5811 S. Ellis Avenue Bergman Gallery, Cobb Hall 418 Chicago, Illinois 60637
In addition to being a renowned composer, Gann was the new-music critic for the Village Voice from 1986 to 2005. Since 1997 he has taught music theory, history, and composition at Bard College. He is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow; American Music in the 20th Century; Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice; and the forthcoming John Cage’s 4’33” (Yale University Press).
“I Love Your Mary Jane” by Sonic Youth & Cypress Hill from the Judgment Night soundtrack
This is THE unlikliest of collaborations. That does not make this bad, though. Not in the least. I guess it truly marks me as someone who grew up in the 1990’s that I have a completely irrational love for Cypress Hill.
This is basically Zombi, which, for those of you who are uninitiated, means that it’s synthy and awesome. Enjoy!
BTW, if you AREN’T listening to Zombi, do yourself a favor and find a vinyl copy of “Surface To Air”. Listen to it, alone, at night, on vinyl, with headphones (and your favorite listening refreshments), and see if you don’t have the absolute best vinyl listening experience of your life. I dare you.
Loving this today. Between Michael Gira (Swans alumni are ALWAYS welcome on Zombielectroniq) and the awesome Albert Ayler-esque sax freakouts in the background, this captures the frenetic, barely-held-together qualities of life that the song’s lyrics describe and that so many of us live on a day-to-day basis. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: “Under Pressure” is one of the top five rock and roll songs ever written, in my opinion. Simply perfect songwriting.
I’m packing up my shit and moving to blog spot. Tumblr is turning into a personal blog for me and doesn’t allow me to get out of a blog what I want and I feel like these have come a long way since I first started. Also it’s a bit weird to have all these people who followed me initially for some recordings listening to all my personal ramblings. So I will be keeping this as a personal tumblr and still give brief updates on my recordings. But there will be nothing new until my new home is up and running, which will be towards the end of June at the earliest. So here is a summary so far of what’s been uploaded here. Thanks for listening and thanks for following, I will keep you all updated. (Also do I get a prize for having more followers than posts?)
Really, I’m just wanting to keep things more focused rather than the mess this tumblog has become.
for the lack of Metal Monday content today: as I said earlier, I have been traveling sans computer this past five days. However, I promise you something even better coming soon: a hot, soulless club jam to light up this TumbleSpot. The drive back from North Carolina has been devoted solely to research into the finer aspects of contemporary R&B/pop, with special attention paid to the repertoire of T-Pain, R. Kelly, and Akon. Suffice it to say that, when the first single of The Soulless Summer Pop Project drops, it will have the preponderance of shawtys snappin dem fangers with reckless abandon. Anyone and everyone who feels they can contribute in any capacity to this project is implored to do so, provided they can choose an appropriate rap name first. Be on the lookout later this week for when the first single, “Skirtchaser”, drops.
RUSH and road trips-always a good choice (this post brought to you courtesy of this blog and theartabove.tumblr.com, who are currently rocketing through the hills of West Virginia in a brilliant Red Barchett- umm, Civic).
“Why doesn’t technically accomplished, remarkably moody, gorgeously realized stuff like Aghora capture the interest of outsiders the way Mastodon’s ‘core-gone-prog leanings have, or the way arty black metal does? Is it something as simple as “I’d rather not have to look this stuff directly in the face”? Where are people drawing the line when it comes to their interest in metal, and why are they drawing the line there? Are people still keeping some skeletons in their closet: are there indie dudes who’re waiting to confess that they dig Evanescence? Are people who love big spacey death metal guitar solos willing to branch out into even better solos when they occur within a fairy-princess-of-the-mountains sorta narrative framework?”—
I have a new Tumblelog: charlieolvera.tumblr.com! You should use the link on your left to go check it out, and follow me! Don’t worry, this one isn’t ceasing to exist: I just wanted a place to post/reblog non-music stuff, and I didn’t want to drastically alter the format of this one. So head on over and enjoy!
“The primary influence on Coraline is John Cage, and I can’t say that there’s been any show-business-style influence from anyone on this particular show. We’re using the prepared piano [ed. note: a Cage staple whose sound is altered by objects like playing cards or aluminum foil placed between the strings or on the hammers of a piano] for most of the show, and we started out with preparations from two Cage pieces. He did work for toy piano and prepared piano, and he is the premier composer of the 20th century on both of those instruments and arguably in general. So we’ve been heavily influenced—but only by John Cage.”—Stephin Merritt, of the Magnetic Fields (recently dissed on this very blog), discussing his theatrical adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. This blog has something for everybody today!
After a glut of contemporary art music posts, and as part of my ever-expanding effort to reduce my Tumblarity metric (not like it needs any help to constantly decrease, no matter what I do), I would remind everyone that it is, in fact, Metal Monday, and, as such, I’m obliged to put metal up on here.
