Friday, April 10, 2009

radio's new paradigm_jonny mugwump & the exotic pylon

"I think that it's time for a new adult art."

Donal Kuspit

Neoteric realms of philosophy & sound, sonic streams-of-subsciousness, future-past sound wave vestiges, music's sublime resonances... Jonny Mugwump and The Exotic Pylon is equal parts accident and alchemy, a weekly "palette cleanser", War-on-Terror's sonic aftershock: a reflection, a recitation, a sonic projection on the scrim of our collective imagination.

"All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born." With these words, Yeats, in 'Easter, 1916', brings to life and reifies our awful suspicion that sometimes what is terrible lives alongside what is beautiful. Violence, terror, tragedy, catastrophe, have left past poets intrepid but disconsolate. Post-modernists have taken refuge in frivolity as a way of escaping hopelessness, but we are seeing the burgeoning of a new era of artists, museum goers and radio listeners have begun to reject Mass Media's rapacious maw for feel-good art and music.

"Categorization is not to be taken lightly."
George Lakoff, 'Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things'

A byproduct of the commodification of music has been its categorization. The silent edict is: if it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit in. This has led to a whittling down of choices for the consumer, a kind of creative censorship. What's left is the lowest common denominator, a homogeneity of sound which for the artist, hungry for newness and nuance, is at once fettering and freeing.

Since the forbidden cannot be suppressed - lessons learned from Storyville, Prohibition, the Recording Ban of the 1940s, and History's banned books - these constraints have historically been not a bane, but a boon for artists who are armed with the knowledge that what is hidden is, like all mysterious things, the most seductive, and inso being, the most desired.

"A number of artists to-day set out to create no more artworks. Instead they want to get out of the museum, and provoke modifications of the space of everyday life, giving rise to new forms of relations."
Jacques Ranciere, ' Aesthetic Separation, Aesthetic Community: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art'

"It's a question of the authority of things," says Anne Veronica Janssens. 'The Exotic Pylon' questions this authority, and takes refuge in the hybridity of contemporary experience, foraging Art, Philosophy & Radio history for context while forging a new sonic language. Beyond playing music, Jonny Mugwump is proposing a new perspective on the world, one that denies the doctrine of categorization. One listen to his show and you'll be jarred into the recollection that music is an Art that has the capacity to be sublime as well as subversive, and enlighten as well as entertain.

Like love and desire, the term 'sublime' refers to a feeling which by its nature cannot be defined; it is felt in the half-light, in the moonlight, both fearful and beautiful, it moves imperceptibly toward some intuited infinity, away from the known, part of a hidden continuum that with each generation keeps tuning in to a new auricular frequency.

Luke White writes about "the strange 'after echoes' ... of the idea of 'the sublime'..." Today's handful of Artists, Musicians, Poets and Sound Alchemists are shaping a new paradigm, a 'sublime' that can be digitized, widgtized, Googled, YouTubed, streamed and forever archived, a new sublime that is felt in the resonance of their 'after echoes'.

Join 'Jonny Mugwump and The Exotic Pylon' Facebook Radio Show page here

Forthcoming interview with Jonny Mugwump + links tba

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