Radio Enemy 002 - Christoph Cox - How Do You Make Music a Body Without Organs?

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主题:如何把音乐变成无器官的身体?
主持:克里斯托弗·库克斯
2012年8月

感谢颜峻邀请我主持这一期的敌台。颜峻请我围绕我在几年前写的一篇题为《如何把音乐变成无器官的身体?吉尔•德勒兹和实验电子音乐》的文章作这期节目。这篇文章近期被翻译为中文。

我一直着迷于吉尔•德勒兹的哲学,这篇文章是我首次尝试思考当代电子音乐和吉尔•德勒兹哲学的关系。德勒兹去世(1995年)不久,两个欧洲独立场牌就发行了纪念他的实验电子音乐作品集。 比利时的Sub Rosa厂牌于1995年发行的 Folds and Rhizomes for Gilles Deleuze,以及一年之后,德国厂牌Mille Plateaux发行的In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze。这些唱片里的艺术家中很多并没有与德勒兹有什么公认的关系,德勒兹也并不熟悉他们。但是在我看来这种联系是恰当并具有启发性的。

德勒兹写了很多关于艺术的书和文章:两本书关于电影,一本关于画家 Francis Bacon, 一本关于作家Franz Kafka,还有关于其他艺术家的散文。他从未为音乐专门写过一本书,但却常常提到作曲家和音乐家。他的主要著作之一《千高原》(与瓜塔利合著)里有一章节题为“迭奏”是主要关于音乐的。然而,当我开始思考德勒兹和当代音乐,他关于音乐的具体评论在我看来并没有他的核心概念-无器官的身体-那么地重要。无器官的身体是法国诗人和剧作家 Antonin Artaud 发明的一个词组。

我不想对德勒兹艰深的哲学系统作太深入的讨论。但是这里我有必要说的是,在他的著作中,德勒兹区分两种现实:实在具体的【actual】和虚拟的【virtual】。对于德勒兹来说,实在具体的整体比如人的身体、树、山、书和音乐作品等,都是在虚拟力和潜力作用下得到的结果或产物。这些虚拟力和潜力包括:流动体、变化体、强度、特异体等。在他的书中,德勒兹尝试彰显这些虚拟力,并提出它们构成的潜能库大大超越我们在日常生活中遇到的实在具体的东西。在《千高原》里题为“你如何把自己变成无器官的身体”的章节中,德勒兹(和瓜塔利)勾勒出一个实验程序的框架,用以鼓励人们打破自己已经形成的习惯和功能,发掘组成这些习惯和功能的能力和力量,因此来解放新的潜能。而我发现,整个二十世纪里,纵贯各种流派,音乐正以这样一种实验程序发展。在我看来,二十世纪的音乐包括的一系列努力,目的就是发掘和显露声音的强烈物质体,从那些固定声音和使声音分层的形式组织系统中将声音最大化的解放出来。

早期在阿诺德•勋伯格的非调性音乐中可以看到这一点,非调性音乐为解放整个音阶的各种表达潜能而放弃音调的组织功能。让我们听听勋伯格最早期的完全非调性作品之一,钢琴曲,opus11, number 1, 创作于1909年,由台湾钢琴演奏家陈必先演奏:

1. Arnold Schönberg, Piano Piece, Opus 11, no. 1, performed by Pi-Hsien Chen, Arnold Schönberg: Works for Piano, hat [now] ART 125.

