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Andrew Durkin

Decomposition

Andrew Durkin Decomposition A Music Manifesto
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Biographical note:

ANDREW DURKIN is a Portland, Oregon, composer and performer who has a PhD in English from USC, where his mentor was Joseph Dane, author of What Is a Book? He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC, where he worked with digital media pioneer Bob Stein.

Country of final manufacture:

US

Main description:

A bracing, revisionary and provocative inquiry into music—from Beethoven to Duke Ellington, Conlon Nancarrow to Led Zeppelin—as a personal and cultural experience: how it is actually composed, often wrongfully perceived by critics and reviewers, and why we listen to it the way we do.
 
Andrew Durkin, an experienced jazzman, is singular for his insistence on asking tough questions about the complexity of our presumptions about music and about listening, especially in the digital age. In this winning and lucid study, he explodes the age-old conception of musical composition as the work of individual genius, arguing instead that in both its composition and reception music is fundamentally a collaborative enterprise that comes to be only through mediation. Drawing on a rich variety of examples—Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé sexti toni, Alkan’s Grande sonate, Coleman Hawkins’s improvisation on Body and Soul, Beny More’s “Que Bueno Baila Usted,” Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” to name only a few—Durkin makes clear that our appreciation of any piece of music is always informed by neuroscientific, psychological, technological, and cultural factors, and that how we listen might have as much power to change music as music might have to change how we listen.

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