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  • On An Overgrown Path: Music to listener or listener to music?
    two dimensional There s no depth perception The LSO Live Mahler cycle suffers greatly for this The three accompanying graphics showing different ways of bringing music to listener are reproduced from John Crabbe s book Hi Fi in the Home this was published in 1968 and went through four editions in five years but has long been out of print John Crabbe who edited the influential Hi Fi News magazine from 1964 to 1982 was a renaissance man whose expertise covered both the art and the science of music read an excellent interview with him via this link The technical content of Hi Fi in the Home is now little more than a curiosity as it predates the advent of digital technology by a decade But John Crabbe s succinct explanation of the unchangeable but often ignored acoustic principles that underpin music reproduction remains unsurpassed the book s continuing relevance is shown by the huge readership generated by my recent post Why louder classical music is better classical music which was inspired by part of the book On a personal aside I freelanced for Hi Fi News in the 1970s and was offered the post of deputy editor by John Crabbe in 1976 but I turned his generous offer down as my preference was to stay on the commercial side of the music industry The chapter in Hi Fi in the Home from which the accompanying graphics are reproduced is titled Music to Listener or Listener to Music In it John Crabbe argues the point that the role of the recording and reproduction process is to take the listener to the music by providing an aural window as in the Philadelphia experiment into the performance and not to take the music to the listener by using technology to enhance it one notorious example of music to listener was CBS quadraphonic mix for Bernstein s 1973 Rite of Spring which positioned the listener in the middle of the orchestra see Abbey Road session photo below John Crabbe was writing almost fifty years ago yet his advocacy of listener to the music is just as relevant today and indeed that relevance now extends beyond recorded music to concert performances Today s strategy of choice is to take classical music to the listener by repurposing and repackaging it using alternative venues etiquette free concerts sound bite symphonies tweeting in concerts salacious blogs and other big new ideas all of which will doubtless prove as ephemeral as Bernstein s immersive Rite In a recent post titled Why classical music needs to be sticky I wrote that Of course change is needed but that change must build on what currently works not demolish it What has been overlooked by the big new ideas brigade is that the one thing that works every time is the music itself And it is that simple fact that tells us that classical music s future depends on taking the listener to the music and not the music to the

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2013/03/music-to-listener-or-listener-to-music.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: No one mixes for speakers these days
    with Generation Y audiences classical music needs to be heard in virtual concert halls where the signature sound is created not by architects working with bricks and mortar but by sound shapers working with digital technologies Inevitably long established sonic conventions must be overturned if this is to happen and many feathers will be ruffled in the process Jonathan Harvey s position on this was very wise He believed that a degree of compromise is both inevitable and essential saying I think what the future must bring is things which are considered blasphemous like amplifying classical music It is a kind of compromise that I think will have to happen and if it happens I think young people will really realize what they re missing They ll realize that they ve been stupid to be so sort of afraid of the concert hall and its demands So that s one vision of the future I think nobody should be deprived of classical music least of all by rather silly conventions which we all tend to think are sacred Part of Philip Sheppard s Norwich set can be heard on SoundCloud It is worth noting that some classical producers have used headphones in the control room for many years I noted in a 2010 post that tonmeister Jens Brauns used Stax headphones to monitor an acclaimed BIS recording of Pehr Henrik Nordgren s music Above is photo from a recent Neu Records recording session More on their innovative approach of offering alternative surround mixes in Britten looking forward Header photo shows the venerable Usher Hall in Edinburgh being converted to a virtual concert hall for a performance of Jonathan Harvey s Speakings with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov Speakings which is scored for large orchestra and electronics uses pre recorded spoken sequences that are digitally modified by IRCAM created software and syncronised with the orchestral sound in real time and broadcast around the auditorium through an eight channel surround sound system In an earlier post I described how on the CD which was engineered by the BBC in Glasgow City Halls and released on the French Aeon label Jonathan Harvey controls the spatial element and listening to it on headphones produces a frisson that is absent with speakers Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for the purpose of critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Thursday May 29 2014 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels bbc scottish symphony orchestra elaine fine ilan volkov ircam jonathan harvey philip sheppard Toumani Sidiki Diabate 6 comments Pliable said Pianist JAY DC has added the following comment on Facebook Absolutely brilliant article thank you Moving with technology is certainly not dumbing down classical music it just adds a further dimension of sound making it even more detailed and interesting http jayfrostpiano com 11 12 am brutus

