I can't determine if the blog is properly called Pretty Awful Giraffes, Giraffes Drawn by People Who Should Not Be Drawing Giraffes, or G.D.B.P.W.S.N.B.D.G. Regardless, if you scroll down after clicking this link, there's a giraffe drawn by Philip Glass.
First recorded on Friday the 13th, 1953, it refers not only to the day but the turn of events-tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins was delayed because of a car accident and trumpeter Ray Copeland fell ill and French horn virtuoso Julius Watkins had to fill in at the last minute. The result was a remarkable session, including a swinging interpretation of this deceptively simple repeating bar theme.
Hey, it's fun to focus on music again rather than audience etiquette...
Update: I'm an hour into Kurt Gottschalk's Friday the 13th playlist. It's well curated and the announcer is knowledgable and has a cool radio voice. To top all that, he suggests Anthony Coleman's version of Friday the 13th is "Morton Feldman-eqsue."
Looking forward to Friday, April 13th. Dunno what happens on Friday, June 13th.
I don't normally blog about music by dead Germanic composers but I find myself in the minority about the shaming of a (presumably paying) New York Philharmonic audience member because his cell phone rang and spoiled great art.
1) GET OVER IT. We are participating in a public performance. There are other human beings present. They might cough, they might sneeze, and they might call out “woooooo! Seriously, it's happened at a concert before. People forget to turn off their phones. They make mistakes. I have definitely heard the Philharmonic musicians make mistakes. Tolerating others is the price we pay for being tolerated.
2) IF YOU DIDN’T THINK CLASSICAL MUSICIANS WERE UPTIGHT BEFORE, YOU SURE AS HELL DO NOW. Is this going to help? Aren’t we trying to change our image? We all claim that there isn’t any “right” way to listen to a concert, but if the biggest institution in the city acts like this, it seems like we don’t mean it. In Mozart’s day, people were gambling, drinking and (gasp) doing it in the audience. Can we go back to that instead of turning it into a museum? How is our art supposed to live and breathe if the audience thinks they might get yelled at by the maestro for misbehaving? LOOK AT WHAT A BIG MAN I AM. I really think this is about power, one person imagining that they are in control of a situation and coming face-to-face with the fact that they are not, none of us are in control of anything. As Dr. Denis Leary once said “Life’s hard, get a fucking helmet.”...
I'm a considerate guy with a degree in computer science and I'd like to think I would be able to avoid interrupting a concert with the dreaded iPhone marimba. But I'm sorry, it could happen to anyone.
And it's not like my life hasn't been interrupted from calls during the dinner hour by Bay Area music groups asking for donations, wanting me to buy tickets etc.
As an alternative, because of recorded music via MP3s and streaming, I have the ability to listen to what I want when I want it, without additional social pressure to conform. At this point, I don't really want etiquette lessons in order to successfully participate in a musical life.
Of course, I also don't want to make the experience worse for my fellow listeners so this particular episode makes me even less likely to attend a traditional classical event. Sorry SFS, SF Opera and others.
On the other hand, I just received the brochure that mentions UC Berkeley's presentation of Philip Glass' Einstein on the Beach. Presumably, Berkeley-hosted minimalism will be a more amenable environment for real-life in America.
Most importantly, I think Alan Gilbert proved he is no Leonard Bernstein by missing a teaching opportunity. All he had to do was point out the cell phone represented an American multiplicity moment between the art of Gustav Mahler and the aesthetics of say, Charles Ives or John Cage...
AT: But you end up with "Vertigo," Bernard Hermann? MH: Yeah, Vertigo. Bernard, in my mind, was a genius. He was a wonderful composer, and actually there's some tribute to Bernard Hermann in the movie in terms of the score, to "Citizen Kane." If you know the score, you recognize some parts. It's like a musical citation.
AT: When he goes into into the room and discovers all his stuff? MH: No, this is more Franz Waxman in "Sunset Boulevard." When he goes out of the theater after seeing the movie, there's a number in the score that is like the opening of "Citizen Kane," the aria. But "Vertigo" is very beautiful. And I wanted something specific for the moment at the end, something very beautiful. And when I put the" Vertigo" love theme, it was completely perfect. So the composer tried to make something close to that, but finally I decided to keep it because it was much better.
“’The Artist’ was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew’s) admiration and respect for movies throughout history,” Hazanavicius responded in a statement. “It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, (Fritz) Lang, (John) Ford, (Ernst) Lubitsch, (F.W.) Murnau and (Billy) Wilder. I love Bernard Herrmann and his music has been used in many different films and I’m very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly, and I’m sorry to hear she disagrees.”
Separately, I’m told by our Oscar expert Pete Hammond that the music branch of the Academy reviewed the eligibility of The Artist for Best Score, because the film employed Herrmann’s music. Because 80% of the music was original, and because the inclusion of Herrmann’s memorable music was meant as an homage in that rarity of rarities, an old-style silent film full of music, the film was deemed eligible.
The half-hour percussion work is an absolutely stunning meditation on rhythm performed by Shively on gong. Makan cites as inspiration for the piece James Tenney's Having Never Written a Single Note for Percussion and Alvin Lucier's Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra, two other pieces of quickly counted repetitions. It's vibrant and surprising, psychedelic in a certain sense, and is the piece that pushes Target into the realm of essential listening.
The nearly 15 hours of music "demonstrate an astonishing range and an unparalleled drive for musical invention," says Townson. "What you hear is an obsessively creative mind striving not only to fulfill his job but, from the sounds of it, to amuse himself."