Site Search


New Members


Other Resources
News Archive






Search Forums:
This 64 message thread spans 5 pages:  < <   1  [2]  3   4   5  > >  
  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  piargno at 21:35 on 09 May 2008

Once again - Scott, you typed the words that were brewing in my mind throughout the reading of this particularly sad thread.

The cross-pollination of musical traditions has lead to pretty amazing results: Ligeti with West African music, Phillip Glass and Terry Reiley with Indian Music, Steve Reich with Israeli Music, Bartok with the western tradition and folk songs, The AfroCeltic Soundsystem (which is rather incredible music), Bjork's experiments with funk and icelandic modes and voices, Debussy's influences from the East (listen to "Pagodes" from Estampes for a rather obvious example), and I can go on and on and on. Did anyone say they should do it? Of course not! But it happened, and it was great.

No one is forcing anyone to write for this competition, and it isn't offensive. Pop music in many Asian countries draws so much from pop music in America. In today's world, it's probably not strange to see a Japanese person playing the Banjo, which really if you think of it is not a far step from hearing the "5, 6, 7, 8s" play the blues, or "Pizzicato 5" play 70s maudlin jazz.

DON'T write for the sheng. I'm pretty sure the competition won't be sad over the loss of your Phillip Glassian, non-imaginative, Post Minimalism submission.

Furthermore, as a non-white composer, the term [edited] hits pretty close to home, Rush Limbaugh.

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  windart at 07:57 on 10 May 2008

Oh thanks for pointing it out. Sure I did some adjustments to my initital post although I cannot make an adjustments to the core idea of it, sorry!

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  windart at 08:03 on 10 May 2008

Hi Scott,
I do accept your healthy critics. So I did some adjustments to it although I cannot make adjustments to the meaning of it, I am sorry...

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  windart at 08:20 on 10 May 2008

Hi Rush,
Well I apologize if my words hurt yours or anyone's feelings. If I did hurt someone, I did it unintentionally, you understand... So I've made particular adjustments to my initial post so that it doesn't sound too harsh. (Although again if we are called 'gringos' which term's classified as an "offensive slang" then I wonder why can't we use our own terminology(?) Anyhow, the [edited]were removed. So I hope everybody is happy now.)

Most of the composers you mentioned don't strike me really. Philip Glass... what а wretchedness of imagination... Anyway you forgot to mention Mozart's Rondo alla Turca and Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonic suite Scheherezade, and a few more. I say few more because what you might try to display as natural and systematic is in fact only few exceptional cases. Bach or Vivaldi, they didn't need to mess up with Japanese or Arabic stuff in order to create their masterpices while it is rather critial whether any of the compositions you named would've found their spot in musical heritage and beat the time(...)

Anyways I do know about mutual cultural influences, you don't have to explain an obvious. But as I said and I can repeat it again and again, I do NOT apreciate Pan-Orient and Pan-Islamic tendencies of today's world and, in effect, today's art. In ten years there will be no space for Europeans and their genuine culture. If this is what we really want to happen then sure go ahead give up your roots and origins, merge, fuse and globalize...

Good luck!

Nicolas

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  ruska02 at 13:00 on 10 May 2008

Dear Mr Scott.

may you please underline where in this post I have been as per usual, " there with a few racially divisive quips"?

(to bad roberto...what a disappointment. you could be offering some valuable insight into this great art tradition, but you soil your presence with these insidious remarks).

I like being bad when I feel menaced, indeed...just to pint out a point or two I am from a country whose
musicians where used to find in switzerland writings like "forbidden to dogs and italians and in USA statement like the one Miles Davis used to use about whites playing jazz so...I do not really think I am racist..I maybe conservative , this yes , but conservative of my own culture which I feel to much in danger when something really "problematic " is happening. Let's put it in this way in this days our italian and european economy is really destroyed by china copying everything and making it low rate (from cheese to wine, from fashion to---scores and performances) How should I react to this? Again I may be conservative yes but conservative of my own culture that has build its history (or better 50 per cent of the whole world art history) on christian sacred references that are daily raped buy muslims way of thinking and behaving so...may be Mr Scoot like taking some risks but I prefer not to turn my back to whatever use someone may like..I liked a lot Black Panther political fight...maybe it is time to create some white Panther don' t you think so ?

