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Boring formless nonsense: experimental music and the aesthetics of failure

Boring formless nonsense: experimental music and the aesthetics of failure

Priest, Eldritch

'Boring Formless Nonsense' intervenes in an aesthetics of failure that has largely been delimited by the visual arts and its avant-garde legacies. It focuses on contemporary experimental composition in which failure rubs shoulders with the categories of chance, noise, and obscurity

Paperback, Hardback, Book. English.
Published London: Continuum, 2013
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Available: Newton Park

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Statement of responsibility: Eldritch Priest
ISBN: 1441122133, 144112408X, 1441124756, 1441146164, 9781441122131, 9781441124081, 9781441124753, 9781441146168
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 336 p. ; 22 cm.
Subject: Music Philosophy and aesthetics.; Avant-garde (Music); Composition; Music.; Experimental music


  1. Introduction
  2. One: BoringIntroductionA boring historyCage, Fluxus and Extendedness in the 1960s and 70sThe Aesthetics of Boredom and the Art of WaitingThe Premises/Promises of Aesthetic BoredomA Less Promising BoredomUglier Feelings of the StuplimePost...Death...Afterthought...Two: FormlessPretext(Informe)How to read this chapterStoryBecoming FormlessMusic NoiseRecording Distraction---MultitaskingCapture and EscapeLull ))) ))) )))Listening to SoS#16's Lull )))))(((((Listening Away)))))Muzak's Way of Dreaming Ubiquitously ))))---Notes on Muzak---Quantum ModulationWe don't (((listen))) anymoreThe (((Sound))) of HabitsSound-Effects))))) Charm and DissatisfactionLast)))))Another AgainThree: Nonsense(Voodoo(Metareferentiality, Metamusic and Hypermusic(Grúpat and Pseudonymity(Symptoms, Syndromes and Hyperfiction(In a Sedimental Mood(Hyperstition, Magick and Nonsense(Becoming Karen et al, a Real-Time Hyperstition as of March 30, 2007 ByKaren Eliotiv(Of Lies(What does music feel like? (or, 'on the refrain of pain and imagining'):Discursive Remainders from glossolalia (stress positions) by EngramKnots(glossolalia (stress positions)(Occult dualism(Illustrative Interlude: Practicing(The sleep side of music and dream-work)))))))))))))Inconclusion/This chapter is false("Disclaimer")Four: ConfabulationBibliographyIndex

Author note

eldritch Priest is a composer, writer and co-artistic director of the experimental music collective Neither/Nor. He completed his PhD at the Institute for Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University where he pursued research in the fields of the avant-garde, phenomenology, and philosophies of experience. eldritch was also a visiting researcher at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities where he studied with senior scholar in residence, Brian Massumi.eldritch's essays on musical aesthetics and avant-garde poetics have appeared in various academic journals includingPostmodern Culture,Radical MusicologyandMosaic: a journal for

the interdisciplinary study of literature. In addition to his academic work, eldritch is active as acomposer whose works have been performed across North America and Europe.


Priest is at his best in [the] musicological sections, lucidly explaining the processes and structures of complex works . . . His judgments lack the obtuseness that dogs writing on lowercase music and his prose style ... has a flair and rhythm that compels attention
The Wire