Marty Boykan Tuesday at 7 at Loft393 in Tribeca
I was and remain curious about my parents' and grandparents' values. Therefore, I was not one to tear things down and burn bridges, which is generally what boomers do. I've developed a compensatory love and respect for the bridge burning ediface toplers in the last few years.
Therefore, I was curious about Davidovsky & Babbitt and many other ancient people . It should be no surprise that I've come around readily to Marty Boykan. He wrote "Dipytich" for Cygnus in 2013. After ten years it's getting under my skin.
For younger players & composers, or for me in my *finding the 21st Century mode*, the old modernists come across as "lugubrious". I get that, and "lugubrious" in some good ways as well as the intended objectional use of the word. Lugubrious like Maeterlinck's Pelleas, which is less lugubrious in Debussy, Schoenberg, or Sibelius' musical treatments.
Or lugubrious like Villiers de L'Isle Adame's *Axël*. Or Wagner's Tristan, which started it all.
I hear Boykan as belated high Symbolisme, but not really so very belated.
The glimmerings of happily familiar diatonic harmonies —
One of the outer members of a chromatic trichord is swapped for its 5-cycle counterpart, landing you firmly in a diatonic space  is one example of something that grabs you. Erase that and go back into chromatic trichords, back into the woods, and then he does it again, before the effect of the first moves really wears off.
The murky chromatic stuff is then B-roll, for me. That’s how I hear it and I might succeed in making you hear it that way.
In Boykan’s lugubrious woods, I can
"Speak my mind, and I will through and through
cleanse the foul body of the infected world"
(As You Like It)
The first circled trichord is another example — light coming through the thicket.
The second circled thing— what the French, but not only them, did with the Tristan/Dominant7 relationship. Those are asymmetrical (inversions of one another), but add one note to either and you get the Dominant 9 chord, which is symmetrical --
E F# A C E
Same here— 045 -- E, G#,A
015 -- E, F, A
Now a symmetrical chimera
a critical mass of the augmented scale
And interesting that Boykan sets some of Hart Crane's most personal poetry in "Sea Gardens" -- interesting, and consistent with a Symboliste hearing of Boykan. Mario & I talked about esoteric Judaism, like the breaking of the vessels, like Parsifal.
To a carpenter every problem looks like a nail. To the American Arthur Symonds (Edmund Wilson), everything looks like Symbolisme, but from a certain perspective, that's a triviality?
Edmund Wilson's insights were not limited to slapping the "s" word on everything.
Just because Edmund Wilson tends to be of great interest to anyone old enough to have felt uneasy with postmodernism doesn't mean he wasn't right about a lot of stuff.
trying again --
Just because Edmund Wilson was a go-to guy before the Postmodernists turned everything upside-down doesn't mean he wasn't right a lot of things.
Chomsky and Aesthetics
Falstaff was a link between the educated audience and the less educated audience. There were other comic characters that deliberately spoke only to the uneducated.
We need a Falstaff for our Trumpists.
I was onto an aesthetic point about Chomsky's schtick. (Note: I am not comfortable with all aspects of Chomsky's position, but the gaslightig GOP has driven me back to Chomsky.)
Something like --
--the US is a war-monger, in perpetual war.
--weeks after leaving Afghanistan, another proxy war
--Wall Street's happiness is inextricably bound to the happiness of the defense contractors
--The American notion of happiness is manic. For the money people, it's shock doctrine, no longer aimed at Greece or Argentina, but at us, leading to distortions that are opportunities for the money people and a stab in the back for us.
--Aesthetically, the analogue for our inner lives is the manic star system. This is why some Cold War Oxbridge spies defected for aesthetic reasons, according to Le Carré.
Now, we don't have to defect. We have subaltern artistic value systems all around us. Water them and feed them and celebrate the practitioners.
"Lugubrious" is ok, but add to that "Slow Music". There's a slow food movement.
So I celebrate Marty Boykan.