Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Aug 2006 improv, l'isle joyeuse(?)

Alright, not much news, im currently on vacation and am going to start traveling again in march. For the moment i will post this seriously piss-poor recording of a (thankfully) short excerpt from my own, uh, take on Debussy's classic piece l'isle joyeuse. (the french title sounds a lot more impressive than the happy island)

yesterday i listened to my handful of shitty-recorded improvisations that i've made over last summer and kept on this computer. Most of it is crap, but this one i think is mildly less crappy than the rest. Playing debussy beforehand helped, though i dont think theres a real resemblance between this music and debussy, maybe they're vaguely similar. It appears i have the remarkable ability of sustaining fff for excessive periods of time, which results in audio-overload for the recording device and lots of noise, but, uh... thats the fun of it.

Anyway, Here's the stuff im talking about.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Im currently revisiting my rather small collection of Arcade Fire tracks*, after the ump-teeth person tried to tell me their music was in some way strange or bizarre, a claim which has not ceased to amaze me. Bizarre? them? no, Stockhausen is bizarre, Xiuxiu is bizarre, but these guys? The first time i even listened to the group i nearly dismissed it all as being too kitch, too pop, all melodies i'd heard before, but maybe after Broken social scene and Animal collective as an indy benchmark, i may have been a little harsh.

Dare i quote myself. **
I was expecting more of an adventure and I ended up with a sort of bus tour, with a comfortable seat that looks out at interesting things through the safety glass of the rock tradition, [edit] things that you never quite get to.

and i still feel that way, but now, looking at it from a brighteyes perspective, or whatever, i can see how their re-hashed 50s-esque ballades in 3/4 could seem a little unusual. Granted i don't know their entire opus, i could be missing out on some fun radicalism that's hidden behind the regular harmonies and mildly expanded instrumentation.

Alright, i'll stop spitting venom. I dont deny these guys have talent, they do, and i know they're capable of creating something great and there are already moments of sheer beauty in their work, a passage in The backseat, for example. But strange? eccentric or even close to the avant garde? i have yet to hear it. Again, i could be just not hearing the right works, so im going to have to listen to this perceived "wierdness" from their own computers.


*(9 tracks currently, i used to have more, but i remember was bored with a lot of them and got rid of many)


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Music From home.

A recent post on ANABlog reminded me of the existence of KEXP, and furthermore the existence of Sonarchy Radio, which is, like the rest of KEXP, an eclectic mishmash of various groups and styles, sonarchy in particular has the focus towards the unusual and experimental.

My mother, when not listening to NPR in the car, usually listens to KEXP, one of the few quality stations in seattle, with a typical program of quirky, fun and interesting music. Besides being the companion piece to NPR, it offers respite to the Haydn and Boccerini induced boredom of KING, our Classical (with a capital C) music station, during their frequent passages into the dull but completely listenable.

Anyway, the most exciting part of this for me is that i can actually listen to this music on French internet, which is rather picky and often not working (draw parallels here). So im in internet radio pig heaven.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Apparently its John Adams' Birthday. Or was, recently, and he's 60 years old (meaning he's my fathers age and i never realized this)...and Philip glass just turned 70, as did Steve Reich.


I wish i could get my hands on some more adams recordings. I would enjoy having El Nino again, or Nixon, and im interested in this newfangled Flowering Tree piece, or actually any of his newfangled pieces. Generally i find his music to be gorgeous but a little to conventional for my tastes, yet its always intelligent, full of surprises and even innovation, so more often than not his works get five thumbs up from me.

Just my two cents.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ingram marshall - savage altars

and much love for non-pop. While i've been lamenting my loss of iridian and post classic radio (due to french internet, which is apparently incapable of playing or touching anything live365) I've been blind to other, non-internet-radio sources for the streaming of contemporary music. Why didnt i click on that non-pop link i so frequently saw on the new music reblog? I've been missing out. Ah well, now theres a lovely library for my ears to consume, even if the music isnt always my favorite.

For some reason, it took me a while to figure out this is the same guy who wrote that fog tropes track im already familiar with. The piece i heard here, on a podcast dated november 26th, 2006 is some sumptious, sprawling neo-y-romantic-y work that has some post-minimal mannerisms.

the terry riley work also on this broadcast is his The Harp of New Albion, III: Riding the Westerleys , employing gorgeous just intonation... and like the glass performance recently posted, its also a work from the year i was born.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oh sweetnesss that is all sweetness. Some of you may yawn or have already seen this but the motherload for a glassfan has been found at youtube, some videos of a much younger, longhaired vaguely stallonesque looking radical playing what is my favorite excerpt from Einstein, (train) in a recording i'd never heard. Theres also a second part where they perform the spaceship section of einstein.

Each recording of glass' early work sounds vastly different from the next, and this is no exception, allowing the listener familiar with other recordings (me) to enjoy subtlies never before made so audible, and i do have to say, im a fan of this particular performance. There are also a few words from the maestro himself in middle of the two recordings.

This discovery certainly isnt mine, so i owe it to Soho the Dog, who posted Glass' performance from the year of my birth (1986) of Rubric on an unnamed american late night tv program, which is also a quality recording. This is the point where i mourn the fact that contemporary music could have continued to play a role in american television, but seems not to. A comment on Soho's blog mentions ornette coleman being on this program at one point.... hm.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Apparently Jenufa is going to play in Nantes around my birthday next month, and while opera usually fails to interest me, im a janacek fan, so im going to see if i can get some cheapish tickets these next few days.

Any reviews of the opera? i understand its one of his earlish works in the genre and in general, and i tend to favor his later work, so im not so sure if the material will have the same sharpness and originality that i normally enjoy, but i've read it was a sort of breakthrough for the composer (and it is janacek), so im not concerned about quality.

Monday, February 05, 2007

So i get out of the loop for a week or so...

And look what happens.

So Chavez has apparently legislatively coronated himself (quel surprise) and Boston literally turns into a exposition of the profoundist of hysterica,l bureaucratic stupidity. And these are the people supposed to protecting the US? What an embarassment, again for the entire city and homeland security, what incredible ignorance.

Morons... morons.


Meanwhile im basking in Beethoven, remembering my fondness for the waldstien, the 6th and 7th symphonies, eroica and diabelli variations. Beethovens late music was always my favorite.

The rondo of waldstein makes me cry.

Im not ashamed of this fact.

And speaking of this, at Leclerc, the mega shopping store that i go to in order to save money, they were playing a pop-diva-fied version of the second movement of the 7th symphony. It was odd to hear, but it reminds me that there is a ton of music that could be transformed into rock, the Waldstein, for example would be awesome if played by some virtuoso group.