27 August 2008

He Who Dies with the Most Toys Wins: Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Non-Musical Exploits

broken heart

Q  uestion: What did Lully do when he wasn’t writing music?”
  —  Anonymous email to CMT blog.
A  nswer #1: He was exerting many and varied efforts to make his living as a composer and insure that he was paid for his works’ performances and publication. He was acting as his own agent and manager and presenter. Such exertions would have been much as any composer would do today, only Lully was more overtly political and power-connected than anybody is today.”
A  nswer #2: He was practicing at being an amateur alchemist; dancing the minuet, gavotte, and the bourée; playing the guitar lasciviously when it suited him as a suitor; playing pranks on friends; and generally leading the life of a wealthy rascal, libertine and bon vivant.”
A  nswer #3: Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Early in his life, composing was, perhaps, the only thing Lully had within his control. Getting manuscript copies made, and arranging for scores to be printed took lots of his time and attention. As the son of a miller—as a poor kid whose mom died and who was then farmed out to work as a child laborer—he had no reservations about getting personally involved selling manuscript copies of his works at performances of his operas. Whatever it takes, he would do. He had extensive dealings with publishers—troublesome negotiations that took entirely too much time away from more valorous pursuits. “Business, pesky business. Such a bother, even for (especially for!) a spectacularly successful composer! People should just pay handsomely and pay royalties in perpetuity without having to negotiate! People should just pay on-time, as they had promised! Competitors should be banished!”

Well, no. His correspondence does not show any such ‘tude. He was tactically using and manipulating the aristocracy; he was not one of them. Evidence of arrogance in the extant Lully documents is, maybe, more a reflection of the shark-waters he was swimming in, than a narcissistic conviction of his innate superiority.

Lully was born in Florence in 1632 and spent his formative years there, until 1645. Through Roger de Lorraine, the Chevalier de Guise, he became a servant to Mademoiselle de Montpensier as ‘garçon de chamber.’ “Kitchen help”; “pot and bottle-washer”; “teaching the duchess Italian when it pleased her.” (Right. More like “Tutoring Trysts in the Tuileries”?)

When J-B was 13, the then-18 year-old ‘minerva-esque’ Mlle. Montpensier thought his sassiness was cute. She saw to it that he received music lessons … a gambit to enable the two of them to spend more time together playing chamber music? But in his later teens he grew contemptuous of her and wore out his welcome. Jean-Baptiste’s sophomoric poem satirizing his mercurial by then 25 year-old patroness led her to dispatch his impudent, no-longer-so-little then-20 year-old self in 1652. (We suspect there was more to this escapade than some apocryphal doggerel and a fit of pique jeunesse, but, alas, historical evidence thereof is scanty.)


J-B was no slacker, though, and finagled continuing his music studies under the illustrious Nicolas Métru. While there, he kept his prankster tendencies in check; his talents were noteworthy enough to enable him audition and appointment to the orchestra of the French court as a violinist.

When he was 30, Lully was appointed director of music to Louis XIV (in 1662). About the same time, he became a naturalized French citizen (his Italian name had been Giovanni Battista Lulli). In 1662, Lully married Madeleine Lambert, daughter of court musician and co-worker Michel Lambert. Madeleine and Jean-Baptiste had ten children together over the next twenty years. But in 1685, Lully ‘outed’ and revealed his relationship with Brunet, his young page.

Besides his serial affairs with multiple boys, Lully also openly carried on with a number of women, much to the displeasure of Louis XIV and, no doubt, the good Roman Catholic, Madeleine. Curiously, Lully was also interested in alchemy and conducted experiments with de Tarraga, a converted Jew who studied the occult. Popular hobby in the 1680s.

As an artist he was top-flight, but as a human being his ethics were incontinent at best, wholly lacking at worst. Facilitated by his marriage in 1662, he achieved a rapport with Molière, with whom had not previously had dealings but with whom for the next ten years he collaborated on numerous successful ballets. A consummate courtier, he curried Louis XIV’s favor at every opportunity, making himself seemingly indispensable and sowing disparagement of others. In March, 1672, he succeeded in ousting Abbé Perrin from the directorship of the Academy of Music. He did this, in part, by preying upon the Abbé’s penchant for gambling. Perrin founded the Académie Royale de Musique, but he was a distracted/incompetent administrator. He had no patience for financial details, and dishonest collaborators took advantage of him—bullshitted him, got him to commit to ruinous deals, unfavorable terms. Lully was just another opportunist in this destructive saga. Perrin was forced to sell his court privilege to Lully, to settle a debt with Lully. But Perrin nontheless ended up in debtors prison because of his other debts. Lully apparently cast aspersions on Perrin, to prevent Louis XIV from paying off Perrin’s creditors. He thereby sealed Perrin’s fate. All’s fair in love and war. Fight dirty. Do unto others, because you can get away with it.

