Archive for the “Odd” Category


Literally. This is Audio Lodge, a collective based in London, Ontario. For more information, check out the Spring issue of Musicworks.

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Dr. Dick

Dick Strawser

What to enjoy on those flights to festivals, composing on the beach or just to unwind this summer reading? Dick Strawser has been busy writing the sequel to “The Schoenberg Code” over on Thoughts on a Train – another pun filled parody called “The Lost Chord.”
Fans of Dan Brown beware, Strawser outdoes the fiction writer and adds unbelievably hilarious names to a modern composition based thriller.
(You might also enjoy his “Stravinsky’s Tavern” as well!)

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bagpipeJust a few weeks ago over at our CD Review section, Jay Batzner wrote about the new Julia Wolfe Dark Full Ride CD: “Each piece transfixes me.  I am writing my own music differently because of this disc.  I am so glad that Julia Wolfe exists, is writing music, and that such talented performers play the hell out of her stuff.”  It’s a really interesting Ride, each piece intensely working over some greater or lesser multiple of the same instrument.

If you’re a skeptical “show me” kind of person, free as a bird tomorrow (Nov. 10th) in NYC and maybe just a little crazy, you can test your own reaction to all of these works and the performers. The normal CD release concert has been jettisoned for this one, instead having each of the four pieces performed separately in venues familiar and not-so, scattered around Manhattan:

At 11 AM Matthew Welch is guaranteed to absolutely fill the air as he plays LAD on bagpipe with 8 more bagpipes on tape, at Roulette, 20 Greene Street (between Canal and Grand);

At 12 noon, the title piece Dark Full Ride for 4 drumsets (manned by the Talujon Percussion Quartet — David Cossin, Tom Kolor, Michael Lipsey and Matt Ward) will pound out at Dauphin Human Design, 138 West 25th Street, 12th Floor (between 6th and 7th Avenues);

At 1 PM Robert Black and the Hartt Bass Band will rock Wolfe’s Stronghold for 8 double basses, at the Chelsea Art Museum, 556 West 22nd Street (corner of 11th Avenue);

Finally at 2:30 PM Lisa Moore, Lisa Kaplan, Blair McMillen, Timo Andres, Kate Campbell and Isabelle O’Connell, all conducted by Sam Adams, will undertake the epic my lips from speaking for 6 pianos at Faust Harrison Pianos, 205 West 58th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues).

julia wolfeJulia herself will be tagging along to each performance; if you happen to spot this face in the crowd you might go and say hi & thanks to the woman who penned all this glorious madness. It’s all free and open to whoever makes it, so pack a lunch, put on those walking shows and have a great hike!

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Carles Santos has been a force on the Spanish “downtown” scene (taking musicians like Santos, Llorenç Barber and Maria de Alvear in opposition to the “uptown” likes of Cristobal Halffter, Joan Guinjoan and Tomás Marco) since the early 1970s. This “downtown” movement had a huge impact on Spanish musicians in the 80s, and still carries through to today.

Starting as a formidable young pianist who’d breeze through the Second Viennese school, Santos turned his attention to a combination of minimalism and theatrical spectacle (often with himself as protagonist). But aside from his fanfare composed to open the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, very little of his music has ever reached the U.S.  A lot of it has to do with the personal and theatric nature; so much is wedded to the visual and dramatic action (much of it with an over-the-top, campy and/or erotic agenda).

You’re still not going to find much in the CD bins, but Santos has slowly been building a nice website, and stocking it with a lot of clips from his work over the last 30-some years. This particular clip shows the “foreplay and consummation” between Santos’ piano and 6-time world champion rider Adam Raga’s motorcycle from the show “Ebrofalia Copulativa”, live in Ulldecona in 2008.

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Ever browsed the books on your shelf, and had the sudden strange feeling they were telling you something? Nina Katchadourian selects a few spines to show you you weren’t so far off — including this succinct tale that gets a helping hand from none other than John Cage:

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…Who needs an aerobic DVD? The clip title is roughly “Maraca Driven Crazy”, but I don’t think that’s the only thing coming unhinged here. Though this was posted around a year ago, I can’t help feeling that somewhere in Italy they’re still running through this phrase, over and over… (The piece rehearsed is Reich, but I’m not sure which piece; help, anyone?) Thanks to my wonderful cellist pal Francesco Dillon for the tip to the clip.


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Ski jumping is disappointing in real life, too.

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So that’s what’s wrong! (nudge-nudge, wink-wink…):

Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8 

Music, a mode of creative expression consisting of sound and silence expressed through time, was given a 6.8 out of 10 rating in an review published Monday on Pitchfork Media, a well-known music-criticism website.

According to the review, authored by Pitchfork editor in chief Ryan Schreiber, the popular medium that predates the written word shows promise but nonetheless “leaves the listener wanting more.” 

“Music’s first offering, an eclectic, disparate, but mostly functional compendium of influences from 5000 B.C. to present day, hints that this trend’s time may not only have fully arrived, but is already on the wane,” Schreiber wrote. “If music has any chance of keeping our interest, it’s going to have to move beyond the same palatable but predictable notes, meters, melodies, tonalities, atonalities, timbres, and harmonies.”

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9 P.M. (Lifetime) LOVE NOTES                                                When a classical music critic becomes pregnant from a fling with (gasp!) a country-music singer, she decides to give her baby to her infertile best friend.  But will she undergo a change of heart, or at least a change in musical tastes?  Laura Leighton and Antonio Cupo star.

A female classical music critic?  Must be a fantasy.

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