Bad Roberto ( I hope not as bad as composer)


  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  Misuc at 01:01 on 11 May 2008

Windart's vulgar racist mindlessness is a pity. It has obscured what is the distorted and confused embryo of an idea which is actually worth thinking about,

Every period in music has its own inherent weaknesses: problems to overcome. The chief problem of today is to create a music that is as 'authentic' for us as the Blues was to the Delta, the Canzona to 16th century Venice, the sheng to the Chinese classical tradition. 'Authentic" = "live" = "real". A living piece of music like a living thing - is made up of elements which react with and against one another, creating new things, growing, ordering etc. The act of composing is the act of following those living developmental processes through to their conclusion. The act of listening is retracing the route of the composer's act of exploration and discovery. In this way we can rediscover the possibilities of ordering notes and motifs into modal shapes (mediaeval monody), or the power of simple cadences on different degrees of the scale (16th - 17th century harmony) etc. and other devices which over the centuries became commonplace. Live music is part of history. It's material is not created by composers any more than speakers or writers create language. A million pound note is only useful if it is accepted as currency. A masterpiece without a living tradition is an impossibility.

Contemporary music has lost that living tradition along with an audience capable of listening and contributing. At the two extremes there are different ways of evading the problem which produce equally meaningless results: one school paraphrases one or two of the formulae of earlier traditions without the necessary internal dynamic. (Accepting the internal dynamic of a musical 'system' would mean allowing it to develop into a new system, and this is something they have decided that they cannot cope with). At the other extreme a composer invents music again from scratch, from abstract 'parameters' or other self-made methods or formulae. But you can't say much more with a languages you have invented for yourself than you can by grunting.

The above is, of course, a gross oversimplification. In reality composers have come up with thousands of amazing ways of coping with this weakness. (I have just come home from experiencing one of the true great masterpieces of our era and a wonderful example of this: Nono's 'Prometeo'. I wanted to stop all writing and just tell everybody to go to this if you can ever get to a live performance)

On the one hand we have access to all the music that's ever been composed. A switch of the button takes us from the Court of the Sun King to the brothels of new Orleans. But we can only look but not touch. we are voyeurs at our world heritage. We have a tourist's knowledge of our means of musical communication. Real live knowledge comes from doing, playing, improvising, imitating, listening, copying with all senses. Techniques are picked up like learning to tie one's shoes. We no longer benefit from or suffer the limitations of being part of a close-knit community. The 'Western Tradition' (in itself an amalgam of many different traditions from different continents) is no more 'ours' than the Chinese.

There are still (or were recently) small groups of people who are still recreating/improvising live motets (in Sardinia) or Homeric epic poems (Serbia, Crete) or 'Ars Nova' (Georgia). these are the only ones who can claim a tradition as truly theirs. Their very closeness to this tradition means that they are not in a position to to get to the roots of it create generalised principles from it, develop it to another stage...)

Postmodernism as a trend I do not accept. But we are all, whether we accept it or not in a postmodernist age, It is in this sense that we are actually forced to multiculturalism in music. I note even Windart calls himself a musical cosmopolitan (on his website)....

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  scott_good at 03:43 on 11 May 2008

Dear Misuc,

A very power post.

I would like to discuss one part:

"On the one hand we have access to all the music that's ever been composed. A switch of the button takes us from the Court of the Sun King to the brothels of new Orleans. But we can only look but not touch. we are voyeurs at our world heritage. We have a tourist's knowledge of our means of musical communication. Real live knowledge comes from doing, playing, improvising, imitating, listening, copying with all senses. Techniques are picked up like learning to tie one's shoes. We no longer benefit from or suffer the limitations of being part of a close-knit community. The 'Western Tradition' (in itself an amalgam of many different traditions from different continents) is no more 'ours' than the Chinese."

Recordings - the blessing and curse. There is of course, no going back, but the loss of "aura" as is put in such concise and profound terms by Walter Benjamin in his essay "art in the age of mechanical reproduction", is something that frightens me. A recording has no real spirit, except that it can encapsulate an emotion for immediate gratification - thus, the music recorded can be relived to evoke strong emotional memory, like the smell of bread cooking, or the sound of a loved ones laugh. But this has little to do with the artist, but much more to do with the listener - we collect recordings like photographs which are used the same way - to relive emotions.

But I say why listen to a recording of Bach when I can either 1) hear someone live it in the moment- exciting! 2) play through it myself - physical or 3) "listen" to the score - the most challenging and perhaps the most satiating experience for a composer. These are participatory, rather than voyeuristic. Even just attending a concert is certainly participating in the actual making of the music, as ones life energy will be felt by the performer, and will affect the playing (in particular with performers who strive to be aware of this incredible phenomenon).

