Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Haven't posted since I got back, not because I haven't been working, but just because I felt like it wasn't worth talking about the slog of making US4 'look nice'. Basically I've been poring over the score in order to make sure that the notation explains exactly what is happening, so that if someone wants to make a new patch for the piece (or use analogue equipment for that matter), then they can.

Despite the fact that I haven't had anything noteworthy (pun intended but not really excusable) to report regarding composition, I have been reading, listening, and posting on the Radio 3 Message Boards. The result is that I have far too much to talk about in one entry. I'll be gentle.

The first thing I wanted to say was, that I went back and listened to the whole of Kurt Schwertsik's Twilight Music - A Celtic Serenade for Octet, (from Hear & Now broadcast 26/11/05, see my post dated 28/02/06) and decided that I didn't find it interesting any more. The overworked clichés that drew attention to the basic nature of the material and to the sound production itself came across as being unintentional. I have problems with a lot of the MOB/ART crowd's music. I love H K Grüber's stuff, but the MOB pieces leave me a little cold. It's probably because I don't get the political engagement. I should find out more.

I'll talk about my Birmingham reading matter in a later post. I'm going to Cork on Thursday so I'll try to read the rest of the Lachenmann CMR issue while I'm there.

I've started to post on the Radio 3 Message Boards. In the past, I have posted on other MBs, but I've been a little surprised by the attitudes of some of the posters. There seems to be a fundamental rift between those who post because they are Serious Music Lovers, and more conversational, tangental posters. In the context of a thread attempting to rate composers as first-rate, second-rate, etc., I'm a bit non-plussed by this. Also, there are people who are fanatical in their devotion to certain performers/composers, and will hear no bad word said. To the extent that, despite the fact that they state their opinion in message 2, every time someone says something less-than favourable regarding their idol, they have to restate their position in a way that is slightly bullying. Some people on the MB have said nice things about the blog, and someone compared it to the Diary of a Nobody. Good point! I don't think that this is as good as that though.

Just a quick word about Hear & Now broadcast on 11/03/06. I enjoyed it. I didn't think that I would but I did. I listened to it after attempting to listen to Saariaho's Du cristal and ...à la fumée, which gave me a headache (Spectralism doesn't usually give me a headache, just on this occasion!). I do have a question about piano quintets however. Does anyone know of a modern piano quintet where they feel that the instrumentation works? It often feels like a piano piece accompanied by a string quartet piece. I'll try to give a more detailed critique at a later date. When I have more brain.

Basically I've worked out the fine details of US4 now. Tomorrow will involve putting it all on computer...


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