Author Topic: Let’s make American music great again  (Read 650 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Let’s make American music great again
« on: March 15, 2021, 01:14:55 AM »
A thread for all the avant garde American composers who probably don’t need a thread of their own

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2021, 01:16:18 AM »
And I’ll start it off by saying that I’m really enjoying this at the moment



https://jamesmooreelliotsimpson.bandcamp.com/album/guitars-streets-resonances

The thing is tagged Larry Polansky but he doesn’t get a mention in the sleeve! The thing I’m enjoying is Polansky’s Eight Fermentations.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 01:20:02 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline springrite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6542
  • Location: Flying all over the place
  • Currently Listening to:
    Lots of Bach, Brian, Mahler, Rubbra, Beethoven and Buddhist chants
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2021, 01:19:19 AM »
I will just make the obligatory mention of Karl Hennings.

Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2021, 01:20:15 AM »
I will just make the obligatory mention of Karl Hennings.

Yes!




« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 01:23:07 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline T. D.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1242
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2021, 01:43:48 AM »
Pamela Z
We (the OP and I) have mentioned her elsewhere. Search engine doesn't allow strings of 1 character, but I couldn't find a thread. Video or live preferred, her electronics really impress visually.

Rather obscure, and I'm not 100% certain of American citizenship (she was born in Detroit): Lucia Dlugoszewski made some interesting explorations of timbre and invented many instruments.

I like most of the music on the 2 Cold Blue CD compilations. No doubt just my insanity, but I find the obscure Read Miller's (purely) spoken-word piece Mile Zero Hotel strangely fascinating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yRFGNzhA0k
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 04:28:03 AM by T. D. »

Offline Roy Bland

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 487
  • God listens short prayers
  • Location: molise
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2021, 09:02:25 AM »

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2021, 12:39:17 PM »


Started to explore Scott Fields' Seven Deserts after reading  Todd McComb's  review on his website. This is seriously good music, complex polyphony, aleatoric, improvisational sections which are responsive to the timbres of the instrument, often very inspired and fresh, spontaneous sounding.

https://www.scottfields.com/todd-mccomb

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2021, 01:18:37 AM »
Inspired by Haydn op 20 - starting to explore



https://www.challengerecords.com/products/1400742583
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2021, 02:15:00 AM »


How strange that, this morning, the music on this CD should sound so perfect. Hardly avant garde though, so maybe this isn’t the place. It’s garde has ceased to be avant.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 02:17:04 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9126
  • An American Hero!
Re: Let’s make American music great again: Di Domenica Symphony 1961
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2021, 03:42:55 AM »
This is probably a better place to mention Robert Di Domenica, whose Symphony 1961 is perhaps no longer "avant-garde," if it ever was.  I offered it yesterday under the Levine topic, who is the conductor here with the Munich Philharmonic: I find the work to be echt amerikanisch !   ;)


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/pKEZkS5AeVM&amp;t=6s" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/pKEZkS5AeVM&amp;t=6s</a>

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53978
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...brume au-dessus de l’eau...
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2021, 08:05:40 PM »
Let’s make American music great again by listening to Ives, Rugges and Crawford Seeger! Oh and some Elliott Carter, too!


“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Rinaldo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1822
  • Cara sposa, dove sei?
    • aaraaf.net
  • Location: Prague
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2021, 12:53:34 AM »
Caroline Shaw, hailing from Greenville, NC, certainly is making American music great again. Her Pulitzer-winning Partita for 8 voices towers over everything she's done so far but the rest is no slouch either. I'm particular fond of:

Entr'acte
(inspired by Haydn’s Op. 77 No. 2 and written originally for a string quartet – here with a string orchestra)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/PJ9PMydTVYE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/PJ9PMydTVYE</a>

The Observatory
(commisioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/XnMm6Vwrb_s" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/XnMm6Vwrb_s</a>

She also has a new record out with the Sō Percussion ensemble which I haven't heard yet:


Offline pjme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1436
  • Location: Europa
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2021, 02:14:57 AM »
I recently discovered Olly Wilson' third symphony on YT. Nervous, dynamic, melancholy and strong. Swinging & singing. Not avant garde. Great!

https://youtu.be/pjK2UTX-L1k
« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 12:24:11 AM by pjme »

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2021, 01:43:57 PM »
Anyone know anything about Anthony Braxton? What’s he about - graphic scores?
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline T. D.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1242
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2021, 02:49:40 PM »
Anyone know anything about Anthony Braxton? What’s he about - graphic scores?

I have a reasonable number of Braxton recordings, but have also acquired and then sold a fair number. My reactions have been mixed and I'm no expert.
Was hoping for more knowledgeable forum members to reply, but...

