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  • On An Overgrown Path: In search of Olivier Messiaen
    date and details of the work were not clear Cage s HPSCHD for seven harpsichords and fifty one tapes seems to be the most likely candidate It was given its first performance in May 1969 Later that year Zuckermann abandoned his harpsichord business and America in disgust at the country s involvement in the Vietnam War Of course I came away from La Libraire Shakespeare with yet another book Tim Mackintosh Smith s Travels With A Tangerine to add to my staggeringly heavy backpack which already contained the new 822 page life of John Lennon The world needs more people like Wolfgang Zuckermann At least Darius Milhaud s birthplace was not as elusive Photo c On An Overgrown Path 2008 Report broken links missing images and errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Posted by Pliable at Thursday December 11 2008 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels avignon france harpsichord john cage john lennon olivier messiaen tim mackintosh smith wolfgang zuckermann 1 comment An Ear Alone said I m so glad you relinked this post I was in France this past March and followed the exact same path you did sans the Messiaen experts Actually the puzzled worker at the Tourist Office told me after a quick internet search that his original home might have been destroyed during the WWII bombings which eerily resonates with me just a little more after reading your most recent post They directed me to the church where he had been baptized which I made sure to take a few pictures of I couldn t find the supposed plaque with his name on it but that s about as close as I got to the composer Have you also visited La Sainte Trinité in Paris I asked the people there if I could take a look at the organ but they were NOT having it 7 13 pm 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 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27 May 7 April 32 March 27 February 24 January 30 2011 299 December 22 November 21 October 42 September 12 August 24 July 38 June 29 May 5 April 34 March 9 February 33 January 30 2010 281 December 37 November 20 October 36 September 7 August 37 July 27 May 17 April 33

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/12/in-search-of-olivier-messiaen.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: In search of the lost journalism
    clearly transfixed by this amazing song 2 14 pm Philip Amos said I rather think that Pearson was there giving his view of Shaw in general rather than as a music critic I acknowledge him as one of the great music critics but I have a considerable problem with some of Pearson s words and I really can t let it pass There is a big dollop of irony in Pearson s reference to Shaw s championship of unpopular causes and persecuted people He certainly was the first but the second His support of Stalin after he met him in the early 1930s was absolute and unbending In the play On the Rocks one of his characters speaks of the need for the Cheka and for OGPU their purpose being to question people about whether they are to put it simply pulling their weight in Soviet society Those who cannot justify their existence should be liquidated This is not a satire or such Shaw was deadly serious I suspect he thought Stalin to be one of the supermen he had much earlier written would emerge through a natural eugenic process He did write a condemnation of pogroms on the grounds that they are anarchic the killing of the undesirable he said should be humane I think the most appalling correspondence I have read is that between Shaw and Freda Utley Utley distinguished academically and a notable journalist though not always reliable in her later life when like many other former supporters of the Soviet system in the US to which she had emigrated she travelled very far to the Right who moved to the USSR in 1928 after marrying a Russian functionary Arcadi Berdichevsky The turn came when her husband was arrested as a suspected Trotskyist in 1936 and Utley returned to the UK Once home she tried to enlist her friends and she had many in high places and others in a campaign to get Berdichevsky released She wrote to Shaw and his replies in their wording are nigh on psychopathic in their lack of sympathy He offers none and says that if her husband has been imprisoned obviously he must have done something to deserve it Utley showed the Shaw correspondence to Bertrand and Peter Russell who had been campaigning for Berdichevsky s release Russell had turned against Bolshevism as early as 1920 both thought it disgusting but very tellingly Russell pronounced it typical Shaw and advised Utley to consider him a lost cause and not bother to write to him further letters Russell sometimes wrote rather silly things especially as his dotage approached but I have never found cause to doubt his sincerity After reading those letters and thinking also of Shaw s notions re eugenics his support for Eamon de Valera when he wrote a letter of condolence upon the death of Hitler and rather a lot of other skeletons in Shavian closets I came to the conclusion that music apart in Shaw s writing especially

