Tuesday, June 22, 2010

an unfortunate neapolitan luciano cilio

suicide by long string
substantial flutist and brooding
organic soul.

somekinda [freeform]
psuedo [minimal]
surprisingly [exp.]
sorta [classic]
sup. existential
[composition] of a soul

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Oliver Messiaen

Modes of Limited Transposition

Arguably one of the greatest compositional tools to come out of the 20th century, limited because they can only be transposed two or three times before they start to repeat themselves (such as the nature of the whole tone scale).


Quartet for the End of Time

One of my favourite pieces of chamber music, quite honestly my 'gateway' into it

from 'The Rest Is Noise' by Alex Ross

The most ethereally beautiful music of the twentieth century was first heard on a brutally cold January night in 1941, at the Stalag VIIIA prisoner-of-war camp, in Görlitz, Germany. The composer was Olivier Messiaen, the work “Quartet for the End of Time.” Messiaen wrote most of it after being captured as a French soldier during the German invasion of 1940. The première took place in an unheated space in Barrack 27. A fellow-inmate drew up a program in Art Nouveau style, to which an official stamp was affixed: “Stalag VIIIA 49 geprüft [approved].” Sitting in the front row—and shivering along with the prisoners—were the German officers of the camp.

The title does not exaggerate the ambitions of the piece. An inscription in the score supplies a catastrophic image from the Book of Revelation: “In homage to the Angel of the Apocalypse, who lifts his hand toward heaven, saying, ‘There shall be time no longer.’” It is, however, the gentlest apocalypse imaginable. The “seven trumpets” and other signs of doom aren’t roaring sound-masses, as in Berlioz’s Requiem or Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, but fiercely elegant dances, whose rhythms swing along in intricate patterns without ever obeying a regular beat. In the midst of these Second Coming jam sessions are episodes of transfixing serenity—in particular, two “Louanges,” or songs of praise. Each has a drawn-out string melody over pulsing piano chords; each builds toward a luminous climax and then vanishes into silence. The first is marked “infinitely slow”; the second, “tender, ecstatic.” Beyond that, words fail.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Live at Fredstock '09

Fredstock was an amazingly fun event full of fantastic musicians and bands

Thomas Lambert of i.ryoko fame graciously recorded my set for me

You can hear it here...! by downloading it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tristan Murail - Désintégrations

A stunning example of spectral music

From Tristanmurail.com

This piece constitutes perhaps the most thorough and exhaustive work Murail has done to date on the examination of purely instrumental spectra. All the computer-generated spectra are directly modelled on real instrumental sounds. The computer does not however, attempt any direct simulation of the instruments concerned. Rather, it is a question of using certain spectra as structural analogies for the entire pitch content of the work (whether on instruments or tape) and likewise to generate its large-scale forms. This ensures that the computer sounds and those on tape have a common unity which ensures that they maintain an audible organic unity the one with the other - indeed, the extent to witch taped and instrumental sounds fuse and blend throughout the work is unusually consistent, not least given the technology of the time.
The title refers to the technical processes involved - to the desintegration of a timbre into its individual components - sounds melt before us, revealing their interiors before our ears. But it could equally be an allusion (perhaps unconscious) to the constant flux of the music between moments of order and consonance to moments of disorder and noise as the primarily harmonic spectra are disintegrated and deformed into irregular and inharmonic ones.

Listen, Read

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Selected Ambient Works Volume II - Aphex Twin

One of my absolute favorite albums.

Aphex Twin said that the album is "like standing in a power station on acid."

Review By "Sandeep" on jamsbio.com

There are some albums that just turn your musical world upside down. The ones that really challenge your notion of what music is, and what it can be. SAWII was one of those albums for me. I found my way into early "techno" and electronic music via the industrial route (KMFDM, Front242, Skinny Puppy, anything on Wax Trax!). When that scene was dying down in the early 90s, my attention shifted to the new rave and techno stuff coming out of Detroit and England. I was obsessed with anything that had 909 beats, Moog lines and a hoover bass. I had already bought AFX Analogue Bubblebath and SAWI and was really digging them both, so when I chanced upon Selected Ambient Works II in the used CD bin, I snatched it up expecting some sweet techno goodness. I wasn't sure what this "ambient" thing was all about, and on my first listen I was like "WTF?". This hardly seemed like music and I felt ripped off. Me and my teenage angst demeanor were hoping for a soundtrack seemingly more relevant to my life.

I was 18, and the only income I had was from a part time job soldering circuit boards for a local manufacturer. And this was 1994, so the notion of getting free music off from the Internet (let alone the idea of the Internet) hadn't been realized yet. Point being, when I spent what little money I had on music, I listened the hell out of that music. So I listened to that double disc set many times. I did homework to it. I fell asleep to it. I daydreamed to it at work as I churned out thousands of identical solder joints on the assembly line. Before long, I had been re-programmed. SAW II opened me up to the possibility that music could be atonal. Synthetic yet warm. Sublime but also subversive. I hear people talk about Eno's "Music for Airports" in the same way, and I imagine both albums are cut from the same cloth. Not surprisingly, albums like this aren't wildly popular. But for me at least, it was highly influential.

Stream 'Stones In Focus' on youtube (only released on vinyl and tape versions)

Monday, July 20, 2009

please do not punish me akira rabelais


classical refractions with
Argeïphontes Lyre,
recalcitory compositions

Friday, July 17, 2009

Philip Glass - Music In Twelve Parts

Music in Twelve Parts
, written by Philip Glass between 1971 and 1974, is a deliberate, encyclopedic compendium of some techniques of repetition the composer had been evolving since the mid 1960s. It holds an important place in Glass's repertory - not only from a historical vantage point (as the longest and most ambitious concert piece for the Philip Glass Ensemble) but from a purely aesthetic standard as well, because Music in Twelve Parts is both a massive theoretical exercise and a deeply engrossing work of art.

The whole piece spans about three hours.

you can stream it via youtube.... here. (audio only)
or bit torrent it... here... or here (for maximum philip glass exposure).