When looking for inspiration, most songwriters to go well-used emotional wells – triumph or loss, love or heartbreak. But Peter Larsen, a biologist at Argonne National Laboratory, looked to the microbes of the English Channel. He used seven years’ worth of genetic and environmental data, converting geochemical and microbial abundance measurements into notes, beats, and chords.
posted by Egg Shen
on Oct 8, 2012 -
You might have heard Mike Oldfield playing during the Olympic opening
and wondered, "What! Why the heck would Danny Boyle
want the Exorcist theme
playing at the start of such a grand event!" Oldfield's kept a low profile for years, so you may not remember him as the man who literally launched Virgin Records
, one of only three artists to ever knock his #1 record
off the charts with another #1 record
(the other two being Bob Dylan and the Beatles). But those teenage successes were merely the start of an astonishing career, one full of pop music
and prog rock
and New Age
, film scores
and classical orchestrations
— not to mention a spot at the start of Kanye West's recent album
. His magnum opus, Amarok
, is an hour of astonishing sounds and shifting genres which must be heard to be believed. Too overwhelming? Well, there're [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jul 27, 2012 -
Shakespeare was not a full-time writer without other responsibilities, like O’Neill or Williams. But what might look like a distraction for such authors—acting in his own and other people’s plays, coaching fellow players, helping manage the ownership of the troupe’s resources (including its two theaters, the Globe and Blackfriars)—was a strength for Shakespeare, since it made him a day-by-day observer of what the troupe could accomplish, actor by actor. [...]Shakespeare and Verdi in the Theater.
posted by shakespeherian
on Nov 18, 2011 -
'According to Pacini,' Julian Budden writes in The Operas of Verdi, 'it was the custom at the San Carlo theatre, Naples, for the composer to turn the pages for the leading cello and double bass players on opening nights.' The composer had to change his score to fit new voices if there were substitutions caused by illness or some other accident. In subsequent performances, he was expected to take out or put in arias for the different houses, transposing keys, changing orchestration. He was not a man of the study but of the theater.
[Arvo] Pärt’s mature style was inaugurated in 1976 with a small piano piece, “Für Alina”, that remains one of his best-known works. It is governed by the compositional system that he called “tintinnabuli,” derived from the Latin word for “bells.” The tintinnabuli method pairs each note of the melody with a note that comes from a harmonizing chord, so they ring together with bell-like resonance. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Oct 27, 2011 -
It is simultaneously unlike, and above, every other record. ... Because perhaps it tells us what a trivial pursuit music really is, and at the same time how indispensable to a meaningful existence it in fact is. ... No one, least of all Carla Bley, has subsequently come even within an orbit’s distance of its achievements. ... It is, in the most literal of senses, untouchable.
- Marcello Carlin
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 11, 2010 -
Bob Jones is finally making more musics. Here are some of his latest work. Make sure to look at the Harmonic Visualization before (and durning) listening to the piece. It really allows for a richer experience.
posted by Olive Oil
on Dec 9, 2009 -
The P22 Music Text Composition Generator
allows any text to be converted into a musical composition. This composition is displayed in musical notation and simultaneously generated as a midi file. The P22 Music Composition Font was proposed in 1997 to the John Cage Trust
as an accompaniment to the John Cage text font
based on the handwriting of the composer. The idea was basic and simple-every letter of the alphabet was assigned to a note on a scale. This would allow for any text to be converted into musical notation.
posted by Sailormom
on Jan 29, 2009 -
'A novel contained in a single sigh'
On Sept. 15, 1945, Anton Webern
stepped out to smoke a cigar. An American soldier, seeing the glow of the cigar, panicked and shot
Webern three times. Webern, along with Arnold Schoenberg
and Alban Berg
, is credited with -- or blamed
for -- ushering in an era of composition emphasizing strict, mathematical order over all elements of music, a reaction against the suicidal excess
of Romanticism. On the anniversary of his death, BBC Radio 3 hosts Webern Day
, during which Webern's complete works will be broadcast. The total time to perform his 31 works is about three hours. (Links grabbed mostly from ArtsJournal
posted by NemesisVex
on Sep 14, 2005 -
Algorithmic composition is a method of composing music using basic alogrithm models to compose. Musicalgorithms
is a program designed to allow composers a tool to explore algorithmic composition and lay people the opportunity to create music based on non-musical models.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies
on Jun 10, 2005 -