Author Topic: Ferneyhough's Plough  (Read 13408 times)

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ibanezmonster

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Re: Ferneyhough's Fromagerie
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2012, 01:21:28 PM »
I sent Kurze Schatten II to a guitarist friend to hope to find some middle ground with our tastes, and his messages ended with "i need to comfort eat now", then he went offline :-\
Yes, even I would say that!  :D
The notes themselves aren't excessively challenging, I don't think, but the challenging part is the rhythm. I've still never gotten quite used to rhythm on that scale of complexity- it's like a completely different language. Odd rhythms aren't difficult, but when you subdivide them to that extent, it gets insane. I probably would have learned to play his guitar stuff by now, but I don't have enough interest in his music to do so. Not to mention, I don't like changing the tuning on my guitar.

Anyone listen to the most complex piece of music ever written?
La Terre est un Homme


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/qxbpF_aW4vU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/qxbpF_aW4vU</a>
Strangely, the only Ferneyhough piece I like. Maybe not so strange, since I prefer orchestral music.



I also have the score, which throughout features around 70 staves per page, with instruments playing completely different stuff.

Offline Cato

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Re: Ferneyhough's Fromagerie
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2012, 01:53:38 PM »

Anyone listen to the most complex piece of music ever written?

La Terre est un Homme


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/qxbpF_aW4vU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/qxbpF_aW4vU</a>
Strangely, the only Ferneyhough piece I like. Maybe not so strange, since I prefer orchestral music.

Mr. Xenakis might beg to differ!   ;D

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/TSZOAulo82U" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/TSZOAulo82U</a>

Mr. Ligeti also!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/y7xw-0xArcY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/y7xw-0xArcY</a>
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

ibanezmonster

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Re: Ferneyhough's Fromagerie
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2012, 03:09:40 PM »
Mr. Xenakis might beg to differ!   ;D
Mr. Ligeti also!
I have all 3 scores and I'm not sure what you mean. Xenakis has the advantage in having used stochastic formulas for his ST works, but seriously, neither score compares to the complexities of La Terre est un Homme. This piece is way more complex than it sounds. I'll post comparisons in a minute...

Offline Cato

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Re: Ferneyhough's Fromagerie
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2012, 03:26:01 PM »
I have all 3 scores and I'm not sure what you mean. Xenakis has the advantage in having used stochastic formulas for his ST works, but seriously, neither score compares to the complexities of La Terre est un Homme. This piece is way more complex than it sounds. I'll post comparisons in a minute...

That was my puckish point!   0:)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

ibanezmonster

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2012, 03:27:42 PM »
Xenakis


Ligeti


Ferneyhough




That was my puckish point!   0:)
Yeah, with that much complexity, it ends up sounding like a mass of sustain!

Offline Cato

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2012, 05:55:16 PM »

Yeah, with that much complexity, it ends up sounding like a mass of sustain!

Would you say the score is more impressive than the aural result?
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline edward

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2012, 06:45:15 PM »
I've heard a couple of people claim that when the RSNO played Le terre est un homme one of the trombonists decided to insert his own rendition of 'We do like to be beside the seaside' in the middle of the textures. The composer was allegedly most unimpressed.

I think Ferneyhough's style works best in solo or small instrumental group pieces; the (two) works I've heard for orchestra do not have the clarity that I hear in, say, the string quartets, where the jaggedly complex lines do come through clearly, making him seem to me a very traditional modernist.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

ibanezmonster

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2012, 06:55:53 PM »
I've heard a couple of people claim that when the RSNO played Le terre est un homme one of the trombonists decided to insert his own rendition of 'We do like to be beside the seaside' in the middle of the textures. The composer was allegedly most unimpressed.
LOL!  :D


Would you say the score is more impressive than the aural result?
Yes, even though I do enjoy listening to it.

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Fromagerie
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2012, 07:53:36 PM »
Odd rhythms aren't difficult, but when you subdivide them to that extent, it gets insane. I probably would have learned to play his guitar stuff by now, but I don't have enough interest in his music to do so. Not to mention, I don't like changing the tuning on my guitar.

I'd like to take a time out for our sponsor,... ME!, haha,... and bring in that guitar piece I've been working on (aye, for about 2 years now!!). Being a lifelong guitarist (albeit not classically trained), and a seeking searching soul, I am striving in this guitar piece for a certain something which I like to exemplify with the incredible success of the Xenakis solo percussionist piece Rebonds(described as Xenakis-meets-Lars Ulrich), which seemed to be become an instant classic amongst the conservatory bound. In other words, real live players WANT to play his piece, because, frankly, it IS quite irresistible and I guess it just has what drummers are looking for in a 'meta' piece.

