MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Julius Eastman Program Opens MärzMusik

mm17_eastman_d_media_gallery_res

I’m excited about this evening’s Julius Eastman program, which opens the 2018 MärzMusik Festival.

From artistic director Berno Odo Polzer’s statement on this year’s program:

Music offers time a centre. – This trope by John Berger puts the two main concerns of this festival – music and time – into a generative relation. Such a centre – in motion, elusive, non-geometric, plurimodal as it must be – would allow for a different point of view. From such a musical centre, one may sense the divergent temporalities each of us inhabits simultaneously, and draw relations to the ongoing fundamental transformations happening around us.

Yet the trope allows for another reading. The frozen self-image of Western art music places music outside of time as well as outside of its own time: by claiming avant-gardism – being ahead of its time, and by clinging to abstractions – timelessness, universality, structure. Contrary to this (Berger seems to suggest), music – all sorts of music – may in fact be a centre for and a portal to things temporal, may grant access to time in varied modalities.

More than ever, time – as a political category – is of the essence when it comes to learning to make sense of the erratic commotions of the present. Maybe music can help us find ways to do so. This is a time for listening.

 

 

Filed under: festivals, Julius Eastman, MärzMusik

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