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[F_MINOR] Re GG: Solitude Trilogy Question

Good evening F Minor

Its quite some time since I listened to the Idea of North in its entirety,
so these comments are a bit off the top of my head, but I agree with Anne
about GG's intentions.  He was not trying to produce a straightforward
documentary, with formal inerviews etc; he was trying to create a new
art-form using  recorded spoken words as his medium.

In that way, yes, it is analagous to a graphic artist creating a collage
from pieces of other's pictures and photographs, to express his own ideas as
distinct from the originals. We accept that, so why not the same thing in

The trouble is, does it actually _work_?  The first time I heard an extract
from IoN was thanks to BBC Radio 3. I knew very little about GG at the time,
and certainly did not know he even  had made these radio programmes, let
alone know what he was trying to achieve.. So my first reaction was
"Something is wrong here. They are playing more than one track at the same
time "  but then (about ten seconds later) I thought "No. Heavens, He is
trying to use the voices as if they were contrapuntal music". I found it
difficult to listen to because I was in fact trying to make out in detail
what each of the voices was saying.(  incidently,I was quite relieved to
learn  later that much of the documentary is much easier to listen to than
the opening. and not contrapuntal!)

GG himself said this detailed listening  was not necessary, and indeed some
of the simultanous speech is faded into the background while another voice
takes precedence. GG said that as a child, he regarded as almost magical the
very fact that he could hear the human voice over the radio, when the
speaker was hundreds of miles away, irrespective of what was being said.
The trouble is that we are necessarily used to the  idea that the words
themselves convey the meaning of speech, not merely their sound (think of
listening to a speech in an unknown language; could we perceive that as
"artistic"?)   Music, however can be appreciated intuitively by anyone that
hears it; it affects the nervous system directly and does not necessarily
require special knowledge to  be enjoyed or interpreted. ( I am aware that
this could be seen as a generalisation , but leaving aside any question of
whether intellectual study enhances musical experience, or whether we cannot
intuitively appreciate the unfamiliar music of foreign cultures, I  hope I
am making myself clear!)

GG's music  - indeed all music - can be/is meant to be  enjoyed and
treasured by anyone who hears it. One does not have to be an expert or a
musician oneself.. I am not sure however that this is true of his use of
"contrapuntal voices" although I agree with Anne Marble that it acceptable
to edit the conversations as he did.  Art is surely  by definition a
creative process...the word itself share its roots with 'artifice' ,  i.e.
it is something  with meaning, created by the intellect and imagination of
man; not just something that exists unworked in nature.  Even if there is
beauty in untouched nature, it is not "Art".

Although GG may have been critisised for editing or distorting the recorded
concersation, I don't think this would have worried him! After all, he was
the man who beleved that  music was not the creation solely of the composer,
but was an experience created by three people; the composer, the
interpreter, and even the listener. Hence his enthusiasm for the
'electronic' age'. He certainly did not believe in only playing,say,Bach
only on  'authentic instruments' nor did he think one should necessarily
stick strictly to the composers own intentions (given that we can be sure
what they were!) ...just listen to some of his comments to Monsaingeon in
the Bach documentary. In a similar manner he has treated the original words
recorded for his radio documentaries as something with which he could
experiment , and imterpret his own way.

I have read that GG regarded the whole Solitude Trilogy as some of his most
important work. Even though I personally  do not regard it as a total
success, I can understand this. This was a man that devoted his life to
trying to create beauty, to communicate with us and share with us his his
own world in various ways.  And usually, yes, it does work!


PS   Amazon UK says that the new Bazzana book will not be available here
until 2004. Damn. Maybe I will gave to ask Santa to take  flight to

 Anne Marble wrote
> I haven't had a chance to read the section on the Solitude Trilogy in the
> new GG biography. I'm looking forward to it. This relates more to what
> previous biographers said.  [snip]

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