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29 posts tagged with avantgarde and music. (View popular tags)
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These guys are fucking AMAZING.

Kiyohiko Senba is a composer who’s been likened to Zappa for his ambition, talent, madness, and virtuosity, but his music is considerably easier to get into. Get ready, because his large-scale orchestra project, Kiyohiko Senba and the Haniwa All-Stars, is about to blow your goddamn mind.

Let's start simple and ramp up. Hohai Bushi sounds a bit like an Ennio Morricone composition but with more electric guitar. Taiikusai is so heartfelt, yearning, and soaring that I cried when it got to the climax. They cover both Franz Schubert’s “Standchen" and Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t To Say You Love Me” in ways that are all kinds of awesome. But the real treasure for me is this one, which begins with them playing the Village People’s “YMCA” but then transitions into Daimeiwaku, a freaking phenomenal good original piece that sounds – I don’t know how else to describe it – like James Brown and John Philip Sousa decided to play Katamari Damacy together and had a really good time. (With some klezmer and Leonard Bernstein thrown in there too, for good measure.) But wait! There’s [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 25, 2013 - 24 comments

Spectrum: New American Music 1968-1974

Spectrum: New American Music was a series of five LPs released by Nonesuch between 1968 and 1974, featuring works by composers like Stefan Wolpe, George Rochberg, and Milton Babbitt, performed by Arthur Weisberg's Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Nonesuch released a Spectrum compilation on CD in the 1990s; everything that's not on the CD is available at Internet Archive (Part 2), courtesy of the Avant Garde Project. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Aug 20, 2012 - 10 comments

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD

1 TERABYTE MP3 HARSH NOISE 233 x DVD [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 2, 2012 - 60 comments

Disco Inferno: The Five EPs

"We were so dumbfounded at the noise that was coming out of our instruments it took us a while to get a handle on what we were hearing, let alone thinking in terms of how any records would be structured." Music journalist Ned Raggett assembles the oral history of British experimental rock group Disco Inferno's five EPs.
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jan 23, 2012 - 17 comments

Happy Solstice!

"everything is good that / has a good beginning / and doesn't have an end / the world will die but for us there is no / end!" Thus ends Victory over the Sun (part 1, part 2), the "first Futurist opera". [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Dec 21, 2011 - 8 comments

John Zorn's "Spillane"

Using his "file card" technique to create the title piece "Spillane" (whereby musical ideas written on note cards form the basis for discreet sound blocks arranged by way of a unifying theme), John Zorn forges an impressionistic narrative out of stretches of live-music jazz, blues, country, lounge, thrash, etc., and a variety of samples and spoken dialogue inspired by Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer detective novels (recited by John Lurie). - AllMusic [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 2, 2011 - 7 comments

A Popular Guide to Unpopular Music

A Popular Guide to Unpopular Music by Kenneth Goldsmith, founder of Ubu. Here is an interview with Goldmith in The Believer.
posted by beshtya on Nov 1, 2011 - 19 comments

"Uncreative Genius"

"The prominent literary critic Marjorie Perloff has recently begun using the term 'unoriginal genius' to describe this tendency emerging in literature. Her idea is that, because of changes brought on by technology and the Internet, our notion of the genius—a romantic, isolated figure—is outdated. An updated notion of genius would have to center around one's mastery of information and its dissemination. Perloff has coined another term, 'moving information,' to signify both the act of pushing language around as well as the act of being emotionally moved by that process. She posits that today's writer resembles more a programmer than a tortured genius, brilliantly conceptualizing, constructing, executing, and maintaining a writing machine." --Kenneth Goldsmith on why "genius" is an archaic concept, and how literature in English has fallen half-a-century behind advances in visual arts and music
posted by bardic on Sep 22, 2011 - 44 comments

The Avant-Garde Project, an online lossless music LP archive

The Avant Garde Project is a series of recordings of 20th-century classical, experimental, and electroacoustic music digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. Until now, of course. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jun 28, 2011 - 17 comments

Roland Kayn 1933 - 2011

On January 5th, 2011 largely unknown modern composer, and pioneer of long format compositions on early computer systems Roland Kayn "... left this world today from his home". [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Jan 21, 2011 - 8 comments

Why I Hate the Avant-Garde

Why I Hate the Avant-Garde or, Why Laurie Anderson is less Avant-Garde than DJ Kool Herc. A rant with videos. Via The Front Section.
posted by mediareport on Jan 17, 2011 - 110 comments

"I soon learned that if I was asked to play something over again, it meant that they didn't understand it, not that they liked it."