Poetic justice eventually supervened, though. Lully’s death in 1687 at age 55 resulted from sepsis secondary to gangrene in his toe, a ridiculous complication of blunt trauma he incurred while conducting a ‘Te Deum’, compounded by Lully’s perverse refusal to have the toe amputated. He’d been emphatically beating time with the heavy ‘staff’ or mega-baton, when he smashed his foot accidentally with the thing. Abscess formation ensued and, some days later, sepsis and death. Sweet.

On his death-bed Lully wrote, ‘Bisogna morire, peccatore’ (‘It is necessary to die now, sinner’). ‘Damn,’ said the bon vivant. Game Over.

By the time he died Lully owned four elegant houses—three in France and one in Italy.

But unlike John McCain, Lully remembered how many houses he had, how much he paid for each of them, and where each was located.

If we want to indulge in speculating, then the real question is how rare and fortuitous is the gangrenous toe from one whack with a stick? In a 55 year-old man in the pre-insulin era, you would put your money on Type-II diabetes. Peripheral vascular disease due to diabetes; trauma from the stick; poor perfusion to the modestly injured tissues; abscess formation; gangrene; sepsis; death.

Gangrene of the lower extremities is from 8 to 150 times more frequent in diabetic than in non-diabetic people, most often occurring in those who smoke. But so far as I can tell, there are no scholarly explorations into the matter of whether Lully was a Type-II diabetic. No mention of whether he had intermittent claudication or other chronic pain in his legs. Thorough medical historianship regarding Lully’s clinical condition is conspicuously absent to-date.

Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia or multiple myeloma with fulminant paraproteinemia, Buerger’s disease (thromboangiitis obliterans), Polycythemia vera, atrial fibrillation and atrial thrombus embolizing to foot, ergot poisoning, whatever; Lazy Leukocyte Syndrome and other possible metabolic or inherited conditions that could eventuate in gangrene after a single knock with a stick are “green dragon” diagnoses—rare as hens’ teeth. Your better bet would be diabetes.

The most important decision required these days is whether excision of gangrenous toe should be undertaken before or after the attempt to restore peripheral circulation by angioplasty. In many situations, surgeons prefer to attempt angioplasty first because of the possibility of non-healing of wound if excision were undertaken before a peripheral arterial angioplasty. Just saying.

Gangrenous toe in a Type-II diabeticDon’t forget to get a copy of John Hajdu Heyer’s wonderful volume of essays on Lully, originally released in 1989. A new less-expensive paperback edition of this has just this month been published by Cambridge University Press. While this book is predominantly serious, card-carrying musicology of the French Baroque, there is a wealth of colorful detail in there concerning what Lully did do and did not do, as distinct from his composerly deeds and musicianly output. Beautifully edited.

In the years since the book was first published, Hajdu Heyer became Dean of the College of Arts & Communication at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (UWW). John received his PhD in musicology from the University of Colorado in 1973. He has been on the faculty at UWW since 1997. Prior to that he was at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and UC Santa Cruz. From 1980 to 1997 he was Lecturer and Program Annotator for the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, California. Since 1998 Hajdu Heyer has served on the ‘Comité scientifique Jean-Baptiste Lully • Œuvres Completes’, the scholarly editorial board for the multi-volume Lully series published by Olm Verlag, Hildesheim, and by Musica Gallica, Paris. For nearly twenty years he was also a member of the Lully Committee, an international group involved with conserving and publishing Lully’s work, and also a member of its Sub-committee on Resources, which succeeded in getting U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities financial underwriting for an archive of Lully ballets at Stanford University.

