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So True... and the Nethermost Regions of Music - Abadoss' Mind
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Sun, Oct. 16th, 2005 02:06 am
So True... and the Nethermost Regions of Music

"Anyway, it's so different, but so similar."

1. Search your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (this is meant to say something about you).
4. Post that sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Speaking of something different, I went to a concert over at Day Music tonight (last night) and listened to some contemporary composers debut some of their stuff. Most of it was a little beyond the realm of normal music (or listen-able music, for that matter), but overall pretty interesting. One piece, in particular, employed the use of a typewriter, Theremin (I'll explain this one in a minute), bicycle horns and ringers, the popping of balloons, pans and a wooden spoon, squeaky toys, an accordion, an antiquated baritone that looked like it hadn't been played since Wagner was still alive, a trumpet, a piano, and a narrator. Aside from the fact that the piece was utterly ridiculous, you couldn't help but pay attention to the piece. It was the point at which the highest of intellect met the lowest of stupidity. It's one of those things that you have to experience to understand, but never want to do twice.

As for the Theremin, it's a 60's innovation that uses radio frequencies to detect the proximity of the hand along a vertical and a horizontal axis. The detecting rod (which is what you move your hand around) sends the information about where your hand is to an tone oscillator which then creates different pitches and amplitude depending on where your hand is along either axis (respectively). It's a pretty cool device, but has very little practical value outside of experimental music. There are so few of them that finding anyone that can actually play the thing in a professional manner are rarer than most ancient sunken treasure ships.

Among other things this evening, one thing that was pretty cool was that I got to meet Tomas Svoboda. If you're uncertain about who he is, he was commissioned to write a piece for Aaron Copland's memorial. His "Overture for the Season" is regularly performed around the world (well over a thousand, or two-, performances).

Also, during some of the more abstract pieces, Jim went out into the lobby and played a few Poulenc pieces for me. Particular among them were the Novelettes and one of the Nocturnes. I don't know how many of you, out in LJ-Land have heard (or even heard of) Francis Poulenc's works, but seriously find a recording, a performance, or something and pay attention. It's really amazing stuff. I'm going to be finding some CDs of his, as soon as I can get some money.

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Novelette in C Major" -Francis Poulenc