I-View: Expressiveness: Cryptic Swedish 1996

Subj: Expressiveness
Date: Tue, Mar 12, 1996 7:08 AM EST
From: sangild@dorit.ihi.ku.dk
X-From: (Torben Sangild)
To: (Lee Ranaldo)

This is the Danish thesis guy again, puzzling with some questions about expressiveness and subjectivity.

You are generally quite expressive, energetic, ecstatic in much of your music. Anger, fear, frustration goes through a lot of it, mainly the early records. Is this a sincere expression of your feelings, or rather a style, an effect? Or both?
Much of the pictorial art of the last 15 years use expressive language, but without a romantic idea of the art-subject as beholder of the truth, rather a mocking of that idea. Often Thurston is very private in lyrics (without being intimate or sentimental) – an example is ìProvidenceî. Does it make sense to you to be compared with these artists (e.g. Cindy Sherman, Julian Schnabel, Walther Dahn)?

Is there a shift in attitude towards expressiveness, anger, fear, agony from the early records to a more ironic perspective in the later work?

Torben Sangild

answers:

1. emotion is expression, you use it as it comes. it doesn;t always come in expected ways, at expected times or in managable form. You grab on and ride it out. so expression in music, or ‘sound’ can use similar flights of expression to play off each other and create a subtle little model of the emotional life of its’ creators.

2. It makes sense to be compared to the ‘appropriative’ genre of artists you mention because as fellow inhabitants of the late nineteen seventies we share their observations of cut-up society, information around ev’ry curve, to be used or abused at will. It’s all ours! We have seen it, thought it or read it, and it’s all ours to use. The degree to which one hides behind such observations tells more about the person(s) than anything else.

3. the later work is fueled by the knowledge of the earlier, in part. this allows for certain ironies to naturally creep in, along the borders of experientail knowledge. In other words, you know where you’ve been better’n anyone else, and can laugh at where you are now, and wax ironic on occasion in the surety that no-one knows how difficult that journey was better than you do.

REagards,

Lee Ranaldo/Lyons FR 3 23 96

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