勋伯格停留在音乐的范畴内,接受把八度音阶划分成12个等量音阶的做法,接受古典交响乐的乐器使用方法,以及音乐和非音乐声音之间的区别。而意大利的未来主义画家和作曲家 Luigi Russolo 更超前一步,提倡一种超越音乐而能够包括世界上所有声音的“噪音的艺术”。因为没有一种纪录这些声音的方法, Russolo创建了一个噪音乐器组成的交响乐队,从而让他能够用非常广泛的各种噪音作曲。现今仅存的Russolo的乐谱也仅有一页,并不完整,发表在1913年的一个意大利杂志上。这里是最近由研究 Russolo 的学者 Luciano Chessa指挥完成的演出:

2. Luigi Russolo, fragment from Risveglio di una citta, performed by the Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners, directed by Luciano Chessa, forthcoming on Sub Rosa records

与 Russolo 同样对实践噪音有兴趣的是美籍法裔作曲家Edgard Varèse,他摒弃“音乐”这个词,而采用自己创造的说法“被组织的声音”。不过,Varèse没有试图用噪音作曲,而是将音乐的强度从它们传统意义上所依附的形式、音高和旋律中释放出来。Varèse的音乐的特点是它极端的力度强弱变化对比和有启发性的对音色和音质的叠加。比如,这里我们要听到的是Varèse于1924年创做的 Hyperprism:

3. Edgard Varèse, Hyperprism, Ensemble InterContemporain, conducted by Pierre Boulez, SONY SMK 68 334.

Varèse的美国继承者约翰•剀奇[John Cage]和莫顿•费尔德曼 [Morton Feldman]试图将音乐从人的主观性中解放出来,探索声音作为拥有自己的生命的整体。剀奇坚持认为音乐是超越和先于人类的。“音乐是永恒的”,他写到,“只有聆听是间断的”。这个态度在他最著名的作品4’33”里已经明确表达了,这个作品要求观众用4分钟33秒的时间来聆听环境中的各种声音,而这些声音构成的是一种非个人的音乐创作。 虽然费尔德曼为传统乐器作曲,但是,他也同样将自己的创作视为是在建立一段时间,在这段时间里去体验声音本身,见证他们的出生,成长和死亡。在他稀疏的乐谱中,我们听的不是旋律或者整体结构,而是声音从一个时刻到另一个时刻的出现和消失,以及它们在乐谱中的通道。比如,让我们听听费尔德曼的作品 The Viola in My Life 中的第三部分:

4. Morton Feldman, The Viola in My Life, Part III, conducted by Morton Feldman, New World Records 80657-2.

1940年代后期出现的具象音乐和1950年代的德式电子音乐彻底动摇了古典音乐作品。作曲家们不再创作可以最终让音乐家表演的乐谱了,而是创作可以直接使用来自世界的声音,或者从零开始创造声音。两种形式的音乐都依靠磁带进行创作,磁带形成了一个中性的可以注册所有和各种声音的平面,从而有效的化解了音乐,声音,和噪音之间的差别。同时,电子信号也体现出声音域里没有由不同元素构成的等级关系,而是一个联接不断的平面:由振荡器产生的电子流。比如,(让我们)听听施托克豪森 [Karlheinz Stockhausen]1959年的经典之作Kontakte的一个节选片断.在乐曲进行到2分半的时候,一股潺潺的音流减慢到听上去像有木质感的震动。

5. Karlheinz Stockhausen, excerpt from Kontakte, Electronic Music 1952-1960, Stockhausen Edition no. 3.

磁带和电子信号形成了一个平面,在这个平面上所有的元素都有着相同的本体地位。德勒兹称这个单一平面为“融贯平面”,而音乐极简主义派(包括源于1960年代的古典极简派和它的电子音乐分支比如极简浩室和高科技舞曲)对这个单一平面进行了深度的探索。古典极简派使用两种不同的方法去构建这个音乐平面:微小的在音高、旋律、音色、音质、速度、强度上的变化。极简派乐曲比较长,鼓励表演者和听者把自己沉浸在这些声音世界里,与声音持续流共进,而不是把声音看作是一个整合封闭的形式去凭空控制声音。为了说明使用长音的作曲方式,(我要)播放的是托尼•康拉德[Tony Conrad]1964年的作品 Four Violins的片断. 这个曲子开始似乎粗糙,但是当你一旦开始习惯它,你会开始注意所有的声音微-事件:两个音调之间的互相碰撞,细微的在音高上的偏差,八度音节的重叠,等等。

