This is one of these little gems one finds and cannot really pin down. Who plays? Youtube has no clear information. A group of young men from Argentina (at least, their accent would make one think so) sing in some kind of beach location a song by María Elena Walsh, the very famous songwriter from Argentina. She wrote songs (only nominally) for children – songs drawing from very vast sources of musical inspiration and very deep connections in her lyrics (among them, passing and serious references to the years of dictatorships in Argentina, people “disappearing” – kidnapped by the army during those dark years – all of this in children songs that do work also as children songs). My wife and many other people who actually heard these songs as children remember all of them – their lyrics might have seemed simpler back then and later in life they discover the network of connections.

Here these young men do an ad libitum version, a kind of improvised version, almost what you would hear in a party with good musicians. They enjoy singing Adivina Adivinador (Guess guesser). Enjoy too!

Il y a une phrase très, très belle…

(Escena del film Le petit soldat de Jean-Luc Godard [1960] – los dos actores principales Michel Subor y Anna Karina están en una habitación y habla él – un monólogo fabuloso y completamente actual cincuenta años después; el juego de miradas, las manos de Anna Karina, sus ojos – todo es un placer visual inmenso.)

Una frase interesante (casi una declaración/manifiesto) que incluye Godard en esta película es esta: “La photographie c’est la vérité. Et le cinéma c’est vingt-quatre fois la vérité par seconde.”

Es una de las películas más impresionantes que hemos visto recientemente con María Clara.

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)

Voilà. Il a cinquante-sept ans. Il a bouclé depuis treize ans son œuvre pour piano avec Frontispice, pièce qui ne compte pas plus de quinze mesures, ne dure pas plus de deux minutes mais ne requiert pas moins de cinq mains. Il a réglé leur compte aux formes sonate et quatuor. Après avoir poussé à l’extrême, quitte à casser le jouet, son pouvoir d’instrumentation avec le Boléro, il vient de résoudre le problème du concerto, seul auquel il ait toujours tardé à s’affronter. Que faire à présent. Eh bien, ces temps-ci, deux projets. L’un est une musique de film sur Don Quichotte, que devrait tourner Pabst avec Chaliapine dans le rôle-titre et Paul Morand aux dialogues. De l’autre, qui porte pour l’instant le nom de code Dédale 39, on ne sait que ce que Ravel veut bien en dire un jour à Manuel de Falla : ce devrait être un avion en ut.

(Jean Echenoz – Ravel)

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.

Eva Joly. Sobre el ser “outsider”, no ser del círculo formado por las “destilerías de élites políticas” que son ciertas “grandes escuelas” de Francia. El problema es que hasta ahora el único que ha logrado romper ese molde ha resultado un desastre absoluto. A mí me encantaría que a alguien como Eva Joly (sin el estilo sobrado de Hollande, sin la arrogancia ciega de DSK, sin el estilo absurdamente estúpido de tantos políticos estilo Ségolène Royal, estilo tontamente copiado por otra salida de esos mismos moldes, Íngrid Betancourt —- y sin la paranoia estilo Uribe de Sarkozy) ganara alguna vez en Francia. Me gusta la persona (en el sentido teatral) de Eva Joly. Me parece que alguien así puede representar a mucha gente pila de Francia que no es de ENA o de Sciences-Po, y que tampoco son los bling-bling asquerosos de Sarkozy.

Au-d’là des mers ce fut bien pire
Le mal gagna c’est trop affreux
Il lui fallait pour son empire
Jusqu’au pôle Nord et la Terre de Feu
Mais le plus terrible ravage
Fut dans l’monde des banquiers
Où la grande java sauvage
Fit des victimes par milliers
“Un, deux, trois, quatre
Un, deux, trois, quatre”
Hurlaient New York et Chicago
L’or se vendit au prix du plâtre
Et le cigare au prix du mégot

Puis un jour tout d’vint tranquille
On n’entendit plus d’java
Dans les champs et dans les villes
Savez-vous pourquoi?

(Coda:)

Parce que le Diable s’aperçut
Qu’il n’touchait pas de droits d’auteur
Tout ça c’était d’l’argent d’foutu
Puisqu’il n’était même pas éditeur
Tout ça c’était d’l’argent d’foutu
Puisqu’il n’était même pas éditeur

Charles Trenet

ifnyousayso:

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.

ifnyousayso:

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.

The Silver Swan – Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

The silver swan, who living had no note, When death approached, unlocked her silent throat; Leaning her breast against the reedy shore, Thus sung her first and last and sung no more: Farewell all joys; O death, come close mine eyes; More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.

