Jamie Saft Trio, “Sturiel,” Astaroth: Book of Angels Vol. 1, 2005.
The various reductions I have been describing are fairly directly the results of the ongoing revolution of applied science known as “technological progress.” This revolution has provided the means by which both the productive and the consumptive capacities of people could be detached from household and community and made to serve other people’s purely economic ends. It has provided as well a glamor of newness, ease, and affluence that made it seductive even to those who suffered most from it. In its more recent history, especially, this revolution has been successful in putting unheard-of quantities of consumer goods and services within the reach of ordinary people. But the technical means of this popular “affluence” has at the same time made possible the gathering of the real property and the real power of the country into fewer and fewer hands.
*What Are People For?*, 185-6.
St. Peter & the Holymen, “Bofoo Beye Abowa Den,” Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-81, 2010.
The Ex + Tom Cora, “Dere Geliyor Dere,” And the Weathermen Shrug Their Shoulders, 1993.
I do not believe that the act of making music, however deliberate or spontaneous it might be, aspires to a preordained ideal. That is, there is no perfect music, except insofar as a given musical piece or performance fulfills the needs of its participants — listener, composer, and performer alike. This fulfillment is, in the end, all that matters.
I also do not believe that all music aspires to art, nor should it, any more than any other activity aspires to art. I emphasize my use of the word activity because I believe music is something one does.1