Hajdu Heyer book
Check out Hajdu Heyer’s ‘Lully Studies’ book, too—published by Cambridge University Press in 2000; engagingly written and a treasure-trove of information not available elsewhere. (By the way, in 1973 John married linguist Sandra Heyer and changed his name from the Hungarian ‘Hajdu’ to the hyphenation with her surname: ‘Hajdu Heyer’.)


de La Gorce book


26 August 2008

Chamber Music Noir: The Hearable, the Unhearable, and the Merely Suspected

Patrick Gowers

O  f all the criticisms ... of Schenker and his school, one has been especially persistent: it is that Schenkerian analysis fails to do justice to rhythm, that critical element without which there could be no music. ... In considering Schenker’s assumption that tonal events take priority over rhythm, we might well begin by determining whether we can even investigate these two aspects of music apart from each other. According to Charles Rosen such a separation is not valid, ‘as if a tonal melody could exist without a rhythmic contour’. ... But does it then follow that any separation of the elements of music must be ‘nonsensical’? Only, I think, if the separation plays no role in our perception of the music; in music theory the nonsensical is the unhearable.”
  —  Carl Schachter, Unfoldings, p. 17.
Music can provide atmosphere for a good story. In fact, it can propel a story or enliven what would otherwise be a scene or story of only moderate interest. Of course.

But is it proper to think of melodies as affect-generating archtypes? I normally would be inclined to say, ‘No.’ But then I come upon some example—often a miniature chamber music work—where I have to reconsider.

For example, Patrick Gowers’s Sherlock Holmes melody, for the 1980s series produced by Granada for U.S. public TV (directed by David Carson; developed by John Hawkesworth; starring Jeremy Brett). The melody is constructed from supple, irregular phrases—scheming, sleuthly, syncopal in its rhythmic progress. When we hear the suspenseful percussion of horses’ hooves on the cobbles of Baker Street, the music complies. When we see Jeremy Brett (Holmes) gazing cynically down from the upstairs window of 221B, the music completes the cadence and completes the scene, culminating an air-tight, coherent melodic process: supple phrases interleaved with the carefully edited dramatic flow of the imagery. Perfect trailer.

Patrick Gowers, 221-B Baker Street theme
The 221B melody’s obvious pattern of short distinct phrases evokes a sense of ‘chamber music noir’. Continuity is achieved through connecting devices between the short (gasping?) phrases and between the rhythmic shapes of the several parts. The lyrical melody, through its connection to the drama, is revealed to be—by design—inextricably inter-dependent with non-musical elements such as the screenplay’s dramaturgy.

Film scoring at its best. Melodic and rhythmic contours of crimes committed, mysteries solved. Inherently ‘noir’, and supportive of Charles Rosen’s point.


    [50-sec clip, Patrick Gowers, 221B Baker Street theme, 1.4MB MP3]

Patrick Gowers is now 72. He took his doctorate at Cambridge in 1965, with a dissertation on the music of Eric Satie. He was music director of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Marat/Sade’ (two seasons at Aldwych Theatre and one in New York). It wasn’t until the late 1960s that he started scoring feature and documentary films and television programs, first in Denmark and then in the U.K.

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes
In 1982 Gowers won the BAFTA original music award for his scores for ‘Smiley’s People’, ‘The Woman in White’ and ‘I Remember Nelson’. In addition to his film work, Gowers has also written several virtuoso works for the organ, music for the Three Choirs Festival, and a ‘Guitar Concerto’ performed by John Williams. Patrick is the father of mathematician Timothy Gowers, author Rebecca Gowers, and violinist Katharine Gowers.

Jeremy Brett
Other examples? The Helsinki quartet Apocalyptica, founded in 1993, does a number of ‘chamber music noir’ pieces—some of them composed by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. Apocalyptica is comprised of classically-trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Max Lilja, Antero Manninen, and Paavo Lotjonen. Below are a couple Apocalyptica MP3 clips, with peculiar, dark melodic-rhythmic contours.