This was probably the first madrigal we ever sang with Robin Pemantle, Rosine Turner, Polly Kuelbs, two or three math graduate students, and María Clara. We had just arrived to Madison, and there was a sign posted in the corridors of Van Vleck Building, saying something “Like to sing? Renaissance to contemporary? Call this number…”. I called and we were ushered into a four-year fantastic experience.

During our four years in Madison we were part of the singing group led (mostly) by then young probabilist Robin Pemantle. It consisted of a few graduate students or postdocs – some would be there for just a few sessions, some like MC and me, would last our whole time in Madison singing there. And two sopranos – the wives of two math professors: piano teacher Polly Kuelbs and our dear friend, Italian Medievalist Rosine Turner.

The group went, as such groups do, through many phases. American contemporary composers (which we really had trouble following, being as they were full of cultural references to pop culture that had immediate appeal to the other members of the group, and were arcane to MC and I), jazz of course (The Three-Way Canon Blues, or You ain’t bee’n blue). I pushed a lot of Italian and Flemish Renaissance – some Josquin, some Jannequin. And of course Orlando Gibbons and William Byrd, and beloved Monteverdi.

Christmas would come – the first time for us, in 1992, the experience was strange and odd. Interrupting the usual repertoire of harder madrigals or chansons or syncopated polyphonic blueish canons, the group decided to go for a night of caroling. Fine, we though with MC. There we arrived, and all the group was singing very fast those four-voiced carols they knew by heart and we were hearing for the first time: In the bleak mid-winter by Holst, or some Praetorius or more basic ones. We had enormous trouble following them at that speed – before setting out, they rushed through ten or twelve of them, decided they “had been rehearsed” and off we went into the wintry Wisconsin night, dashing through snow, threading our way to homes where we would sing (outside) and then would be ushered in to drink a welcome hot tea or chocolate, or some eggnog.

Three hours of walking and singing in the snow, alternated with the warmth of those homes and the tea and chocolate, sometimes with some needed alcohol, was our way into the caroling world. By the end of those three hours our heads were full of those four-voiced carols – some medieval, some renaissance, some 19th century, some commercial ones even. The richness of that world made us feel sad by the contrast for our poor Spanish villancicos – songs that have lost all the emotional depth they could have had (and surely had at some point in history) but were monotonous and monophonic and commercialized beyond belief. Spain and Latin America seem to have lost everything, with our stupid Christmas songs – the English speaking world had instead rich polyphonic carols harking from the middle ages, always lively, always interesting. Was it the alcohol, the cold night, the four voices? I loved, and still love, English carols, in a way that to me is inextricably woven with Arnie Miller’s Descriptive Set Theory, the Hard Way, Alejandro Adem’s Algebraic Topology I, H. Jerome Keisler’s Stability Theory, David Crook’s Renaissance Music, long and hard homework I was always running to turn in, and our first encounters with the English language outside of the math world.

Here is another version of The Silver Swan, with voices. I love singing it – but with a lot of Renaissance music something weird happens: it is meant to be sung by yourself not to be listened to by an audience. The voices blend (and the verb here evokes the best blends one could think of when evoking Scotch Whisky – smoothly amalgamated, slowly pushing one flavor into another). This blend is something you can only perceive when singing. 

eclecticperson34:

Brian Ferneyhough – Cassandra’s Dream Song (1970)

Is this Japanese flute music?

-My mom

This is one of the few pieces by Ferneyhough I like (there’s a reason Webern wrote for tiny forces most of the time. XD).

Brian Ferneyhough’s Cassandra’s Dream Song (1970) was at first considered unplayable; even the best flutists in the world thought it pushed the instrument and player beyond their physical limits. In 1974, however, Pierre-Yves Artaud premiered the piece at the Royan Festival, proving that, though it certainly does push performers to the extreme, it can be successfully performed; Cassandra’s Dream Song has since become part of the solo flute repertory.

Ferneyhough is known for writing music that is extremely dense and rhythmically complex, and this piece is no exception. Structurally, the piece consists of six sequences and five “interpolations”: the sequences are ordered, but the interpolations are not and may be played in any order.

Alexander Carpenter

ifnyousayso:

Per Norgard – Iris

Something sounding from afar and at the same time clear, shining, almost glittering characterizes Per Nørgård´s orchestra work Iris from 1966. Nørgård had for a long time been dreaming of an iris-like music (and in fact a section near the end was dreamt – and notated the day after). And he sets up the rainbow as the common picture for Iris and related works – both because the rainbow is a part of nature and because the viewer experiences it from his own position. It moves, depending upon where we see it from, of course. If this is transferred to the psychic experience of a piece of music, it means that each listener, in his own way, forms his own music.

