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Post-Post Composing!

I had this cactus once, which was given to me as a gift. The idea was, I wouldn't kill it. Unfortunately, I did. And, if I don't post something soon, my blog will also die.

So anyway, I thought I'd post something that I'm stealing from Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, who posted this yesterday.

Composers’ Rules for the Post-Postmodern Era

Ten Rules about You

1. Show no passion or deep emotions; even better, be inarticulate or make ironic pop references.

2. Do not discuss or even hold great ideas, except to quote from others (online, use many links).

3. Be sure to collaborate—unless you are an iconoclast, which gets better (if less frequent) press.

4. Focus; do not acquire broad non-musical skills, which will brand you a dilettante.

5. Hold fast to a compositional ‘school’ and stylistic network, but deny it thoroughly.

6. Utterly reject modernism, and deny that it ever held fascination; in fact, rewrite history and re-interpret past composers’ intentions.

7. Hold a guitar; there’s nothing better to show you’re not an elitist (see #7 below). [NOTE: I think you can also play in a laptop orchestra. Did you know the guys at Princeton were playing with Wii remotes?! I mean, seriously!!!]

8. Pretend you enjoy all kinds of music, and show your player in shuffle mode to prove it; be sure to reveal your love for Schubert (or any unassailable past composer).

9. Categorically state that you never read reviews.

10. At all times, deny your deep desire for recognition.

Ten Rules about Your Music

1. Adding a beat will redeem your music, especially if it has no other qualities.

2. Be diverse and make many references, but do not go deep (if you detect depth, switch to irony).

3. Audiences should feel, not think; this is absolute, and forgetting it will result in an epic fail.

4. Keep your music short; long music is suspect, unless it’s written by a recognized nonpop star.

5. Always use at least one instrument from another culture, but write for it unidiomatically.

6. Develop unique performance techniques which will guarantee focus on you (see #10 above).

7. Reject performance or compositional technique, unless you are holding a guitar (see #7 above).

8. Never title your work by its form (and avoid form anyway) but be clever or (if you want performances) geographical, moody or patriotic; avoid 20th-century-style abstract names.

9. Record your music badly in concert; awkward field recordings underscore your authenticity.

10. Incorporate improvisation, and insist you always have.

Five Corollaries for Electroacoustic Composers

1. At all costs avoid using ‘music’ to describe that sonic thing you do.

2. Make your technology as cool as possible, even if you have no creative ideas for it.

3. Make your technology look homemade, even if someone else built it for you.

4. If you can’t design and can’t build, call what you do circuit bending (see also #7 above).

5. Use the most obscure software possible, especially if it demands you write scripts or programs.

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