Avant Garde: An American Odyssey from Gertrude Stein to by Robin Maconie

By Robin Maconie

Gertrude Stein and thinker Alfred North Whitehead have been not going acquaintances who spent so much in their mature lives in exile: Stein in France and Whitehead within the usa. Their friendship used to be in keeping with a mutual admiration for the philosophical pragmatism of William James and skepticism towards the ecu culture of highbrow abstraction extending way back to Plato and Aristotle. notwithstanding neither used to be musical, either have been top exponents of a brand new orientation towards time and information acquisition that might pass directly to impact succeeding generations of composers. via Virgil Thomson, Stein got here to steer John Cage and the hot York college of summary track; via his educating within the usa, Whitehead’s philosophy of time and cognition got here to be visible in the United States and in another country instead to Newtonian neoclassicism, another essentially stated within the metric modulations of Elliott Carter and Conlon Nancarrow in addition to the post-1950 overall serialism of Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The probably not going effect of Stein and Whitehead on Thomson, Cage, Carter, and the minimalists tells a notable tale of transmission inside of and one of the arts and philosophy, person who Robin Maconie unravels via his sequence of essays in Avant Garde: An American Odyssey from Gertrude Stein to Pierre Boulez. Maconie explores, from Hollywood to Harvard, the way track features as a sort of verbal exchange around the barriers of language, serving the motives of alternate and international relations via its illustration of nationwide id, emotional personality, honorable goal, and social self-discipline. The learn of tune as a language unavoidably turned the thing of data technology after global conflict II, yet, as Maconie notes, 60 years on, music’s refusal to yield to clinical elucidation has generated a circulate of anti-music propaganda via a robust collective of megastar technology writers. In a chain of associated essays, Stockhausen expert Robin Maconie reconsiders the position of song and track know-how via cautious exam of key sleek suggestions with appreciate to time, lifestyles, id, and dating as formulated through such thinkers as Einstein, Russell, Whitehead, and Stein, besides Freud, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein, and Marcel Duchamp.

This foray into paintings, song, technology, and philosophy is superb for college students and students of those disciplines, in addition to these looking to comprehend extra deeply the impact those participants had on one another’s paintings and smooth music.

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