Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
This has very little to do with the future of classical music, but I though it was interesting anyways so I thought I'd post it.
It is a video on Tool's Song "Lateralus" and it's connection to the Fibonacci Sequence.
Have a good break everyone.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I can't say that I feel wholeheartedly that this is good OR bad. I would like to say that it is bad, or perhaps more accurately that it is creepy, but really it would be hypocritical of me to say such a thing as I participate in all of this online living as much as I revile it.
But, specifically in the context of classical music and the world of the arts, I must say that as much as part of me enjoys reading that pianist Jeremy Denk has uncontrollable urges for rice krispie treats, at the same time the larger part of me mourns some sort of loss of mystery. I guess it is too late: mystery as a concept is not much present for this latest generation of artists, and it is perhaps silly to mourn something that is long gone in the eyes of modern culture in general, but really! I wouldn't want to have been sitting in a darkened concert hall, listening to Claudio Arrau, and have it even remotely possible that I could have wondered if he had gotten his rice krispie treat fix recently.
I know I keep picking on think denk in my discussions of the classical blog, and this is perhaps unfair as there are many other blogs like this one. But it is a great example in my view of both what is so great about blogs and all of this connectivity in general (getting to know artist's deep thoughts!) and what is so intangibly disappointing about the same (the same!).
As a result of this increase of interest in other out-of-the-mainstream types of music, there has been a decline in the amount of money made with the mega-pop hits 1. It seems that the record-holder for fastest-selling album in the first week belongs to *NSYNC, with their No Strings Attached (2000), the “last bit of manufactured pop” selling “virile young men” with “looks and scripted personalities” to young women before Napster happened 1. All this is good news, because world's population can more easily than ever branch out into classical music if they aren't already fans. From the 2006 Nielsen SoundScan, the service that tracks music sales for Billboard and other music industry companies, it was seen that there was an increase of 23 percent in classical music sales from 2005 2. The comment by the Pacifica Quartet that they have never felt more optimistic about the future of classical music perhaps finds basis in this phenomenon of increased willingness and means to explore different types of music. Anderson places emphasis on the point of the consumer's increasing consciousness of choice, saying that we are “becoming mini-connoisseurs, flexing our taste with a thousand little indulgences that set us apart from others.” This individuality in consumption has weakened the shared narrative of a culture and has created thousands of niches 1.
The exact effect of the Internet on the sale of music is hard to quantify. There are views that the spread of peer-to-peer sharing of music amounts to nothing more than piracy 3, as well as more positive views that file sharing is actually helpful 4, to views that file sharing is only part of the matter 1. The view of the RIAA is that pirated online marketplace currently dwarfs the legal marketplace, and thus compromises the ability to invest in new artists 3. This situation gave rise to digital rights management (DRM), where someone who purchases a song online or rips a song off a purchased CD can only create so many copies of the song on so many devices. The view of some artists, though not most of the highly established artists, is that any distribution of their music is good since it increases their exposure 1,4. Anderson believes that the a fundamental change in commerce model in the move to the Internet as happened to be realized by large-scale file sharing is the primary reason for disruption of music sales. The fact that the sheer size of the selection available through piracy was much greater than commercial channels, and the ease made piracy a natural choice. Of course it is almost impossible to determine which of these is more correct than the others.
Another effect the Internet has had on music comes from online communities like Youtube and Myspace. Myspace has made social networking with other musicians much easier and greatly facilitates distribution of one's music. Youtube is another phenomenon which has greatly encouraged dialogue between music-lovers, both between amateurs and professionals. Youtube is being used by amateur musicians to show off their prowess and to seek advice, which comes in abundant amounts. Professional musicians are also using Youtube as free promotional publishing. Viewed differently, Youtube users are no longer content to just consume content, like downloading and listening to mp3's, but are now actively creating their own content 5. According to Tapscott and Williams, there has been a shift from a traditional consumer role to a “prosumer” role, a consumer who creates value and well as consumes it 5. An example given was LEGO, which introduced a website on which you could make your own designs and the company would send you the pieces needed to build it. The designs were also stored online so you could browse other people's designs also. A manifestation of this in music in a production of mashes, remixes, and music videos by fans 5. What are some implications of this new prosumer culture for classical music?