"But this wasn't quite enough and so then I got the idea of having all thirteen of the lowest tones of the piano played together... In other words, I was inventing a new musical sound later to be called 'tone clusters'... Anyway, this was my professional debut as a composer." Henry Cowell's musical autobiography. Cowell was one of the most important figures in 20th-century American music, described by John Cage as "the open sesame for new music in America." In this hour-long program recorded four years before his death in 1965, compositions from every stage in Cowell's career are contextualized and discussed by the man himself.
posted by No-sword on Aug 8, 2010 - 10 comments

Last Call at the Velvet Lounge

Fred Anderson was a monster on the tenor sax. Fred Anderson was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and his "home court," the Velvet Lounge, remains a place for Chicago creative musicians to find welcoming audience. Fred died June 24 in Chicago. A wake will take place from 5 to 6 PM this Tuesday (June 29) at Leak and Sons Funeral Chapel, 7838 S. Cottage Grove, followed immediately by Anderson’s Going Home service. [more inside]
posted by beelzbubba on Jun 26, 2010 - 14 comments

Impossible Music

A favorite of John Cage and Gyorgy Ligeti, the latter describing his music as "so utterly original, enjoyable, perfectly constructed but at the same time emotional...the best of any composer living today," Conlon Nancarrow's musical ideas were nevertheless too complex and technically demanding for human performers, and his political ideas too radical and leftist for McCarthy-era America. Expatriated to Mexico, the Texarkana-born avant-gardeist lived most of his life in isolation, in a cluttered, dusty studio surrounded by records, piles of books, empty Vodka bottles, newspapers, cigarette cartons, and the tools of his trade: 2 old player pianos and a custom-built piano roll press. [more inside]
posted by swift on Feb 15, 2010 - 16 comments

Trimpin: Musical Sculptor

Seattle-based German artist Trimpin makes sculptural musical instruments. He was profiled in a mini-documentary by Washington public TV station KBTC a couple of years ago. Here are videos of some other works of art he's created, Fire Organ, Liquid Percussion, Cello, Sensors and Record Players, Contraption at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, MIDI-controlled Player Piano and Sheng High. Kyle Gann wrote an essay by that placed Trimpin in the tradition of John Cage, Harry Partch and other avant-garde American musical inventors. The audio of a nearly hour and a half long 1990 interview with Trimpin by Charles Amirkhanian can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Another, more light-hearted interview in connection to his show at this year's SXSW, where a documentary about him premiered (trailer).
posted by Kattullus on May 4, 2009 - 5 comments

Carter at 100

Elliot Carter, American Composer, turns 100 Born in 1908, Carter's life is a virtual biography of twentieth century music. He attended the US premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Perhaps a slow developer, Carter didn't write his first opera until he was over the age of 90. He turns 100 tomorrow, December 11th. [more inside]
posted by ob on Dec 10, 2008 - 17 comments

Holy Fucking Shit: 40,000

Connecticut's Have a Nice Life is responsible for one of the year's most acclaimed, highly conceptual albums this year, Deathconsciousness. The two discs (entitled The Plow That Broke The Plains and The Future, respectively) feature music spanning over five years of collaboration between the two artists, and are accompanied by a 75-page booklet on medieval Italian heretics in lieu of liner notes. Combining elements of shoegaze, new wave, ambient drone, post-rock, experimental industrial, avant-garde dark metal, and electronic music, and citing references such as My Bloody Valentine and Joy Division to their credit, the original and only pressings sold out within hours. Full stream of all 85 minutes available here. Direct mp3 samples here and here. [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 28, 2008 - 34 comments

The World Beyond What?

About twenty years ago, HBO aired The Mondo Beyondo Show, a sort-of send-up of avant-garde performance shows like Alive From Off Center and Night Flight. Hosted by Bette Midler (as the character Mondo Beyondo), it showcased artists that covered the broad spectrum between performance art, dance, and absurdist comedy. Strap on your Eighties Goggles; here's the meat of the show: Bill Irwin | La La La Human Steps | The Kipper Kids | Yes/No People | Paul Zaloom | David Cale | and the Divine Miss M as Eudora P. Quickly [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on May 29, 2008 - 16 comments

Bebe Barron, RIP

Bebe Barron, 82, Pioneer of Electronic Scores, Is Dead. Best known for the soundtrack to the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet -- the first full-length feature to use only electronic music -- she and her husband Louis Barron recorded the film's pre-synthesizer "electronic tonalities" with electronic circuits of their own invention. She never scored another feature film, but remained active in the avant-garde music scene.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 8, 2008 - 17 comments

A loveable old wheelchair-bound Stalinist...