Perhaps the point Greg is making is that (and I have the recording of Kurze Schatten II), like me, there would come a time when one would have to say, What kind of reward am I getting for basically putting my life on hold to learn this piece? Seeing as the Mount Everest of post-WWII solo guitar works is kind of slim (Berio, Rochberg, Murail, Sciarrino, Ferneyhough, etc.,...), I deliberately set out to Compose a Rebonds-like piece that exhibits an innate virtuosity, but also coupled with an almost populist goal of acceptance. Perhaps I'm not clear? There is 'fun' complexity, and then there are just rabbit holes. If someone gives up on my piece I would hope it were due to attrition rather than disinterest. Honestly saving something whooped ya is better than just saying...eh.

So, as I was faced with this Ferneyhough piece as actual competition for my piece (in the great annals of history!), I decided that, though Ferneyhough had succeeded in creating a supremely densely populated score (it reminds me of the Babbitt and Carter pieces played simultaneously and at double speed), I feel that he has failed in actual making a 'guitar' piece. I mean, who but Magnus Andersson is going to play this piece? Lots of people play Rebonds.

So, I was able NOT to be intimidated by Ferneyhough's piece. I mean, how is it really special as a 'guitar' piece? The sheer amount of notes kind of takes away the concern of the instrument almost. OK, I'm being ridiculous, but, my point is,... if Greg ends up actually LIKING my piece over Ferneyhough's, isn't that a victory?

Forgive me for looking at this competitively, but, when you're up against someone like Ferneyhough in the All-Time Greatest Modern Guitar Piece Ever, you really have to be fearless. I'm just amazed how few Composers of High Modernism wrote for the guitar, Berio and Halffter being the top two (yes James, and the solo from Gruppen! ::)), with a little Penderecki on the side.

I was looking over that Unity Capsule score (above), and Cato's comments, and I was just wondering if, like Grainger, Ferneyhough just OVER COMPOSES because he writes every piece to the... what?... 64th note?, 128th note? CAN'T WHAT FERNEYHOUGH DOES BE ASSUMED BY A VIRTUOSO PLAYER? Couldn't his scores be infinitely simpler with the aural final product still 'sounding' somewhat the same? Isn't he just writing out a highly detailed improvisation? Notice how I have to put Ferneyhough down to make myself feel better?, haha

Or is he using the Malifaris Malfactorum Musicus Diabolus to create with? Hmmm...


I was listening to Steven Schick playing Bone Alphabet, a piece that I like almost as much as Rebonds. Both of these pieces complement each other very nicely, and it becomes obvious to hear how the two men differ in how they organize notes.  I'd say the standards for the percussion Hall of Fame have been firmly set, with many of the greatest Composers writing Masterpieces, but perhaps the classical guitar is more elusive a mistress?
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Fromagerie
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2012, 07:12:11 AM »

Boulez wrote a few that have the guitar .. incl. Le Marteau. So did Webern.

http://www.sheerpluck.de/index.php


Interesting site.

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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2012, 09:24:41 AM »
I just gave Kurze Schatten II a 12 minute spin around the 'hood. Surely it is a piece to sit in absolute silence and focus upon, but, as Greg, and hopefully myself, have expressed, it does not appear to be music for more than a very small room of people worldwide. I would love to know Magnus Andersson's feelings about the piece today, and how he thinks it fits into the Canon.

I heard no story, but about 1,000,000 notes just 'perfectly' placed,... I personally am very lazy and wonder how Composers who use a million notes just sit there and write them all out (I assume there are also drafts upon drafts). In my own piece I am being forced to confront my complacency, and it feels like actual WORK every time. No wonder no one has any respect for the 'slow' Composers (ha, I don't even know what that means,... I instantly thought of Arvo Part, but, I don't think that's what I mean,... I mean, Part was RESPONDING (unconsciously) to Ferneyhough).

Anyhow, you can call me a philistine, but I'm perfectly (not) satisfied with my relationship to Ferneyhough, haha.
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2012, 09:31:14 AM »
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2012, 09:36:58 AM »
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2012, 09:37:45 AM »
Oooo... 33 Relies to the Ferneyhough Thread,... how masonic!
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ibanezmonster

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2012, 10:35:48 AM »
I just gave Kurze Schatten II a 12 minute spin around the 'hood. Surely it is a piece to sit in absolute silence and focus upon, but, as Greg, and hopefully myself, have expressed, it does not appear to be music for more than a very small room of people worldwide. I would love to know Magnus Andersson's feelings about the piece today, and how he thinks it fits into the Canon.

I heard no story, but about 1,000,000 notes just 'perfectly' placed,... I personally am very lazy and wonder how Composers who use a million notes just sit there and write them all out (I assume there are also drafts upon drafts). In my own piece I am being forced to confront my complacency, and it feels like actual WORK every time. No wonder no one has any respect for the 'slow' Composers (ha, I don't even know what that means,... I instantly thought of Arvo Part, but, I don't think that's what I mean,... I mean, Part was RESPONDING (unconsciously) to Ferneyhough).

