Friday, March 28, 2008

Visual Sound

A sound recording was found that predates Edison.New York Times Article This device did not play back the music only record a visual symbol of the sound.

A quote in that article:

“There is a yawning epistemic gap between us and Léon Scott, because he thought that the way one gets to the truth of sound is by looking at it,” said Jonathan Sterne, a professor at McGill University in Montreal and the author of “The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction.”

I see no epistemic gap! My brother and I both have jazz text books that for years were only print, without recordings. Finally we both were able to package the actual music with the books. If we had our choice we would throw away the books and keep only the recordings.

Worse is that the music class that meets the general education requirement in most colleges is merely a course about music. Shouldn't you have to actually try to create some music?

I wish I was able to take physics appreciation instead of physics.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Great political season

This last week has been more than interesting. If you take the delivery techniques of all concerned, they are across the map. Hillary has a harshness to it -- maybe just her voice on a mic. McCain is so soporific he could be talking about anything to anyone -- even when it is about winning a war. Obama has the eloquence we have not heard in many years. I would love to see how listeners would react to swapping content but keeping their delivery style. Would McCain be more convincing if he had the eloquence of Obama? Would Hillary soften if she adopted the monotone delivery of McCain? Would Obama lose his following if he sharpened his tone like Hillary?

I wonder how much is the delivery and presentation and how much is the content.

One thing for sure is our current President lacks in both -- presentation and content.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Musical Relevance

I'm watching the Sarah Brightman special and she has a great voice but so often sings in this microphone enhanced intimacy that I find absolutely boring. She is singing in St. Stevenskirche. The setting is great but the music doesn't live up to the setting. The human voice is amazing and when it is compromised by artificial amplification we lose its magical human connection. Its like the injury the white mainstream committed to jazz when it robbed the individuality of the performers by placing them in the manacles of ensemble blend. I see these performers as interesting more non musically than musically. Their life stories overpower their musical performance -- a musical Peoples Magazine.

When did jazz become an extension of Lawrence Welk's Linen Sisters? I don't want to hear control, blend and balance -- I want to hear the coordinated ensemble of individuals.

I support PBS but why do they always settle on the safe arts? By the time the arts of relevance become mainstream they are no longer relevant but merely nostalgic.

Relevant art is not polite. It casts cross currents that are unsettling. PBS survives by adopting art after its relevance is no longer controversial--a custodian of consensus, a museum of dated expression beautiful in its familiarity.

I guess I am just jaded. Why listen to music when you can make it? And.. if you make it how can it not be relevant?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Beatles and History of Rock and Roll

I'm currently listening to the soundtrack from the movie Across the Universe. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I would recommend it. I was intrigued. It takes Beatles songs and through different orchestrations, harmonies, and performances, fits them into its storyline. Like Moulin Rouge, I was impressed with the orchestrations and how the music coincided with the storyline and aesthetic mood. Even if the love storyline is not your cup of tea, if you watch the movie, I think you can recognize the wonderfully artistic work by the orchestrators, writers, editors, and performers. This also fits in well with the discussion of the sustainability of Beatles music. I'd love to hear what you think.


History of Rock and Roll Discussion

Hello All,

I'm currently listening to the soundtrack of the movie Across the Universe. I saw the movie and was really intrigued. It sets Beatles songs into a storyline taking place in the 60's. Like Mouiin Rouge, I was impressed at how the songs were orchestrated to fit the plot and dramatic mood. Even if the love storyline does not peek your interest, I believe that you will have to recognize the beautiful work done with these wonderfully written songs. It features a very talented cast as well. I thought that this might fit into a discussion of Rock and Roll history and the timeless