6. Tony Conrad, excerpt from Four Violins, on Tony Conrad, Early Minimalism, Volume One, Table of the Elements, As 33

作为使用律动的作曲的例子,这里是史蒂夫•瑞克[Steve Reich]的作品 Six Pianos 的一个片断,这个作品作曲完成与1973年,在1977年现场录制。那常规的律动和重复的细胞铺展出一个融贯的平面,突出独特的点或特异体,以及突然的转变和这些转变带来的新的被分支的新材料。

7. Steve Reich, excerpt from Six Pianos, Steve Reich and Musicians, Live 1977 (From the Kitchen Archives No. 2), Orange Mountain Music omm0018.

我同时还想放一段结合了长音和律动技巧的音乐,泰瑞・莱利[Terry Riley]的Poppy Nogood’s “All-Night Flight.” 在1968年现场录制的持续了很多小时的表演里,瑞克将他的萨克斯风演奏录入一个磁带延迟系统,这个系统会重复和累积录入的片断,这些将伴着瑞克的现场演奏。这种循环递归的技巧预示着后来被浩室、高科技舞曲、电子音乐艺术家广为使用的方法。

8. Terry Riley, “Poppy Nogood,” from Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band, “All Night Flight”, Vol. 1, Cortical Foundation, Organ of Corti 4

在极简音乐兴盛的同时,爵士乐也正通过“自由爵士”和“自由即兴”被解域。尽管爵士是一种即兴形式,它所包括的一些类型如摇摆(swing)和比波普(bebop)仍然是非常形式化的。它们严格区分前景和背景、旋律、和弦和节奏。标准的波普开始于一个主题或“头”,接着是一系列由主体提供的和弦变化支撑的独奏,然后在结尾重复主题。相反,自由爵士提出“忘记音调,忘记背景前景,忘记固有的乐器角色。把每一个乐器当作是一个个彼此平等的声音制造工具。像一个集合体一样演奏,释放集体的能量。”比如,这里(我们要听到的)是John Coltrane经典的爵士乐曲 Ascension中的一段,录制于1965年。

9. John Coltrane, excerpt from Ascension, Impulse! 314 543 413-2

自由爵士解域的倾向被自由即兴推向更深一步,自由即兴倾向于让也许第一次才见面的几个音乐家,在没有计划和策略的情况下一起演奏。自由即兴鼓励每一个音乐人摒弃已形成的习惯,探索被集体打开的各种可能性:由这组乐手在这个空间这个时间演奏。自由即兴人也有相同的对待他们乐器的态度,不是把乐器当成预先设定好的、要通过固定技巧来熟练掌握的整体,而是能够以各种不同方式发音的设备。这里是来自1969年的一个经典例子,由自由即兴音乐之父们演奏:吉他演奏是 Derek Bailey,萨克斯风是Evan Parker ,电子是 Hugh Davies ,鼓为Jamie Muir。

10. The Music Improvisation Company, “Untitled 4,” The Music Improvisation Company 1968–1971, Incus CD12

同样的反分层和解域也发生在1990年代的摇滚乐上。和古典爵士一样,摇滚乐使用十分严格的、标准化的、按照一种空间和听觉等级划分的乐器使用规则上。它的中心是主唱和主吉他手,而主吉他手由节奏吉他、贝司和鼓配合支持。摇滚乐的主歌-副歌-主歌的结构将欲望组织成紧张和释放的短循环。摇滚乐着迷于并强调当下,现场,和可见的动作。
当然,摇滚乐总是有一种对抗-传统[counter-tradition]的关系,(比如 罐头[Can], 新![Neu] , 发电站[Kraftwerk]的极简摇滚,地下丝绒[Velvet Underground], Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa的实验技巧等。) 但是直到1990年代,这些力量才和其他的力量联合,一起质疑摇滚乐的核心意识形态。 动力很大程度来自于DJ文化——首先,来自迪斯科[disco]、浩室、 Dub雷鬼[dub reggae]、嘻哈[ hip hop] 。越来越多的摇滚乐队开始放弃主唱,那个摇滚歌曲里的英雄和核心。 摇滚乐循环式的叙事结构让位于氛围池,长音或律动[groove]。吉他成为一个生成音色和音质的电子工具,并且与采样器、鼓击、模拟合成器、笔记本电脑组合起来使用。比如,下面这首 Robert Hampson 和 Scott Dowson的音乐,他们开始是一个indie摇滚乐队叫Loop,但是后来成立了一个新组合Main,开始探索吉他的声响潜能。