This is why recorded music is becoming less and less a part of my life. I like it for study (especially for my own music and playing). And yes, I do pull out a recording here and there to visit old emotions - a few weeks ago I had a sublime experience listening to "prelude to the afternoon of a faun", and I became a giddy teenager hearing it for the first time - cranked to full - swelling me with such beautiful emotion when the strings enter on the theme in the Db maj section. I relived 16 and it was awesome. (now there's a melody for all those tune smiths out there to study and learn from - a stunning example of using a variety of intervals and rhythms, paired with a simple harmonic speed which fluctuates so effectively with the shape of the melody).

But I much prefer to go to live performances, or perform myself, or even just jamming with friends, or singing with my child. It not only feels real, but as you put it, develops "being part of a close-knit community". Man, it is possible - it just takes effort, openness, and the desire to be a part of something larger than ones self. It will be especially nurtured if money does not play part - a very important aspect for professional musicians to remember.

And, going back into the topic at hand, this idea of community has nothing to do with race at all (as you put). In fact, if musicians develop the ability to improvise (which all should), music can be made with anyone - it is as simple as opening your ears and working with the sounds at hand. Composing for sheng ain't hard, it just requires effort. Find a player, hang out and play together, ask questions, and get to work. Meet a few times, improvise - create harmonic/rhythmic structures you are interested in working with and see what happens. Play with register and dynamics. Fine tune the material based on the results. You would be amazed at how well other cultures can improvise - in my experience, Chinese musicians are often excellent improvisers. So are Iranian, and Cuban, and Ghanaian, and ...

Ultimately, what I'm saying is we shouldn't be scared of the supposed threat by "other races" to dominate classical music, but be inspired by the fact that others want to participate in it. This is good. Don't be scared of other instruments or sounds or whatever, but be inspired to learn from the challenge posed by that instrument. Always strive to listen into the sound, not by imposing what you expect, but by being open to the endless potential of the unknown. And if you help build a community, the fact that some pretentious fool winning some bloody competition who thinks Stockhausen and Beethoven are the same will be a laughable story told around pints after the concert of great music making with your friends.



  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  windart at 09:07 on 11 May 2008

When, if just to express oneself, one requiries so many words then it always sounds suspicious to me. What is your point Misuc? And why "Misuc" actually? Well, never mind. Look I don't wanna mess up neither with Chinese drugstores nor with Chinese music. I'm fed up with that. I think I made myself clear. And this has nothing to do with being cosmpolitan.

We'll talk in ten years and I'd like to see what song will you sing then.

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  windart at 09:53 on 11 May 2008

To Scott:
"Composing for sheng ain't hard, it just requires effort."

Well, we all know that composing "requiries effort" just like anything else. Even having a lunch requires particular effort like chewing, swallowing, well you know...

Other day I mentioned to my mom (she is a pianist) that so far I haven't written anything for solo piano or just for piano in some orchestral setup (and myself I play piano since I's six, so for about 30 years), and guess what my mom said. She said something like this, well sure how can you write for piano, why one has to know the instrument he's writing for or she said, you can't write for an instrument that you don't know much about. And here you giving me all those naive recepies like find a player, improvise and stuff. God I just can't belive that one can write such a nonsense! And Scott you don't seem like a stupid or mentally retarded person. What's wrong with you guys?

By the way I've heard the sound of Sheng and I didn't like it at all. It may fill-in a few bars on recording just to add some different flavor to the texture of a score but to play it, to hear it solo and to write for it... What a drag!

If those Luxembourg Sinfonietta folks wanted to make their contest sound fair and really interesting, they'd rather than having Europeans writing for some sheng could have them create a piece where by the means of a classical orchestra they had to re-produce or re-create a flavor or a mood of that particular instrument or, once you are so fond of Far East, of that particular part of the world, narrowing it down, say, to Yunnan or Gansu province in China. Then it would've been a real challenge. But because the Luxembourg folks want to make sure that new Oriental Mozarts and Bachs take at least one prize in this contest they made their rules the way you can read for yourself. After that Wong Pong Mozart wins they can rest assured that at least for the next 10 years they won't experience the lack of cash injections and financial support from Wond Pong Mozart's lands. This is our basic prostituting policy, in life and now in music. I'm sure the Luxembourg folks were bribed and here you talk about all those aesthetics...