Titles like “Iris”, “Luna” and “Voyage into the Golden Screen” give associations to colors and nature, and when Nørgård talks about music, he gives great importance to the experience of nature and how we can learn something about ourselves by watching it. The basic idea in works like Iris is a complexity with the point of departure from the greatest possible simplicity – a network of lines where each one represents a rather simple melody or rhythm. Or, in the composer’s words:

“The whole thing is unlike the flowers of the daisy, where you see 21 spiraling lines moving in one direction and 34 spiraling lines in the other. It is fascinating to look at nature in this way. For it is certainly very complicated, but even so a great simplicity shows through. I am attempting to get the same thing in my music”.

ifnyousayso:

Jean-Fery Rebel – Les Elemens (I. Le Cahos)

Jean-Fery Rebel (1666-1747) was a French composer and violinist, a child prodigy, and a student of Lully.

This piece was brought to my attention in a history lecture, with the intent of showing that not all baroque music is dull and pretty. The piece is about the elements (as suggested by the title :P), and the first movement is more specifically about the chaos that brought about the creation of the world. The figured bass for the opening is, unbelievably 765432, literally all the notes in the key he was using! Using dissonance in this way was completely unheard of (only c.60 years before his birth Monteverdi was denounced by the musical authorities for using a minor 7th without preparing it!).

No puedo dejar de compartir esto (originalmente en fb):

 

Andrés Villaveces

entre la voz de Dylan y las imágenes de Jobs entre 1955 y 1985, este video parece capturar toda una era que vivimos muy intensamente los nacidos en esos años – es extraño cómo la muerte temprana de Jobs de verdad se siente como el cierre de _algo_ – algo que aún no logramos definir correctamente

 

  • Federico Sarmiento likes this.
    • Andrés Villaveces algunas imágenes me hicieron revivir ese momento increíble (visto desde ahora) cuando llegó el primer computador a la casa, en 1983 – es difícil entender por qué fue tan intenso ese momento54 minutes ago · Like ·  1 person
    • Federico Sarmiento Yo tuve una fijación con los computadores al punto que a los 8 años logré convencer a mis papas de que me suscribieran a una enciclopedia por fascículos que se llamaba Mi Computer. Un amigo arquitecto de ellos, tenia un Apple II y me dejaba jugar con el equivalente a Paint. Mis papás emocionados, me metieron en una curso de vacaciones en el G. Moderno, donde tenían Radio Shacks TR-80. Aunque no eran tan amigables, me gusto trabajar en Basic; eso sí, las cosas ya no eran tan chéveres sin el ratón. Luego, entré a otro curso donde yo era el único menor de 20 (tenía 12 años) y era como para oficinistas (enseñaban a manejar programas de texto y similares) en unos Atari. Para ese punto, en las prácticas yo usaba las teclas gráficas del computador no para editar en word perfect, sino para hacer dibujitos con caracteres, que era lo único que me parecía interesante interesante… 

      En estos días, charlando con una amiga, me decía que la reacción le parecía exagerada, yo le hice un paralelo con Lennon y lo que su muerte significó para la gente setentera. Con Jobs la cosa es parecida. 
      Es el rockstar de nuestra generación. Tiene todos los ingredientes: Éxito temprano, ventas millonarias, ganarle batallas a las vacas sagradas, caída, resurrección, regreso, triunfo aún más grande que el de cualquier otro…delirio con todo lo que hace y fin trágico.24 minutes ago · Like

    • Andrés Villaveces Increíble – yo tenía ya 14 años cuando llegó ese computador (un Texas Instruments) a la casa. Calculo que costó todo el sueldo de uno o dos meses de mi papá en esa época. Todo era en Basic, prácticamente. Estuve con mi primo en un curso de vacaciones que daban en Unicentro – la mayoría de los del curso eran alumnos del San Carlos o el Nueva Granada. A la mitad del curso decidimos con mi primo que el profesor era muy bobo y no volvimos. Un amigo del curso (Alejandro Wills) tenía subscripción a una de esas revistas y era muy bueno haciendo gráficas en la época anterior a Paint, con puras funciones matemáticas en Basic. No es muy claro para mí en este momento por qué nos llamaba tanto la atención todo ese mundo entonces. Cualquier explicación racional suena medio sosa al lado de la _sensación_ del momento. Y sí, Jobs es el rockstar de nuestra generación. Basta verlo con su corbatín en la presentación de esa época para quedar completamente metido en la adolescencia ochentera.3 minutes ago · Like