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/05/no-one-mixes-for-speakers-these-days.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Let's start a conversation about concert hall sound
    conversation about the future of concert hall sound The classical music community has enthusiastically embraced a fundamental technology and lifestyle driven change from the legacy physical media of CDs to online music streaming yet it is puzzlingly reluctant to discuss any possibility of a similar technology and lifestyle driven change in the concert hall Personally I would be much happier without even non intrusive sound shaping in the concert hall But times and audiences have changed and whether we like it or not the reference sound has also changed We need to be more open minded about introducing new technology into the concert hall My theory is that offering and promoting Doppler sound shaping could attract a whole new audience but once those listeners are in the hall they will very quickly realise the sound is more engaging without a smart earbud in each ear Job done My thanks go to reader Paul Dickens for the heads up on smart earbuds I have no connection whatsoever with Doppler Labs Header images comes from Doppler Labs via Hollywood Reporter Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Sunday August 09 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels classical music Doppler Here Active Listening System Doppler labs jonathan harvey 5 comments brutus said I would end the conversation before it starts by pointing out that the classical music concert hall is already a museum piece Your rather liberal suggestion that times and the reference sound have changed and we must be open minded about new tech is confounding Whereas colorizing black and white movies is an abomination to auteurs but embraced guilelessly by general audiences alteration not the same as refurbishing of other historical arts media betrays what they are fundamentally There is no controversy when applying new tech to new artistic expression such as with Jonathan Harvey However I have doubts that hybrids will attract audiences as much as newly imagined forms without so much historical baggage From an even wider perspective abandoning the sensorium e g natural sound in favor of supplemented or virtual reality is very much the direction the culture is going as enabled by technology But it s not salutary Encouraging ideation substitution of facsimiles and our ideas about things for the things themselves has the paradoxical result of furthering alienation from each other and what truly exists There are no actual superheroes And it isn t limited to sound originating inside the head we increasingly lose touch with reality and project falsity onto it 8 34 pm Olivier Masson said Thank you Sir for this contribution I personally think the device you describe could as well fit those who come late at a concert Once it happened to me under really bad circumstances and while the staff tried to me let me in during an

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/08/lets-start-conversation-about-concert.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classical music’s love affair with Twitter is misguided
    not listening I m listening to people such as yourself I obtain links to that information via my twitter feed unlike more traditional medias there is an option to side step all the marketed mediation altogether They have failed to realise that i m meta aware of their hypermediation as such am unlikely to buy into any of it Twitter is a not a lazy solution it is in fact potentially a very good solution in this article you yourself identify areas that i too believe are its strengths not least amongst them cutting out the middle man person The problems you highlight aren t problems with twitter per se I certainly hope you weren t offended by my comments But I simply wished to highlight that there are positives to be gleaned from the twitter experience 9 20 am Pliable said Tim we do not disagree My problem is not with Twitter per se My problem is with the commercial use it is being put to hence my posts 9 23 am Pliable said Hugo Romero via Facebook Thank you A truly insightful text on a problem of which Twitter misuse is the latest or probably almost the latest example http www facebook com ugoromero 9 52 am Thomasina said Glad for your added emphasis in the comments above because that wasn t the impression given by the original post Like Tim I often neglect to comment here because I agree with the posts Like Tim I find Twitter an intelligent and engaging medium with excellent networking potential In fact one of its beauties is that there is no need to follow an uninteresting or irrelevant feed The denominator is only as low or as common as you want it to be Sadly when you say that its crappiness is self evident to anyone who spends even a few minutes in the twittersphere you give the impression that this is all the time you ve spent there which diminishes a little the authority of what you go on to say Regardless I agree on two points First social networking strategic services are a scam for no other reason than the sheer impossibility of effectively outsourcing something that is a powerful and personal communication tool and which has no value to organisation or follower unless it represents direct and genuine communication Second and related it s foolish and a missed opportunity for an organisation to regard Twitter as a broadcast or one to many medium But while you say Twitter is bad marketing I would go further and say that Twitter isn t marketing at all Nor is it PR in any standard sense of that occupation To end I d like to describe another scenario which I believe is more amongst musical organisations at least in my neck of the woods Twitter and Facebook is used primarily as an additional means of communication a way of allowing our audiences to talk to us and for us to talk to our audiences in informal and spontaneous ways and as a way of sharing information and nurturing enthusiasm for our art form The custodians of these accounts are usually knowledgeable people who are deeply engaged with their organisations whether as staff or performers and the emphasis is on authenticity and responsiveness So not the intern and not the outsourced social media specialist This morning for my orchestra I answered on Facebook a question about the conductor s antiphonal arrangement of the strings for Tchaik 6 the night before The concertgoer received a prompt and thoughtful answer and the conversation could be seen and contributed to by others in the community The night before on Twitter there was a mini discussion about applause in response to something I tweeted from the pre concert talk Tchaik 6 again That was a discussion and an interaction that would not have happened without the Twitter medium Yes we occasionally post about a special offer or a pre sale or some other thing that might loosely be considered marketing but we also realise that this is not where the strength of the medium lies We know that Twitter etc are relationship building tools not marketing tools We might well have a love affair with Twitter but not for the reasons you decry 5 36 pm mrG said write about xyz and you generate little response ah yes I had that problem once upon a time and so I tried a small experiment First though I came into some insight about being a Futurist which is really what you and I do we imagine a future and then see that the current world does not fit that future and so we seek to steer the world toward a better place Correct me if I m off base here Anyway the insight The purpose of a Futurist is not to illuminate how far we are from The Future but to plot a believable path from the present into that Future That hit me like a ton of bricks If we merely point out where everyone is wrong the people who agree will grumble yeah that s it and those who are doing the wrong well nobody seriously believes they are the one s doing the wrong So they tune it out Ergo it became my strategy not to lambaste the present but to plot toward the Future and I experimented My first thought was to ask what separated my writing from other Futurists and the answer I came up with was that they successful futurists don t write non fiction they write fiction they write as if the world was already corrected they paint a picture they compose a score that lays out a field of beauty ready made It is only then that they ask us to look back So I started writing in the present tense about a fantasy world where what I was proposing in those days it was what I called a One Track

