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Thread: Current Compositional Trends and Techniques

  1. #1
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Current Compositional Trends and Techniques

    Ok, my mind is swarming with a heap of interrelated thoughts, and I seem unable at the moment to produce a coherent post about them. So in the meantime, I thought I would just throw out a bunch of words in no particular order, and maybe some others will have something more intelligible to say about them than I (shouldn't be too hard. )

    alive
    sonic environment
    multi-media
    unwanted sounds
    recycling
    collage
    remix
    sample
    breaking rules
    appropriation
    fair use
    copyright
    turntablism
    tape manipulation
    digitalization
    chance
    recognizable quotation
    unrecognizable quotation
    illegal art
    humour
    playful
    preservation
    fragments
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  2. #2
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Ms. RoJo,

    I bet our colleague *some guy* has the perfect answer to each and everyone of those terms you posted.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Well, I'm hoping to spark some interesting dialogue, and to bring some attention to current works and composers.
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  4. #4
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Ah - I see Ms. RoJo - I was looking to elicit a response from *some guy* - you know - lure him out of his cave - he is too much the hermit these days - not good for a man of his IQ.

    FWIW and Imnsho the sonic environment in studio recordings for chamber groups is just too darn dry for my taste - I feel parched after listening.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  5. #5
    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    Well, me dears, one would think a thread like this would suck me right in now, wouldn't one?

    Problem is, this is what I do all day long--think and write about current compositional trends and techniques. So this is perhaps not as alluring as you might think. Plus, the more I write and think about these things, the more I feel I know so very little. I could natter on for pages about each of Rojo's words, and at the end, I would feel like I'd not so much scraped the surface of things as merely looked at it and said "Yep, that's the surface, all right."

    But I had once, in a fit of extreme silliness, proposed to Rojo that I do a thread on the turntable as instrument, so maybe if I say a few things about turntablism now, I can duck out of that proposal!

    I first heard Christian Marclay, who was playing turntables before any rap or hip-hop DJs had gotten ahold of same, in 1982 at the Olympics Arts Festival in L.A. It was amazing. He had about a dozen turntables on a large table (you know, Tafelmusik) and stacks and stacks of vinyl. He plunged right into things, too, setting several turntables going, setting needles down on records (some at the very end where the clicks and swishes are), touching their edges to alter their speed or spinning the platters manually, rocking some of the platters back and forth like pop artists now do, scraping the needles laterally across the surface of the records, ripping one record off and slapping another one on.

    It was not only musically exciting but quite an enjoyable theatrical experience as well.

    Since then, I've not only collected all the Marclay I could find, but have ferreted out other turntablists (like the very tasty Busratch) and have even found out one or two little tid bits about earlier uses of turntable, including that the first turntable concert was in 1930, put on by Paul Hindemith and Ernst Krenek as I recall. I recently listened to my recording of Stockhausen's Hymnen, which I had not listened to for quite a number of years. And what do you know? He uses turntables extensively in that piece (set of pieces).

    Turntable music is not all scratches and wobbly sound and clicks and pops, either, though it certainly is all of that. There's a really delightful collection on Amoebic (AMO-VA-01), 18 cuts from 16 different musicians, all radically different from each other. You may have trouble finding this in a store, but electrocd has it on their site: http://www.electrocd.com/en/boutique/amoebic/par_annee/

    electrocd is a large Canadian site of new music, mostly electro-something as you have already guessed from their name!

  6. #6
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hello some guy,

    Hurray! Welcome back to the land of the living...Seriously now, "The more I feel I know so very little"...In all humility some guy; do you have a proposal on how to solve this particular conundrum of yours? Or are you going to leave it hanging like so many corpses swinging from the gallows in the stiff northern breeze? Again, in all humility; you're a thinking man and I believe you'll be very dissatified with yourself if you don't solve this enigma.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  7. #7
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    I understand, some guy. And thanks for that. Any light you shed on these topics is much appreciated.

    I know of a few YT links that may be appropriate here; I will find and post them.