11. Main, “Haloform, Part I,” Hz, Beggars Banquet HERTZ 16 CD2.

芝加哥的乐队 Tortoise 是个有代表性的后摇乐队,具有很多后摇的主要特点,包括对瑞克式极简音乐,dub和Miles Davis在1970年代早期的音乐的喜爱。这里是他们2001年的唱片Standards中的一首:

12. Tortoise, “Monica,” Standards, Thrill Jockey THRILL089

所有以上这些把我们带到电子音乐,它取材于我从开始到现在所勾勒的整个系谱图。我们可以通过考虑德勒兹对量化空间和时间【extensive space and time】和强度化空间和时间【intensive space and time】所作的区别来理解电子音乐是如何运作的。量化空间【extensive space】是指那些有界限和地域的可以定量测量和划分成块的空间。相比之下, 引用Varèse的话, 强度空间【intensive space】指的是那些密度、速度、和压力的临界域,而这些临界域在本质不变的情况下是无法被划分的,德勒兹称之为“强度域[zones of intensity]”。 比如说,一张天气地图就同时展示两种空间。一方面,它显示海岸线的界限,山脉,地方和国家边界。另一方面,它显示高压和低压区域,热和冷的边界缓慢或快速的移动。同样,量化时间【extensive time】是钟表或叙事时间:测量和边界的时间。量化时间【extensive time】将音乐作品组织成可以区别开的部分和路标,允许听众知道他们在哪和将往哪去。它设立将被解决的冲突,而这一冲突将听众紧紧吸引在叙事中。相比之下,强度时间【intensive time】是流动和分散的。它并不均质或中性。但它也没有被清晰地划分成几部分;它同时以不同的速度运动。比如,意识的时间流包括各种强度不同、共同存在并且彼此混合的情绪状态、记忆、和身体感觉。

说了这些,让我们现在来听一系列电子音乐曲目。我先要放的是来自德国乐队Oval的音乐,他们的音乐取材于被破坏的或被改变的CD。

13. Oval, “Textuell,” Systemisch, Thrill Jockey thrill 032

14. M (a.k.a. Maurizio), “M 6 (edit),” M CD Basic Channel/Chain Reaction

被德勒兹称之为“无器官身体”的不是那些由功能部件组成的事物,而是指那些如强度地图或流体的事物。而这正是电子音乐所提供的。所有的音乐同时具有广度和强度。但是电子音乐将强度置于广度之上,展现一个平滑的空间,在这个空间上会出现特异体或个别体,临时的标记不同强度和声音质量的结构。

第二首来自德国的二人组合M。 M是 Moritz von Oswald和Mark Ernestus多个昵称里的一个。他们两人经营的场牌叫 Basic Channel, 他们经常将极简音乐,高科技舞曲和dub结合起来使用。之后一首来自英国的双人组合Autechre,这首类似于分形,拓扑高科技舞曲,整首听上去似乎一直在不停地将自己折叠。

15. Autechre, “Parhelic Triangle,” Confield, Warp warpcd128

16. Fennesz, “Caecilia,” Endless Summer, Mego MEGO 035

以上是来自奥地利的作曲家Christian Fennesz的音乐,他以漂亮而敏感的、大量使用数字调变吉他音源的音景作品而著称。下一首我想放的来自德国电子音乐家和视觉艺术家
Carsten Nicolai的作品,他录音用的昵称是noto。

