Archive for the ‘listening’ Category

Evelyn Glennie’s music challenges the listener to ask where music comes from: Is it more than simply a translation from score to instrument to audience? How can a musician who has almost no hearing play with such sensitivity and compassion?

The Grammy-winning percussionist and composer became almost completely deaf by the age of 12, but her hearing loss brought her a deeper understanding of and connection to the music she loves. She’s the subject of the documentary Touch the Sound, which explores this unconventional and intriguing approach to percussion.

Along with her vibrant solo career, Glennie has collaborated with musicians ranging from classical orchestras to Björk. Her career has taken her to hundreds of concert stages around the world, and she’s recorded a dozen albums, winning a Grammy for her recording of Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, and another for her 2002 collaboration with Bela Fleck.

“Evelyn Glennie is simply a phenomenon of a performer.”

New York Times

Alas, WordPress does not allow you to embed certain videos so below is a link instead:

Very interesting talk which helps to reinforce how to listen

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This post reminds me of Performance Workshop a little but it is interesting none the less.

You may or may not have seen this TV ad but it involves professional musicians playing parts of a car and making, surprise surprise, music.

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Shoes as Instruments

Murray Schafer in action.
For all of you who have not come across him, Schafer is possibly the most known soundscape artist and one should be aware of him:

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“Play what you hear, not what you know.” (Miles Davis)

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As the main theme of discussion currently seems to be “accidental music” or indeed intended music of the quiet variety (4.33), it occurred to me to bring this up.

Often as you walk down the street listening to cars, footsteps, wind and anything else that may be around, you pass people who are listening to other music on headphones.

Is this rude? Is it closed-minded? Or is it simply based on preference of the genre? On the one hand it’s beyond rude to go to one person’s concert and play someone else’s music in headphones – on the other hand, if we never stopped to put on our headphones (because of being caught up in the “surrounding” music), we’d miss out on a lot of the beauties and intricacies of prepared music.

We can’t really be expected to sit there in our rooms listening to 4.33 all day. So where do we draw the line?
What is a good balance?

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“… Integrating these is composing. I have nothing to say and I am saying it…” (John Cage).

I think you should all have a look at this YouTube performance of the Cage piece (4’33”) we discussed last week.
Here is the orchestral version of it. Also nice. 4’33”. Note the audience’s and orchestra’s reactions in-between movements!!! And of course the applause in the Barbican Hall at the end of the work. Astounding!

And then this version which I don’t find very convincing. What are your views on this?

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