In this section of the chapter, the course breaks down the illusions of the ego even more. We get an even better understanding as to why ego can’t experience love without conflict. Also, have you ever noticed the message of the course in the movie\/book \”The Wizard of Oz\”? It serves as an example to understanding that in spirit ’to have’ and ’to be’ are the same. Listen in!Abstract and concrete, being and existing, and creation and communication. In this episode, we will examine the meaning behind these terms and discuss how they relate to our journey.
Alf Hornborg is Professor of Human Ecology at Lund University since 1993. He received his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Uppsala in 1986 and has taught at Uppsala and at the University of Gothenburg. He has done field research in Peru, Nova Scotia, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Brazil. His primary research interest is the cultural and political dimensions of human-environmental relations in past and present societies, particularly from the perspective of world-system analysis. This has led him to explore various perspectives not only from anthropology but also from trans-disciplinary fields such as environmental history, ecological economics, political ecology, and development studies. The central ambition has been to examine how specific cultural assumptions constrain human approaches to economics, technology, and ecology, and how such assumptions tend to serve as ideologies that reproduce social relations of power.Alec & Nick conduct a first meeting of the “Neo-Feudalist Captive Music Society,” an invented club that takes shape around how contemporary musicians are obliged to live on borrowed land and provide homage, labor, and shares of their “produce.” The discussion describes how local music networks often exist outside the castle walls of the various abstract systems they operate within. Attempting to trace the limits of political economy, music scenes as liberatory associations, and the critiques of late capitalism from theorists like Franco “Bifo” Berardi & Christian Marrazi, the conversation arrives at the production of a “Captive Music”—an embodied, local, entrapped, but warrior-like music. Other topics include the machineries of irony and sincerity, musical “guilds,” auto-surveillance, american politics, loyalty, colonization, the club, Keiji Haino, and more. Alec and Nick pull back the Flavortone curtain and take up influential sitcom Frasier to discuss the decorum of Foibles as a primary engine of music. Known as a minor weakness or eccentricity in one’s character, or the weaker part of a sword blade—the conversation uses the Foible to explore wide-ranging commentary on Christianity, the trial of Socrates, sites of contested authorship in American minimalism, Rip Van Winkle sleeping through the Revolutionary War, comedy, Fluxus, the work of Torn Hawk, and more. Ultimately, the duo asks: is the foible of a blade actually the avant-garde? Are the aesthetics of experimental music actually defined and determined by the foible? And, is the foible a primary site for our social life and shared narratives of music? The discussion ends with Alec and Nick sharing anecdotes of their own personal foibles in the realm of music: including getting embarrassingly wasted at Cecil Taylor’s birthday party, abandoning one’s post as a handbell choir director in Ohio, and the foible masterclass of co-running a DIY music space in the early 2010s. Alec & Nick take to the proverbial skies with this discussion around the dreaming and engineering feats which make possible the various metaphorical and real forms of Flight. Diverting from some of FT’s established conversations dealing with cultural and musical wreckage, this episode looks into moments of lift and inspiration, as supported by efforts of imagination, study and experimentation. The discussion ranges from a consideration of passive and active flight, the commercial airline experience, musical tuning systems and just intonation, the tensions inherent in human progress, the journals of Leonardo DaVinci, synthesis and synthesizers as instruments of belief and knowledge, Buckminster Fuller’s “Great Pirate” paradigm, Evagrius Ponticus’ “Demon Pilot,” and more.
For a Halloween special, Alec and Nick take up Søren Kierkegaard’s frightening text “Fear and Trembling” as a starting point to discuss fear as it relates to philosophy, music, film, and life. Discussing the chilling crisis of faith during Abraham’s binding of Isaac and the subsequent “Teleological suspension of the ethical”—the conversation evolves into a broader exploration of universal vs. situational fear, affects of fear vs. the motivations of fear, and the administration and control of fear in everything from the music of Scott Walker, Kubrick’s The Shining, Krzysztof Penderecki, climate protesters actions toward paintings, alien surveillance, Sasquatches on the beach, and more. Ultimately, the discussion arrives at tautologies or “degree zeros” of existential fear—from John Cage confronting his own circulatory system in an anechoic chamber, to capitalism and environmental collapse in Lars “TCF” Holdus’ new blogpost “Undoing nihilism.”
Following on from Flavortone’s previous episode exploring Excellence, Alec and Nick pick up Charles Keil & Steven Feld’s “Music Grooves” to discuss “the Groove” as a political concept that illustrates musical discrepancy and assembly. The episode continues a “back to basics” and “first principles” line of inquiry, approaching essential ethnomusicological ideas such as “Participatory Discrepancy” that describe how a simultaneity of difference can give music its power and meaning. The conversation also discusses riffs and phrases, contrasts the Groove to Attali and Nieztche’s ideas of carnival and the Dionysian, creates a comparison between “literary” and “linguistic” musical orientations, re-discusses “Agave Expressionism,” and ultimately describes how the Groove offers an alternate perspective of sound beyond the universalism of western art music and institutional major histories.Alec and Nick kick off the new year of podcasts with a discussion of Excellence. Taking on critical histories of the composer as fodder, the episode surveys musical success paradigms and the narcissisms of small difference which feed debates over musical interpretation. Topics include Alec and Nick’s recent performances as participants in Random Gear Festival, a recent viewing of Tár, the parasite as a metaphor for interpretation, old-school classicism, Harold C. Shonberg’s book, “The Lives of the Great Composers,” musical idealism vs. counterculture, music as text, and more.