Friday, October 05, 2007

Carnegie Hall Tonight

Now beware folks, I get really geeky about this stuff.

Amber and I scored the free tickets to Carnegie hall tonight. It was incredible. I had to take a double take around ever corner. I couldn't believe I was in THE Carnegie hall. There have been so many legends that have played in that hall... I mean, just name one, and I mean a real legend. They've played there. Period. On every wall there was some bit of priceless memorabilia. I stared at snippets of a score and notes written by Bernstein, Copeland, Dizzy, Ella F, and the Beatles. I have five LPs under my record player that were recorded at Carnegie.

To top things off... (About to go into Geek overdrive...) We just happened to be seated by the world famous composer Pierre Boulez. To everyone else around him (besides all the entourage of people he brought with him that were trying to gain his attention) he was just an old dude in a suite. But old Sethro, he knows his Art Music Musicians and Composers. Now, Boulez may mean jack crap to most of you, but just imagine someone who is really into mail-bombing getting to sit next to Ted Kaczynski. Or my friend Jack Spalding getting to sit next to Ron Burgandy. Or Brody Harper getting to sit next to Kenny G. Nuff said.

Boulez... Composer, conductor, pianist, innovator... awesome. He did spend a good 30 years or so of his younger years making enemies, calling other composers lamazoids for not being original but hey, Mozart was much, much meaner to his contemporaries.

As you read here about composers, if you think composers don't matter much... well tell that to Paul McCartney. I just learned that Paul McCartney would attend Avant-Garde composition recitals to get ideas for his albums. He was seen at a Berio concert and said, "I really want to incorporate electronic music in our new album "Revolver" and these guys are the cutting edge."

And that brings me to another snobby tangent. I think that when people in pop culture RIP off composers, they should pay homage. Take Sufjan... Sufjan is a John Adams and Philip Glass minimalist composer rip-off. Don't get me Calvinist (wrong), I love the music, but everyone just goes on and on about Sujan's "original" style. Hogwash.

Sufjan went to music school and snagged the stylings of Adams, Glass and Reich and stirred it up with some Simon and Garfunkel. Not bad, really amazing, but still... pay Homage. Nary a mention on his bio. Come on Suffy.

That ripping-and-not-paying-homage includes film composers. I love John Williams. For sure, he has his own "sound." BUT... Jaws???? Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. The whole orchestration down to the oboe part is right out of the Rite of Spring. Not to mention Star Wars being a total rip off of Holst's The Plantets... But in his defense, Williams wrote in those styles by request and Williams is a melodic Genius which makes up for the ripped sounds. One of his best scores is Close Encounters of The Third Kind, which is pretty incredibly original, and ironically, not a single melody can be found in it. It's all motivic. Da da da da daaaaaa. Love that flick.

I know, I know. Regular, poor, college-loving, weirdo "Art" Composers rip too. But AT LEAST we pay homage (most of the time) and actually find it an honor if someone quotes us or writes in "our" style. Honestly, the need to be imitated gets kind of pathetic sometimes. We are like the really homely gal who is dyyyyyyyying to get the attention of some hotstuff-football player. Or something like that.

Two other random pet peeves while I'm on my period here and I'm done. People-who-write-with-a-bunch-of-hyphens, like myself, get that trick from good old Kurt V. and people who never write in cap's and think they are being all cool and artsy can thank good ole E.E. Cummings. {end rant}

So that's right baby. Composers rule. Don't you forget it.

1 comment:

kddub said...

that's awesome! It's so cool that you and Amber are able to go to these things.