Precision and Repetition


There is an almost theological intensity in our desire to take music out of time, to replace unreliable memory of overwhelmingly rich experiences with immutable objects. We know that memory of beauty is fragile, that time erodes pleasure itself. We remember something that was tremendous but we cannot evoke this as experience for others or even for ourselves. Of course music is about this recovery and rehearsal of experience. We are aware of the erosion of memory in general. We examine records and imagine there once was a very great moment, and practice to travel there. We poignantly gather in groups to recall experiences already lost to us but recoverable by rites of precision and repetition.

Has electronic media changed this? How does it aid in the recovery of music? It has changed the style of time but what has it done for this sense of loss? What is the relation between the automation of memory and our desire to hold onto musical experience? We exchange faithful objects without the guarantee of transmission.