Music to read philosophy by

I mentioned on Fb once that I liked to listen to The Field while reading Deleuze. The Field is the stage name of a Swedish electronic music writer and performer, Alex Willner. Here’s one of his best mixes:

The Field employs a style of music known as “looping.” Willner once described his music in an interview as sort of like listening to a record that had got stuck. This doesn’t sound appealing, but the experience of looping is very addictive, calming and productive. Think of waves on a shore. They repeat, but quite the same way. And they may develop into a storm, come in or go out.

Repetition is obviously a big part of looping, which is one reason it applies to Deleuze. Another is the way the music repeats back on itself. Both of these things are like Deleuze’s “fold” (pli in French). He had fun here with words like replication, duplication, complication (as in a watch) and so on, which all contain pli.

I prefer looping to fold, but either works. Did you know when you make bread, you take the dough and form a fold or loop? It’s good for the gluten and makes nice air bubbles. Here’s a demo:

Looping also can bring in Ian Hacking’s concept of looping effects or how categories people are in can affect and change them.

For Lacan, I think Lana Del Ray. Her songs have good melodies but her lyrics are quite shocking or gloomy. Maybe Massive Attack (“I was looking back/to see if you were looking back at me/To see me looking back at you”).

For Foucault: hm, is Pet Shop Boys too obvious? Maybe some country? Then he could have it with his favorite American food, burger and a shake.



One response to “Music to read philosophy by

  1. Nice, thanks. I’ve always thought my ideal imaginary dinner party guests would include Foucault and Pet Shop Boys – would love to hear that conversation. Country wouldn’t work for me with him. I’d go more for something repetitive, disciplined, slightly infernal but with a deep soul and flex. Rob Hood maybe, or something Berlin techno like Vril. The more ambient Basic Channel stuff like Presence and Quadrant Dub is really good for writing/reading – it’s very repetitious but not really looping, difference is unfolding from it all the time. Also DeepChord I have found works well.

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