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  piargno at 18:08 on 11 May 2008

Seriously, Windart - you're really getting way out of hand. It's rather sad that you've spent so much time thinking about a composition competition that doesn't really hinder your successes or failures as a composer in any way. I highly doubt that this competition is looked upon with disguist by the majority of composers in this world, who would actually see something like this as a creative challenge than a musically social experiment gone wrong. Just the fact that you're anti-Asian doesn't mean that the world has to be. So you don't like it. Arguing over matters of taste is stupid. So you think it's a bad idea. Actually, most people would either a)disagree with you or b)think the competition is a bad idea and simply not enter it. Why waste so much time on this? You're a composer. You shouldn't have time to waste. And if you do, that just speaks to the level of your composition.

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  Misuc at 19:39 on 11 May 2008

I think every honest person on this list will agree that Ruska02"s comments that he is

"conservative of my own culture that has build its history (or better 50 per cent of the whole world art history) on christian sacred references that are daily raped buy muslims"

show that he has not only racist but actual clerical fascist tendencies. I would like him to deny if he can that he is actually a Fascist party member or supporter.

In any case I am appealing to the administrator to remove these obscene lies from a decent web forum. After all, he has removed complete postings for the use of one very mild word (bullshitter). How long is he going to tolerate such vicious and deliberately incendiary hate mail directed against millions of his fellow human beings on the part of Windart and Ruska02? How long?

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  windart at 20:12 on 11 May 2008

To Piargno and I guess to all:
"You're a composer. You shouldn't have time to waste. And if you do, that just speaks to the level of your composition."

Well first I am a human, a citizen, а person and then a composer and I do not call expressing one's mind a waste of time. I might learn something valuable out of it, and might other people do the same. Besides that one just cannot write music 24 hours a day. As for the level of my composition, well I've already posted my website address, you may listen to my music and then draw your conclusions. I think this is the way of doing that.

However because I see it's not going to bring us nowhere and actually do no good, I think this one's meant to happen my last response on this thread (especially that the post might be just removed by Moderator). The whole issue makes me feel really sad... I see that people simply unable to hear one another and this is on top of a basic sadness of our world in general, and today classical composer's troublesome life in particular.

Anyways thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and opinions.

Nicolas Wind



  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  piargno at 20:32 on 11 May 2008

I meant you shouldn't have time to waste on thinking about a composition competition or trends in music of which you will never have a part. Expressing your mind is crucial, and also happens when one composes. But if something exists that really does not disturb much in a broad sense, then why even talk about it?

The simple fact is that YOUR music will never have your alleged "Pan-Asian" amalgamation. Neither will Ruska's. Neither will the composers who agree with that dreaded, pointless manifesto (which Ayn Rand comments very wisely about the irrelevance of such things).

YOU AREN'T ALONE. The whole of Classical music will not succumb pan-orientalism. There's no need to bi*ch about it. That's what I meant by it.

With that, I must say that it's quite easy to not know what's going on with popular music. In middle school, I could sing everything that was on the radio. Now, I listen to news radio mostly. I don't know what's going on with popular anorexic singers, popular gangsta thug rap, popular shallow love R&B, popular uneccisarily self-loathing emo, etc... I've avoided this. YOU CAN TOO! So, just do it! Don't listen to music you don't like! Tune it out! And don't let it bother you! It's easy.

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  Misuc at 21:04 on 11 May 2008

I don't want the moderator to remove your entire posting. I want everyone to see what perversities and insults right extremists use to try and subvert even a helpful and well-meaning list like this; an open, trusting list set up - let's remember - by and for music-lovers of one kind or another. All that I ask the moderator to remove are the actual hate words that are meant to hurt millions of people he has never met.

  Re: Discriminating Pan-Oriental Terms of 7th Int`l Composition Prize 2008  Misuc at 21:04 on 11 May 2008

I don't want the moderator to remove Windart's entire postings. On the contrary, I want everyone to see what thuggish perversities right extremists use to try and subvert even a helpful and well-meaning list like this: an open, trusting list, set up - let's remember - by and for music-lovers of one kind or another.

All that I ask the moderator to remove are the actual hate words used by windart and ruska02 to try and insult and humiliate millions of people they have never met.

This 64 message thread spans 5 pages:  < <   1  [2]  3   4   5  > >  

This thread is now closed