Nobody said there should be strict length limits on music. But many people feel that recording artists feel like "Well, I've got 80 minutes here, so I'm gonna use it," when maybe the content doesn't merit such an extended run time.
I can agree with that. (IMO) It's kind of like "Thursday Afternoon" is the perfect length, whereas "Neroli" seems too short, could go on for hours as far as I'm concerned. Songs like "Build Me Up, Buttercup" seem to go on forever
, when will this thing end?!?!?
Interesting how on the liner notes of "Thursday Afternoon", Eno "just as the 78-rpm record set the scene for the 3 minute song, so the compact disc will foster an interest among composers in long duration pieces like this one." A topic on how the CD format compromises the music coming up 23 years later is interesting in itself.
Sam Shabrin's "Somnience" is 8 hours, designed for a purpose to assist people with sleep disorders. Alternate versions of "Discrete Music" were made to be played in birthing centers to help calm the labour process (wether or not this actually took place, I'm not sure). Phillip Glass's "Einstein on th Beach" was written with the reality in mind that people would not sit for 6 hours to watch an opera, but that they could move around as they pleased. Indian music performances were shortened from 3+ hours to 1-2 hours years ago, as "the 3 hour performances were getting difficult to sit through."
So with all this spewing out of my feeble little mind, I wonder how much of our music duration acceptance perception is based not on the content of the music or intent of the composer as much as it is based on the time constraints placed as individuals in our society. Days once broken up into hours are now broken up into minutes and seconds, perhaps nanoseconds. I have become more relaxed recently with my return to vinyl as the home music listening media of choice. A 45-60 minute cd would tend to place me into a state of "what can I do while this cd is on", whereas an album side enables me to "sit and listen and relax, because it is only 20 minutes."
Question: "So, why do you do 6 hour mp3 discs, Oenyaw?
Reply: "Hell, I dunno."