Thus it cannot be said with any certainty at all of the musician – and even less so of the science with which music maintains, it is true, the closest of relations – that one installs oneself 'in the midst' of the World, in the between-two of the audible and the inaudible, in the phenomenological distance as that which would render possible one's own manifestation in tele-phenomenality. As far as flesh is concerned, one knows only that of its own body, not that of the World; one is prodigiously 'abstract' in this sense. So that, rather than imagining the basic realism of all music as a transcendent and fetishist realism, as being rooted in perceptual 'objectivity' so as to go and seek an object still more distant than that of philosophy, in place of this raising of the stakes to which the latter automatically leads, it would suffice to invert the sense or the order of the operation: not to deduce the reality of music's own object from the perceptual and worldly objectivity of the object, but to found its objectivity upon its reality.
We mean to say, with this formula, that music must be delivered of its philosophical interpretations, which are one and all amphibological; from the confusion of the perceived object and the object in itself or the real, of objectivity and of reality. The specific 'object', the proprium of music, can be found in the body and in the recording, in the process that goes from one to the other; not in the World. Perhaps there is not even – by right at least – any ontological identity, any co-propriation, any common form, of the musical object and the recording that supposedly 'represents' it.
Wittgenstein (but also any philosopher whatsoever) postulates an a priori form common to the two orders of reality. We on the contrary distinguish tham as radically heterogenous, the occasional presence of the object of the World being quite enough, what is more, to explain what the recording represents. But what the recording represents has nothing to do ontologically with the formal being of the recording as such or as representation.
To reprise – and radicalize – a distinction made by Husserl, we shall say that the object that is recorded or that appears 'in' the recording, an object drawn from the transcendence of the World, is wholly distinct from the musical apparition or from the representation of that object. More rigorously: it is the latter that distinguishes itself from the former. There is a 'formal' being or a being-immanent of musical apparition; it is, if you like, the musical phenomenon, that which music can manifest, or more exactly, the manner, the 'how' of its manifesting the World. This manner or this phenomenon – here is what radicalizes Husserl's distinction – distinguishes itself absolutely from the recorded object because it belongs to a wholly other sphere or reality than that of the World: to the sphere of the immanence of the stance of the body, to undivided hearing-force.
What is characteristic of philosophy is always to give too much importance to the World, to believe that the recorded object exceeds its status as represented object and determines or conditions the very essence of musical representation. It postulates precisely that the object that appears 'in' a recording and its musical apparition share the common structure or form of objectivation. Whence its ultra-objectivist interpretation of music. But this is not at all the case: what does it mean for the transcendental stance to realize itself as hearing-force, if not to suspend from the outset or to immediately reduce this transcendence of the World, and all the phenomena of authority that follow from it, and to pose all the real problems of music as a function of the immanence of hearing-force? Thus we dualyze, that is to say, we radicalize as originary and by right – and even as unengenderable in the wake of a scission or decision – the duality of the musical hearing and the instruments or events that it can draw from the World. There is no musical decision; on the other hand there is a (non-)musical hearing that is, so to speak, parallel to the World; a musical process which has the same contents or representation as those that are in the World, but which enjoys an absolutely different transcendental status since it is by definition immanent to hearing-force. This originary and in-principle duality, which will not have been produced by scission or alteration, cutting or 'differance', is obviously the condition for the two orders of reality no longer hybridizing or mutually impeding each other, as they do in philosophy. In particular, the immanent musical process – that which concludes in the musical manifestation – no longer allows itself to be altered, inhibited or conditioned by the musically-manifested object. It ceases to be stopped, limited, partialized – but this also means: normalized and coded – by the World and by that which constitutes its flesh – the bifurcations, ramifications, decisions, positions, all that work of auto-representation of the World that has almost nothing to do with 'simple' musical representation. Thus, because of this duality which replaces the reflexive distance to the World – objectivity – a new space opens up from the outset, or immediately: the quasi-space of ann absolute fiction wholly distinct from the World and from the object. Of musical representation, we must say that, even more than the sum of its objects, it is a hearing-flux forever indivisible within the unlimited space of fiction that is is finished recording. Qua finished recording, it is also, through its partaking in the immanent-being of the recording, radically distinguished from its material support. The materials and the supports are obviously fundamental, but they explain only the variety of the recording's representational contents. There is no longer any material or formal causality that can condition the essence or the immanent-being of the recording as hearing. Doubtless, on the other hand, we will say, music is also an art and not only a hearing, a science or a knowledge. But we shall interpret it at first according to this model so as better to determine, afterward, its specific difference as art.
