Intentist Music

Intentist musicians are all interested in exploring intentionalism in their work.

Intentist musicians face these issues in a unique way compared with other art forms. This is because music, like text, is linear and narratorial.  However, music, like the visual arts can demonstrate palimpsestism. That is to say that chords and arrangements by definition involve layering.

However, displaying the creative trail that is often emphasized in Intentist pieces is a more difficult proposition in Intentist music. Elements of the editing process can be left in a painting and the work can still have balance. Intentist literature can use parenthesis or other grammatical structures to show reworkings and editing. However, there seems little equivalency in music since keeping in original ideas can lead to dischord.  

Below are two Intentist pieces. The first fuses three Sinatra recording together, the second is an original piece by Intentist band ‘Remodel.’


Palimpsest Music

  1. Frank Sinatra.

Sinatra recorded the Rodgers and Hammerstein American standard Soliloquy several times. The song is from the musical Carousel and concerns a young man contemplating becoming a father. In this Intentist work Sinatra’s 1946 recording is at first blended into his 1963 interpretation, and then finally bled into his 1995 live rendition.

Since the orchestration was kept the same, the result is poignant as the listener can hear the singer age as he sings about life and death. In fact, by 1946, Sinatra had just become a father, by 1965 Sinatra was a grandfather and by 1995 Sinatra was only a couple of years away from his own death. The Palimspsest art of layering to illustrate the creative trail is also manifest: as each version melts into the next,Sinatra’s vocal interpretation has noticeably evolved.

Frank Sinatra: Soliloquy 1946/65/95

2. Remodel

Remodel was one of Britain’s fastest rising bands. Their song ‘That Obscure Object Called Desire‘ was recorded to demonstrate the band’s intentional journey as the work changed and developed over time. The earliest version can be heard in the right speaker, the latest in the left. In the middle how they differ is easily noticeable. As in Sinatra’s Soliloquy, the work is palimpsestic as the versions are seamlessly bled into each other. 

Remodel: That Obscure Object Called Desire