With vinyl scare and various western music genres like rock and roll and jazz banned in 1950s Soviet Russia, enterprising music fans would create records using X-ray film discarded by doctors and hospitals. The records were cut with scissors — often unevenly — with a cigarette hole burned through the middle of the platter and the music itself pressed onto the film using a special recording device. The result is a “multimedia” record that, when held up to light, reveals the skeletal structure left over from the film’s original use.
Tag Archives | Music
Are you a Bowie fan? I’m a big fan, and have been since I was a little boy who stayed up late one night to watch him perform live on HBO. What tour was this? “Serious Moonlight”. Yes, I can hear you groaning.
As a dedicated Bowie fan myself, I know that you’re more likely than not to cite an album like “Low” or “Hunky Dory” as favorite. Certainly not “Let’s Dance”. You might even prefer to think that an inferior clone stood in for Bowie from 1981 to 1986 while he went back to Berlin to do more heroin and pretend he was a wizard.
That disdain is a fine example of how we condemn him for continuing the chameleon-like musical career that made him so well known while we praise him for it, and resent his success while bemoaning the lack of “good” music on the radio. Then we’ll turn around and praise the pop sensibilities of whatever ash-choked miserablist steps out of the local college rock station toting a guitar and a properly surly attitude.… Read the rest
“Now in its third year, Seattle Symphony’s critically acclaimed Sonic Evolution project creates a bridge between the Symphony and Seattle’s storied reputation as launching pad for some of the most creative musicians on the popular music scene. Each year, in celebration of the past, present and future of our city’s musical legacy, Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony commission world-class composers to write orchestral world premieres inspired by bands and artists that launched from, or are related to, Seattle.
In addition to writing a brand new composition inspired by Seattle’s own Sir Mix-A-Lot, composer Gabriel Prokofiev also orchestrated two of the legendary rapper’s most famous hits for this year’s concert, including “Baby Got Back,” for which Sir Mix-A-Lot joined Ludovic Morlot and the Orchestra on stage at Benaroya Hall.”
Hat tip: Neatorama
Musicologists maintain that, in the history of classical music, the symphony and the sonata are the more ambitious form of composition. In effect, the concerto for one or more instruments and orchestra is inevitably more theatrical, often promoting, rather than music per se, vacuous virtuosity. But Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto for piano and orchestra elevates the generally facile juxtaposition between soloist and orchestra to an accomplished integration of Animus and Anima, sun and moon, the two opposing elements of the universe in a triumphantly réussi instance of coniunctio oppositorum.
The following — whose style is intended as a tribute to Hector Berlioz’s A Critical Study of Beethoven’s Symphonies — should encourage the reader to go back to the source, i.e., the concerto itself, whether it be the first time you listen to it, or the umpteenth.
Beethoven’s Klavierkonzert No. 5 [Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 73 (“Emperor”)] is the prototype of concerting perfection.… Read the rest
The altogether delightful Museum of Imaginary Instruments features not-quite-yet-real musical devices that hover at the boundaries of physical law and the human senses. Take, for instance, electronica pioneer Wendy Carlos’s dream keyboard of the new era:
Wendy Carlos is best known as a pioneer of the synthesizer who reached mass audiences with soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971). While never-before-heard timbres were a stunning feature of these works, Carlos also pursued another avenue opened up by synthesizers: the development of new tunings. Based on a design by R. H. M. Bosanquet from 1875, her proposed generalized keyboard divided the octave into 53 equal steps, strategically arranged so as to make all regular divisions of the octave playable. Carlos wrote. Alas, like the shift to meantone Carlos expected to see as digital synthesizing equipment became more common, the keyboard was not to be.
You have to admit, the latest idea from RZA and the Wu Tang Clan is going to start a debate that’s well worth having: should an album of recorded music be prized as a unique work of art in the same way as a painting? From Forbes:
… Read the rest
Somewhere on the outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco, inside a vault housed beneath the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, there sits an engraved silver-and-nickel box with the potential to spawn a shift in the way music is consumed and monetized.
The lustrous container was handcrafted over the course of three months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya, whose works have been commissioned by royal families and business leaders around the world. Soon, it will contain a different sort of art piece: the Wu-Tang Clan’s double-album The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, recorded in secret over the past few years.
Like the work of a master Impressionist, it will truly be one-of-a-kind—in lieu of a traditional major label or independent launch, the iconic hip-hop collective will make and sell just one copy of the album.
Children from infant, secondary modern & comprehensive schools apply methods of contemporary music, including demonstrations of simple tape & electronic techniques. The children discuss with teacher how different sounds may be produced and experiment with electric circuits and loops on the tape recorder.
Filmmakers Keith and David Lynch used images from vintage Victorian phenakistoscope discs in this music video for “The Hope of a Favourable Outcome” a song by Canadian composer Carly Paradis. If you’re into film scores, then you may know her already for her piano work on the soundtrack to Duncan Jones’ excellent science fiction film Moon.
What’s less well known is that Seeger wanted to be a newspaperman, but thanks to his unique skills, deep talent and incredible artistry, he actually “covered” the world in ways that went above and beyond what appeared in much of the media.
He was ahead of the News with the Times never quite able to catch up. He touched hearts as well as heads.
At the same time, he sang about the media with an edge that didn’t win him many friends in outlets that treated him as an eccentric, not a major cultural voice.
Here’s a song he liked to sing, written by Vern Partlow, and reported on by the Guardian, safely outside the USA.
… Read the rest
“Oh, a newspaperman meets such interesting people
He knows the lowdown (now it can be told);
I’ll tell you quite reliably off the record,
About some charming people I have known.