'Difficult' Mid 20th c. Composers - Where to Begin?

Started by Greta, May 16, 2007, 01:23:45 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I don't want to get into another circular discussion about improv.  (No Snyprr- the previous discussion it wasn't with you.)  But improv is one of those you go for it or you don't.  I'm massively into Indian Classical-- it goes with the territory for me. Your mileage may vary. 

Some free jazz doesn't have an established meter, so it's just always counting beats.   Not all avante-garde is math.  Some is much more loosely structured. What do your call LeMonte Young's piece where you draw and arrow and follow it? What meter  was that in? Or the one where the pianist feeds hay to the piano? ) I'd also warn against drawing arbitrary lines between the two forms-- there was some cross-over-- I like the album Penderecki  did with the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra.  (which, coincidentally, was Polish Avante Garde 71 just to tie a connection.)

Chance elements also take away some of the composer's control-- as would allowing improv.  Yes, you can say probability is a kind of math.  But a lot of free jazz ensembles were put together with a plan to exploit individual player's tendencies, even some of the most out-there sessions had some kind of plan.  (The Creator has a Master Plan-- okay-- the reference may have flown over a head or two)

One of the coolest things about some of the sax playing during that time is that artists were playing in registers that simply were not thought to be possible, and not composer would have thought to indicate a player to play. 

Still, if that stuff isn't your cuppa joe, or if you like your dissonance in another flavor, more power to you.   It's nice to know that we have a practically infinite selection of material that we can use to annoy the people next door, or chase everybody out of the party when you want to go to sleep. 

I still have fond memories of what would piss off the people in my dorm in College. The winner had to be the Tibetan Buddhist chants.

"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington


Quote from: jowcol on June 12, 2009, 02:04:55 PM
I don't want to get into another circular discussion about improv.

We can riff our way out of it . . . .