By Robin Maconie
Gertrude Stein and thinker Alfred North Whitehead have been not going buddies who spent such a lot in their mature lives in exile: Stein in France and Whitehead within the usa. Their friendship was once in response to a mutual admiration for the philosophical pragmatism of William James and skepticism towards the eu culture of highbrow abstraction extending way back to Plato and Aristotle. notwithstanding neither was once musical, either have been major exponents of a brand new orientation towards time and data acquisition that might pass directly to impression succeeding generations of composers. via Virgil Thomson, Stein got here to persuade John Cage and the recent York institution of summary song; via his educating within the usa, Whitehead’s philosophy of time and cognition got here to be obvious in the US and in a foreign country instead to Newtonian neoclassicism, an alternate essentially said within the metric modulations of Elliott Carter and Conlon Nancarrow in addition to the post-1950 overall serialism of Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
The doubtless not going impact of Stein and Whitehead on Thomson, Cage, Carter, and the minimalists tells a striking tale of transmission inside and one of the arts and philosophy, one who Robin Maconie unravels via his sequence of essays in Avant Garde: An American Odyssey from Gertrude Stein to Pierre Boulez. Maconie explores, from Hollywood to Harvard, the way track capabilities as a sort of conversation around the obstacles of language, serving the factors of exchange and international relations via its illustration of nationwide id, emotional personality, honorable goal, and social self-discipline. The research of track as a language necessarily grew to become the article of knowledge technology after international warfare II, yet, as Maconie notes, 60 years on, music’s refusal to yield to medical elucidation has generated a movement of anti-music propaganda through a strong collective of megastar technological know-how writers. In a chain of associated essays, Stockhausen expert Robin Maconie reconsiders the function of track and song expertise via cautious exam of key sleek options with appreciate to time, lifestyles, identification, and courting as formulated through such thinkers as Einstein, Russell, Whitehead, and Stein, in addition to Freud, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein, and Marcel Duchamp.
This foray into paintings, track, technological know-how, and philosophy is ideal for college kids and students of those disciplines, in addition to these trying to comprehend extra deeply the effect those participants had on one another’s paintings and sleek tune.
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Extra info for Avant Garde: An American Odyssey from Gertrude Stein to Pierre Boulez
The second course with Morey, in medieval art, fixed his decision to pursue art scholarship. Synthesizing multiple aspects of medieval culture, from folklore and handicrafts to theology, fascinated Barr from the beginning. Recognized as one of the leading scholars of medievalism, Morey established it as a course of study in the United States. Joining the faculty in 1906, Morey was among the second generation of professors appointed by Marquand who were Barr’s teachers. In the American spirit of exploration, Morey turned to areas characterized by their scarcity of documents and monuments, such as Hellenistic, pre-Gothic, and so-called “primitive” Italian art.
45 BARR MOVES ON TO VASSAR Barr had set a five-year plan for himself of working and going to school in alternate years to finance his education. After graduating from Princeton in the summer of 1923 and spending his vacation time in Vermont, he arrived at Vassar College in the fall to teach art history for a year. This obliged him to assist in teaching several courses—one in Italian sculpture, another in Italian painting from early Christian times through the Renaissance, and a third in northern European painting—all in the first semester.
His appearance was important—he dressed very carefully, to the hilt. [He was] conscious of appearance, of deportment. ”25 King described Barr’s stance toward art as continually critical, appraising everything both analytically and synthetically. Barr “was always interested in the platonic underlying forms . . ” An example of Barr’s analytical approach, he thought, was the cold perfection he saw in the work of Michelangelo, while King, in contrast, felt that a “boiling” lay beneath the exterior of the works.