Lokki – Annikki Tähti.

La canción Lokki (gaviota), aparentemente un romance ruso pero aquí en versión finlandesa, juega un papel importante en la película de Kaurismäki “El hombre sin pasado”.

Aquí la canta nada menos que la gran Annikki Tähti (que actúa y canta en la misma película la canción Muistatko Monrepos’n – canción de nostalgia por la Viipuri (Vyborg) finlandesa perdida.

Derek Johnson – Infinity Plunge

Infinity Plunge is composed out of a small number of cyclical melodic and harmonic patterns that are elaborated through the use of rhythmic figures that, while also cyclical in nature, seldom correspond to the material they are developing. The pairing thus transforms these finite sequences into a perpetually changing, and potentially infinite, sequence of events.

Sudden shifts in character and texture break the work into three large sections that each draw on a distinctive genre and a unique register and direction on the keyboard.

I: Variations on 3-note falling figures | top register plunging downwards …
II: Fantasy on a static chord succession | middle register expanding …
III: Etude on ascending gestures | bottom register surging upwards, concluding with an … : Epilogue, which in its final three-fold ascent reflects on all that has come before, and interlocks the first and final gesture of the piece.

Infinity Plunge was written for and is dedicated to my dear friend Jihye Chang, whose musicality, virtuosity and understanding never cease to inspire, amaze and humble me ad infinitum. 

The commission for Infinity Plunge was generously provided by the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music for its first annual International Competition for Pianist/Composer Collaborations to reflect, continue and celebrate the legacy of the great American pianist and composer Yvar Mikhashoff.

– Derek Johnson

(via ifnyousayso)

Hoy vimos a Juan Hernández y Ángela Hoyos interpretando tres nuevas obras (una sobre un boga, otra sobre la tabla periódica y otra sobre “hurta/dillas”) del repertorio de Ulrica (Roy), dentro del marco de Instrucciones/Obstrucciones.

Me emocionaron mucho algunos pasajes, algunos trozos. La interpretación es un mundo muy extraño para mí, algo que no entiendo bien (es música electrónica, mezclada con movimientos corporales, luces) pero que por alguna razón resuena con algo en mi interior.

Al final el frío intenso (viento húmedo de la montaña) se instaló por culpa de la quietud de un rato largo escuchando a los músicos en un patio abierto del edificio de Artes de la Javeriana – no he podido dejar de sentir el frío, a pesar de llevar ya un buen rato en el apartamento.

Este video fue tomado en un museo sueco, y ahí están los dos que vimos hoy, junto con otros músicos locales allá.

Composers as Gardeners

My topic is the shift from ‘architect’ to ‘gardener’, where ‘architect’ stands for ‘someone who carries a full picture of the work before it is made’, to ‘gardener’ standing for ‘someone who plants seeds and waits to see exactly what will come up’. I will argue that today’s composer are more frequently ‘gardeners’ than ‘architects’ and, further, that the ‘composer as architect’ metaphor was a transitory historical blip.

Composers as Gardeners


Choir Concerto, Alfred Schnittke.

IV. Sej Trud, Shto Nachinal Ja Supavan’ Jem (Complete This Work)

Whenever I heard something like this, it just inspires me to keep composing. That maybe one day I can reach a level of maturity to write something that is equally gorgeous and profound. Most composers never reach that level. Heck, even Josquin and Bach reached that level only a few times.


Alexander Goehr – Nonomiya

Goehr’s Nonomiya Op. 27 (1969), for solo piano. Goehr’s compositional techniques in his later works are heavily derived from Schoenberg’s 12-tone forms, but are unique in the fact that the matrices often intersected with one-another, which creates an aural effect of a super-dominant harmony derived from two serialistic tone sets.


Galina Ustvolskaya – Piano Sonata No. 5

Piano Sonata No. 5 in ten movements (1986)

“Composed no less than twenty-nine years after its predecessor, it is soon clear that it engages with the same spiritual preoccupations, although the musical style has become more radical in the intervening years. The repeated clock-like chords of the Fourth Sonata find their counterpart in the Fifth’s obsessive Db in the centre of the keyboard, which like a sun at the centre of a planetary system binds together all ten movements. This one note is pivotal, able to attract lines inwards towards itself and to radiate power outwards, driving the music forward.

Ustvolskaya’s mastery of large scale structures is nowhere more apparent. The ten short movements play without a break, related in numerous ways, but it is a single powerful drama that unfolds in these ten linear images.

The fifth movement, at the heart of this sonata, is one of the composer’s most challenging musical statements. The two clusters reiterated at terrifyingly high but carefully graded dynamic levels are revealed as the source of a rich and abundant resonance, rather than the flat wall of sound they at first appear to be. Locked within their stark insistent power is, I believe, the core of Ustvolskaya’s vision, poised between the insight which arises when the human spirit is reduced to absolute zero, and when, in physical response, the instrument is taken to the extreme limits of its tonal capacity.”

Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006) was a relatively obscure 20th-century Russian composer. Before the 1970s she was virtually unknown to the West and only recently have scholars and performers taken an interest in her music. From 1939 to 1947 Ustvolskaya studied with Shostakovich, who praised her music and unique compositional voice; he even quoted some of her themes in his own music. It was later revealed that there was a romantic relationship between teacher and pupil, and that Ustvolskaya declined Shostakovich’s proposal of marriage.

Although Ustvolskaya, like many composers operating in the Soviet regime, appeased the State by writing propaganda pieces, she also wrote modern absolute music “for the drawer.” She has been called by one critic “the lady with the hammer” owing to her tendency for dissonant counterpoint and tone clusters. Many of her works reflect her fervent devotion to Christianity, and are characterized as austere, esoteric, declamatory, and without clear influences from other composers.

Esta pieza de Sidney Bechet – escuchada como se debe (con un trago fuerte en la mano, algún libro bien absurdo de esos que uno roe para sacar algo que no sabe que es, o en conversación fuerte, y a volumen serio) me saca de este mundo. Ese tipo tocaba clarinete o trompeta o saxofón como sacando de sí algo – rabia, grito pelado. Cuando pone a vibrar el instrumento parece raspar alma.