1. Anderson, Chris (2006). The Long Tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0237-8.
2. http://lashawnbarber.com/archives/2007/10/18/the-long-tail-of-classical-music/ Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
3. http://www.riaa.com/faq.php. Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
4. http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
5. Tapscott, Wolff and Anthony D. Williams (2006). Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything. Portfolio. ISBN 978-1-59184-138-8.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Then, I read A previous article which bothers me a whole lot. I wouldn't consider anything is black/white, nor noise/music. It's up to us to decide when and what duality can comes into play. what is music? Is it just something that we create, and can anyazled? If this is true, then, everything is MUSIC...even so called the "noisy" ones. Even Cage's 4"33 is music, because he believes that music is always around us. So silence and noise = music...It is only when a person's whose ideas are so convincing that (s)he can persuaded the public into his belief. Thus, his ideas are emobided in his work, and can produce whatever he wishes ---- music.
I think it's so interesting how composers can love the idea of playing a string quartet in a helicopter (eg. Stockhausen). [My first reaction is, I want to create a piano piece that invovles throwing a torch into the piano, so that we can listen to the strings being transformed (creating a time intervals and sounds between the bass and sorprano), also, it would be interesting to see the interactions between the flames and piano as they create their own music.] My second reaction is somewhat more musical, it is the fact that the nosie of the helicopter can be interpreted as an ostinato bass, or cantus firmus if you will. and the string quarter is a new composition that added onto something that is constant. My thought is, hey why not?! Isn't that what we had throughout the centuries, is a constant bass from renaissnace to james brown, is that freaking ground bass that gets our blood going....and still do, like in the Rock and Roll. Here's my last spile
Monday, December 10, 2007
Consider this as a comment to RFlat's post! I just think it should be its own post because I posted Stockhausen's questionnaire last week to give a good example of a living composer of the ''old school''. When I heard in the radio that he was dead, I was first of all very surprised because he has been quite active in the public during the last year. The second thing I thought was that we really are entering a new time. The generation of Stockhausen is about to die, all those composers who made 21st century music to what most people consider noise are dead already or very old. Stockhausen went far over the top sometimes. But in my terms, he was very "authentic". I played one of his piano pieces and some chamber music, which is how I became interested in him. These works are probably his more traditional ones in terms of instrumentation and appearance. Sometimes I wished he wouldn't do such controversial events like his helicopter quartet or wouldn’t say all these offensive things, e.g. about 9/11. All in all, people were talking a lot about his curious personality, but unfortunately not about his music. This strikes me. Why do they have half an hour long documentaries on the radio with old interviews, funny episodes, but NO MUSIC? They could have played something, an excerpt from an orchestral work or one of the piano pieces.
This only enhances my theory that even people who talk about contemporary music don't listen to it. This is such a big misunderstanding, why do people feel like talking so much that they forget what they are talking about? How many of us actually listened to music by some of the composers that were mentioned in our readings? I can say for myself that I went to the Library once to listen to some Birtwistle - and that was pretty much it, because I'm lazy. Some of you could pretend that you really wanted to listen to some Lachenmann, but it wasn't in the library. That's at least an excuse.
Here is an interview from 1999 with Stockhausen in a British magazine, which is quite interesting and also entertaining. Please don’t waste your time and read the whole thing, if you are interested in Stockhausen try to get some scores and CDs! Here is a very short paragraph:
Ben Hollings: Do you think there will come a time when the pen and paper are no longer part of the composing process?
Stockhausen: Well, I wouldn't recommend that because when working, it's not important if it's on paper or a screen where you have a light pen or something like that. What is important is that, working on paper, to take what you say means spending time, unlimited time, on composing. And if you don't use paper, you might use a monitor which is fed by a computer or whatever it is. It is necessary that the spirit of the composer can concentrate on what he sees so that his eyes can help organize it into symbols which are used for other human beings to produce the sound. (...) http://www.thewire.co.uk/articles/140/
As you could read in the following text, Mr. Stockhausen has moved to the star of Sirius last Thursday (that's also where he came from, of course) and will continue to compose from there for the whole universe and in eternity. And I really hope that people in two or fifty years will not only remember him in this crazy context, but also remember some of his achievements in music and sound.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
As many of you know, one of my earlier projects on Wiki was to update the Longy School of Music page. I just remembered to check the 'talk' page, and found that Voceditenore had added a Footnotes section! This is essentially a way to clean up the look of a page, and make the links easier to verify. Please read his comment on the talk page, it makes a lot of sense. He also includes a link to the Wiki page that explain how to create footnotes as well as the page that explains how to properly cite sources within Wikipedia.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Art is artificially created beauty, isn't it.... So, could Art be ugly?
For reference, in russian it is the same...
I really want to see some responds and comments on this point....
I just uploaded my introduction for the Impetus section of Composition to the Wiki page. Check it out!
Click here to view and comment on my progress on the article.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Source: Music, Noise, Silence, and Sound