Quote from the essay:
Constant, as he preferred to be known, was a restlessly experimental innovator. A founder, member, or close associate of a succession of radical artistic, urbanistic, aesthetic, technocratic and even political groupings, he nevertheless retained a strong streak of individualism throughout the development of both his artistic practice and personal convictions. He had, in the words of van der Horst a “dialectical personality.” The meeting of an early grouping, the Dutch Experimental Group, foregrounded a perennial feature of the artist’s life: the role of music. Constant had been an excellent musician and singer from an early age and at the Group’s gatherings, where “they often dress up and play gramophone records or live music”, he showed himself to be “a talented guitarist with an extensive repertoire, including Spanish improvisations.” There are later photographs of him playing violin and, notably, the cymbalom, a large dulcimer-like instrument associated with gypsy music which he learned in middle age. When he died in 2005 he owned a total of 36 musical instruments; equally eclectically, his record collection ranged across Varèse, Cage, Charlie Parker, Hungarian and Romanian gypsy songs, flamenco, English lute music, Bartók, electronic music, Schubert, Bach and the classical canon.
Which brings us to a glaring, yet apparently unexplored, paradox in relation to New Babylon; why did this profoundly, perennially musical man have so little to say about the sonic aspects of his elaborately envisaged future city?
Read the essay on MUSICITY.