Collage. Bricolage. Quotation. Parasitism. Use. Misuse. Decontextualization. Recontextualization. Deterritorialization. Reterritorialization. Parody. This network of terms - terms that overlap each other, but at the same time differ - is often made use of to grasp the extremely versatile oeuvre of John Zorn (cf. Strickland, 1991; Gagne, 1993; Jones, 1995; McNeilly, 1995; Lange, 1997). In general, it comes down to this: Zorn uses pieces of music that appeal to him - musical parts, musical styles, sometimes even a significant part of the complete works of a composer - takes them out of their 'original' context and puts them into a new one. Confronting them with a new one. Confronting them in a new one with other musics. Dismantling and reassembling. Following the diagonal trajectory between what is reified and liberated. Inserting the music into the stream of a musical history only to immediately dismantle a comfortable historical sense (cf. McNeilly, p.7). In his own words: 'You could call it stealing, you could call it quoting, you could call it a lot of different things. Basically, it's like I'd hear a sound element in a Bartók section and I'd say, 'That sounds neat', so I'd take that section out of the score and transcribe it into my own notation. Right? Then, I'd hear an Elliott Carter there that I thought was neat, so I'd take that out of the score and put it someplace else. And then I'd have my transitions and ... Do you know what I mean? I'd hear a sound; I'd copy it. That's still pretty much the way I work now. I write music with the TV on or with music playing, and I work things out. If I hear something on the TV, like in a commercial or something, I'll say, 'Hmm... that's neat', and I'll just stick it in. The same thing with records. In a lot of ways, it's got a collage element to it, but it's not so much what you're taking as it is how you transform it into your own world' (Duckworth, p.449).
 So, although we have already begun, although we are already in the middle of 'it', let's 'begin' with some general remarks.
 The fact that a mark can be repeated, taken out of its context, decontextualized and recontextualized is part of its identity. This is no defect; rather, it constitutes the mark as a mark. The possibility of iteration. Stem: iter, which means 'again'. But this possibility is also what divides the identity of the mark. Iterated in a different context can and will change its meaning. Derrida suggests that the word 'iter' comes from the Sanskrit word 'itara', which means 'other'. Along this line, we enter a paradoxical logic that ties repetition to alterity. On one hand, iterability constitutes the identity of a mark: a certain self-identity is required to permit its recognition and repetition, a certain consistency must be maintained in order to be an identifiable mark. On the other hand and at the same time, iterability never permits the mark to be a unity identical to itself. Because its context is always different, it is never absolutely the same: 'repeated, the same line is no longer exactly the same' (Writing and Difference, p.296). Iterability presupposes a minimal remainder so that the identity of the selfsame is repeatable and identifiable in, through, and even in view of its alteration. However, iterability implies both identity and difference, repetition and alteration. It alters, it parasitically affects what it identifies and enables it to repeat 'itself'; iterability ruins the very identity it renders possible (cf. Limited Inc, p.76). The iterability of a mark divides its own identity a priori; it is a differential structure. Alteration is always already at work within the inner core of the mark when the identical is repeated.
 We can only speak of a signifying sequence when it is iterable, that is, if it can be repeated in various contexts. Repetition is not an accident that befalls an original; rather, it is its condition of possibility. Repetition. In more than one way. A mark can be cited and parodied. It may occur in serious and non-serious contexts. It may. It's a possibility. That's the difference between iterability and iteration. A distinction can be made between possibility, the fact that marks can always be cited, and eventuality, the fact that such possible events do indeed happen (cf. Limited Inc., p.86-7). However, it is important to point out that constant possibility cannot be ruled out.
Applied to the realm of music, it follows from these general remarks that iterability is always inscribed, and therefore necessarily inscribed, as a possibility in the functional structure of the musical mark, be it a note or a fragment, a whole composition or a complete body of works. Iterability entails both the 'faithful' or conventional repetition of a piece of music, as well as its transgression or transformation. All music can, in principle, be repeated; thus, it automatically brings its own altering with it, dividing and displacing in accordance with the logical force of the 'iter'.
