Friday, November 21, 2008

Worth Seeking (IV)

The details of this particular item are shown in the first few seconds of the video. The whole piece was recorded and is available here, if you're so inclined (and Lord knows I'm champing at the bit to get my copy). I recommend turning the lights off (one candle is permitted if you're easily freaked out) and turning the volume way up. Enjoy!

4 comments:

Claudia said...

I'm very easily freaked out...(can't watch horror films)..so I listened to this in a.m.

Some sort of a musician myself,I will never reject new sounds. But this is very avant-garde, a bit spectral. Still have too many unknown classics to discover, to spend too much time with this. Nice to know it's there though. Thanks for sharing.

A Doubtful Egg said...

That's fair enough! I can fully understand that this kind of music wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but something about it really appeals to me, whereas a Mozart concerto (for example) just doesn't; I can appreciate what's good about it, but it doesn't excite me in the way that this music does. Each to their own, I guess!

Claudia said...

Oh! If you're talking about excitement, it's a different subject entirely. Can't compare the known with the unknown...
I read about Ana-Maria Avram. This is experimental music which has not yet survived the passage of time but is very palatable to people who seek new experiences.

Mozart, in his days, was writing "too many notes". No idea then that he would still be heard today.

I was thinking more of late 20th century, early 21st...where composers are using instruments in new creative manners. So many to discover. Like Milton Babbitt "Ensembles for Synthetizer". The Synthetizer contains various sound-generating devices, and about 1,700 tubes, making it capable of producing sounds precisely to the composer's instructions.

Also Francis Poulenc "Concerto in G Minor for Organ, Strings and Timpani", a rich matching of sonorities, never heard before.

But like you said: To each his/her own. I'm more a jack of all musical trades. Still prefer live concerts although the original sculpture of George Segal "Woman Listening to Music" would represent me most of the time.

Thank you for your post.

A Doubtful Egg said...

My apologies for not replying sooner, but the last two days have been a bit hectic...
For the record, I don't think Avram will be remembered as a great composer, as her work is a little too derivative and lacks that extra spark of brilliance (although that's just my gut response, based on what I've heard by her).
I'm not very familiar with Babbitt, not through any conscious aversion but simply because I've never gotten around to buying anything he's composed! Like you say, there's so much music out there that it's really hard to build up a collection of everyone that's worthwhile, let alone find the time to give it the attention it deserves. Being a (relatively) poverty-stricken artist doesn't help, either (my collection contains a lot of CDs picked up in Tower Records' bargain bin for that reason). I don't know Poulenc at all, I'm afraid to say, for largely the same reason.
Much of the contemporary classical that I listen to is chosen for its relation to my art work: I tend to think of my work (which is abstract) in musical terms and thus choose composers whose methodologies and sound worlds are relevant in that regard. But I'll listen to anything once (as may be obvious from my blog)!
I recently picked up a copy of The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Contemporary Music by Brian Morton (who writes for the The Wire magazine, I think), first published in 1996. It's a superb commentary on 75 modern composers, which covers everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Stockhausen, with lots of little-known (to me)composers alongside the usual suspects. Well worth a look if it's still available.
Thanks for the comment!