Jacob--don't renounce too much of the world....the world needs you, and fully clothed, to...at least in the winter.Also, perhaps...we only marginalize ourselves with labeling ourselves as marginal? And, isn't it also true that there is an explosive interest in organic foods? Europeans were already there (perhaps most especially in Germany), but in America, now we are getting to the point where Whole Foods is becoming too big for their britches...and they aren't always even selling the healthiest foods, either. But, no matter, your mileage may vary, but I see little organic grocery stores in plenty of places these days. At least that's the story in Chicago. Perhaps, as always, the rural so-called 'Middle America' will lag behind the most in this arena.
Aaron and Jacob, one thing I've concluded myself is that a focus on intonation as one important dimension of historical European and other world musics might place us squarely in the mainstream. If I were asked to name the most famous microtonalist in the 20th century, I might nominate Umm Kulthum. Producing music that people in various parts of the world may enjoy, without any special intonational labelling, might be the best strategy. If people like it, they might want to know how we did it -- which can open the conversation to intonational aspects. But Jacob, I trust you to use your spiritual discernment and wisdom in deciding how best to carry out your resolve.
Margo, thanks for taking part in the conversation!
I do think that one thing that might be important in the "broader conversation" is not overly focussing on intonational aspects for their own sake. Music that people relate to and enjoy first and foremost should be the important thing.
When I think what it was that drew me into this world, it was hearing music that was imbued with a "spiritual dimension" I'll call it, that was so tied to the tuning (JI in the case of the piece, Shri Camel by Terry Riley) that it was hard not to notice this "special ingredient". So, my pursuit went naturally from there. Riley integrates this feature so organically, to me, that it's never a gimmick for its own sake, rather, an extension of his compositional mindset, and an outgrowth of the meditative approach to minimalism that he comes from.
Of course, there was also the avenues opened up by authentic historical performance practice, too...which gives new life to the dull 19th and early 20th century approach to so many Baroque and pre-Baroque masterpieces.
Hi, Aaron! Yes, I agree that intonation is best as an outgrowth of a piece or a spiritual worldview that the piece reflects. One thing I would add is that an analogy between JI tuning and organic food might call for some caution. Of course, JI tunings and string divisions are vitally important in various world musics. However, traditional musics for African xylophone or Javanese or Balinese gamelan, for example, seem to be based mainly on approaches other than just intonation, although Lou Harrison, Jacques Dudon, Lydia Ayers, and Bill Alves, among others, have devised beautiful just tunings. The natural interplay between tuning and timbre can be intricate.
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