hough hum

A little curio of new music internetography for the truly niche. Earlier in the week one of my posts here on Ferneyhough (this one) received a comment. An old post, and sure enough the comment itself was one of those anti-modern screeds one sees quite regularly in online comment threads. Nothing to see here. (Except to note the irony of its anonymous author declaring that ‘Ferneyhough is no real composer; and the fact that this has never been accordingly stated or criticized shows the times in which we live’.)

And then composer Liam Flenady noted on Facebook that someone had tried to post an identical comment to the blog of the Australian new music ensemble Kupka’s Piano, of which he is co-artistic director. That’s odd, I thought.

So I did a Google.

Well, hey, whaddya know. The same comment crops up on at least half a dozen other blogs too. And since the first comment on The Rambler, a second one has appeared on another Ferneyhough post. One may well crop up at the bottom of this one too, I suppose. Even more strangely, reading back through the thread on that post, it turns out that the original words were used by one Redlan Haley Jnr in 2011.

Is this some sort of anti-Ferneyhough spambot, perhaps? Or – more drearily – its human avatar?

Moreover, does anyone care? Hough hum.

(Ferneyhough is susceptible to strange intersections with the internet. There’s the FernBri spoof Twitter feed, for example (sadly dormant). Then the fact that an entire interview with him has been pasted into the Talk page of his Wikipedia article. Then all those quotes which started spawning all over famous quotation databases. Probably more too. Let me know anything I’ve missed; I find this stuff playfully fascinating.)

(Update, May 2017: Now there’s this:)


5 thoughts on “hough hum

  1. I’m also a little uncomfortable at the fact that by allowing ‘Redlan Haley Jnr’ his right to free speech, and not moderating his comment, I’ve inadvertently provided raw materials for a lazy troll.

  2. A look at YouTube uploads of the 20th and 21st century avant-garde will show that there are a number of people who post the same kinds of derogatory comments to as many videos as they can. One feels that these are cranks suffering from a truly debilitating idée fixe, all the sadder since most of the other people commenting on the thread are enjoying the music, and who would want to knock that? This appears to be the case of the same sort of fellow operating outside of YouTube in the vaster internet. Maybe we should take this as proof that blogs as a popular phenomenon, in spite of many claims that they’ve peaked and declined in popularity and importance, aren’t dead yet. 🙂

  3. Oh wow, I got the exact same thing as a Youtube comment several months ago, and it wasn’t even a Ferneyhough video! The name wasn’t used in the description or the video, and the music is really nothing like his except that it’s all “modern” to ears that don’t care to distinguish. This is weirdly disturbing…

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