Again, cheers for your engagement, *.
I completely agree. As I've already said, I cannot see how any reliable system for objective measurement of success and failure for so-called experimental music can be devised. Your praxis/product model seems a good starting point to me. I like the way you expand upon this, too. The weird oppositions and ambivalences you describe chime here, for sure. One personal example is my love of John Cage - his words, the moves he made, and the idea of his music, but not most of his music as such. Cage, like a lot of essentially conceptual artists, serves to thrill and delight in terms of ideas; but one is often left with little in terms of pure entertainment. I feel this when thinking about that Shelley guitar solo - one is supposed to be enthralled by the cheek of it, but it's a one-shot deal, like all shocks of the new. Ditto, I'd say, with 4'33. Further - as you intimate - does one even have to see the performance itself? Doesn't it function as text, in a sense? I'm sure Cage knew all this, of course; so, that's all part of its meaning. In my view, there is something grander about those forms of art which include tenacious degrees of entertainment - or, one might say, continually resist reification, resist taming, preferring some kind of endless becoming as opposed to a muted, nulled being. Is there any such thing, anyway? I do like art to have something unfathomable in there, myself. Like, say, the film, 'Badlands' - a Bonny & Clyde affair in one sense, but as much a film about that as Conrad's Heart of Darkness is a book about a boat. It's maybe annoying, but science and its methods, so far, have failed to explain everything. We still need poetry. Hope I'm not namedropping with all these references, but here I'm minded of the subtext - or, in fact, text - of Poe's The Purloined Letter, if you know it. Derrida unfurled all this to great effect in his 'La Facteur de la Verite (in The Post Card). * may well be privileging ideology, as you surmise. I got the feeling that**********. Nothing is guaranteed by technical facility alone, in my view; nor when it dominates. There's a name for that ideology, of course; and I often sense versions of fascism in those who declare technique is king to the exception of everything else. Again, that's what I love about Fred Frith. He has technique but he's not afraid to unuse it. I might start my own fan club. '...[F]ree improv challenges the subject-object relationship...'. Indeed. It's about process over product, certainly. It's very different, in terms of intentions and intended outcomes, to composed music, I would say. It's about different things and should be thought of differently. I always drone on it's more correct to call it experimenting music - signalling that becoming over being thing, again. Oh, how they all nod in agreement.