15 May 2011
AMM, Meta-Music & Personal Politics
I had a very "heated" debate with a commenter at the s/pores website a couple of months ago about music, politics and the world. For those of you who read this space often would realise by now that I see a close relationship between music, politics and agency of action in today's world (still) and thus the debate was basically me claiming my stand and my sparring partner trying to prove otherwise. It helps to sharpen my mind quite a bit as the exchange do make me re-look, evaluate and fine-tune my thoughts about things and re-assess my personal commitments about my beliefs as well. But as they often said, a good workout.
Anyway, I have been reading Edwin Prevost's (of AMM fame) book "No Sound Is Innocent" and the treatises the drummer/publisher/ideologue puts across talks about the fundamental intent of human action and agency in music making (using his group AMM as a start off point). Music is never naive or devoid of meaning; when someone sees music as entertainment and the entire industry catering to that need, it is already a transactional relationship par excellence which a capitalist society (oh sorry, neo-liberal capitalist) is so good at. Producing, creating a demand, pushing for the producing, and the process goes on. Meta-music which strips such loaded hegemonic or economic meanings as well as breaking away from repetition and reproduction of mere "cultural artefacts" is the way towards a truly meaningful way at creating a form (I am refraining from using the term "art" as it might smack of capitalist borugeois notions) which can be liberating, to say the least.
Of I have certain reservation about Prevost's take on popular music and rock/punk music but well we are entitled to our own opinions. But consuming defines what an individual is is as simplistic an idea as saying what you eat is what you are (true to a certain extent BUT...). The key thing here is for us to learn and to transfer what we have learnt and go out there to do some stuff, activism perhaps, DIY maybe. No matter what music is political, at least to me.