17. alva.noto, “Module 9,” Transform, Mille Plateaux MP102

最后我们听一首来自 In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze 这张唱片的音乐。这首是由德国电子音乐家 Wolfgang Voigt 以Gas为匿名录制的,这个名字也很适合这个音乐,整首似乎被浸没在一种蒸汽旋涡中。

再次感谢颜峻邀请我制作这一期的敌台。大家可以在我的网站(http://faculty.hampshire.edu/ccox)联系我,并了解更多我的作品。

18. Gas, “Heller,” Various Artists, In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze, Mille Plateaux MPCD22

(翻译:王婧)

下载《如何把音乐变成无器官的身体?吉尔·德勒兹和实验电子音乐》中译版:
www.subjam.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/christoph_cox-chinese.pdf

更多敌台节目:
www.subjam.org/radioenemypage

“How Do You Make Music a Body Without Organs?” Program Text
Christoph Cox

Thanks to Yan Jun for inviting me to host this edition of Radio Enemy. Yan Jun asked me to organize the program around an essay I wrote a few years ago titled “How Do You Make Music a Body without Organs? Gilles Deleuze and Experimental Electronica”, which has recently been translated into Chinese.

The essay was my first attempt to think about contemporary electronic music in relationship to Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy, which has always fascinated me. Shortly after Deleuze’s death in 1995, two European independent record labels released compilations of electronica dedicated to Deleuze. The Belgian Sub Rosa label issued Folds and Rhizomes for Gilles Deleuze in 1995; and, a year later, the German label Mille Plateaux released In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze. Not many of the artists on these compilations had any acknowledged relationship to Deleuze, who wasn’t familiar with any of them either. But the connection seemed to me to be appropriate and provocative.

Deleuze wrote a lot about the arts: two books on cinema, a book about the painter Francis Bacon, a book on the writer Franz Kafka, and scattered essays about other artists. He never wrote a book about music, but often referred to composers and musicians. One of his major books, A Thousand Plateaus, which he co-wrote with Félix Guattari, contains a chapter called “Of the Refrain,” which is largely about music. Yet, when I started thinking about Deleuze and contemporary music, his explicit remarks about music seemed less relevant to me than his central concept of the “body without organs,” a phrase coined by the French poet and playwright Antonin Artaud.

I don’t want to go too deeply into Deleuze’s difficult philosophical system here. But let me just say that, throughout his work, Deleuze distinguishes between two registers of reality: the actual and the virtual. Actual entities such as human bodies, trees, mountains, books, and musical works are, for Deleuze, the products or results of virtual forces and potentials that condition them: flows, becomings, intensities, singularities, etc. In all his books, Deleuze tries to reveal these virtual forces and to show that they constitute a reservoir of potential that vastly exceeds the concrete actualizations we encounter in ordinary life. In the chapter of A Thousand Plateaus called “How Do You Make Yourself a Body without Organs?” Deleuze (and Guattari) sketch a program of experimentation that encourages human subjects to destabilize their fixed habits and functions in an effort to reveal the capacities and forces that compose them, and thus to liberate new potentials. It struck me that, over the course of the 20th century, and across various genres, music has undertaken an experimental program of just this sort. 20th century music, it seems to me, consists in a series of efforts to reveal and explore the intensive matter of sound, liberated, as much as possible, from systems of formal organization that fix and stratify it.

We see this early on in the atonal music of Arnold Schoenberg, which dispensed with organizing function of the tonic in order to liberate the expressive possibilities of the entire chromatic scale. Let’s listen to one of Schoenberg’s earliest fully atonal works, Piano Piece, opus 11, number 1, from 1909, performed by the Taiwanese pianist [pee-Sien Chen] Pi-Hsien Chen:

1. Arnold Schönberg, Piano Piece, Opus 11, no. 1, performed by Pi-Hsien Chen, Arnold Schönberg: Works for Piano, hat [now] ART 125.

