So we were heading to the Sheep Meadow to have a day reading under a tree. By the time we passed Balto, we could already hear it.
Thump! Thump! Thump! ZxzzzxxzzztThump! Thump….
Some company that sells super caffeinated sugar-water drinks had set up tents to advertise. They had a speaker blasting what sounded like a recording from an industrial factory that had seen better days.
My first guess was that it was the military testing new anti-personnel weaponry. This was disproved by noticing the indigenous populants sucking down the greenish swill had every appearance of enjoying their torture.
The whole Sheep Meadow was bouncing up and down to what we might call the “rhythm” of the noise. At 100 yards the music was loud enough to loosen a childhood filling in a back molar. Since I hate dentists, we retreated to a far corner of the park where the sounds of the traffic and sirens were a blessed relief.
Now it turns out that the punishing electronic uproar was by some famous black “artist”—though some of us might prefer infamous. Artist in the modern sense, of course, a person who purposely foists ugliness on his victims to great acclaim of our cultural leaders.
Walking down the Bowery, there was a black guy holding what we used to call the “boom box”, though this one, thanks to modern technology, was svelte while still being able to put out an ear-bleeding level of sound. The music itself was inconsequential next to the lyrics, which which would make a St Louis gynecologist blush. The singer, if I might abuse that term, at least had the ability to enunciate clearly. That quick walk by earned me a Bachelors degree in gross anatomy. I do not exaggerate. The man holding the contraption had that I-dare-you-to-say-anything look that will be familiar to anybody coming into the city.
Black music didn’t use to be soul-destroyingly awful. Not every note of it now is, either. But that which is celebrated is whatever is worse than horrible.
You can say “White music is bad, too!” And who could not agree that much of the popular variety certainly is. But it only reaches bottom where it emulates black music.
Don’t bother with any that’s-racist retorts, especially if they are used as a way to claim putrescent music isn’t putrescent. I could be as racist as Nebal Maysaud, but that would not make what is bad good.
Nebal Maysaud? He bills himself as “a queer Lebanese composer based in the Washington D.C.” Mysaud says “It’s time to let classical music die.”
He doesn’t like classical music because it’s white.
Which it isn’t. White, that is. It started that way—the vast majority of notable composers were white—but if we’re going to go by numbers, classical music is now more East Asian than white.
Incidentally, queer, says the thesaurus, is: abnormal, absurd, affected, anomalous, artificial, bastard, bereft of reason, bizarre, bogus…and so on. Skip that.
Maysaud says “My fellow musicians of color: it is time to accept that we are in an abusive relationship with classical music.” It’s not clear what color Mysaud thinks he is, but he looks white.
Western classical music is not about culture. It’s about whiteness. It’s a combination of European traditions which serve the specious belief that whiteness has a culture—one that is superior to all others. Its main purpose is to be a cultural anchor for the myth of white supremacy. In that regard, people of color can never truly be pioneers of Western classical music. The best we can be are exotic guests: entertainment for the white audiences and an example of how Western classical music is more elite than the cultures of people of color.
Dance, Bo Jangles, dance.
This paragraph is what is known as gibberish among Reality researchers. But it is pleasant sounding gibberish. The winds of culture are now blowing anti-white, and so strong are these gales that even whites and white-looking individuals want to get in on the blowing. Hence Mysaud’s repeated emphasis in his article about enjoying perverted sex, which to him means less white.
He has a point. A white man with a wife is the epitome of evil, a second Hitler. But a white man who enjoys having his anus penetrated really does become less white. If he’s loud enough about his proclivities, he color shifts in the eyes of others. Houdini could not perform a better trick.
Mysaud’s approach, which is common, of identifying the True, Good, Beautiful, Worthy, Real, and Desirable, such as is classical music (and grammar, math, reading, etc.), with white is bound to fail, of course. At least because once you destroy all good things in order to rid yourself of the stink of white, you’ll have nothing left over.
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Nebal’s site readership undoubtedly spiked today from its usual three.
I agree with your opinion on Maysaud’s article and I note that the majority of the comments under it are pretty negative also. But there’s a lot more to electronic music than TR808 kick drums. If you want tranquil and relaxing, there isn’t much if any classical music which can beat the best ambient electronics.
First, I have to confess I do not like classical music. Probably some genetic defect.
I looked up Nebel. He looks nothing like I thought he would. I tried the Youtube video and I will admit it does grate on me in a very short time. He’s not someone I’d buy music (?) from, but then again, there are many, many “artists” I don’t buy from. I actually used to like rap until it became vocal porn. Now, I generally listen to TV (oldies stations) or talk radio. Or silence, which may be the best choice.
I have Sirius XM radio for one purpose only, classical music. Ralph Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov (interesting predominance of Russians) and a fairly recent discovery, Alan Hovhaness “Hymn to Glacier Peak” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ3Wm5HiTrE
I have little love for Neighborhood Sonic Disruptor Units.
Holy smokes. I think there is something worse than Neighborhood Sonic Disruption; and that’s this composer of which you write. Brace yourself:
That was jarring indeed. The sonic equivalent of throwing paint on a canvas then calling it art. I hung on for 2 minutes. Maybe it got better some time in the next 17 minutes but I didn’t have the patience to find out. I pity the poor cameraman. Hopefully he was deaf.
There is one rap that I like, one of the first entries in the field and I think the name “rap” hadn’t been attached to it yet. Blondie “Rapture”. She actually sings (more than one note!) for part of it anyway and I don’t hear an “autotuner” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHCdS7O248g
In those days it was something to dance to.
Michael Gordon I did just a few clangs on the piano before switching it off. I mean, really.
“Pyotr lyric Tchaikovsky Hymn Of The Cherubim “
Through headphones, it’s best.
As for relaxing? Instrumental, choral, classical or some of the modern electronic? I’ve heard lately. Hans zimmer’s theme from Interstellar. Works best if you’re in complete darkness.
Loads of modern music is relaxing as it often seems designed to be just that.
It often works best when you don’t really know the tune too well. So you’re not anticipating the tune but carried by it. That’s why ,I the Tchaikovsky piece.