Why Open Music


Open Music began as a way of performing an under-performed, playful, and provocative kind of music, and getting a disparate band of people together to do so. Culture, art, performance, music, entertainment, just like every other part of our lives, has become more targeted and specialized, more centered in distinguished institutions (universities, performing arts centers) and blandly-branded corporations (Clear Channel, Apple). Open Music tells a different story: sound and performance as a sometimes awkward and uncomfortable (but always intimate) force of interruption in our increasingly-curated lives. On the one hand, the story is told with the help of artists from this more playful and experimental lineage, from John Cage and Pauline Oliveros, to Fluxus and Cornelius Cardew; on the other, the band itself gathers, makes its own decisions, takes the risk of presenting something of its own creation. And because there is no prerequisite for joining the band, that something could end up as anything.

Music, sound and performance like this are seldom heard or experienced. Algorithmically-funneled culture combined with the pressure to reap some kind of revenue make for a hard lean towards entertainment, towards satisfaction. But Open Music presents a more forgotten pleasure, the pleasure of being provoked and unnerved, the chaotic pleasure of not knowing what to make of something. And then to hold that sense, together with the performers, with everybody.

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