Schoenberg stayed within the context of music, accepting the division of the octave into twelve equal steps, the instrumentation of the classical orchestra, and the distinction between musical and non-musical sound. The Italian Futurist painter and composer Luigi Russolo went further, calling for an “art of noises” that would reach beyond music to include all the sounds of the world. Lacking a way to record such sounds, Russolo built an orchestra of noise instruments that allo wed him to compose using this broader palette of noise sounds. The only existing score by Russolo is a one-page fragment published in an Italian magazine in 1913. Here’s a recent performance directed by Russolo scholar Luciano Chessa:

2. Luigi Russolo, fragment from Risveglio di una citta, performed by the Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners, directed by Luciano Chessa, forthcoming on Sub Rosa records

The French-American composer Edgard Varèse shared Russolo’s interest in worldly noises and abandoned the term “music” in favor of what he called “organized sound.” But instead of trying to compose with noises, Varèse worked to liberate musical intensities from their conventional attachment to form, pitch, and melody. Varèse’s music is characterized by extreme dynamic contrasts and provocative juxtapositions of timbres and textures. Here, for example, is Varèse’s 1924 composition Hyperprism:

3. Edgard Varèse, Hyperprism, Ensemble InterContemporain, conducted by Pierre Boulez, SONY SMK 68 334.

Varese’s American successors, John Cage and Morton Feldman, attempted to liberate music from human subjectivity, exploring sounds as entities with lives of their own. Cage insisted that music precedes and exceeds human beings. “Music is permanent,” he wrote “only listening is intermittent.” This attitude is evident in his most famous piece 4’33”, which asks the audience to spend four and a half minutes considering all the sounds of the environment as forming a sort of impersonal musical composition. Feldman composed for traditional musical instruments. But he, too, saw his compositions as establishing a period of time in which to experience sounds themselves, witnessing their births, lives, and deaths. In his spare compositions, one listens less for melody or overall structure than for the moment-to-moment appearance and disappearance of sounds and their passage through the composition. As an example, let’s listen to Part III of Feldman’s piece The Viola in My Life:

4. Morton Feldman, The Viola in My Life, Part III, conducted by Morton Feldman, New World Records 80657-2.

The emergence of musique concrète in the late 1940s and elektronische Musik in the 1950s radically unsettled the classical musical work. Instead of composing scores for musicians who would eventually perform them, composers could now work directly with the sounds of the world or build sounds from scratch. Both forms of music were constructed on audio tape, which formed a neutral surface that could register all and any sounds, thus effectively dissolving the distinctions between “music,” “sound,” and “noise.” The electronic signal, too, showed that the sonic field is not a hierarchy of discrete elements but a flat continuum: a stream of electrons generated by an oscillator. Listen, for example, to this excerpt from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s 1959 classic Kontakte. There’s a fantastic moment, about two and a half minutes in, when a gurgling sweep is slowed down to the point at which it is heard as a woody pulse:

5. Karlheinz Stockhausen, excerpt from Kontakte, Electronic Music 1952-1960, Stockhausen Edition no. 3.

Magnetic tape and the electronic signal form a flat plane in which all elements have the same ontological status. This idea of a univocal plane, what Deleuze calls a “plane of consistency,” has been richly explored by musical minimalism, both in the classical versions that arose in the 1960s and in electronic variants such as minimal house and techno. The classical minimalists used two different methods to construct this musical plane: the drone and the pulse. Both provide a kind of uniform surface that’s then populated with sonic events: slight changes in pitch, rhythm, timbre, texture, speed, intensity. Minimalist pieces tend to be long, encouraging performers and listeners to immerse themselves in these sonic worlds, riding them like flows of duration rather than grasping them from without as an integral, closed form. To illustrate the drone approach, here’s an excerpt from Tony Conrad’s 1964 recording Four Violins. The piece seems abrasive at first. But, once you get used to it, you begin to pay attention to all the sonic micro-events: the beating of two tones against one another, slight deflections in pitch, octave doubling, and so on.

