“[…] I approach the earworm from a deliberately speculative perspective in order to conceptualize its appearance not as a mere neurological anomaly but as a technical matter expressive of the way historically useless thinking, the kind of thinking we associate with reverie and brooding, is being rhetorically and imaginatively recuperated as a passive technology of the self.”
And, continuing :
“Earworms are, then, expressive of a sheer fluctuation, a lived abstraction, or a pure sign of variation that epitomizes entertainment’s principle of indigestion. But at the same time earworms mark the limits and fate of indigestion. Their play of appearance and disappearance short-circuits the bureaucracy of organism in a way that brings out the latter’s power of variation and capacity to perform, communicate and relate to a place ‘where things reach their end without passing through their means’ (Baudrillard, 2008: 192).
This is to say that earworms are the destiny of musical technics taken up in an apparatus of distraction, the destiny of indigestion where music ‘attains [its] effects without passing through causes’ (Baudrillard, 2008: 192). A something doing becoming thought that is becoming something doing.”
Bonus: The professor, who is also a composer, provides a selection of his music (audio and scores) here at his website Stangemonk.com
Here is a performance of glossolalia (stress positions) (2008), 25’00, flute, bass clarinet, violin, contrabass, and vibraphone. Commissioned by Western Front, Vancouver; premièred by Motion Ensemble.
Also don’t miss: ‘Boring Formless Nonsense : Experimental Music and the Aesthetics of Failure’ – Eldritch Priest, Bloomsbury Academic, Paperback, Dimensions: 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, List price: $34.95