Apocalyptica

    [50-sec clip, Lars Ulrich, Apocalyptica, Nothing Else Matters, 1.4MB MP3]

Apocalyptica

     [50-sec clip, Lars Ulrich, Apocalyptica, One, 1.4MB MP3]

Apocalyptica ‘Inquisition’ CD

Lars Ulrich, Apocalyptica/Metallica


24 August 2008

Charisma Is Contagious

Campbell book

M  ihaela Ursuleasa was the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Op. 37). Ms. Ursuleasa shares Mr. Vanska’s penchant for unusual, often surprising reconsiderations of a score’s essential materials, and their collaboration was electrifying. Still, there was no doubt who was in control here: Ms. Ursuleasa played with a combination of ferocity and clarity that put Beethoven’s already striking contrasts into sharper relief and turned the score into a tense drama. Interpretively she was out on the edge, but it was the kind of high-risk performance that makes the ‘war horses’ worth revisiting.”
  —  Allan Kozinn, NY Times, 22-AUG-2008.
Allan Kozinn’s review of Romanian pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa’s performance in the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival praised a number of the aspects of Mihaela’s charismatic style. I’d heard Mihaela perform earlier this summer in Ireland and can affirm that her playing is exciting: she expresses a wide range of emotions musically; the sonic image that she projects is—despite the emotional range that’s traversed—thoroughly credible, never histrionic. This combination of technical brilliance, lightning-fast wit, charm, enchantment, fascination, magnetism, athleticism, and credibility—what else would we call this except ‘charisma’ or ‘magic’?

Mihaela Ursuleasa
Why are Mihaelas so rare? The perennial issue facing chamber music (and classical music and the arts in general) is how to cultivate more magic like this among a larger number of school-age kids. The U.S. maybe has a more serious issue in this regard than other countries, but it is true all around the world to some degree, with the possible exception of China. We need this ‘magic’ or ‘charisma’ not only in performers, but also in the next generation of composers, conductors, presenters, arts managers and execs of non-profit arts NGOs, recording producers and engineers, and educators. Frankly, we need more of it, too, among current and future-generation audience members.

What I mean is, too often classical music marketing is focused on the ‘sizzle’ and relevance or appeal that the programming or performance has, as if it were merely an excellent “product” or “experience”. IMHO, consumerism in terms of an enticing ‘product’ or venue-bound, Starbucks-oid lifestyle ‘experience’ is fine so far as it goes, competitively. But what you instead want to aim for, I think, is actually far higher than that. You want total suspension of disbelief, at least as much as the best novel or film achieves. You want ‘converts’. Composer/author Greg Sandow comes close to that point of view in his ArtsJournal blog.

Gordon book
C  harisma comes in many forms. Like physical beauty it has many variables, but somehow the various elements must sum up to an effective, powerful presence. Without it in some measure, a person cannot in the long run succeed... The possessors of the magic will survive over the years in the role while others may find themselves less well-known. Appeal of this type is hard to spot in students, but [it is] even more elusive since it is based on some sort of instant psychological exchange—projection and recognition of a social image which needs no explanation in words... a remarkable combination of childlike innocence consumed in the process of pouring out music, untouched by the bittersweet quality of adult experience. At a later time, it may be the full-bodied embracing of life by the youthful adult whose intensity of spirit seems to have the good things of life in abundance... Particularly interesting are those artists whose charismatic index soars with maturity, or even in late years. These artists suddenly ... begin to project maturity, authority, [perplexity, irony, vicissitudes of coping with loss and hurt, etc.] and the simple fact of having successfully met life’s problems square-on and emerging beautifully with strength, wisdom, and compassion.”
  —  Stewart Gordon, Etudes for Piano Teachers, p.123.
Jorgensen book
There is a wonderful new book out by Estelle Jorgensen at Indiana University that’s really worthy of your attention, as it relates to music pedagogy and fostering in kids a genuine and self-sustaining excitement about—and enthusiasm for doing—music. Not just as performers, but ‘doing’ in any of the myriad senses of that word.

W  hitehead’s three stages of education are] romance, instrumentalism, and generalization. ‘Romance’ refers to the phase at which one is introduced to concepts... things go ‘bang’ in the dark and one emerges almost breathless with excitement. ‘Instrumentalism’ is the phase in which one begins to understand more systematically and deeply—how it works. ‘Generalization’ comes as the last phase where romance and instrumentalism come together in a new ‘whole’, this time not only intuitively but also rationally—not only perceptively but also feelingly. The various pieces are put together so that they attain a unity that is needed to [coherently, understandingly] perform and animate a piece of music.”
  —  Estelle Jorgensen, The Art of Teaching Music, p. 249.
Mihaela Ursuleasa is just 30 years old—and, for the charismatic artistry with which she now gifts audiences, we have both her teachers and her family to thank. ‘Nature’ counts for a lot, of course; but ‘nurture’ is everything. And the ‘nurture’ need not always be on-on-one. Sometimes it happens while attending a public performance. For me, a watershed event was hearing Austrian pianist Ingrid Haebler perform Chopin in Minneapolis when I was 7 years old.

