Friday, August 19, 2011

Confusing prescription with opinion

With subjective opinion being one of the rare things you can actually call your own, it strikes me as odd when people respond to an invitation to write a piece for Black Metal Revolution with comments amounting to, “If people don’t already know about this record, what can I tell them?”

The “invitation” is an offer to share your insights into the Black Metal record you most revere; to explore the symbiotic relationship between the author and their nominated record. Due to the subjective nature of music there really is no such thing as “good” or “bad” music. Quality, like beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

"There is no difference between Noise and Music in my work. I have no idea what you 
term ‘Music’ and ‘Noise’. It's different depending on each person. If ‘Noise’ means 
uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me." Masami Akita, Merzbow.

The author’s nominated record possesses merit because the listener deems it worthy of reverie. Outside this relationship, the record is just an object; a product of someone’s imagination, efforts, convictions one hopes, but an object just the same.

So the concept of opinion here is strictly experiential – it is your vision of this record that is being sought and an interpretation unshackled by the influence of individuals exerting which records that are supposedly valid or true. To tap deep into the essence of why your chosen opus matters to you should render all other considerations redundant. My fundamental concern is for readers to be able to channel your vision and either discover an offering they hadn’t had the opportunity to prior, or at least determine an unconsidered perspective.

Pre-empting reader response is futile, they will extrapolate the messages as they see fit. Considering the likely audience for a publication such as Black Metal Revolution, it is naïve to consider it some sort of “rule book” or “guide to BM for the uninitiated” as there is no prescribed list of the records that should and should not be included. There are offerings I would like to see adorn the books pages, but this is not something I intend to contrive as it is at odds with the production’s essence.

A submission to BMR is a clear account of a record that matters to the author and why. Sure it can be more should you wish it to be. Some are better equipped than others to provide such an insight, though creative prowess is not necessarily a gateway to divination. VON is always going to appeal to me over some sort of pompous, overblown and overproduced act like Dream Theater; though try to explain to a Dream Theatre fan WHY that is the case is futile. The language of reverie is different for all individuals who are truly channeling their innermost.

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