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2011/10/in-search-of-lost-journalism.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Indian music is not an art, but life itself
    sect when we sing bhajans hymns to the gods and goddesses we are inviting their spirit into us so that we may know them and in that way receive their knowledge In Hinduism the ultimate goal of human existence is the release of the atman self from the cycle of life by spiritual enlightenment The worship of sound nadopasana is one of the disciplines used to reach this goal and the liberating power of sound is manifested through sound yoga nada yoga which can transport the practitioner to the highest musical experience of ananda divine bliss Music has been a valued art form in India for more than 3 000 years and the Hindu art music that we know today is the product of a line of oral transmission that originated in the Vedic texts passed through the Imperial age of the Gupta dynasties in the fourth to sixth centuries CE and was then transmitted through generations of guilds of hereditary musicians to be heard by 21st century audiences Until recent times the public concert was unknown in India art music was the product of patronage in an aristocratic society and only performed by court musicians for select audiences This is a complete contrast to the West where there is a strong tradition of communal amateur music making At this year s Salzburg Festival musicians from the classical Northern Indian Hindustani and Southern Indian Carnatic traditions performed ragas for the break of dawn and sunrise as well as Hindustani vocal music and instrumental music from the Dhrupad and Kyal genres The British Ceylonese art historian and metaphysician Ananda K Coomaraswamy may have been exaggerating when he wrote that for a listener to appreciate Indian music he must enter into the inner spirit and must adopt many of the outer convictions of Indian life However an understanding of the fundamental differences between Western and Indian music greatly aid appreciation of the music of the subcontinent Shrutis Indian music depends entirely on melody and the only harmonic accompaniment is a drone traditionally this was supplied by a tanpura but increasingly electronic tanpuras tone generators are used as a substitute The absence of implied harmony makes Indian music sound unfamiliar and difficult and this difficulty is compounded by the use of a different tonal language Key changes are an integral part of Western art music and to facilitate these the equal tempered scale evolved This reduces the tonal possibilities to 12 fixed notes by merging very similar intervals such as D sharp and E flat By contrast there are no fixed scales in Indian music Instead the pitch of a note depends on its relation to other notes in a progression not on its relation to a tonic The 22 microtonal intervals shrutis in Indian music are simply a summation of the notes played a chromatic scale spanning the 22 intervals is never heard in performance and there is no use of modulation As performance convention dictates that scale notes are not played in succession the microtonal interval is a nuanced rather than prominent feature of the music Another differentiating characteristic of Indian music is the prolific use of ornamentation this adds the light and shade that would otherwise be missing due to the absence of conventional harmony Raga Although the raga is the best known form of Indian music there is often confusion as to what a raga is exactly The word raga translates as shades of colour and mood and a raga is the schematic that improvising Indian musicians follow Indian music is said to be in a particular raga in the same way that Western music is said to be in a specific key but whereas the Western key signature is limited to defining pitch a raga defines both relative pitch and rhythm The rhythmic basis of Hindu music both instrumental and vocal is taal This provides the pulse of the music and in a raga the defined rhythm is repeated in cycles In Indian music the convention of summing beats means that a taal can specify a maximum of more than 100 beats and within these complex rhythmic patterns the emphasis is placed on the first beat which is known as the sum The tabla a pair of drums consisting of a small right hand drum called the dayan and a larger metal one called bayan is the most common rhythm instrument in Indian music Pitch is the second component of a raga A raga is a sequence of five six or seven notes but whereas a Western mode is limited to defining key a raga also specifies progressions between the notes and identifies a home note to which the musicians repeatedly return A raga has two parts the alap is performed by the soloist without rhythm introducing the main arguments and moods of the piece the gat that follows is a rhythmic development of these arguments increasing in speed as it follows the specified rhythmic cycle of the taal Within each raga there are multiple raginas ragina being the feminine form of raga which summarize and develop the main theme of the raga Mathematically the number of possible ragas is almost infinite But tradition has narrowed the possibilities down to more manageable numbers In the Hindustani tradition ragas are linked to specific themes time of day seasons sacred geographic etc whereas in Carnatic music ragas are defined more by mathematic possibility The raga is an evolving art form and contemporary masters have contributed new examples one is the Raga Mohan Kauns which Pandit Ravi Shankar composed in 1948 in memory of Mahatma Gandhi The Indian musician Gita Sarabhai declared that the purpose of music is to sober and quiet the mind thus making it susceptible to divine influences ragas remain devoted to this purpose whereas Western classical music has increasingly become a way of expressing existential angst Ragas with their subtle connotations of colour and mood are often associated with specific times of the day and night and

