The Future always was Yesterday

aka Har$
4 min readNov 10, 2021

Freely improvised and non-academic electroacoustic music {as}[by] urban folk[s] ~ part 7

from: Emergence at the frontiers and in fringes & trenches of contemporary music

In his contribution “Necessity and Choice in Musical Forms: Concerning musical and technical means and political needs” to [RJ], Chris Cutler gives the following four characteristics of the ‘Folk Mode’ of human music making (which he considers in dialectical opposition with the eye (notation) based bourgeois ‘Art Mode’):
_ the medium of folk mode musical generation and perpetuation is based in human memory, it centres around the ear;
_ the practice of folk mode music is an expressive attribute of a whole community;
_ there are no finished or definitive pieces of folk mode music, and there is also no element of personal property, though there is individual contribution;
_ there is no productive distinction between the roles of composer and performer, the generation and production of folk mode is a socially seamless and single process in which improvisation plays a central part.

One readily verifies that Cutler’s four characteristics coincide with the defining properties, as outlined in the above, of the working modes and the (intuitive) methodology of large sections of contemporary networks of independent artists active in the fields of free improvisation and non-academic, extra-institutional electroacoustic music.
They play urban folk. It’s URFOlk.

“ We need and want to “promote” an art without any identity, without even the identity of art. An art that is no longer given as art, whatever its legitimating authority, and that so will manage to greatly increase its performative potential. An art therefore without spectators, an art without public. And, at the same time, an art that is not claimed by its author[s], able to intervene (per-formatively) with more efficiency in & on reality than through that which one labels as ‘art’, always suspect of pretence. “
(Freely adapted from Jean-Claude Moineau : L’art où l’on ne l’attend pas ? (April 2012))

unPublic in the Rietveld Journal #4
aka Har$

is Harold Schellinx, a writer, artist, scientist living, working & roaming Amsterdam & elsewhere (