Ingrid Haebler
K  önnten Sie sich ohne weiteres vorstellen, dass ihr Kind sich in der Schule mit dem Musik befasst? Sich, nach Anleitung des ehres, „Musikerklamotten” schneidert, sich freudig und verspielt schminkt Schmuckornament mit Symbolen wie Bachköpfen, umgedrehten Mozart Bildnissen oder der Stockhausens bastelt? Ja? Dann sind Sie eine Ausnahme. (Oh, kids today! It requires the enticement of charismatic super-stardom to interest them in classical music. To think otherwise is unrealistic, the exception.)
  —  Ingrid Haebler.
Until that fierce and charismatic Chopin performance, I had thought of concertizing as some sort of a fascinating ‘show’ that carried with it a certain exotic prestige and social power. It was Haebler’s utter incarnation of several Nocturnes that led me to grasp that serious music could instead be radically intimate and fresh—each time as fresh and real as any fabulous bedtime story could ever be. You just had to make it so! From that moment on, I was ‘hooked’.

We need more Mihaelas and more Ingrids—that combination of ferocity and clarity that captivates audiences. Jorgensen and others provide valuable ideas about how to make that happen, against the odds.

Society of Composers, Newsletter JUL-AUG-2008, p. 6
C  harisma is the source of charisma. It keeps its attention firmly fixed on the social effect and remains agnostic about the traditions themselves, leaving them as a ‘given’ of human experience... charisma as a theory of authority.”
  —  Step Feuchtwang, Grassroots Charisma in China, p.12.



22 August 2008

Recombinant Urbanism of Chou Wen-Chung

Xing book

O  ne must search beyond the procedures of a musical practice, discern its original aesthetic commitments, and trace how its tradition has evolved. If one is blessed with a cross-cultural heritage, one must then regard it as a privilege and obligation to commit oneself to the search in both practices.”
  —  Chou Wen-chung.
The Olympics-related immersion in all things Chinese has been welcome. While commuting to and from work this week I have continued to listen and re-listen to the pieces on the Ying Quartet’s new Dim Sum CD. While the acoustics of a car’s interior are far from ideal for listening to such delicate music, there is a certain poetic rightness in hearing deeply ‘architectural’ compositions while driving through urban spaces, amongst urban traffic and urban pedestrians.

Especially the Chou pieces. With divisi violins and viola on an inner part and cello on a bass line, the balance is critical. The textures imply enclosedness of human spaces, proximity to other individuals, pathways between individuals, purposeful busy-ness of individuals, storeys of office buildings filled with people interacting and not interacting, and contrasts with the non-enclosedness of natural spaces upon which the human spaces abut.

Chou has ‘wiggling’ pitch-bending figures that have a psychological effect of drawing attention to the large amount of pitch-space (or, conversely, the lack of it) that’s available for the part(s) to move in. Some parts wiggle more, and arrogate more space to themselves. Other parts wiggle less, either by choice or because of constraints that arise because of the other wiggling selves.

Rappaport book
The voice-leading in the Chou pieces sometimes produces overlapping ascents and descents. There is a consequent ambiguity to the ear, as each voice progresses into and amongst the other voices. What time and what culture, exactly, is this ‘Larghetto nostalgico’ nostalgic for? Is it a hindsighted nostalgia, or was this composition instead premonitory (‘future nostalgia’) for a time and culture that has now arrived?

Voice-leading, overlapping and non-overlapping
The process for Chou’s ‘fusion’ or, as he calls it, ‘re-merger’ of the musics of the East and the West is one of transformation and recombination—a recombinant urbanism. The orchestration and pitch organization of Chou’s string quartet writing involve recombinant Chinese pentatonic and modal structures and Western chromaticism.

We get segmentations of the octave into polysemous ‘cells’, juxtaposed intervals evoking the ‘yin-yang’ dualism that some of Chou’s essays and scholarly articles refer to.

