Post music is any improvised music that reflects the state of today’s dense over saturated cultural landscape and abolishes all existing rules thus allowing the music to arise from nothing but the taste and inclination of the player (self-idiomatic). Noise and chance are the basic ingredients of post music.

A characteristic of post music is it’s uncertainty of where performances start and finish.

Worldly sounds (noise) have narrative and are referential whereas pure musical sounds primarily refer to themselves.

The use of prepared instruments and non-musical devices challenges the cultural distinction between music and noise.

Dislocating sound sources by using techniques of recording and playback eradicate the line drawn between music and noise.

Dislocating a sound from its source (schizophonia) is an act of abstraction. Recordings become auto-referential making all noise musical.

Post music practitioners use analog sound carrying media that is more or less obsolete because unlike digital it will unmistakably bear the stamp of the medium and will be prone to gradual wear.

Electronic sounds used to be the sounds of the future but are now mundane and an integral part of the landscape. Technological progress has made electronic sounds cheap to generate in toys and almost all of the equipment used in daily life.

Human experience is not predefined. It is an accumulated collage of unrelated images, sounds and textures culled from a wide variety of sources.

Breaking down language/syntax and traditional composition reveals truths about the totality of sound, rather than it’s harmonic tone.

The internet has allowed for the creation of multiple art communities, fracturing the hegemony of Avant elite authority. Communities no longer need to follow the rules of the Avant elite building instead their own groups with specific interests. By embracing the digital age and new found freedom from elitist authoritarianism self-idiomatic communities now actively engage in the exchange of ideas with likeminded associates around the world who will themselves be actively networking within their own niche communities.

Absolutely nothing in the world is new. True innovation in sound comes from re-assessing and re-configuring older technologies and misusing current technologies.

Post music survives by cross-referencing high & low culture. It is generally passed on from ear and must be considered as a kind of folk music.


All music is essentially political and has subversive power

The role of Post music is to make subversive ideas popular in an increasingly superficial and sentimental digital culture. To push those ideas into the mainstream without allowing their radicalism to be compromised thereby providing ordinary people with an alternative future that avoids the twin traps of worthless cultural populism and underground obscurantism.

Post music seeks out and thrives on relations between musicians which aren’t mediated through any external mechanism e.g. a score or predetermined set of ideas.

By this definition improvisation has obvious resonances with anarchism, according to which the relations between people should not be mediated through the external mechanism of the state

To be governed is to be at every operation registered, taxed, forbidden, licensed, extorted, robbed, condemned, shot and betrayed.

States are both ‘coercive’ and ‘punitive’, reducing people’s freedom “far beyond the point required by social co-existence” and “enacting restrictive laws and other measures which are necessary, not for the well-being of society, but for the state’s own preservation.

Anarchism is frequently misunderstood as the blind belief in absolute freedom although in reality organised societies cannot escape the dominations that characterise their order.

Post music improvisers and anarchists must recognise and overcome these dominant power relations.

POWER-OVER – a person’s position in a relationship/organisation that is best referred to as denomination.

POWER-TO – A mutually empowering productive force of non-dominance that allows an organisation to develop by creating POWER-WITH.

The POWER-WITH of anarchist music making can cross from musicians to their audience thus demonstrating how one organization might give something to another or how anarchic Post music might shape societies and cultures.


Improvisation as anarchist organization by David Bell

Electroacoustic improvisation as metalanguage and fixed point by H. Schellinx & E. Ferrand

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