martedì 8 gennaio 2019

From Twin Peaks to Darmstadt in three hours!

You can be anything you want to be
Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be
Be free with your tempo, be free, be free
Surrender your ego, be free, be free to yourself!

Queen, Innuendo
Good evening,

I am a veteran music fan and listener. In this website I introduce a revolutionary methodology to learn how to listen to classical, contemporary and jazz music through pop and rock.
Not only, you can use this in the reverse way: unlearn classical and jazz and become a skilled blues/classic rock or minimal/alternative listener accordingly to your curiosity.

I know it can sound a little bit pretentious, but I've understood much more about the psychology of music listening (and discovered, appreciated for the fist time entire subgenres) in the last 10 weeks than in the 10 years preceding.

At the end of my travel, I am not biased anymore: a music listener should try to understand at least once in a lifetime every genre: from techno schranz to serialism. It is almost compulsory: if you are into classical music, you have an incomplete picture of 20th century if you ignore minimalism; if you are into jazz music, you have a partial picture of its grammar if you have never enjoyed folk/blues.

Not only: if to change you just need three hours, it is not a big deal. I also experimented that changing in the morning, when you wake up is incredible easy and fast. After you sleep, you are a blackboard and the first thing you listen in the morning imprints you one of the three mindsets.

In the way I use it and tested it in the last month I can get my skills from listening to a couple of songs from Twin Peaks 3 soundtrack to Pierre Boulez in few hours, smoothly and effortlessly.
For example in the first hour I listen to random songs by the 25 warm up artists. Then for the second hour I switch to the 25 in the training list and the last one I restrict to the strongest four (Zappa, Prince, Fripp, Wyatt).
In these three hours I never listen to something I don't want to. If something does not hook, I just skip it.

At the end of the third hour I am "in the zone" how I call it now. And I can listen to everything in the universe of classical music from Perotin to Grisey (with the obvious exception of some American minimalism).

What's the secret behind this trick?

It is not artistic value, it is not complexity (even if being used to complexity is a bonus). The variable is the geometry of time; the shape of time: linear, circular, helix as used in current ethnomusicology. It is easier to recognize this if you imagine the circle of the circular shape as one with a large radius and the pitch of the helix as narrow: there is much more repetition in helix than in circular, despite the names can be misleading.

In my opinion there are three ways or techniques or ears to listen to music. And again in my opinion there are six main musical genres, to keep it simple.

A Western listener is aware of all the time from start to beginning, time always moves forward; a Folk listener is aware of  the time from the start of the circle and resets at the end, time moves on a circle; a Minimal listener is not aware of movement of time, time is static.

Picture it like in a sport: a Western listener runs a marathon: he starts from point A and moves to point B, the end of the musical piece; a Folk listener runs many laps in a running track; a Minimal listener runs on a threadmill.

In some crossover artists the different geometries can be layered simultaneously and that is what I exploit.

Steve Reich's phasing technique is a fascinating example of music with a sense of time both linear, both static. My favourite things by John Coltrane is an example of music with a sense of time both linear, both circular.

If you listen to classical and jazz music you train the Western ear (linear shape of time).
If you listen to blues and classical Indian music you train the Folk ear (circular shape of time).
If you listen to American minimalism and Indonesian gamelan you train the Minimal ear (helical shape of time).

This is the most reliable way to get the three different mindsets. Using pop and rock music is just a game I invented for fun. Pop and rock are derivative and contaminated genres that live in the intersections and you can get random results, listening to random pop and rock music.

During your life, if you experiment many genres, you jump between the three different mindsets: you change and keep changing. If you are tired of random changes and want to take control of this process, this is the site for you!

If you reduce the set of pop/rock artists in your daily playlists to the ones that are compatible with classical music, and exclude the ones that are not,  you will end up developing a listening approach similar to the one Mozart, Miles Davis or Ligeti had.

In my selection there are 50 artists; 25 will uncounsciounsly teach you something and I call them training, 25 will not teach you that much, but are still compatible and I call them warm-up.
I am so positive on this stuff, that I am using it from November 2018 every day!

If I want to chill and listen to pop/rock, I only choose between these 50 and as a side effect I get better in listening to Haydn or Charlie Parker, without doing(!). It is incredible: when I wake up in the morning I leave my tv/YouTube on random Taylor Swift videoclips and when I move to a Mozart piano sonata, I can enjoy it better than before.

I don’t know if eventually I will get bored and switch back, driven by a sudden Beatlemania, but I am confident that with this simple trick, I can recover the classical ear in few hours, if I want to.
You can loose it in a few hours too, if you start listening to folk or minimal music.

I embed a playlist I shuffle on my tv with the 25 artists I call warm-up, so you can try yourself.

What’s the origin of the method?

At 22, after four years of random rock listening, I gained an unexpected and strong comprehension of contemporary classical music.

I was able to get at first glance understanding of complex 20th century contemporary classics like Boulez, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Toru Takemitsu, Messiaen, Berio, Maderna, Manzoni, Berg, Schoenberg ...

Not only: I got very skilled in listening to jazz music, something it was less unexpected since I was exploring some fusion and modal jazz classics.

I go straight to the point. I could barely read a score and I had no advanced musical education. I knew how to read some tabs for guitar and some chords, but I found pleasure in difficult stuff that musicians, young composers were unable to grasp or even accept as music at all.

So it had nothing to do with "intellectual understanding", it was something else.

It happened, after some months, that I lost my "superpowers" and got back to rock listening. I was a little bit frustrated and I managed to find some "tricks" or "playlists" to get back in the zone.

In the beginning it was a very unapproachable Bach/Parker/Schoenberg compilation.
In the last sixteen years I asked about why and how to get there, replicating the same random stuff I did unintentionally, since I didn't push that much, I just listened to what I liked and experimented a little bit with some stuff suggested by webzines.

I finally managed to isolate what it happened and how I did it. 

I recovered even the weirdest phenomena (a sudden interest for bubble gum pop music or synth disco I had in the last months before the transition).

Now, you have the most powerful tricks to get there, in the same way I did it between 2001 and 2002.


it is really easy.

Easy as listening to random Alicia Keys and Prince tunes.

P.S. My personal fast-training routine is just a playlist of four videos:

Sleep well at night! My method works only if you are wide awake!!!
If you undersleep you are stuck to folk or minimal mindset.

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