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Positive Feedback ISSUE 2
august/september 2002


A Response to "The Creative Art of Recorded Music - Translation, Transduction, and Transformation, by Rick Gardner and David Robinson"
by Mad Jack McMadd

"Nothing is True, Everything is Permissible"
- Hassan i Sabbah

The notion that there is an actual, absolute reference against which we can measure the performance of audio components or systems immediately sets everyone up for failure, because the philosophy requires the function of a universal aesthetic constant where one does not exist. So we are left with a transactional event whereby, through force of congress and compromise, we may agree that "such and such" is actually "such and such" or at least can usefully function as "such and such"—but only within the limitations of the chosen model. Beyond that contract (which compromises the individual sensibility in favor of an "average" sense) there lies the truth that no two people experience the same event in the same way.

Accept that the Map is not the Territory, the Menu is not the Meal, and the Recording is not the Event (see: General Semantics). Freeing one's self from the safety of the Dogma (axiomatic assumptions of popular sonic philosophy) will remove both fear and guilt, and open up a greater capacity for experiencing joy. Gizmo's liberating message encouraged this kind of guiltless ecstasy. Break the rules, learn what is possible, get what you want. Apostasy can be your ticket out of mediocrity. Don't think … just jump. It starts getting much more interesting the moment you truly listen through your own ears (and heart) and realize that your trip is YOUR trip.

Recommended Reading:

Quantum Psychology, Robert Anton Wilson
The Commanding Self, Idries Shah
The Search for Musical Ecstasy, Harvey Rosenberg