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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Digitizing and subsequently archiving my OP Magazine collection is now at the top of the to-do list. Problem number one was that I needed to acquire (albeit temporarily) an 11 X 17 scanner because, up to about half-way through the OP “alphabet,” the OPs are printed on tabloid-sized newsprint. After some mulling and a bit of research, I figured that scanning the pages with an appropriately sized scanner would be the best way to approach the process. It’s working!

 

More to come, but for now enjoy “Some Chickens…”

 

 

 

Some Chickens

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If I had to choose between listening to Frank Mills or Bent Fabric for extended periods of time I’d choose Bent Fabric, no question. Fabric has a nice, relaxed, toe-tapping simplicity that would make any long elevator ride seem a little more bearable. Mills, on the other hand, would grate on the brain for the entire 90 floor milk-route trip.

“Music Box Dancer” (by Mills) was a popular song to dance to at ballet/dance recitals in the 1980s. I had never had a routine where it was used but was envious of those who had been given that opportunity. I wonder if I would have felt the same desire to dance to Bent Fabric, had that music been all the rage. Maybe it was for the girls in tap classes. I doubt it though, certainly not for pre-pubescent girls in the 1980s.

I had been meaning to post something by Mills or Fabric but thinking about tap dancing classes had brought the image of this dancing lady into mind instead. She never quite works up the steps by more than a lazy shuffle…

This is a scene from David Lynch’s Eraserhead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59ZHZxsqs5M

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I’m remembering the words of Jim Tenney from a decade and a half ago when in composition seminar he drove home the point that music does effect positive change in society. Jim used the Beatles–specifically Lennon’s contribution–as an example of music’s impact.

There are plenty of days when listening, making, and writing about music seems thankless,  pointless even.

A consolation: remember that change is sometimes a long and subtle process.

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The last in a series of three. Enjoy!

Up next? Not sure yet.

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This video short by Colt Jenders explores the phantasmagorical land of baked beans and jellyfish. Lovingly prepared and slowly simmered for hours in a mild but flavorful tomato and molasses sauce, these beans have been meticulously quality tested by only the best mid-twentieth century housewives. Eaten hot or cold, nothing else quite compares to the iron, fiber, and protein (not to mention taste!) packed into a single can of baked beans and jellyfish. Even children (young and old) with particular and discerning tastes will just love these delicious beans!
As a special promotion by your much beloved baked beans company, each can of beans purchased comes with a gender-neutral doll. Youngsters across every fair nation will be ever fascinated by such artistry in plastic. Underclothing worn by the dolls is of only the finest woven cotton. Each doll is adorned in a handmade kilt whose wool is produced by the world’s most deluxe sheep located in a secluded village north of Glasgow.

***Warning: visual or olfactorial consumption of these beans may cause hallucinations of iridescent glass-like invertebrates and incessant noise created by the one and only Tuna Mind Melt. Consume responsibly.

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Twice a year my adult piano student group gets together; something which inevitably involves me playing something from my old repertoire. In the past, it’s been the usual suspects: some Bach, Shostakovich, Mozart, and lots of Schumann. One off the beaten track performance was of a ‘rag’ by Tenney. And then there was the time at the old house when we had two pianos in the living room. We had requested that the tuner tune one instrument down a quarter tone and Siamese Connection and I played some Ives for a ‘teachers concert.’ That was fun.

Tonight I went for something completely different and brought out ye olde accordion with the pickup attached and fed through the effects pedal and the amp.

What interested me in particular from the performer’s side of things is that it was never really clear to the audience when the performance began. Of course there were some sound check elements, playing with the mic, hooking the pickup up, checking levels, but the noise gradually developed into something more and organically became the ‘piece’– albeit an improvised one. I really wondered at what point in the improv (which only lasted about 7 minutes) the audience of adult students actually realized that this was not just a sound check.

Later on I found out that another one of the teachers ended up shushing one of the students who would have continued talking through it, not realizing that the performance was going on. I guess some people realized it. Others didn’t. But what exactly was the tip-off for those who did hear music in there somewhere (and they all did agree that it was music, in the textbook ‘organized sound’ sort of way)? What exactly was the point at which the noise ended and the ‘music’ began?

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This is what happens to people when the television is dead. Thanks a lot, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. Look at what you’ve done. People are making their living rooms vibrate in the most repulsive manners imaginable.

Here’s part one of a typical Thursday Night domestic scene at our abode, for instance. I’m joined here by guitarist Richard Benedict, Mr. Siamese Connection.

At this point we both agree that the non-accordion sounds actually sound better than the accordion sounds which makes me wonder why I have this bulky 20 pound pile of plastic and miscellaneous this and that strapped to my chest.

EAE 4.1

More later…

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