So, without further ado, here’s some more metal for you. I’m especially proud of this one: I learned to EQ (well, sort of)! Plus, not to toot my own horn or anything, but there’s a hell of a guitar solo in this. And a clean guitar part (note: I think this makes me not as metal anymore, which probably just means that my Tumblarity is going to decrease exponentially)! If you like Gojira, Atheist, Cynic, or early Meshuggah, this is probably for you. If you don’t like these bands, you should listen to it anyways, even if it means pausing your Matt and Kim or your Magnetic Fields or your Animal Collective or whatever the hell you kids listen to nowadays while Tumblin’. I mean, it IS Metal Monday. It’s sort of like a holy day, y’know.
“He takes himself seriously.
Motel rooms have lost their punch for him.
The feeling is expressed in bags.
There are two and inside those
two there are two more.
It’s not an easy situation, but there is something like abandon in the air….
One of the bags contains
a bottle of liquor.
A sure sign of thoughtfulness
about one who might have been.
He pours himself a small drink in a fluted plastic glass sans ice.
He thinks to himself, if I were from the bigtown, I would be calm and debonair.
doesn’t send its riffraff out.”—Robert Ashley, “Perfect Lives”, scene 1: “The Park (Privacy Rules)”
“Since sounds were considered more interesting when freed from having to express a composer’s ego, any process or concept or activity that caused sounds might well result in something interestingly unforseen to listen to.”—Kyle Gann, in “American Music In the 20th Century”, discussing Post-Cage Conceptual movements in art music.
“Isn’t it wonderful if someone listens to something he is ordinarily supposed to look at?”—La Monte Young responding to criticism of his piece “Composition 1960, No.5,” where a butterfly is released into the performance area. (via ander) (via buongiorno)
I’m watching the 2008 MTV Music Video Awards with no small amount of enthusiasm/skepticism (I know they’re different emotions, but I’m feeling them in equal capacity). It’s certainly entertaining: I’m repeatedly struck when watching these things with how GOOD these performers are. The amount of work that must go into creating a performance on the scale of one of these massive MTV sets is unfathomable.
However, the creation of a hit ALBUM might be a different story altogether, and one that sort of intrigues me. I’m reasonably confident that, between my circle of Tumblr and Twitter compadres, we could easily produce a glittering, soulless, substance-free pop album with little effort. Certainly we have enough genuine talent: watching Pink or Katy Perry, even Rihanna, perform, I’m almost embarrassed by how amateur their voices sound: unconfident, shaky, certainly not pitch-perfect, and sometimes even lacking in performance energy (Rihanna looked TERRIFIED to be on stage).
So, what say you, blogosphere? Do you think that, given a month this summer, we could create a cohesive pop album devoid of meaning but steeped in pop swagger and panache? I’m interested in seeing if I can create something that I don’t even REMOTELY believe in artistically. It could be a fun challenge!
This is the finished version of the tech death song I posted a couple days ago. I think it’s pretty killer: there are some sweet slam sections in there and a riff at the end that I think sounds like old-school Entombed or Dismember (which is, ideally, what I’m going for: a hybrid of old-school Swedish death sounds with tech death riffs). I’ve said this before, but I love projects like this because every time I record something I get better at recording. I’m still nowhere near perfect, or even good, but I think that my ears (and my hands) are getting better, and so are my recordings. I’d like to try to release a full death/grind album this summer as one of my many summer projects: no promises, but we’ll see how far I get. So far, so good! Please let me know what you think (if you’re a metal kinda person, or even if you aren’t)!
I am compelled to give equal airtime to contemporary art music and death metal on this blog, so, after uploading two different “classical” soundbites, I’m going to balance things out a little with the Slayer song I reblogged from Bryan and this little guy here. This is a technical death metal thing I started working on last night. It’s nowhere near its finished conception, but it’s still rifftastic and I wanted you guys to hear it. As always, let me know what you think!
“[I want to write] music so that it doesn’t force the performers of it into a particular groove, but which gives them some space in which they can breathe and do their own work with a degree of originality. I like to make suggestions, and then see what happens, rather than setting down laws and forcing people to follow them.”—
THIS. I’ve actually reached a point where I’m not entirely interested in using performers at all, anymore, but rather installing sound generation mechanisms and letting the audience not only experience the environment of sound, but, through technology, actually affect the course of the music through their presence and actions.
I am far more interested in creating conditions, in which music can occur, than I am in creating instructions, for how music is to occur. This, perhaps, strikes at the very heart of my compositional aesthetic, and John Cage is solely responsible for this idea.
Oh man, here it comes. This is the premiere performance of “Modifiers #1” from Thursday. I spent a few minutes mixing it, and I think it sounds pretty good for a board feed with two drum overheads and a kick mic. Let me know what you think, and thanks to all to attended/watched online!