Robert Wyatt is not dead. In fact, he recently released a new album titled Comicopera. [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete on Feb 2, 2008 - 15 comments

Stainless Steel Ondine

Steve Mann's hydraulophone with sculpture gallery and performance video snippets: [1] [2] [3]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 27, 2007 - 9 comments

"We were just trying to write songs about prostitutes and lesbians, that's all."

Introduced to Western culture by the Beatles in their single Norwegian Wood, the sitar has featured prominently in North Indian classical music for centuries. Princeton-based computer scientist Ajay Kapur updates the instrument with his ESitar, an audio and video controller that uses gesture input (PDF) and machine learning algorithms to facilitate joining the computer with Ajay in his sitar performance. Undergraduate engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania work from the other direction, building RAVI-bot, an award-winning, self-playing robotic sitar (YouTube) programmed to generate music from classical Raga scales and melodies all on its own. For those in the Philadelphia area, be sure to check out a live performance of RAVI-bot at the local Klein Art Gallery.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 19, 2007 - 32 comments

Gentrification and Tonic

Tonic closes. At the end of a farewell performance, Marc Ribot and Rebecca Moore refused to leave the stage. They were arrested for trespassing, and hope to bring attention to New York's dwindling number of performance spaces for independent music. Previous discussions.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt on Apr 17, 2007 - 73 comments

Music with Roots in the Aether

"These are my friends. I love their music. They are among the most important people in my life. The portrait is shattered because I could not make it whole." If you're bored this weekend, check out Robert Ashley's Music with Roots in the Aether. Each episode features a "landscape" (unusually-staged informal discussion) with a contemporary American composer, followed by a one-hour performance of his or her work. Subjects include the recently discussed Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, and Philip Glass. More on Ashley from NewMusicBox and Ubu.
posted by roll truck roll on Apr 7, 2007 - 7 comments

Who actually calls it "New Music"?

N E W - M U S I C
posted by a_green_man on Oct 17, 2006 - 8 comments

20th C. avant-garde films

A video broadcast of György Ligeti's Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes (AVI, French), with helpful background on the controversial piece located here. For those who know French, you may also be interested in 1993's György Ligeti: Portrait, A Documentary by Michel Follin, showing Ligeti as "the displaced cosmopolitan", through the metaphor of train ride through the European countryside. These and many other avant-garde films can be found at Ubuweb, including features with William Burroughs, a recent "performance" of Cage's 4'33", and Varése and Le Corbusier's 1958 World Fair collaboration Poême électronique, a 400-speaker soundspace installation predating later, more experimental feedback pieces.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 2, 2006 - 14 comments

"Get ready for the Third Millennium, people!"

Anthony Braxton and the Tri-Centric Foundation | Wesleyan University recently hosted a semester-long 60th birthday celebration for visionary composer and musician Anthony Braxton. Learn about Braxton's foundation for musical exploration, and his peculiar system for naming his compositions; read a few of his dense and cryptic research papers on many subjects (full contents here); peruse a remarkably comprehensive discography of his works; read a brief and interesting interview with him, and if that doesn't feed your curiosity, dive head-first into an absolutely gargantuan interview with this important composer; listen to interviews with Braxton from 1971 and 1985; and, finally, give a listen to Composition No. 186, part of Braxton's "Ghost-Trance" series.
posted by Dr. Wu on Dec 19, 2005 - 13 comments

Il massacro di Brandeburgo N° 3 in sol maggiore

Demetrio Stratos's 1978 solo album of experiments in vocal technique Cantare la Voce in RA format. "Settembre Nero" [mp3], by Area, which he fronted. Some links in Italian.
posted by kenko on Jun 3, 2005 - 4 comments

Jazz can't get arrested on Main Street.

All Hail the New Jazz! Getting slightly bored with pop and looking to expand your horizons? Can't believe the musty Burns/Marsalis version is all there is to jazz? Try the "avant jazz" tradition whose central figures are the amazing bassist William Parker (so big and strong I've seen him pick up a bass and play it like a fiddle), David S. Ware (to my mind the greatest tenorman since Trane—see him live and you'll never forget it), and pianist Matthew Shipp (a frequent collaborator of both). Want a convenient guide to their recordings, with brief descriptions and (tacky but useful) letter grades? Here ya go—Tom Hull has great taste, and if he gives a record an A you can be sure it's worth hearing (and he gives you fair warning about somebody like Peter Brötzmann, who "sounds more like late Coltrane run through a blender by Einstürzende Neubauten: great heaps of noise unleavened by conventional musical signposts").
posted by languagehat on Aug 21, 2004 - 16 comments

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