NON-CONCERT Anonymous improvisation without instruments.
Concert: 1660s, “agreement, accord, harmony,” from Fr. concert (16c.), from It. concerto “concert, harmony,” from concertare “bring into agreement,” in L.*
If a concert is based on “agreement, accord, harmony,”, then a non-concert is based on disagreement, discord, and noise. Non-idiomatic improvisation is supposed to treat all music as possible material for improvisation. But music is never just about music. In a non-concert we could use everything possible as material for improvisation: power relations, ideas, concepts, the context, history, architecture, our bodies, affects, desires, sex…
We don’t need instruments that would mediate our relation to each other and reinforce ourselves as musicians. Whether we want it or not, we all are always already performing in some way or another. There is no neutral position or activity. The question is whether we are performing an established role (such as audience or performer) or something different altogether? Something that goes beyond individual or collective authorship.
In today’s concentration camp of forced participation, where everybody in some way or other is producing some kind of value (economical, experiential, cultural…) to fall back on the notion of an abstract audience, which takes its distance or is simply the observer of an object, is no longer possible.
In whatever situation we are in, we are producing sounds however quiet these might be. Instead of judging these sounds aesthetically (which only reinforces the idea of individual taste), can we listen to these sounds or produce some new ones, in order to try to understand better what situation precisely we are living through and change it?
We can produce a different set of social relations accelerating the conflict of the individual versus the collective. Lets forget about music and musicians for the time being, and produce a social noise that cancels the fetishisation of abstract sounds. Lets move together towards the unwanted (musically, aesthetically, socially…).
If music is supposed to be organized sounds, then noise can be disorganized listening. Anything could happen if we make it happen but if the situation turns out sterile for you, blame yourself for it.
“… Is it possible to take self-reflexivity to the point of positive feedback while making a commodity out of my intellect? Can this process help me to understand how I am objectified by capitalism? This is a very difficult question, as I am using English which firstly, is not my mother tongue, and secondly is the language more aligned with capitalism. To what extent does the use of English language shape my thoughts and actions? If our general intellect is appropriated by capitalism, can we get it back through a process of improvisation with our thoughts? Can my unconscious be my instrument for improvisation? Can we produce our subjectivity through the language that we are improvising with? … ” (Mattin)