John Cage once said, “I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard.” We reached that point a long while ago—we can now record and manipulate any noise on earth—but Western music still sounds largely as it did at the height of Cage’s weirdo powers. Even when it isn’t straightforward pop, or when it uses found sounds, or when it’s outright noise music, it still has elements that strike us as familiar: tones and semitones that please our European-influenced ears. Music still sounds like music. The difference is that we have many more of Cage’s “electrical instruments”—we have many more machines with which to make sounds.
Palimpsest magazine is part publication and part time capsule, a search engine in a shoebox. In the age of the beginning of the end of print it worships the physical relentlessly, far beyond the charge of mere Ludditism; Palimpsest loves the internet too, for all it has done to mould us. For this year’s edition of Pop Montreal, the brains behind Palimpsest will produce a daily newspaper documenting the festival’s goings-on, but don’t expect a mere newsletter. Here, collective member Danielle St-Amour talks Pop, print and personal music journalism.
Pop Montreal is the best, just so you know.