End of Blog

End of Blog

An interesting discovery dating the history of the clarinet back in time.

In 2005,

“The artifact is made of a deer antler in which several holes are seen, and a brass layer has been riveted with seven nails to its end.

No additional studies have been carried out on the skeleton yet. But considering the size, the archaeologists estimate that it is a male. In addition, a dagger, a cup and a glass, as well as a bracelet and a necklace have also been found in the grave. A bronze ribbon and a brass sheet were also put around the head of the skeleton.

With the discovery of the artifact, the musical history of the region dates can be dated back to older an era, indicating the cultural development of the inhabitants of the region 3000 years ago.

Today, in the villages of northern Mazandaran and in Gohar-Tappeh, the clarinet is still made out of a deer antler.” (Cais-soas)

September 10th 2011,

“The musical instrument, which was very common in Mazandaran, had been discovered in a grave beside a skeleton that belonged to a woman…

This is the oldest musical instrument ever discovered in the Mazandaran region…

Based on the carbon-14 dating tests carried out on the oldest archaeological stratum of the mound, it dates back to about 3500 BC…

The Parthians ruled part of Mazandaran and the northeast of Iran, but Gohar-Tappeh dates back from third millennium BC to the Iron Age.” (Payvand News)

What this means is that the musical culture surrounding the wind instrument is very old and logically very rich. Of course what this means for people looking into the music itself I cannot say, because what records might exist of the music that might have been played are not recorded but exist, I would assume, embedded in the musical traditions of the day. Typically music was passed on by ear and through peer to peer learning, and musical understanding is something of a heirloom. I don’t think that that is bullshit even though it is admittedly speculative.

I would rather belong to a culture that treasured the humanity of the arts and accepted its’ inherent belonging to the soul of both an individual and the society that nurtures it. This is in opposition to a culture which automates all of its production and seeks connectivity through digital and therefore mechanical means. Evidently I am not a good example of my own desires. But I find this is due to a sort of obligation that I don’t really understand but that I have certified within my own understanding of how the world works. Therefore I am going to stop keeping a personal blog of reflections and thoughts and I will not use Facebook for “socialising”. Neither will I express opinions that are my own overtly, I will only do this through reference because this is the way that the system prefers to work.

Whilst it makes sense to store and harvest a portfolio online, like a treasury of accomplishments that one can exhibit to others, this is also a habit contrived out of insecurity. Why should we be continually judged upon what we have done before. No-one really follows a linear progression of continual improvement, the idea of continual success is tied to competition and together they are dependent on there being a continued state of inequality. Competition does not mean all round improvement because it does not condone sharing or helping the competition. It actually requisites that the competition is, where possible, hindered or oppressed. But of course this is not something to willingly acknowledge because having been raised under societal pressures to conform to this ideology I am supposed to excuse the consequent inequality (social, economic, political…) that is engendered by my upbringing. I may seem to have digressed but the presentation of ones accomplishments as trophies to warrant some “higher” social status is problematic. I should elaborate.

Take the act of recording achievements as a token situation and look at why it is done and to what aims we follow this course through. It can be broken down as follows.

Presenting ones skills to get work:

The individual engages with the competitive commercial market and attempts to ascertain a status of value (capital)

The individual posits their faith in an employer (reduction of individual to commodity values)

The individual presents the fact that they are capable of working (reliability)

The individual competes for desirability in a commercial market (assumption of seller’s values (capital)) – this has nothing to do with the interests of the people but the interests of capital.

The value of art only really makes sense when we live in a state of excess. This is because we have enough time to appreciate the art, enough time to consider our immediate surroundings and our place in a local and tangible space. In other words we are prepared to dedicate time to ourselves which allows us to reflect on our being and upon the aesthetics of being. Why would there be a greater value placed on art in the past as opposed to now? Is this even a true reality? Do people have less time for art now? Well it seems incorrect to pose the suggestion that we have less time now, with so much of our life being automated and the tasks that we set out to do having been made easier through mechanical intervention, one ought to have more time for aesthetic experience. However we simply don’t.

Or we don’t realise that we do. The arts have seeped into our lives in a way that they don’t seem to be arts anymore, they are too integrated to be distinct from our lives. This is what we call culture. We have a culture that is fast, energetic, composed of bright colours and entrancing melodies. The arts occupy ever space of our lives and in fact we have a hard time escaping them. The music on the radio is constant, the television is a framed image in almost every house, the colours that have been chosen for the packing on food stuffs, on shoe boxes, have been selected because they are psychologically affective. Art has been conceptualised, broken down, and the aesthetic potency of the arts have become a thing for study. A study of how people are affected and a study of the arts themselves. The arts community is a community of designers, designing the psychological landscapes that the masses will experience on a day to day basis. But the reason why this is problematic is because it is about money and that is it. Whilst it is great to be an artist today, there is lots of money in design (if you exploit rather than being exploited), it is removed from the interests of people. People are not interested in television, they are not interested in the radio, or product packing design. People are captivated but they are not interested in what is going on, the opportunity to contemplate on the situation, the role of the artistic director as a mediator of information is absent, there is no lasting impression. The age of meaning is behind us. The technological age has been about a displacement of roles and a supposition of conceptions regarding status. As long as people are preoccupied by colours and sounds they will not be thinking about their status or about their own interests. The modes of living are conditional but the conditions are deeply ingrained into the culture. Media presents a study of other people – forget yourself.

As it stands my argument is flawed. What do I propose in response to the problem of capitalism (which promotes artist as producer for capital gain)? Well first of all I propose that the artist chooses to make artwork for themselves and to practice in opposition to capital industry. This seems illogical because it seems to be biting the hand that feeds but makes more sense because the individual feeds themselves. Not only would the work be able to more more reflective, enlightening, valuable and critical to the age in which we live, but the arts would be considerate of the societal needs rather than the needs of the commercial industry.  What is more is that there is no limit to the scope of the individual, mass media is not enlightening, people must be aware of what grows in their back-garden as well as what distant country has waged war with what distant country. Not only is this “distant” information useless to the masses but it inhibits curiosity and engagement. What would one do if they watched the news all day long, a war can be began, waged, and ended without any participation of the individual at all. When the Greeks were fighting the Ottomans for independence, the poet Byron went to take up arms with the Greeks, he didn’t just read the papers and talk about what people ought to do. We are only alive for a very short period of time, what good reason do we have to work in a monetary system that exploits those whose human rights it harms? A system that builds up expectations and promotes desires only inhibits our ability to engage in those interests. What good does this do the human psyche?

So for that reason I abandon this blog and look to seek a better way of life.


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