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2012/07/classical-musics-love-affair-with.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: You are looking at the future of classical music journalism
    a slanging match and I suppose I was trying to be ironic In fact I find Lebrecht s blog gets daily more ridiculous full of hyperbole lazy and inaccurate journalism and tabloid sensationalism It appals me to discover that apparently intelligent friends and colleagues in the music world read his blog and take it seriously and even respect him as a music writer journalist I want to see others journalists and music bloggers taking him on instead of agreeing with or kowtowing to his views 10 47 pm nobufans said Thank you thank you for keeping your watch on Lebrecht s parasitic journalism on classical music It always bewilders me why the well spoken British public are so fond of tabloids whose headlines make this liberal American blush But hey they are FREE and theor stories do provoke But worry not sensible people will get things sorted out 6 36 am Pliable said Thank you for those further comments Fran and nobufans The very high readership and social media activity generated by this post indicates that although I may be the only person publicly expressing concerns about Lebrecht s toxic journalism I am not the only one privately harbouring concerns http goo gl zgJ7eP It is worth noting incidentally that do not link http www donotlink com an intermediary that I use to link to Slipped Disc posts without enhancing the site s Google page rank has been blocked presumably by Lebrecht Hence my links to Google searches 8 38 am Pliable said Ottawa Chamberfest have shared this post on Facebook with the following comment We think the future of classical music journalism looks like http www wolfgangstonic com That link is worth following 9 24 am OTOH said People reading Lebrecht deserve what they are getting His regular audience is self selecting I imagine and that is really all that needs to be said 1 58 pm Mary Jane Leach said Agreed Glad I m not the only one who feels this way And you haven t even mentioned his misogyny such as his belittling of Charlotte Moorman 5 03 am Pliable said Charlotte Moorman http eai org artistBio htm id 344 6 50 am jfl said I may be the only person publicly expressing concerns about Lebrecht s toxic journalism Gosh I hope you are not I if my utterings in various fora can be called public try never to hold back about that hack Thank heavens there is Fake Norman Lebrecht on Twitter Who when he still linked directly I thought for a micro second that it might actually have been Lebrecht himself also milking the crowd of those who despise him for click throughs But that would have meant a level of self awareness and cheekiness that would have forced me to almost respect him again so I decided it couldn t possibly be him 12 43 pm jhb134 said Phil pliable and others Interesting comments Maybe music criticism is going in a certain direction maybe

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/12/you-are-looking-at-future-of-classical.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: There is too much of the wrong kind of classical music
    is by Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurdsson 4 38 pm Pliable said Tim thank you for that comment It was quite wrong of me not to credit Valgeir Sigurdsson in the post I am still in Marseille and these posts are being written on the hoof which is not something I usually do So I have now edited my text to credit Sigurdsson I see that Faber Music his publisher has retweeted on my post so I hope the amended version makes amends for my original omission 5 37 pm Pliable said I should also point out that there is a vocal part in Extremalism that is sung in this production by the 23 year old composer vocalist and percussionist from Los Angeles Jodie Landau http wildup la profile jodie landau 8 00 am Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 September 24 And this is what all the fuss is about Classical music s new audience is multi sensory The music industry deserves some portion of its il Churnalism is destroying classical music I raise my hat to Grigory Sokolov Slipped award Troublemakers The Pilgrim s Progress Why audience growth at any cost is the wrong strat Beyond boundaries Je suis inconsistent There is too much of the wrong kind of classical m Look who is collecting the Benjamins from Abu Dhab Classical music must beware of the Facebook mindse What price classical music s new audience Can champagne activists really change the world Indian music is not an art but life itself Don t let the facts get in the way of a self servi Wagner s Buddhist