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/09/indian-music-is-not-art-but-life-itself.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classic misunderstandings - Mahler's Planets
    the first performance of The Planets Afterwards Sir Adrian sent me a charming letter which I still have saying that he hoped his contribution to the interview was up to scratch If you enjoyed this post follow the overgrown path to Elgar s other enigma Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Report broken links missing images and errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Posted by Pliable at Friday June 17 2005 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels emi gustav holst sir adrian boult No comments 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 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27 May 7 April 32 March 27 February 24 January 30 2011 299 December 22 November 21 October 42 September 12 August 24 July 38 June 29 May 5 April 34 March 9 February 33 January 30 2010 281 December 37 November 20 October 36 September 7 August 37 July 27 May 17 April 33 March

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2005/06/classic-misunderstandings-mahlers.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: The sound beyond silence
    who has secretly wished during the swirling stasis that opens the Ring that the music would go on like that forever will find much to love in Become Ocean Like everything that breaks new ground Become Ocean has its detractors with a guest blogger On An Overgrown Path describing it as tediously long Which is not a problem because as I have learned in my advancing years there are many different truths for many different people Become Ocean won the 2013 Pulitzer Music Prize from a shortlist that included the other John Adams The Gospel According to the Other Mary and has been generously praised in the US music press But here in the UK where new music is only covered by the self styled cultural commentators when it is linked to celebrity sex or scandal a work that has the potential to repeat the market impact of Nonesuch s 1992 CD of Henryk Górecki s Third Symphony has predictably been ignored To paraphrase Ajahn Sumedho whatever Become Ocean is describing it as sound isn t quite accurate Like Clouds of Forgetting Clouds of Unknowing this ineffable music speaks of voluntary surrender and purposeful immersion in a presence far larger than ourselves It is a work of great beauty great power and great importance It is also a work of our time and the pioneering recording by the Seattle Symphony which commissioned the work under Ludovic Morlot on the independent Cantaloupe Music label acknowledges that new audiences want their music up close and personal Become Ocean comes on two discs One is an excellent concert hall balance complete with fulsome bass in conventional two channel sound while the other disc presents the work in surround sound But rather than using the almost extinct multi channel SACD format the surround disc is encoded to the ubiquitous 5 1 DVD standard and is coupled with pulsating with proto Gesamtkunstwerk images By an auspicious coincidence I had just finished installing a home cinema system for our daughter when Become Ocean arrived and I was able to audition it in surround sound In his youth John Luther Adams was a drummer in a rock band and a fan of Frank Zappa If Max Hole and the other rock music moguls cum classical music revisionists really want to discover how to win new audiences all they need do is turn up the volume and listen to Become Ocean s low dark brass choirs in up close and personal surround sound The complete recording of Become Ocean can be auditioned here No review samples involved in this post Any copyrighted material on these pages is included 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 Monday January 05 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Ajahn Sumedho alex ross buddhism Cantaloupe Music Henryk Górecki john cage John Luther Adams Ludovic Morlot

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/01/the-sound-beyond-silence.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: New audience for classical music, or for Mahler's music?
    performances of Mozart Haydn and even early Beethoven which used to be a staple of most symphony orchestras concert seasons are becoming rarities Fortunately Mozart and Beethoven are better represented in the 2014 Proms than Haydn and the wise Bernard Haitink even prefaces Mahler with Schubert But this Mahler centric programming and it is not just the Proms raises some important questions I cut my teeth on Fritz Reiner s Haydn symphonies on LP and Reiner with his Chicago orchestra could deliver both superlative Haydn and superlative Mahler The current Mahler glut may well attract a new audience But how many of them even know that Haydn exists Do we want a new audience for classical music or a new audience for Mahler s music Which moving away from the specific raises the question of do the arts need wide or deep audiences Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Monday April 28 2014 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels BBC Proms 2014 berlin philharmonic classic fm Franz Schubert fritz reiner gustav mahler Ivan Hewett joseph haydn richard strauss roger wright Stephen Miron west eastern divan orchestra 2 comments Antoine Leboyer said These days works like Haydn and Mozart are played by artists who have learned them not from the Reiners but more from baroque musicians A hall like the Royal Albert Hall is very big and accomodates better Mahler sized works than chamber orchestras I remember Rattle conducting Rameau s Les Boréades in 1999 and leaving the hall because I could not hear the music Should not the problem be to find a more suitable place in London during the Summer to play these types of work 7 57 pm Pliable said Antoine someone else thinks the same way http www dailymail co uk news article 2614123 Simon Rattle takes swipe Londons lack world class concert halls html 8 08 pm 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 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 Expect nothing Our top classical musicians must learn to say no New audience for classical music or for Mahler s towards a Pure Land Music is not a destination but a journey Somewhere over the rainbow is Qatar An absurd complex of inferiority to the symphony o You can do better than that If life were just I would become a great conduct To cat or not to cat that is

