Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gestures and Sound Shapes

When I saw this article with photos and info on visual shapes created by human gestures, e.g.:

I was reminded of the shapes created by sound waves, e.g.:

It could be just coincidence, due in part to three dimensional movement reduced to two dimensions. At the least, though, it's a reminder that music and music making have an affinity with sculpture.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Conversation with Renée Fleming

This is long, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Fleming talks very directly about being a singer, the work involved, the repertoire, technique vs. expression, other singers, and a few practical tips on how to use the body in singing.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Current State of Music

Here are a two snips from a long comment on a post of Kyle Gann's. Kyle's post is a riff on this statement, “Humor in art is an audience divider; you are automatically paring your viewership to a core that shares your sense of humor and sensibility.”

The commenter goes by the handle "maclaren".

   Sorry, but the claim ““Humor in art is an audience divider; you are automatically paring your viewership to a core that shares your sense of humor and sensibility” epitomizes the vacuity of AmeriKKKan musiKKKal academia. The plain fact of the matter remains that any quality in art (or music) acts as a potent audience divider; no matter what quality you choose to emphasize in your art or music, you are always automatically paring your viewership to “a core that shares your…sensibility.”

   Music after modernism did not narrow down to a single “universal style” which represented the end of musical history (as falsely predicted by the modernists). Instead, music after modernism has exploded into an ever-expanding universe of mutually coexistent yet radically different styles and sensibilities. Like galaxies flying apart after the Big Bang, current music now occupies many different incompatible island universes. And most of ‘em can’t even communicate with one another because they use entirely different critical languages and incommensurable value systems. Values like “authenticity” or “new modes of listening” considered essential and plenipotent in one musical island universe have zero or negative value in other musical island universes. . . .

It's often said that the splintering of the audience is due to technology allowing people to hear just what they want and not be restricted to the main channels, e.g. the networks. That's certainly true - but the detonation of common culture in the 20th century - with WWI, Einstein and Heisenberg, Le Sacre du Printemps - set up what mclaren describes so well.