Chou’s melodic phrases are less melodies than a kind of ambience... Are these really characteristic of traditional Chinese music, or are they Chou confabulating a world that never was? I stop at a stop-light and a crowd of people walks in front of my car in the cross-walk. From the harried looks on their faces, they look like they badly need the excellent story-telling of Chou Wen-chung. The ambience of melodies-that-are-not-melodies would do them good.

Chou Wen-Chung
In order to convey the sonic and instrumental impressions he intends to create, sometimes Chou appends a number of terms such as ‘crystal,’ ‘liquid,’ ‘water burbling,’ ‘leaves rustling,’ ‘whistling’, and ‘air moving’ to his scores. Atoms form molecules, molecules condense into bulk phases of matter, like liquids or solids or gases. Clumps of matter merge and re-merge. People likewise. This is the collectivistic, sonic, social-natural world according to Chou Wen-chung.

Chou-esque ‘re-merging’ of droplet individuals into collective pool
I  am concerned with single tones as musical entities, each endowed with nature by its own acoustic attributes and expressive potential. It is these microcosmic entities in a continual and multi-leveled transformation and interaction that produce the coherent flow of sonic events that we call a composition.”
  —  Chou Wen-chung.
Chou creates a mysterious atmosphere that depicts the “veiled and fractured impression of an ancient city.” Here is a clip, to illustrate the texture and atmospherics that I am describing above:


    [50-sec clip, Ying Quartet, Chou Wen-Chung, Larghetto Nostalgico, 1.4MB MP3]

And here is another clip:

    [50-sec clip, Ying Quartet, Chou Wen-Chung, Leggeriezza, 1.4MB MP3]

What we get is Chou’s essay on recombinant cultural patterns: reinterpretations of traditional living and of new ways of living in the new China. The voice-leading suggests an ‘anthroposphere’ in which people now live in extensively 3-dimensional spaces, almost like fish or birds have done since time immemorial. The ‘architecture’ of his music evokes a ‘hyperarchitecture’ of public and private space—revealing simultaneous increases in the density of the urban fabric by allowing bigger and higher structures and decreases in the density by enforced public (common) space. Chou carves holes in the existing urban fabrics, by digging underground or swooping to above-ground elevations. He extends the conventional boundaries of the built fabrics. The public plane is extended both above-ground and below-ground—creating a public piano nobile (ground-floor atrium or mall or commons) bringing the public into these spaces by operations on the z-axis (pitch excursions)—he creates new qualitative spatial ‘volumes’.

As I have listened and listened to these pieces, I begin to recognize the importance of spaces that are indeterminate—in-between spaces; left-behind previous motifs and developments; anticipated new motifs and developments only hinted at; unintentional motifs whose future or endorsement (by Chou) is unclear. I think of myself as residing in the virtual spaces that Chou creates (and the Yings re-create); these are beautiful places I would want to live. This is an ethical, thoughtful, recombinant urban society in which anyone would like to be a member, no matter how tenuous or indeterminate our status and rights and future might be. To say our future is indeterminate is, after all, only to confess what has been true for humans always. Please give this Ying Quartet CD a listen if you have not already done so. I am sure you will like it.

Chou Wen-chung was born in Yantai and emigrated in 1946 to the U.S. to train with Edgard Varèse. Chou is noted especially for his trans-cultural East-West idioms, with respect for both cultures. His admiration for the art of calligraphy parallels his sense of music’s textual and architectural aspects. He is Fritz Reiner Professor Emeritus of Musical Composition at Columbia University, where he is also Director of the Center for U.S.-China Arts Exchange. Over the years Chou’s engaging teaching style, combined with his brilliant and infectious enthusiasm, have given impetus to many, many students. For example, composers Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Tan Dun, Chinary Ung, Ge Gan-ru, Bright Sheng, and Jing Jing Luo all received part of their training under Chou.

Lim book
T  he architectural approach offered by Jencks’s postmodernism did indeed seduce many architects, as it provided a sense of liberation against modernism’s over-coded design process, its formalism, austerity, and rationality... However, most postmodern projects deteriorated into theme-parkism... The demise of Jencks’s postmodernism has provided new intellectual space for the repositioning of [architectural] theories, particularly those generated with Europe—such as second-modernism, hyper-modernism, and super-modernism. These can now be viewed in the context of the emergence of increasingly important discourses... particularly in the dynamic cities of the East Asian region.”
  —  William Lim, Asian Ethical Urbanism, pp. 69-70.