    Karlheinz Stockhausen - Hymnen

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    Christian Marclay - a mini documentary

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    Christian Marclay - Video Quartet

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    John Zorn - documentary part 1 (that's one impressive record collection )

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
    Last edited by rojo; Jul-25-2008 at 22:38. Reason: Adding vids
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  8. #8
    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    There's a lot of neat stuff on youtube. Those would have been MY first four as well, so thanks, rojo!

    I'll put a few up, too, when I get a minute.

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    There's also a load of crap on YouTube, so judicious postings of good performances here are a must, someguy, don't you think?

  10. #10
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    I am having a most excellent and enjoyable time listening to new music. So many different kinds of things. I'm sooo behind in what's going on. Pathetic, really. Oh well, as I tell my beginning students, we all have to start somewhere. Perhaps it helps that I have a tiny background in electronic music from my uni days. Or perhaps not at all. Anyway, I'm just gonna listen to stuff, and post about whatever strikes my fancy. I'm as self-centered as the next listener.

    I just finished listening to two works by Natasha Spencer. Not a typical composer, but then what is typical?

    The first was The House She Flew In On (full version)

    I don't know what this was. But I loved it. This piece was nothing but fun from start to finish. I'm tempted to quote from the work, but fear that might not be good etiquette. I don't want to offend the new music community. Really. Plus I don't want to give anything away for first-time listeners.

    The second was Somewhere

    This was beautiful and mesmerizing. A lovely hommage to Judy Garland, in my opinion. Oddly enough, just last weekend I had watched a tv special about her. So I was well-prepared for these two pieces.

    I think I read somewhere that Spencer has said she will not be returning to the studio. I hope she changes her mind.

    Has anyone else heard these works?
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  11. #11
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    I'll be spare with my comments in regards to the pieces posted - They were a journey for me........No more, no less........
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Midshipman, Forte matsoljare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    I first heard Christian Marclay, who was playing turntables before any rap or hip-hop DJs had gotten ahold of same, in 1982 at the Olympics Arts Festival in L.A.
    I'm not so sure if his work "predates" any hip hop use of scratching, but there's some truly insane videos of his work on YT everyone should check out.

    including that the first turntable concert was in 1930, put on by Paul Hindemith and Ernst Krenek as I recall.
    Where have you heard about this and what more did you know? Did they do anything more than just play the records from beginning to end?

  13. #13
    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    Well, all the things I'd read before today have said his work does predate hip hop, but I found some other things, today, which say "might" and which say "independently of." So my "before" claim was a bit previous....

    Two things are for sure: Marclay and hip hop were both in New York in the 70's and Marclay identifies punk as his background.

    The best source for the 1930 concert is Mark Katz, “Hindemith, Toch, and Grammophonmusik.” Journal of Musicological Research 20 (2001): 161–80. I should probably go change my first reference to that, as I had remembered the other composer as being Krenek (also a colleague of Hindemith's, true!). I think I first ran across this in a review of Alex Ross's.

    Otherwise, there are instances of record playing in some Cage pieces (like Credo in Us) and of using phono pickups to amplify sounds (in Cartridge Music). So Marclay and hip hop are certainly part of an ongoing process of using reproduction technology to produce music as well as simply reproduce.
    Last edited by some guy; Jul-28-2008 at 19:40. Reason: replaced a paragraph

  14. #14
    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    OK, here's some more adventures for Corno. And anyone else, of course.

    Michael Boyd: Bit of Nostalgia, with Michael McCurdy, percussionist (and actor!)

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    And the great noise artist, Zbigniew Karkowski.

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    And some eRikm, who worked with Luc Ferrari in that composer's final years.

    + YouTube Video
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    And the Luc Ferrari website--if you go here with your headphones on, then TURN THEM DOWN first. I mean it.

    http://www.lucferrari.org/

  15. #15
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    My oh my.........My comments would be superflous - Some guy, I'm speechless.........A continuation of the journey........
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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