Anyhow, you can call me a philistine, but I'm perfectly (not) satisfied with my relationship to Ferneyhough, haha.
Hmmm... if I just got used to his rhythms, I could definitely write a more complex guitar piece than Kurze Schatten II. I'd also probably make it for electric guitar. There are other difficulties to be exploited- for example, it's fun playing one of the bottom notes and then one of the top notes, back and forth, as fast as possible, not to mention some of the crazy sweeping arpeggios I could inclue. I think I'd be the only one who could learn how to play it for a while.  ;D

Scarpia

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2012, 01:45:38 PM »
Hmmm... if I just got used to his rhythms, I could definitely write a more complex guitar piece than Kurze Schatten II. I'd also probably make it for electric guitar. There are other difficulties to be exploited- for example, it's fun playing one of the bottom notes and then one of the top notes, back and forth, as fast as possible, not to mention some of the crazy sweeping arpeggios I could inclue. I think I'd be the only one who could learn how to play it for a while.  ;D

Am I to take this as a prescription for a piece of music I would want to listen to?

ibanezmonster

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2012, 07:58:24 PM »
Am I to take this as a prescription for a piece of music I would want to listen to?
You- I doubt. But it doesn't matter, since if I wrote something like that, it'd be for me.

It would be more like an etude, for probably no longer than 2-3 minutes. I think it could have sections which involve laying down the guitar and utilizing 10-finger tapping and six staves, which is basically the maximum that would make any sense for guitar (one staff per string). Probably played as fast as possible on each staff, but with slightly different rhythmic groupings, unlike Ferneyhough, who uses tons of rests.

Oh yeah, and I'd call it "Ubloobideega." I haven't written an Ubloobideega piece yet, after all. The Mighty One does not approve.

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2012, 08:40:16 PM »
You- I doubt. But it doesn't matter, since if I wrote something like that, it'd be for me.

It would be more like an etude, for probably no longer than 2-3 minutes. I think it could have sections which involve laying down the guitar and utilizing 10-finger tapping and six staves, which is basically the maximum that would make any sense for guitar (one staff per string). Probably played as fast as possible on each staff, but with slightly different rhythmic groupings, unlike Ferneyhough, who uses tons of rests.

Oh yeah, and I'd call it "Ubloobideega." I haven't written an Ubloobideega piece yet, after all. The Mighty One does not approve.

Is that a conscious Beatles reference?

I do like your idea. And, of course, electric guitar is almost another instrument... well have to discuss...


I'm struck by your mention of rests. I suppose from hearing it today,... sure, it had a million notes, but I guess it had at least half (or twice as many) rests. Huh.

Again,... Greg, is Ferneyhough writing out improvisations, or is his underlying architecture rigid?, or,... what's his undergirding? In the interview he talks about writing in 40 tiny sections,... but I'm dure he's not only a 'tiny section' guy. Comparatively, Xenakis hit on a formula of about 6-7 sections per piece, and stuck with that for a good while.


In Kurze Schatten II (did you see the 2 minute Kurze Schatten IV?),... sure it's a 'fast' piece, but it's just a very alien construct all around. Greg is talking about a more guitar based, and organic, sounding thing which just sound more 'right'. I'm still wondering how actually FAST one can play on the classical (vs. the obvious super speeds we can play on electric), though, I've heard some flamenco zips that are brilliant. I certainly have a hard time impressing the ladies with my classical 64th notes, haha! :-[
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ibanezmonster

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2012, 07:06:11 AM »
Is that a conscious Beatles reference?
no


I'm struck by your mention of rests. I suppose from hearing it today,... sure, it had a million notes, but I guess it had at least half (or twice as many) rests. Huh.

Again,... Greg, is Ferneyhough writing out improvisations, or is his underlying architecture rigid?, or,... what's his undergirding? In the interview he talks about writing in 40 tiny sections,... but I'm dure he's not only a 'tiny section' guy. Comparatively, Xenakis hit on a formula of about 6-7 sections per piece, and stuck with that for a good while.


In Kurze Schatten II (did you see the 2 minute Kurze Schatten IV?),... sure it's a 'fast' piece, but it's just a very alien construct all around. Greg is talking about a more guitar based, and organic, sounding thing which just sound more 'right'. I'm still wondering how actually FAST one can play on the classical (vs. the obvious super speeds we can play on electric), though, I've heard some flamenco zips that are brilliant. I certainly have a hard time impressing the ladies with my classical 64th notes, haha! :-[
Yeah, I saw Kurze Schatten IV. I don't get it, though- that's the only thing I could find of #4. I suspect it's misnamed.
'Tiny section guy.' Context is everything. lol

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Ferneyhough's Plough
« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2012, 08:03:28 AM »
no

Yeah, I saw Kurze Schatten IV. I don't get it, though- that's the only thing I could find of #4. I suspect it's misnamed.
'Tiny section guy.' Context is everything. lol

Hey, if I decided to make a piece with 99 tiny sections, even if each section just lasted a a phrase, I'd still be able to 'compose' a 6-7 minute piece no problem. Ferneyhough just doesn't 'sound' like he does cau


nevermind... I have nothing,... sigh :(
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