Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reify music

"The irony is in the facts, the contradiction only in the metaphor. Wings mean giving the slip to earthly conditions, one of which is mortality. That is why we picture our angels with wings and why the Greeks saw their gods, including the Muses, airbone. In reality, though, winged creatures are not known for longevity. The really durable things (tortoises, stones) are precisely the most earthbound and inert, the most thingly. So in reality, the best way to set something intangible safely beyond time is to reify it.
Perfect preservation is a matter not simply of technology, but of ontology as well. A defect of preservation is a defect of reification, and this is the trouble with clefs and quavers. They aren't music; they just represent it. The music itself is sound.

Music becomes a thing, "The Recording Angel", EVAN EISENBERG

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