6. Tony Conrad, excerpt from Four Violins, on Tony Conrad, Early Minimalism, Volume One, Table of the Elements, As 33

As an example of the pulse strategy, here’s an excerpt from Steve Reich’s Six Pianos, composed in 1973 and recorded live in 1977. The regular pulse and repeating cells lay out a “plane of consistency” that highlights singular points or singularities, sudden shifts that introduce new material that’s then ramified.

7. Steve Reich, excerpt from Six Pianos, Steve Reich and Musicians, Live 1977 (From the Kitchen Archives No. 2), Orange Mountain Music omm0018.

I also want to play an excerpt from a piece that combines the drone and pulse strategies, Terry Riley’s Poppy Nogood’s “All-Night Flight.” In this live, many-hour performance recorded in 1968, Riley played his saxophone into a tape delay system that repeated and built up recorded fragments that would then accompany Riley’s live playing. This looping, recursive strategy anticipates procedures later employed by house, techno, and electronica artists.

8. Terry Riley, “Poppy Nogood,” from Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band, “All Night Flight”, Vol. 1, Cortical Foundation, Organ of Corti 4

At around the same time that minimalism was flourishing, jazz was also subjected to deterritorialization via “free jazz” and “free improvisation.” Though jazz is an improvised form, styles such as swing and bebop are nonetheless heavily formalized. They firmly distinguish between foreground and background, melody, harmony, and rhythm. The standard bop tune begins with a theme or “head,” follows it with a series of solos scaffolded by chord changes provided by the theme, and then restates the theme in its conclusion. By contrast, free jazz said: “Forget the tune, forget background and foreground, ignore established instrumental roles. Instead, treat each instrument as a sound-making device on par with every other. Play as an collective ensemble and release a collective energy.” For example, here’s an excerpt from John Coltrane’s classic free jazz piece Ascension, recorded in 1965.

9. John Coltrane, excerpt from Ascension, Impulse! 314 543 413-2

The deterritorializing tendencies of free jazz were pushed further by “free improvisation,” which tends to involve several musicians coming together, maybe for the first time, and playing together without a preset plan or strategy. Free improvisation encourages each musician to relinquish established habits and, instead, to explore the emergent possibilities opened up by the ensemble: by this group of players performing in this space at this time. Free improvisers tend to have the same attitude toward their instruments, treating them not as pre-given entities to be mastered by established techniques but as devices that can generate sounds in all sorts of different ways. Here’s a classic example from 1969 featuring some of the fathers of free improvisation: Derek Bailey on guitar, Evan Parker on saxophone, Hugh Davies on electronics, and Jamie Muir on percussion:

10. The Music Improvisation Company, “Untitled 4,” The Music Improvisation Company 1968–1971, Incus CD12

A similar destratification and deterritorialization happened to rock in the 1990s. Like classic jazz, rock uses a rigidly standardized instrumentation organized according to a spatial and auditory hierarchy. It’s centered on the lead singer and lead guitarist, who are supported by rhythm guitar, bass, and drums. The verse-chorus-verse structure of nearly every rock song sets up a circular structure of tension and release. Rock places a premium on presence, on the live event, and on the visible gesture.

Of course, rock has always had counter-traditions (for example, the rock minimalism of Can, Neu, Kraftwerk, and the Velvet Underground, the experimental tactics of Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, and so on). But it was really in 1990s that these counter traditions combined with new impulses to challenge rock’s core ideology. The impetus came largely from DJ Culture – from disco, house, dub reggae, and hip hop. More and more rock bands began to do away with the lead singer, the hero and focal point of the rock song. The cyclical structure of the rock song gave way to ambient pools, drones, or grooves. Guitars became electronic tools for the generation of timbres and textures; and were supplemented by samplers, drum machines, analog synthesizers, and laptops. Listen, for example, to this track by Robert Hampson and Scott Dowson, who began as the indie rock group Loop but formed a new group, Main, to explore the sonic possibilities of the guitar.

