Monday, February 16, 2009

Music rituals

'Event' is not a ritual category at all, precisely because it does imply uniqueness. To have ritual value an 'event' must recur. In other words, it must not be an historical event at all, but an instance of something timeless. There is no original musical event that a record records or reproduces. Instead each playing of a given record is an instance of something timeless. The original musical event never occurred; it exists, if it exists anywhere, outside history.

Repetition is essential to ritual...

There is something soul satisfying about a ritual that separates music from noise, culture from chaos.

The musical ritual that punctuates one's life can become merely syntactical, if one lets it. The record that has been in the turntable all summer may become a drug. When exact repetition is automatic, meaning comes easy and goes the same way. Mechanical reproduction makes private ritual convenient, but cheap.

Ceremonies of a solitary, "The Recording Angel", EVAN EISENBERG

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