 Zorn (Who? He? Without playing?) de- and re-contextualizes a number of Burt Bacharach's hit singles. In fact, I am doing the same with both of them. As well as with that other who keeps haunting me.
 I return to the first quotation of a quotation. 'You are from another part of the world.' Suppose this is a reference to Bacharach's coming from another area (another level? I'll return to this) of the musical world. Zorn introduces Bacharach to other contexts, other discourses, other musical worlds. Below are three of them, two of which are closely connected.
1. So-called avant-garde (rock) music. Let's not attempt to clearly define this world. It is too heterogeneous, too diverse, too pluralistic. Let's assume we all know what it means - for example, that the avant-garde artist is not interested in the reception of her or his work by the general public. Furthermore, that he does not produce art for the sake of the public; rather, that the public is there for the art. Finally, that art is autonomous. In this respect, Zorn seems to have 'classical' avant-garde views. He is not interested in pleasing everyone. He does not care much for the opinion of the general public with respect to his music (cf. Lesage, p.11. cf. Gagne, p.530). Rather, he seeks recognition among his fellow musicians who work in the same musical world (cf. Strickland, p.130). Although he clearly states that his music does not fit neatly into any one scene, Zorn aligns himself for the most part with the legacy or maverick tradition of the avant-garde. Or, at least Zorn recognizes that many critics regard his music as avant-garde.
2. High and low culture. Zorn questions the consolidation of the alleged opposition between avant-garde art and popular culture. Closely related to this is the oppositional dichotomy of high and low culture. Zorn adopts a double position that seems to reflect his attitude towards the opposition of avant-garde versus popular culture. It looks quite simple at first sight. The liner notes of his 1987 CD, Spillane, read: 'We should take advantage of all the great music and musicians in this world without fear of musical barriers, which sometimes are even stronger than racial or religious ones'. This could allude to a license Zorn takes to let the 'great' music of the low culture enter the realm of the high culture. Zorn's projects introduce low cultural utterances to a 'higher' part of the musical world. At the same time, however, Zorn neutralizes the strict opposition in his struggle for the abolition of music-political hierarchies. Jazz, rock, pop, klezmer, classical, electronic, concrete, and improvised music need not be viewed as stagnant compartments, but as potential for interaction. The deconstruction at work within Zorn's Burt Bacharach project is not a simple deconstruction of the borderline between high and low culture that would permit the latter to enter the former. This would leave the opposition intact. If Zorn's project questions the concepts of high and low culture, it takes place in an area between, or outside of high and low culture. Zorn juxtaposes them in such a way that they question each other. The concepts themselves become the topics for investigation: 'This is something I really react strongly against, the idea of high art and low art. I mean, that distinction's a bunch of fucking bullshit ... There's good music and great music and phoney music in every genre, and all the genres are the fucking same! ... People who grew up in the 60's listening to blues, rock, classical, avant-garde, ethnic music - I think we all share one common belief, that all this music is on equal grounds and there's no high art and low art' (Strickland, p.128-9). If the concepts themselves and the use to which they are put are discussed, the boundary between arts and economics or politics is transgressed. Whose interests are served by the institutionalization of the existing distinction? In reference to his border crossing music in general, Zorn is quoted as saying: 'It's a pity writers can't deal with this music on its own terms. But not being tied to any one existing musical tradition has made it difficult for journalists to pigeonhole what we are doing - to place it historically - and for businesspeople to market it' (Blumenfeld). According to Zorn, an erroneous categorization creates an entirely new layer of misunderstandings. The possibility of a musical categorization seems to influence economic successes. Without a clear label, marketing becomes very difficult and large record companies simply will not deal with it. Zorn, however, insists that his music, and that of many others, does have commercial potential. He pleads for the addition of an avant-garde or experimental music section in record stores (cf. Blumenfeld). Is he falling into the trap against which he argues: a categorization of that which cannot be categorized? (After all, what is experimental? What is avant-garde?) Or can we regard his plea as a necessary questioning of certain institutions, institutions that classified high and low culture as absolute categories of identities? (We cannot not categorize or classify and every de- and re-categorization gets something done.)
