Chance Encounter Blog

Mastery

rkirz says "plus, it's a narrative if blogger says it is." of course that assumes that blogger is reliable :)

but seriously, here are a few extra thoughts: the way it works with narrative (i mean language, fiction) is that we read the seemingly sincere recountings of things from a narrator - either first person or third person - and gradually get the sense that the author is playing with us by making us hear stuff from someone whose perceptions are skewed. the problem with this experience for me (and the analogous musical situations suggested by the unreliable narrator comment posse) is that one must buy in to the Mastery of the author, who by using this technique is assuming himself to be presenting us (reliably!) with a certain and realized, if unreliable, narrator. if, as briank says, "the personal voice is almost always more interesting, and capable of connecting us on a deeper level with the truth of our experience," then the use of an unreliable narrator as a conceit is in fact distancing us from the deeper connection that we might enjoy if the author were just showing up as a faithful and richly flawed person like the rest of us.

we would need to acknowledge this same Mastery (reliability) of the creator if we embrace the idea that, as rkirz says, a composer can "establish something so clearly in the mind/memory of the listener..." as brubiel points out. that's some real estate!! in the end i think that without artful pastiche, which takes us mostly outside of the main stuff of the musical medium (sonic materials), i don't feel convinced that we have found an unreliable narration in music. but i'm sure we haven't exhausted this subject...