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/04/new-audience-for-classical-music-or-for.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classical music's big opportunity is its current audience
    or two they need younger audiences With that long range knowledge in mind it would be foolish to abandon efforts to bring more young people into the hall If classical music organizations from symphonies to radio stations can t find these younger people then it won t matter if they found a 10 growth in 2014 3 24 pm Pliable said Andi I am afraid you are subscribing to a common and convenient myth namely that Many patrons are 75 To be morbidly honest those patrons aren t going to be around forever At the moment whether we like it or not the majority of the audience for classical music is older people and this target market is growing not shrinking It is projected that in the States as an example the number of people over 65 will grow from the current 40 million to 70 million in 2030 It is convenient but wrong to assume classical audiences are shrinking because concertgoers over 75 are dying As has been discussed here before and as available statistics for classical radio listeners show audiences are falling because the core current audience is being driven away by patronising attitudes and gimmicky attempts to win new audiences while the much discussed new audience shows no signs of materialising Classical music is keen to end silly traditions such as concert dress and silence between movements But one silly tradition that it seems unable to end is the erroneous assumption that any new audience must be young Classical music needs new audience members but as a recent post explained it is wrong to assume that this new audience will be solely young and hip There is no single current audience for classical music and no single new audience When classical music starts to value every new concert goer irrespective of age income and ethnicity it will have finally dumped one very silly tradition http www aoa gov AoARoot S 2ch3qw55k1qylo45dbihar2u Aging Statistics index aspx 3 57 pm nobufans said I feel compelled to chime in I agree with Pliable that it is futile for orchestras to target young people The average young person is just not ready for classical music the mind has to have been developed and she has to have lived a little to appreciate this art form But I can also see why the orchestras see the grey hair set as perishable goods Why not target the middle aged They will be around a while and some of them may be ready for classical music Just now in the U S we are seeing a resurgence of Hollywood films made for the older audience Food for thought for concert organizers 5 59 am Graeme said I second the idea that it is time to hear Malcolm Arnold apart from a few outings of the Grand Grand Overture or the Padstow Lifeboat on the radio when was one of his symphonies programmed in the UK I would have thought that Verdi Wagner and Britten

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2013/12/classical-musics-big-opportunity-is-its.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classical music is backing the wrong kind of streaming
    they are caused by an internally driven shift away from art towards ego Today the links in what should be a closely interconnected music delivery chain have separated with each link becoming a discrete mini brand that devotes its energies to differentiating itself from those around it Celebrity musicians assert their status by demanding rock star fees orchestras and radio stations fight to win the largest audiences record companies chase sales at the expense of everything else festivals battle it out for the title of biggest while journalists will do anything for an exclusive In classical music 2015 style everyone wants to be a winner and the music is the loser A common defense of classical music s current ego driven business model is that it has always been that way However that defense is flawed Of course there have been giant egos such as Liszt Stokowski Karajan whose vanity I had personal experience of and Callas But they were the exceptions in an industry where ego tripping was seen as an indulgence rather than a prerequisite Today the ubiquitous dualism of winner or loser is breaking the vital train of transmission With those at the bottom of the music food chain fighting for survival the only way that classical music can stop itself plunging into an ego driven dark Age of Kali is by change starting at the top And thankfully there is a glimmer of hope where it matters The Berlin Philharmonic s appointment of a new chief conductor from outside the ranks of celebrity maestros is a courageous and prescient move When Kirill Petrenko was appointed to the Berlin Philharmonic Norman Lebrecht expressed the view that Petrenko will need to change fast As usual Lebrecht had it totally wrong It is not the low profile Kirill Petrenko who needs to change it is classical music That header image sampled from the poster for the 1967 Mantra Rock Dance has a particular relevance to this post The happening at the Avalon Ball Room in San Francisco introduced A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to the West He went on to establish the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and his advocacy of music in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra was taken up by influential figures including George Harrison The anthology of this thinking titled Chant and Be Happy which was one of the sources used in this post is recommended 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 July 26 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada berlin philharmonic buddhism herbert von karajan Kirill Petrenko leopold stokowski norman lebrecht sufism Vedanta 2 comments Lyle Sanford RMT said great post maybe a missing e typo in instead they are caused by an internally driven shift away from art towards go I once

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/07/classical-music-is-backing-wrong-kind.html (2016-02-11)
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