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The Rest is Noise: New World Order

Updated Saturday, 7th December 2013

7/8 December: With the fall of the Berlin Wall, old certainties were cast aside and globalisation made a truly worldwide musical scene. What next?

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Berlin Wall: view from West Berlin in 1986 Creative commons image Icon Noir at the German language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative-Commons license This is the twelfth and final weekend in a series of events at the Southbank Centre exploring 20th Century music.

As the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and Presidents Bush and Gorbachev announced the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama announced the ‘End of History’.

At that time it seemed that Western liberal capitalism had emerged from the bloody battle victorious.

Communications technology and rapid globalisation made the second fin-de-siècle a hive of bustling activity—a truly worldwide musical scene that, like the capitalist marketplace, knew no boundaries, saw no divisions and obeyed no rules.

Composers cheerfully plundered materials from past or present; near or far; classical, world, jazz or pop.

New audiences emerged in every continent, and the next great composer was as likely to be found in Beijing as in Berlin, in Venezuela as in Vienna.

"We live in a time not of mainstream but of many streams," John Cage mused as he surveyed the musical scene shortly before his death in 1992; "or even, if you insist upon a river of time, then we have come to the delta, maybe even beyond a delta to an ocean which is going back to the skies…"

Visit the Southbank Centre on 7/8 December

'We live in a time not of mainstreams but of many streams', said composer John Cage. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, old certainties were cast aside and globalisation made a truly worldwide musical scene. During this December weekend we ask: what next? Buy a weekend or a day pass to be part of the programme of events.

 

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