Brandon Wilner

“We are continually made aware of musicians who have in the past seen value in spuriousness and enacted it in their work, pioneers whose realizations of fakeness preceded the vocabulary for it. Fake Music‘s new initiative will be not to reissue the works of these unimportant artists so that they might persist in their obscurity. FakeMusic Re–Anticipations will periodically issue notifications that we will not be reissuing one of these forebears. The first of these nonreissues is the lack of a catalogue of VOLVO, a Dutch rock and roll band who in the 1980s did not play, perform, or record. We ...
“The second nonreissue in our Re–Anticipations series is the 1995 debut CD of Argentine band Reynols, Gordura Vegetal Hidrogenada. Reynols have staked an important claim in fake music history, repeatedly asserting the nonexistence of their group. Fake Music is very pleased to not reissue this seminal work in no format that can be heard or owned by enthusiasts or collectors. We deeply believe this is a history that should be greatly treasured and heard by none.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“Fake Music offers the third in its Re–Anticipations series, the complete catalogue of the Dutch trio the Heroines, a band who from 2006 to 2011 were visible in Amsterdam’s music scene despite their intention to produce no musical output. This collaboration has been years in the making and we are excited to acknowledge our inability to reissue their work.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“Fake Music offers the fourth in its Re–Anticipations series, Yves Klein and Charles Wilp’s 1965 Prince Of Space, Musik Der Leere, an extremely rare LP heard by no one until today. We are proud to announce that with the present release this work will remain unheard. Such a significant work as this deserves nothing less than to persist in silence and obscurity.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“We do not know where in the world you are receiving this email, but we are sending it from cities whose inhabitants are starting to speak of warmer seasons. As we from FakeMusic look forward to sweatier days, we think too of the comfort and well-being of our listeners, and so we offer our fifth nonreissue, an acknowledgement of Daniel Eatock’s intent to produce “Audio Mosquito Repellent.” In its broad implemental scope, the piece might have powerfully addressed issues of public health, aesthetics, naturalistic observation, leisure, etc. Unrealized as it is, we cannot reissue this work (to do so would be ...
“Silent or absent music often conveys a sense of headiness, the impression that its lack of a low end (or any end at all) makes it more mentally than physically stimulating. Pootie Tang’s silent hit from his eponymous movie stands out from these less scrutable compositions by getting radio play on hip-hop stations and inciting physical expression in its listeners. (Un)Named for the mannerism that stands in for its traditional title, [untitled gesture] upends the typical genre assignation of “non-music” simply by changing its means of dissemination. The piece is of course able to effect such a shift only because it appears ...
“Our catalog thus far consists of works conceived and works issued that we are unable to re-release for pragmatic and conceptual reasons. Yet this focus occludes a domain of the nonreissuable: works that were neither conceived nor issued. With this present announcement, we acknowledge our inability to make public any of the compositional work of Eliane Radigue between the years 1974 and 1977 due to the fact that these years marked a hiatus in her production. We choose to mark Radigue’s nonproduction in particular given the deliberate intent of her temporary retreat and given the deliberate subtlety of her subsequent compositional work. ...
“Does funkiness have anything to do with mourning? Does it depend on how we use the word (do we attribute something of the stinky to the offbeat?)? How can funkiness precede funk? Is it the job of funkiness to flatten pomp? Can we ignore mourning when we think about funk? (What does Alphonse Allais have to do with this?)” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“While we have concerned ourselves specifically with the exploration of fakeness in music, we readily admit that we are not experts on the matter. In imagining our inability to reissue the gravestone of Alfred Schnittke, a composer whose work we do not know intimately, it occurred to us to invite our Schnittke-adoring friend the composer and conductor William C. White to frame this work for our catalog. He is our first guest contributor; we thank him for his enthusiasm and attentiveness.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“Until now our catalog has included music that is intentionally fake, that was designed not to be listened to. With our tenth nonreissue we broaden our scope to include the unintentional—music that was at one point real but has circumstantially become fake. The lost works of Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart open this new avenue.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“In the sense that it might leave our active memories as easily as details of a novel’s plot or names of cities visited, knowledge of fakeness is not unique. A piece of fake music that we’ve encountered in the past might only be present in our sensitivity toward newer ones. But with any luck, some aspect of daily rote will jiggle such information loose from forgottenness long enough for us to notice and document it, as happened with our friend and sibling Bryce Wilner, who, we are pleased to report, remembered a fake piece of music used as a joke and ...
