The birth of tragedy

EoIpso: What philosophical works have you studied? Any particular interests?

DPQ: I'm very keen on Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy", which deals with aesthetics in a radical and honest way and doesn't make the fundamental mistake in philosophy, which is taking it for granted that Rationality is the God. It's almost an anti-philosophy book because it essentially downgrades rational discussion of aesthetic experience to something secondary to the actual aesthetic experience itself.

This I wholeheartedly agree with, and would even go as far as to say that in excessive quantities the over-intellectualization can actually cripple the ability to have such experience, the thought killing action and experience. It's a tightrope scenario, balancing the two is one of the most difficult things in life, I would say. Which in a way could constitute the strongest criticism of the vast majority of modern conceptual art in which the concept behind the work is more important than the actual experience of looking at it.

In such cases the artistic manifestation of the concept is secondary to the concept itself, and is to a large degree unnecessary. You may as well write an essay in such cases, and because of that I would not regard such work as true art which for me has to be primarily experiential. And then at the other end, you've got the people churning out brainless music, just getting on with it with little care for thinking about what might make it any better. This is utterly experiential, but unfortunately the people who make it have given it so little thought that the material won't satisfy a lot of people.

EoIpso: But isn't the thought or idea the purest form of human creativity? And do not many problems arise when human beings try to transform their thoughts (brain waves) into the narrow confinement of material form such as light waves or sound waves of different amplitudes and frequencies, for others to consume? Each recipient has a different set of cognitional codes, so it's very likely the original meaning will get altered during the deciphering process, regardless whether that process might be rational or experiential.

DPQ: I'd say it's the communication of the thought or idea that matters more than the thought or idea alone. I agree that it's practically impossible to transmit a thought accurately. I think you just have to accept that it's a fact in this world of personal subjectivities, and get on with the communication anyway.

If the communication of the thought is layered enough and suitably clear, then surely people will get at least part of the way towards understanding your original intention. But that's why improvisation is such an important element in music, because the thought and the communication are far more entangled. It's the ultimate acceptance that nothing is ever exactly the same once the moment has passed. Even if you listen to the same piece of recorded music twice, you will be having different thoughts, the chemical levels in your brain will never be exactly replicated, simply because there are just so many different chemical levels and environmental factors.

I think this is what (Brian) Eno was getting at with Ambient music, embracing the changing nature of the environment. It's possible to stay so precious about things that you end up reaching a frustrating dead end very quickly. I think it's rather enjoyable to find out how intentions get misunderstood, as often the misunderstandings can be far more illuminating than the actual intentions. Just the same way that you can never actually see yourself as others do, only a mirror image at best.

> Marine cuisine

Daniel Patrick Quinn, the man behind Suilven Records

< On the fringes
= The birth of tragedy
> Marine cuisine
> Soil versus business
> High and low