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  • On An Overgrown Path: The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour
    and died in London in 1981 The photo above shows Albert Speer with Hitler Gerhard Taschner was only twenty three in 1945 He had travelled to America before the war and was said to have been encouraged to stay in Berlin by Furtwängler After the war his career continued as soloist teacher and chamber musician although it was hampered by the absence of a major recording contract He is particularly linked with Wolfgang Fortner s Violin Concerto which he premiered in 1947 and went on to champion Taschner died aged only fifty four in 1976 Robert Heger continued his career both as conductor and composer after the war He died in Munich in 1978 Article prepared with acknowledgements to The Fall of Berlin by Anthony Read and David Fisher Pimlico ISBN 0712657975 and Albert Speer His Battle with the Truth by Gitta Sereny Macmillan ISBN 0333645197 Additional material from Wikipedia article on Albert Speer Image credits Berlin 1945 Globalsecurity org Gerhard Taschner s recording of Wolfgang Fortner s Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic under Wilhelm Furtwangler from Amazon Albert Speer with Hitler from Museum of European Art New York Report broken links missing images and other errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Now take An Overgrown Path to Furtwängler and the forgotten new music Posted by Pliable at Wednesday January 25 2006 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels albert speer berlin berlin philharmonic classical music gerhard taschner hitler nazis robert heger wilhelm furtwangler 3 comments tijn vellekoop said The last concert of the Berlin Orchestra is mentioned in Cornelius Ryan The Last Battle and in Antony Beevor Berlin There the date mentioned is April 12 1945 This seems to be corroberated by Taschners widow who said that the day after they arrived in Thurnau Bavaria they were liberated by the US Army According to military reports and maps this was April 13 or 14 2nd US Armored Division So far no documents of Taschners arrival in the USA could be found All that is known about his being there in 1938 is from Taschners own stories On passenger lists of ships arriving in New York and Boston his name does not appear Do you know more Tijn Vellekoop Taschner pupil E Mail bodio xs4all nl Netherlands 12 41 pm Pliable said Thanks for your comment My two main sources for the piece were the books given as references The Fall of Berlin by Anthony Read and David Fisher Pimlico ISBN 0712657975 and Albert Speer His Battle with the Truth by Gitta Sereny Macmillan ISBN 0333645197 The date of 12th April comes from Gitta Sereny s book on page 506 It is given in a quotation from Nicolaus von Below who was Hitler s long time adjutant The source of the quote is not given but the book draws heavily on von Below s memoirs and I think there is a high probability it comes from there The book is

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  • On An Overgrown Path: Rearranging the geometry of heaven
    and his fellow musicians and their significance should not be underestimated These great intercultural CD and book projects have created a new and very successful genre the classical concept album which transcends the single composer classical convention and looks instead to the heydays of the rock LP Today Jordi Savall projects are consistent best sellers for beleaguered independent stores and their book and disc format has created an added value package that defies the remorseless shift to downloads The success of his independent and musician run Alia Vox label is the envy of the men in suits at the corporate labels and the acclaim which greets each new project is much needed confirmation that creative activities are inseparable from everyday life The photo below shows Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras with Raimon Panikkar during their collaboration on their Haydn s Seven Last Words from the Cross Here is their tribute The outstanding thinker and philosopher that great champion of intercultural and humanist dialogue between all forms of spirituality our Teacher and friend Raimon Panikkar has left us The Memory of his teachings will forever be an inexhaustible source of humanist and spiritual inspiration and an indispensable reference in the apprenticeship of the art of living in harmony and plenitude Those who had the good fortune to know and receive his teachings now have the privilege and responsibility of keeping alive his witness in favour of understanding dialogue harmony Peace and Justice between peoples of all cultures Raimon Panikkar gave the Thomas Merton lecture at Columbia University in 1982 Merton who was himself a great intercultural champion uses the phrase the geometry of heaven in his translation of a poem by the Nicaraguan Alfonso Cortés I am sure Thomas Merton would have approved Raimon Panikkar s efforts to rearrange the geometry of heaven My sincere thanks go to Catalan blogger Neus Pinart for giving permission to use her photo taken in the Basílica of Montserrat seen at the head of this post Neus has an article on her blog with more photos about the thanksgiving service for Raimon Pannikar Her blog is in Catalan there is an online translation tool here My 2008 post about another intercultural pioneer Bede Griffiths continues to attract a lot of readers There are many links between him and Raimon Panikkar They met when Bede Griffiths stayed with Panikkar in Bangalore on his first visit to India and the two became close friends Read more in This man is dangerous Thomas Merton s translation of the poem by Alfonso Cortés When You Point Your Finger provides the title for this post It is one of the Merton poems set by John Jacob Niles that is on the exquisite albume by baritone Chad Runyon and pianist Jacqueline Chew titled Sweet Irrational Worship the Niles Merton Songs Also on Facebook and Twitter All resources mentioned in this post were purchased by me Lower photo credit is Alia Vox Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair

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