“While the slate-sweeping and resolve-invigoration kindled by this new year rolls or fumbles on (year of the monkey, we understand), we’re happy to announce that we remain unable to turn to the new or even to the renewed. Nor the old. The objects of our attention hover out there where we can’t really pay attention to them. If we can’t turn to them, we nevertheless can (should?) have this unavailability underscored by more parties, which we have done here with Lauren Fulton, a curator, writer, and our third guest contributor.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“Those of you who follow Fake Music closely will already have noticed that Discogs staff voted to remove our label page and all of our releases from their site. In the discussion that led to this deletion Discogs user Jayfive offered input in the form of a snippet from a Monty Python sketch: “Stop that—silly!” The incident has compromised an important component of our publicity, but we continue our silly and serious project with the release of Steve Dahl’s Disco Demolition Night.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“We scholars of fakeness admit that we sometimes expect to be taught similar lessons each time we turn our attentions toward a new critical subject. We learn repeatedly, for instance, how much there is to note in a note’s absence, or that an altered tone can atone for the lack of a tone. But we have not yet done much to ask how our sense of scale performs when enacted on a larger scale: what does magnitude add to silence? Through the FCC’s National Radio Quiet Zone, we begin to ask this question so that we might better misunderstand its ...
“Atmosphere, in a literal sense, isn’t formless. It’s a ball. Atmosphere then isn’t atmospheric — it doesn’t just ahistorically bob around out there around us. Atmosphere is the part of the past we can’t get back. Mary Hallock-Greenewalt’s machines for producing atmosphere can be technically dissected but the forms they produced can’t be recuperated. Atmosphere holds us like history cannot. We like to be held and we like history.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“Now, at this cusp of autumn, the point at which we prepare our fortitudes for relative seclusion, we feel compelled to ask whether fakeness is an insular tendency. Does work that cannot be disseminated, that puts nothing before something, create or address a public? Does nothing, as Lear admonished, come from nothing? We are heartened by the British Musicians’ Union, whose work argues otherwise (though we are wary of promoting any ideological bent that may appear in our research—we see fit to add: fakeness in music has no more of a mission than does music itself).” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
“It seems to us that the gravity of loss has to do with its degree of permanence. A lost key is not to be mourned long, as it is designed to be replaceable. A friend or lover is not. It would also seem that the great frustration of more serious loss is that the true deficit is unknown—some expected future is the truly lost thing. We observe now the ways in which a foreign policy measure brought about a quantifiable loss of natural resources and an unquantifiable loss of cultural ones. It is for us to point out this widespread ...
“In his Natural History, Pliny criticizes the proverbial swan song for its accuracy. The idiom refers to the song swans purportedly sing upon their demise. Pliny objects however that swans don’t in fact sing upon their death or otherwise. Songs are slippery, Pliny’s bald repudiation notwithstanding. And fake songs slipperier still. Today we offer a few words not on avian but cetacean songs. These aren’t swan songs in the sense of finalities marked, but are indeed of a kind with swan songs in their being unsung.” —Fake Music Re-Anticipations
In her translator’s note for the 2012 edition of Clarice Lispector’s The Passion According to G.H., Idra Novey recounts an anecdote told to her by a friend in Brazil of a Lispector reader who was sure that if she and the author were able to meet, they would feel a profound connection to one another. The young woman managed to get in touch with Lispector, who agreed to meet with her. When she arrived at Lispector’s apartment, the writer sat and stared at her in silence until the reader finally left out of discomfort.
In 1903, novelist, film director, and anti-communist Robert Hughes published ​The Musical Encyclopedia​, a broad survey of the pronunciation and definition of terms from classical music. Throughout editions printed between 1903 and 1954, the encyclopedia’s ultimate term is “Zzxjoanw.” Purportedly a Maori word, zzxjoanw means, according to the 1903 edition, alternately a “drum,” “fife,” or “conclusion.” In any case, zzxjoanw conjures a sound, even if a receding sound…
At the turn of the 20th century, Julius Blüthner’s factory in Leipzig was the largest piano manufacturer in Germany. Despite the death of its founder in 1910 and the economic slump that dogged Germany after the First World War, the company continued to grow throughout the first half of the century. Blüthner grand pianos remained in favor among concert pianists across the globe. Sergei Rachmaninoff, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Claude Debussy numbered among their proponents…
Certain human recipients of the bite of a tarantula local to southern Italy fall into states of confused torpor. The spider’s venom strains victims’ respiration and blackens their hands and faces. Untreated, the spider bite results in death. Fortunately, there is a treatment, which constitutes the object of our attention here. Francesco Cancellieri summarizes the cure in an 1819 epistolary treatise on the ailment: “Sweat and antidotes relieve the sick, but the sovereign and the only remedy is Music.”†
Sing Sing Penitentiary opened in 1826 to serve New York City’s growing population and crime rate, and was known in its early days for its stringent code of conduct. In the prison’s early days, warden Elam Lynds invented the lockstep style of moving inmates in closely interlinked lines, as well as the striped inmate uniforms used for easy identification — both of which would come to define the popular view of prison aesthetics for centuries.

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