11. Main, “Haloform, Part I,” Hz, Beggars Banquet HERTZ 16 CD2.

The Chicago band Tortoise exemplified many key “post-rock” impulses, including a love for Reichian minimalism, dub, and the early 1970s music of Miles Davis. Here’s a track from their 2001 record Standards:

12. Tortoise, “Monica,” Standards, Thrill Jockey THRILL089

All this brings us to electronica, which draws from the entire genealogy I’ve sketched so far. We can get a sense of how electronica operates by considering Deleuze’s distinction between extensive space and time and intensive space and time. Extensive space is the space of boundaries and territories that are quantitatively measurable and can be divided into parts. By contrast, intensive space concerns what, quoting Varèse, Deleuze calls “zones of intensity,” critical thresholds of density, speed, or pressure that can’t be divided without changing in nature. A weather map, for example, displays both of these spaces. On the one hand, it shows the geographical boundaries of coastlines, mountain ranges, and regional or national borders. On the other hand, it shows zones of high or low pressure, warm or cold fronts moving slowly or rapidly. Similarly, extensive time is clock time or narrative time: the time of measure and boundaries. Extensive time organizes the musical piece into identifiable sections and landmarks, allowing listeners to know where they are and where they’re going. It sets up conflicts to be resolved that actively engage the listener’s sense of narrative. By contrast, intensive time is fluid and diffuse. It’s not homogeneous or neutral. But it isn’t divided into clear parts; and it moves at different speeds at once. The temporal flow of consciousness, for example, consists of various emotional states, memories, and physical sensations that are more or less intense, and that coexist and blend into one another.

What Deleuze calls the “body without organs” is any thing considered not as a set of functional parts but as a map or flow of intensities. And this is just what electronica tracks offer. All music is both extensive and intensive. But electronica subordinates the extensive to the intensive, presenting “smooth spaces” on which arise singularities or haeeceities, provisional configurations that mark differences of intensity and sonic quality.

With this in mind, let’s listen to a bunch of electronica tracks. I’ll begin with one by the German group Oval, whose pieces are composed of material from damaged or altered CDs.

13. Oval, “Textuell,” Systemisch, Thrill Jockey thrill 032

14. M (a.k.a. Maurizio), “M 6 (edit),” M CD Basic Channel/Chain Reaction

The second track there was by the German duo M, one of the many monikers used by Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, who run Basic Channel record label and who often combine strategies from minimalism, techno, and dub. The next track, by the English duo Autechre, is a sort of fractal, topological techno that sounds as though the track is constantly folding in on itself.

15. Autechre, “Parhelic Triangle,” Confield, Warp warpcd128

16. Fennesz, “Caecilia,” Endless Summer, Mego MEGO 035

That’s the Austrian producer Christian Fennesz, who is known for composing beautifully jittery soundscapes full of digitally altered guitar. The next piece I want to play is by the German electronica producer and visual artist Carsten Nicolai, who records under the moniker alva.noto.

17. alva.noto, “Module 9,” Transform, Mille Plateaux MP102

I’ll leave you with one final track, from the compilation In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze. This is a piece by the German electronica producer Wolfgang Voigt, recording under the moniker Gas, an appropriate name for music that seems to be immersed in a sort of swirling vapor. Thanks again to Yan Jun for inviting me to host this edition of Radio Enemy. You can contact me and find out more about my work at my website: faculty.hampshire.edu/ccox.

18. Gas, “Heller,” Various Artists, In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze, Mille Plateaux MPCD22

《如何把音乐变成无器官的身体?吉尔·德勒兹和试验电子音乐》中译版PDF下载:
www.subjam.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/christoph_cox-chinese.pdf

more Radio Enemy:
www.subjam.org/radioenemypage

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released August 8, 2012

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Radio Enemy Beijing, China

an online radio program hosted by various artists, writers and listeners. edited in Beijing. since 2010. presented by Sub Jam
some topics: experimental music, noise, improvised music, avant-garde music, strange sound, love songs, film music and anything...
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