John Collins McCormick sent us this track and text in exchange of Noise & capitalism book. Thanks!
That we cannot close our ears as we can our eyes is something of a testament to sound’s simultaneity. Simultaneity then affords a both multi-faceted and multi-dimensional experience that is ever present. Whereas an object can only occupy its own space in whatever form it takes at that moment, sound can mix and coalesce in and through objects and environments. That noise would be seen as a deterrent to a listening situation can only then be postulated by ones definition of noise. That something like Noise music could have happened or continue to happen without something like capitalism is unlikely in that the machination of many things was an impetus to create music from/of societal detritus. Although noise needn’t come from society much of Noise music will directly relate to societal aspects beyond formal modes of communication. Then, that machines relate to capitalism is relatively direct, machines make things to be bought and sold. Just as machines (audio effects processors, mixers, computers etc.) are implemented to make Noise music, much of that music and gear is bought and sold.
That working with sound or noise is to the artist pleasurable also relates to capitalist society in that trade and industry are privatized. The privatization of markets leads to a for profit situation, which in itself includes pleasure.
That there would be some sort of deft skill and imagination used to create this music is what exists in opposition to capitalism. That a new aesthetic and appreciation for the irregular, the tedious, the silent or cacophonous must be developed in a personal manner sets the performers of Noise away from say, a Banker.
That even the most counter-cultural or sub-cultural mode of creation will still likely result in a product that could be commoditized is somewhat of non-importance. Here the importance is placed on virtuosity and creativity, which although are often lent towards selling, they will carry ulterior agendas.
That Noise, or sound would prompt a lavish vacation, or the purchase of a car is unlikely. That Noise, or sound would prompt a psychological investigation of the self is more likely, and presents itself beyond ownership and distribution. It is a slippery slope for any artist to try to create in direct opposition to capitalism, should there be any type of product as the result of his or her creative activity. A painting is made just as a record or a photograph: for consumptive purposes – whether capital gain is a motive at onset is of no importance. The artist generally does not give the work monetary value, but instead markets decide what the work is worth and who would pay for it. There is an option that an artist could create something so awful, no one in his or her right mind would pay for it let alone look or listen to it. Yet this direct anti-capitalist/anti-hero agenda would more than likely appeal to those disaffected by general modes of consumption so as to want nothing but that seemingly which is anti-capitalist. This effectually lands us on the other end of a circular spectrum: the mimicry of capitalism is itself rather one and the same.