The duality of the reproduced object and of its manifestation in the musical mode allows us to understand what the latter grasps in principle, what it is. The recording – not in its material support, but in its being-recording of the object – is none other than that which through hearing-force, is given immediately as the 'in-itself' of the object. Just as we have eliminated the philosophical type of objectivity, we must, to be coherent, eliminate the 'in-itself' that corresponds to it, for example the idea of common sense (internalized and transformed by a philosophy that supposes it so as to overturn it) according to which the perceived object exists in itself. The recording, owing to its being immanent on one hand, to its reference to the perceived object on the other, is incontestably the in-itself of that object. But the in-itself is no longer continuous with the perceived-being, it is even separated from the latter by a philosophically-unbridgeable abyss. By in-itself, we designate what is most objective or exterior, but also what is most stable in that which is capable of being given to hearing: objectivity and stability no longer as attributes or properties of the perceived object, but as they might be given and lived in their turn on the basis of immanent hearing alone. They are not given within a horizon and limited by it, nor, on the other hand, do thy themselves form an horizon of presence limited by objects. In their lived-being, they are solely immanent; in their specific content, they describe a quasi-field of presence empty not only of present objects, but of all syntax, structure or articulation, of all 'philosophical decision'. As to the object itself and the technological ingredients, they remain in the World without penetrating in the slightest into the musical process itself.
It is this that explains why the music apparition is not a subtilized double of the object, endowed with the indices of the imaginary. It is a pure a priori sound, an ideality that is 'objective' but without the limits of (specific, generic, philosophical) idealization, that is to say without transcendent decision or position. It is ideality, we might say, before any process of idealization. Hearing does not 'track' a pure sound; more exactly, a pure sound is given to it, in an immanent mode, a sound which does not imagine the operation of tracking, but is what is tracked, the transcendental objectl and which, without touching it refers to it as mere 'signal' or 'occasion'. To immanent hearing, 'in-itself' or non-thetic, non-self-positional objectivity is given in a manner itself non-objectivating; and this musical objectivity does not simply extend spontaneous perception. On the one hand, hearing-force only makes use of the World as a support or reservoir of occasions (an 'occasionalist' conception of music) without abstractly redoubling it. On the other, it gives itself directly and in totality, uncut, the distance of objectivity that is musical apparition or the musical a priori of the World, and which is given to it in itself and as a whole, without being divided and reflected in itself. The musician fixes on the silent-support, the a priori silence or the possible, universal and non-thetic tape, through whose medium, at least as much as through his recorder, he listens at or hears the World without ever framing it for themselves.
Thus, to the musical 'stance' there does not correspond a failure of objectivity, but an objectivity other than the philosophical kind: an irreflective, non-circular objectivity, so to speak. Music is one of the great media that have put an end to the empirico-transcendental doublet, that have separated or 'dualyzed' the latter in definitively non-contemporary orders, impossible to re-synthesize philosophically. Music is the description of a real that is no longer structured in a transcendent manner by philosophy's doublets or unities-of-contraries, by the exchanges and redoublings or perception. It has never installed itself in the gap between the audible and the inaudible. It is a hearing-force which sterilizes the perceptual pretension proper to the World. What is apparently the most objectivating art is in fact the one that best destroys objectivation, because it is the most realist – but this is a realism of immanence rather than of transcendence … In dismissing faith in perception to the margins of music, the risk is obviously that it will only be all the better exhibited in it, will return all the more into it. But this doesn't change the fact that music has never been – in its essence, we don't speak of the spontaneous finalities conveyed by the musician – an aid to perception (its analysis, its clarification, etc.). Music has its own 'intention' – it is that quasi-field of pure musical apparition, of the universal musical Appearance or Fiction (that of the hearing-stance). And it is philosophically sterile: music takes place in an immanent manner, it has nothing to prove, and it doesn't even necessarily have a will – for example, to critique and to transform the World, the City, History, etc.
