L’estasi dell’influenza: John Zorn e la transtestualità come paradigma PDF Print Email

Gabriele Marino


Almost every piece of music composed by John Zorn is based on pre-existing texts, coming from music, visual arts, cinema and literature; the so-called «second degree» of textuality actually seems to set itself as the «writing degree zero» in his musical practice. Zorn’s sources are always made explicit, via paratextual means, to let listeners reconstruct the context the piece is addressing to. Naked City’s discography and a canon of chamber and orchestral works are chosen as case studies. Backing the aesthetics of «organized materials», Zorn’s works seem to get their full sense only in the interrelations they symbiotically construct, always displaying a militant, «deconstructionist» reading, turning «the anxiety of influence» into an «ecstasy of influence». Zorn’s music is primarily about music, it is a metamusic; his discography attempts to be an encyclopaedia of the very different musics of the Twentieth Century, exemplifying the very different intersubjective values embodied by textuality.


Gabriele Marino (1985) is a Ph.D. student in semiotics at the University of Turin (Italy). He is interested in sociosemiotics of music, popular music studies and music criticism; his musical writings concern improvisation, genres theory, electronica, Internet memes, enunciation and Futurism. His book on reviews of imaginary records, Britney canta Manson e altri capolavori, Crac Edizioni, Falconara Marittima 2011, is based on his Bachelor thesis.


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