Re: [xmca] G. Gould

From: E. Knutsson <eikn6681 who-is-at>
Date: Thu Nov 15 2007 - 02:32:07 PST

For those who think that Glenn Gould is more interesting than S.J.Gould:

"Glenn Gould was a quintessential 'McLuhanesque' figure, living as though
technology was an 'extension' of himself. [...] Gould claimed that at night the
hourly news sometimes provided the material for his dreams. Gould was also able
to make use of his radio environment, to put it to work for him. His constant
audio input, sometimes provided by more than one audio source, supplied Gould
with a means of dividing his areas of concentration. 'Quite mysteriously, I
discovered that I could better learn Schoenberg's difficult piano score, Opus
23, if I listened to them both at once, the FM to hear music and the AM to hear
the news.' On another occasion Gould described how he began to master a
particularly difficult passage in a Beethoven sonata by placing a radio and a
television next to his piano and turning them up 'full blast.' 'The fact that
you couldn't hear yourself, that there wasn't audible evidence of your failure
was already a step in the right direction.' Gould's ability to divide his
various levels of consciousness through the manipulation of his audio
environment resembles the type of simultaneous awareness that McLuhan spoke of
in relation to the 'field' experience of the 'oral-aural' person. ... Gould's
notorious irrepressible habit of singing while playing the piano, which is
clearly audible in many of his recordings, is perhaps another indication that,
more than most musicians, Gould was indeed McLuhan's 'oral-audial' man -
incapable of remaining silent, totally involved in an activity that
required 'the participation of the whole body and the whole mind.'"

(Paul Théberge, "Counterpoint: Glenn Gould & Marshall McLuhan"; Genosko, G.
(ed.).Marshall McLuhan: Critical Evaluations in Cultural Theory. Vol. II.
London & New York: Routledge, 2005, pp. 49-50).

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Received on Thu Nov 15 02:34 PST 2007

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