This in-itself of the World, we must affirm that music gives it, that music is in no way a double, a specular image of the World, obtained by division or decision of the latter; a copy, and a bad one of an original. Between the perceived and phenomenal musical perception, there is no longer – as we have said– the decision from the original to the copy, or from the copy to the simulacrum. The recording is not a degradation of the World, but a process which is 'parallel' to it and which is played out elsewhere than within it – a profoundly utopian process, 'unlimited' by right rather than merely 'open'. A parallel process, not inscribed in the World: and certainly not one of the divergent lines of development that continue to make the World. We shall no longer say, then, that music is a generalized simulacrum, an acoustics of the simulacrum, a traversing of a thousand surfaces: A Thousand Recordings … A Thousand Recordings, this is still the idea that the worldly and transcendent materiality of the recording belong to the latter. Whereas if its being-immanent is rigorously maintained so as to affirm its reality, there is no longer a need of a thousand recordings, of an unlimited-becoming-musical; 'a' recording, one solitary recording alone, is enough to satisfy the musical intention and to fulfill it. To do otherwise would still be to allow immanent record-being to be limited by the transcendence of surfaces – the immanent record-being that is absolutely devoid of all surface and all acoustics, even though it is 'described' as a universal 'quasi-space', even more universal than any acoustics.
For such a quasi-space belongs to the recording at once as possible or universal and as in-itself of the object. In the musical phenomenon thought according to hearing-force, are reconciled the most universal possible and the in-itself or the reality of objects. This is why we are obliged to posit an identity where philosophy posits an opposition. But still this is not a unitary or philosophical identity: music produces, traverses and describes an absolutely unlimited 'surface' – empty of all bifurcation and decision – of fiction, an a priori quasi-field of fiction. This field is no longer transcendental, properly speaking – only the hearing-stance is – it is no more than a priori. But this field of fiction is real, rigorously real by virtue of its essence in the hearing-stance. Music does not produce bad fiction or a standardized imaginary – or only when it renounces its essence and puts itself 'at the service' of the authorities of the World, of History, of the City, etc. It produces the only fiction that is real in the only mode in which it can be: not from itself and through reflection in itself or through a fetishizing auto-position, but through its essence – an essence which, yet, is in its turn absolutely distinct from it and not conditioned by it.
Music is thus a passion of that knowledge that remains immanent to hearing and that renounces faith-in-the-World. In principle the musician does not do ontology, or theology, or acoustics. One could even say that the musician is too ascetic to 'do music', above all if one understands the latter as a way of reflecting the World and reflecting oneself in it, of commenting on it interminably or of accompanying it. This conception of music is to its real essence what a cliché is to rigorous thinking: a philosophical artifact, an effect of the onto-musicologic that renders impossible a faithful description of musical phenomenality; a supplementary silence, a cliché produced by the philosophical 'recorder' or the musical-transcendental hybrid. An attempt to record music (the philosopher as solo-recording of the musician) rather than describing it as a thinking.
However, as we have described it, the universal musical Fiction, that is to say the recording considered no longer in its representational content, but in its essence or its immanent-being, only 'refers us back' to that essence or to the hearing-force characterized by its indivision or its status of Identity. This referring-back is not immediate: the recording represents the World – in a specular manner, and through its content; but it reflects its own essence in a non-specular manner, it reflects hearing-force without ever reproducing it. We will say that it represents it 'only in the last instance' and that which it describes in this non-philosophical mode of description is necessarily always an identity, the identity 'in-itself' of hearing-force, of the subject as hearing-stance. In a word, and to bring together this first analysis into a formula: in its essence all music is identity-music – but only in the last instance; this is why music is a fiction that does not so much add to the World as substitute itself for the World.