He's performed all kinds of "genres": straight-ahead jazz / standards, "freeish" jazz (e.g. the Charlie Parker Project), free jazz, improv, notated/classical.
I assume you're mostly referring to the numbered "Compositions"; they have graphic scores but I hesitate to summarize them as "graphic scores" because in practice they seem mostly to be performed by musicians I associate with free jazz / improv rather than "Classical".

Braxton's discography is vast, and when you consider his "New Braxton House" releases, even subject to the occasional joke ("OMG! A new deluxe 9-CD box set of AB practicing in 1991!").

May be trite, but I'll refer to the All Music Guide and Braxton's Bandcamp page. Can only suggest auditioning a few recordings you think might appeal.

AMG bio (jazz oriented): https://www.allmusic.com/artist/anthony-braxton-mn0000924030/biography
AMG discography (surely incomplete, but includes a number of descriptions/reviews): https://www.allmusic.com/artist/anthony-braxton-mn0000924030/discography
Bandcamp: https://newbraxtonhouse.bandcamp.com/music

Added:

1) Reviewing what I typed, am tempted to listen to as much of the Trillium J opera as is available on Bandcamp.

2) Noticed this on the AMG discography (Compilations), looks interesting and the kind of thing you might like.



« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 04:32:03 PM by T. D. »

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2021, 11:19:17 AM »
I started listening to Composition 40F/23J. It is clearly very fine music, full of ideas etc. And these guys are obviously a team, and produce some long incandescent passages.

But there’s something about the timbre of the ensemble which I don’t like, all that music made by blowing through metal tubes - even though they make some unexpected noises. Maybe I’ll acclimatise to it. But there’s another thing which I really don’t like and I may not acclimatise. The structure is basically a lot of passages of people grandstanding one player after the other, like a concerto, like trad jazz. That’s a bit hard for me.


« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 11:20:50 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline T. D.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1242
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2021, 02:10:24 PM »
I started listening to Composition 40F/23J. It is clearly very fine music, full of ideas etc. And these guys are obviously a team, and produce some long incandescent passages.

But there’s something about the timbre of the ensemble which I don’t like, all that music made by blowing through metal tubes - even though they make some unexpected noises. Maybe I’ll acclimatise to it. But there’s another thing which I really don’t like and I may not acclimatise. The structure is basically a lot of passages of people grandstanding one player after the other, like a concerto, like trad jazz. That’s a bit hard for me.



Yes, I see your point about the timbre. That was actually the first Braxton recording I ever bought. I enjoyed a couple of the tunes, but found the disc overall a bit strident and sold it (at a decent price, the recording is well-regarded by fans).

In view of your feelings about explicitly "jazzy" material, you'll have to look carefully at the instrumental makeup of the ensembles. One of Braxton's most praised quartets had Marilyn Crispell (she's great, for example featured on some fine recordings with Barry Guy / LJCO*) on piano, Mark Dresser on bass and Gerry Hemingway on percussion. There's a Hatology twofer (also available as 2 single discs) with that group's swan song at Santa Cruz 1993. I have the recordings, think they're pretty good. Lots of Braxton soloing, however, so YMMV.

I have no experience with Braxton's music for strictly "classical" instruments. Going to listen to as much of the Hildegard Kleeb recording as I can find on Youtube, as well at operatic selections on Bandcamp.
Composition No. 82 for four orchestras is also on the list, though I'm sceptical about the multi-orchestra aspect coming across on recording.

*Can't in good faith recommend LJCO to you, though. Many metal instruments and brassy timbres.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 04:48:06 PM by T. D. »

Offline T. D.

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1242
  • Location: Rural upstate NY
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2021, 05:43:54 PM »
Just listened to pretty good chunks of the operas Trillium E and Trillium J on Bandcamp.  Which is a good news / bad news situation.

Good news: greatly enjoyed them, haven't been so excited by contemporary opera in quite a while, may acquire a recording.

Bad news: I haven't heard nearly as many Robert Ashley operas as I'd like, let alone decipher the complex themes underlying the libretti. Going through the same process with another prolific composer is a daunting prospect.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2021, 07:21:28 AM »
I was about to post to say I’ve finally found something which I think I actually like, but searching for the image I noticed something which suggests it isn’t “by” Anthony Braxton. Maybe I only like Braxton not by Braxton.

Here’s aforementioned image



And here’s the comment which made me pause for thought

Quote
By constructing a musical reality through the compositional impetus of Braxton and Ellington, these musicians remind us that the “Concept Of Freedom” is an ongoing challenge that requires commitment, sensitivity, creativity, and vigilance, and that Art is not an escape from life, but an experience essential to life's meaning and value. — Art Lange



https://outhere-music.com/en/albums/concept-of-freedom-hatology-614
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16142
Re: Let’s make American music great again
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2021, 07:22:44 AM »
I

2) Noticed this on the AMG discography (Compilations), looks interesting and the kind of thing you might like.


Too many notes, too long, too much piano.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen