and in the larger-scale structure, those prolongations relate to one another in larger-scale coercions. I don't think there's much exhortation. This is because the piece does not reveal its essence clearly (unlike the Schumann). It has to be something more abstract, created by the listener. I think essence and expectation (exhortation) are closely linked with this sort of music. Only by having this link can the exhortations and coercions leave the listener viable in this context.

Where a piece reveals its essence clearly, the means by which the essence is prolonged can be processed and the listener remain viable in the context (as in Schumann).

What is revealing of essence? Structural coupling? between the piece (model of the piece) and personal identity? Not sure. Feeling very anti-maturana at the moment.

Essence is certainly the ability to manage excess variety in the perception process. Where it can be managed, essence is maintained - it is to our 'taste'. Where it can't, it isn't and we withdraw.

Friday 27 November 2009

Essence and Context

Thinking about musical reduction and the prolongation of ideas (as in Schenker). When we hear a reduction of a piece it feels 'right' because it is what we recognise as its essence. The essence is the thing that is prolonged. What is the mechanism by which it is prolonged? What is the context within which the prolongation takes place?

The context is easier to think about. It disrupts, coerces and exhorts. Thus, we have an analytical technique which identifies the essence, and then sees how the context acts around the essence. This is what I've tried to do with the KinderScenen piece below. There isn't really any exhortation here. What if he had done some?

I shall take this approach to some other musical examples in future.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Stravinsky improvisation

Thinking about thinking with music. The video is a bit of a brain-dump of what I now need to do, after having at least got the first draft of the PhD out of the way. I'm going to give it a little rest now and get some feedback.

Sunday 22 November 2009

On train back from London

Just been to visit family this weekend. I did the improvisation a couple of days ago (before the TenCompetence conference). That went very well, our session on Learning Design was very well received. There's definitely something in the 'exhortation, coercion, disruption' thing...

Wednesday 18 November 2009

More reflections on Vienna

This is a different sort of improvisation (again done before I went). Thinking about the social simulator in Singapore...

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Beginning to reflect on Vienna

This is an improvisation which was done before going to Vienna. Bartok inspired. Beginning to reflect on some of the encounters....

Monday 9 November 2009

Washing Machine

Is the washing machine broken? That's been the question of morning. I'm not convinced. How do you decide if anything's broken or needs 'fixing' - mechanical or human? There are observable outcomes. We decide on explanatory principles to explain the outcomes (sometimes irrational explanatory principles). Emotion can affect the way explanatory principles are formed. If we don't agree on the explanatory principles, arguments happen. Can you find commensurability between opposing explanatory principles?

Sunday 8 November 2009

Fireworks Weekend

Had a great weekend. Went to Gulliver's with lzzy and her friend. they had a fantastic time on all the rides. Today went riding and then to Museum.

Thursday 5 November 2009

perception and organisation

I sketched this on the train on the way home, and the improvisation is based 'around' it. The prolongation thing is really exciting me at the moment. It's giving me something technical which I can see a way of working with - a feeling which I haven't had for years as far as composition is concerned. And in the video, I think I sorted out some of the confusion from yesterday's video about perception and the vsm and communication... Looking forward to Vienna (and obviously CETIS conference beforehand - but Brum not so exotic!). Izzy very happy. Life good.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Playing with prolongations

This improvisation plays with different prolongations and shows them in different contexts (harmonies). I'm still trying to think through the stuff on prolongation, longing, suffering, curiosity and boredom and how it ties into the VSM...

Feeling Happier

There's a real contrast between how I was feeling last week and how I feel now. Now I am very happy, on top of things. Why? The world is now full of curiosity and promise.. last week all was suffering. The connection between perception and communication is working properly again. I don't think it worked well last week. I had to force myself into communications, but I couldn't let how I really felt enter into it. Now I can .. maybe simply because I'm happy again?

Trip to London yesterday.. sort out flat, professorial lecture, near disaster. Only nearly. Long drive. Actually I ought to be miserable.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Commensurability in a confusing domain

I've been working on my PhD today. It's meant returning to a lot of philosophy which I haven't considered for a long time. The issue is 'value' and the role that Realistic Evaluation can play in identifying the value in interventions. One of the most interesting things is the way that opposing positions can be seen to be commensurable. This is something in the VSM, where one regulating mechanism can be seen to be commensurable with another despite them doing almost contradictory things.