I’m back from the Einstein on the Beach festivities in Amsterdam, and Friday at 3 I’ll be giving a reading from my 4’33” book at the National Academy Museum in New York City. [No, I won’t stand there without saying anything. Ha-ha.]
UPDATE: You can ignore the following. Frank Oteri wants to put my Einstein analysis on New Music Box, where it will reach a wider audience. Going commercial, at whatever modest level, is always better than going academic when you have the chance, if you can do so without compromises. So I’ve pulled the article off my website, and will announce when it’s on NMBx.
As for my paper on Einstein, I decided for now not to blog it, but to put it up on my web site, so you’ll find “Intuition and Algorithm in Einstein on the Beach” there. I’ve seen a lot of scholars post scholarly articles on their web sites, and it strikes me that it carries just a touch more gravitas than doing it on one’s blog. It would be nice to have it in a journal somewhere and be an official Phil Glass scholar, but it’s kind of an empty credential to play off against the advantage of people finding it easily on Google. As I’ve said before, I’m all for peer-review in principle, but it’s kind of a double-edged sword. The purpose of peer review is to make everyone conform, meaning 1. making everyone conform to the facts, which is great, and I’m happy to be fact-checked and have typos caught; and 2. making everyone conform to the conventions of academic writing, which can be deadly awful. Depending what “peers” review me (and while thousands of people write as well as or better than I do, only a handful of them are musicologists), I am likely to be told not to be so breezy, casual, and journalistic, and that I ought to be more interpretive, and properly mention Deleuze, and throw in some critical theory, and all that crap. I really think that after one’s published a certain number of books from academic presses (let’s just say five, for the sake of argument) one should get a permanent free pass from peer-review, and have one’s writings accepted verbatim thereafter. But, that’s what the internet’s for, right? The masses will, in time, catch my miscalculations and typos. I can’t quite believe that no one else has yet compared the two Dances in Einstein, but I couldn’t find it elsewhere, and perhaps someone will bring such a case to my attention. If not, now it’s been done.
UPDATE: And I’ve been remiss in not thanking Juhani Nuorvala for the nice Tom Johnson quote, which I used prominently.