Mark Limacher /dɒtkɔm/

A Little Eisler for Labor Day

Some excerpts from Hanns Eisler’s Speech to the Choir of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, I938 One characteristic of this crisis in music is the division of entertainment and serious music. Is this not a very strange division? Must we be entertained only by the cheapest musical rubbish and must we look serious and […]

More Thoughts on “The Hatred of Music”

What considerations are necessary for composing of music that resists the ability to be used as torture? If extreme volume can be thought of as “exclusive”, are extremely soft sounds inherently inclusive? For that matter, could softness (read: quiet-slow-boring) offer a rupture for further inquiry? Primo Levi called music “infernal.” Although not given to imagery, […]

“In hearing, man is held captive.”

Excerpts from Alex Ross’ When Music is Violence1, referencing Pascal Quignard’s “The Hatred of Music”: Although music has a tremendous ability to create communal feeling, no community can form without excluding outsiders. The sense of oneness that a song fosters in a human herd can seem either a beautiful or a repulsive thing—usually depending on […]


“Michael Finnissy’s Janne takes inspiration from another composer, though in the case of Sibelius the symphony orchestra was already bread and butter. The genesis of this commission is intriguing: Finnissy wanted to ‘wrestle with the Sibelian way of writing’ hoping that ‘it might be fun to do an imaginary portrait of the child Sibelius, violin […]

…en el río…

  “Coherence can be underlined be veiled be hidden it can also be completely invisible at the beginning and only gradually be revealed”1   Arnold Schoenberg, Coherence, Counterpoint, Instrumentation, Instruction in Form, (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1994) 65. ↩