Something strange happens with these two points. The re-territoralization turns out to be a de-territoralization at the same time. Where do the territories of avant-garde art, popular music, high and low culture begin and end? How rigid are the frames? How clear the boundaries? Although Zorn argues for more categories (Would there be an end?), his music does not favor one category over another. His music is located - or better, dislocated - precisely on the frame, on the border of innumerable already existing categories and (eventually) new ones. This is what Misko Suvakovic calls exoteric modernism. On one hand, there are artworks that include the criticism, correction, application and mass consumption of their high culture effects, inscriptions, tracks. These are artworks that use the communication channels, modes of expression, effects, clichés, genres, codes, and modes of mass culture representation in the domain of high artistic experiment and production. At the same time, however, these same artworks transform, transgress, and transfigure the values, representations, expressions, and goals of high art into the domains of mass media and mass consumption (cf. Suvakovic, p.34). John Zorn. Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach. (N)either high art (n)or low art. In between high art and low art.
3. Jewishness. Undoubtedly the most controversial recontextualization. Since it is also the most complicated, I have reserved a special page for this topic: Great Jewish Music. This text is confined to a few preliminary observations. In the liner notes of his CD, Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach, Zorn writes: 'Burt Bacharach is one of the great geniuses of American popular music - and he's a Jew. This should come as no surprise since many of America's greatest songwriters have been Jewish - Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Leiber & Stoller, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Richard Hell, Beck ... It is arguable that the history of the Jews in this century has produced one of the most richly rewarding periods of culture in American history. Yet, this fact is somehow kept neatly hidden. WHAT? Compare Philip Roth to Sholem Aleichem? Kafka to Moses de Leon? Walter Benjamin to Rashi? Wittgenstein to Spinoza? Steve Reich to Felix Mendelssohn? Allen Ginsberg to Yehudah Halevi? Einstein to Nostrodamus? Lenny Bruce to Hillel? Burt Bacharach is such a name. A trailblazer. A questioner. An unbridled genius. More than a great tunesmith he's a conductor, a pianist and a singer, a bold arranger with an original vision and sharp ear for detail, a brilliant producer and a sensitive collaborator. ... Thank you, Burt. Thank you for not changing your name'.
 We are entering a complex web of recontextualizations. Bacharach (both the music and the man) enters into a plurality of contexts. He is introduced to contexts that are not always clearly distinguishable. And there are always more contexts at work. Furthermore, no context can be saturated. With respect to music as a mark, music, as such, can attach itself to other (musical) texts. There is always the possibility of dissemination, of going to places, carrying meanings and revealing connections that were not only unintented on the composer's part, but that he could not even have imagined. With respect to the composer, he composes in a musical language, the proper systematics and laws of which he cannot fully dominate. A critical reading must always aim at a certain relationship, unperceived by the composer, between his ability and inability to command the patterns of the language that he uses (cf. Of Grammatology, p.158). With respect to the institutional context, each relationship we have with an artwork includes the history of its reception, which has been determined by the aesthetic ideologies of each consecutive present, these, in turn, being conditioned by the ideologies of contemporary social groups (cf. Hadjinicolaou). Zorn's recontextualization could include such questions as: How 'neutral' can any 'ordinary' reading, interpretation, or performance of Bacharach be? Can we gain more insight into the conventions and conceptual operations that shape the listener? Can we gain more insight into capitalist overtones, which are at the service of a political ideology? Are we able to examine the social factors that frame every mark? By placing Bacharach in a different context, a controversial context perhaps, we may be forced to reconsider how marks are constituted or framed by various discursive practices, institutional arrangements, and value systems. More concretely: by including the word 'Jewish' in the title, the work exceeds the 'purely musical' realm. It may raise questions about the unwritten (and unexplored) role that religion, or a culture (history and politics) based on common religious foundations, has in the creation of contemporary music.
