The Gould Variations: Technology, Philosophy and Criticism by Juha Markus Mantere

By Juha Markus Mantere

This publication specializes in 3 features in Glenn Gould’s (1932-1982) musical notion and perform: Gould’s include of song expertise, his notions of the ontology of track and musical interpretation, and where of his suggestion in Canadian highbrow background. Focusing not just on Gould’s writings on song know-how but in addition on these of Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) and Jean Le Moyne (1913-1996), this ebook offers a clean viewpoint on Gould’s considering, which used to be embedded in and keenly alert to the highbrow international open air song. The booklet additionally touches on Gould’s public reception, his nationwide iconicity, in Canadian literature and Hollywood video clips. Gould’s stardom is mentioned as a phenomenon most commonly linked to modern pop culture.

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Additional info for The Gould Variations: Technology, Philosophy and Criticism in Glenn Gould's Musical Thought and Practice (European University Studies)

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245) interestingly argues that for some 46 Scholarly criticism of music is grounded in an ultimately hermeneutic project and therefore can not claim an “objective” or epistemologically neutral position. Scholarly criticism, as Subotnik and others have defined the term, always unfolds in a dialectical position with its object – a dialectic the aim of which is to enhance the understanding of its object and thereby the aesthetic experience of it. In my work, I take one particularly important axiom from Cultural Musicology: musicianship is as important to musical authorship and agency as composition is.

These include competitiveness, counterpoint, and contemporariness in music. Wood’s shortcoming is that she does not discuss Gould’s The Idea of North and his glorification of isolation in any larger (Canadian) context. A highly interesting doctoral thesis on Gould’s audio documentaries is Ann Marie McKinnon’s The Death Drive: Cronenberg, Ondaatje, Gould (2001). McKinnon’s particular focus is on Gould’s best known audiodocumentary Idea of North (1967), which McKinnon scrutinizes from a psychoanalytic viewpoint, as a manifestation of the “death drive,” a cornerstone of Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory.

This intellectual interaction clearly had its significance for the constructing of Gould’s own aesthetic and ethical world-view. In terms of a focus on Gould’s thinking, of course, McLuhan’s and Le Moyne’s work serves as a hermeneutic backdrop against which to sketch larger contemporary discourses on technology and culture. One of the most interesting parts of this scholarly journey has been to bring some of Gould’s ideas to the present – to try to elaborate on themes important for Gould but that also have relevance for us today.

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