Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cell Phones As Fanfare For The Common Man

Our inability to walk a block or two without flipping open the cellphone is creating an aural fabric of humanity that's fascinating to hear. Sound artists have worked with single phrases or sentences - Jenny Holzer - and even words manipulated as raw material (musique concrète). Tweets are a mass contribution to the artform.

Cell Phones As Fanfare For The Common Man

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Our inability to walk a block or two without flipping open the cellphone is creating an aural fabric of humanity that's fascinating to hear. Sound artists have worked with single phrases or sentences - Jenny Holzer - and even words manipulated as raw material (musique concrète). Tweets are a mass contribution to the artform.

But there's something even more economical and powerful about the unguarded (and often shouted) cellphone conversation - something that wants to be preserved and explored. Maybe Bruce Nauman (did you hear Days and Giorni at the Philadelphia Museum of Art?) needs to come to Center City to gather fresh inspiration.

Here are some examples. I'll keep adding more as I hear them. So far:

"...and it comes with a free massage for each of us the morning of the wedding."

"I've never even met my parole officer."

"He was still breathing this morning."

"I returned two dollars and ten cents - let's get it right."

"He was bitten by a beetle...I don't want to put on too much calamine lotion."

"I got to love him for who he is, but sometimes I don't like him."

 

 

Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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