 Returning to the Jewish context, I will distinguish - roughly, arbitrarily, provisionally, rudimentarily - four possibilities to examine a difficult matter:
1. A Jewish political context. By explicitly and polemically referring to his Jewish descent, Zorn draws Bacharach into an ethno-political context, a specific cultural identity. An important issue for Zorn because he experienced some latent anti-Semitism in a number of countries where he performed and in some musical scenes in which he had an interest. Zorn: 'I think it's important for Jews to have positive role models, so that they want to identify themselves as Jews' (Blumenfeld). Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach can be described as the 'coming out' of Jews. 'Thank you, Burt. Thank you for not changing your name'. Zorn seems to turn Bacharach into a hero. Unlike many others, Bacharach did not change his Jewish sounding name in order to safeguard his career. According to Zorn, this was a risk: many Jewish artists, in coming out, had to content themselves with a marginalized position in America's mainstream culture (cf. Wilson, p.23).
2. Jewish music. First, some dates. From the early 1990's on, many people in the (white) avant-garde scene in New York (re)discovered their Jewish identity. In 1993, the Knitting Factory (longsince the place for the New York avant garde to perform) started organizing eight yearly concert evenings under the header Radical Jewish Culture. Also in 1993, Zorn released his CD, Kristallnacht, that consisted of klezmer traces, Jewish wedding and party music, the extreme noise of breaking glass (no explanation required!), and speeches of Hitler. A Star of David decorates the cover. Two years later, Zorn produced his first Masada CD. (Masada refers to the last Jewish bulwark against the Roman conquerors.) Important influence: klezmer music. Also in 1995, Zorn founded Tzadik, a label for experimental and avant-garde music. One of the most important series released on this label: Radical Jewish Culture, a mixture of new Jewish music and disruptive interpretations of klezmer or Sephardic classics, Hebrew texts, stories on and by Jews, etc. Part of this series is called 'Great Jewish Culture', a series of discs by composers not usually recognized as Jewish. The battle of words can begin (and, of course, it is about more than words alone): what exactly is Jewish music? Does it have any distinguishable intrinsic characteristics? Or, is it simply music made by Jewish people? These questions are addressed on the page Great Jewish Music.
3. Jewish musicians. A new chain of connections presents itself. In his liner notes, Zorn prompts us to draw a 'line of flight' (cf. Deleuze and Guattari) between Bacharach and other such Jewish musicians as Lou Reed, Steve Reich and Kurt Weill. These are conjunctions that would (perhaps) be less obvious in a conventional musical context. In the Radical Jewish Culture series, we find Bacharach linked to such avant-garde musicians as Zeena Parkins, Richard Teitelbaum, and David Krakauer. All the musicians performing on Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach are Jewish. Being Jewish is what relates Burt Bacharach to Serge Gainsbourg and Marc Bolan, two other composers Zorn honors in the series 'Great Jewish Culture'. Is this all too obvious? All right then, how about linking Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach to Redbird, a CD which is not usually associated with Jewishness at all. The chamber music on this CD seems to be a tribute to another Jewish composer, Morton Feldman, a tribute without naming it a tribute. The slow, tranquil sequences of chords in Redbird strongly resemble Feldman's Piano and String Quartet.
4. Jewish identity. What exactly is Zorn doing with Bacharach? His liner notes and the title (how important, how essential are these parerga?) - indicate that he is rendering Bacharach his Jewishness. By paying tribute to Bacharach in and through an explicit Jewish context, Zorn disputes possession of Bacharach's music with an American music industry and with a cultural mainstream, which, in his opinion, exclude Jews or restrict their influence when they profess their religion or acknowledge their culture. So Zorn is (re)reading ((re)presenting) Bacharach within a Jewish context. A process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization; bringing him back to the territory that he never actually left ('Thank you, Burt. Thank you for not changing your name'). Zorn assigns something to him that he had already possessed. He was always on the inside. And yet, Zorn has to give it back to him. Zorn - as the guest, the visitor, while Bacharach is the host - gives the man of the house the opportunity to enter into his own house. The host enters the inside from the inside, as though he is coming from the outside. And it is the guest who offers hospitality. (This idea of host and guest is elaborated upon in Saprophyte.)