Login   Sign Up 
 


Site Search.


New Members
  filfil (30/10)
  falcorps (29/10)
  TVL (28/10)
  manu71 (27/10)
  laiavalles (26/10)

   » Full C:T Members List


Other Resources
News Archive






Search Forums:
This 42 message thread spans 3 pages: [1]  2   3  > >  
  Neo Tonalist Manifestos  MartinY at 15:28 on 19 June 2009
 

I was just about to write a bit slagging off the new complexity, admitedly from a position of ignorance because I have not done enough research on what is already well known about complexity in music, when I chanced on this manifesto for the future of music:

http://www.alexprior.co.uk/

UK readers will know why this is topical and why I found it. It just left me unable to comment without a long rest. John Jenkins is calling so strongly and I am rosining my bow.



  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  Misuc at 15:54 on 19 June 2009
 

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT IS THE POINT OF BEING ALIVE WHEN THE CULTURE THAT HUMANS HAVE DEVELOPED OVER A MILLION YEARS CAN BE REDUCED TO THIS BABBLE?

DO WE DESERVE WHAT IS COMING: ECONOMIC CATASTROPHE, GLOBAL WARMING DEVASTATION, FLOODS, CROP FAILURES, DESERTIFICATION, PANDEMICS, STARVATION, UNEMPLOYMENT, HOMELESSNESS?

THAT'S WHAT WE GET BY LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT.

MARTIN Y - YOU'RE A GOOD MAN. BUT YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS. YOU'RE QUITE RIGHT TO SLIP OUT THE BACK AND GO HOME TO JENKINS. BUT LET'S HOPE NOBODY TAKES UP THIS PRIOR THING. IT'S TAKING OVER OUR TV SCREENS, LET'S TRY AND GIVE OURSELVES A PRIOR-FREE ZONE OF REST HERE ON THESE PAGES, PLEASE.

BY THE WAY I'VE WRITTEN LOADS ABOUT THE HORRORS OF THE NEW COMPLEXITY. THEY'RE AS PRETENTIOUS AND EMPTY-HEADED AS NEW MINIMALISTS. PRIOR IS JUST A SPOILT KID, BY COMPARISON. HE HASN'T LEARNT THE CLEVER TRICKS YET. HE'S NOT CAPABLE OF BEING TERRIBLE. HE'S WORSE! HE'S JUST SO TERRIBLY TERRIBLY AWFULLY ABYSMALLY CATASTROPHICALLY MEDIOCRE! SEE YOUR REACTION, MARTIN? HE RUINS ALL ARGUMENT. THERE IS JUST NOTHING YOU CAN SAY IN THE FACE OF SUCH BLIND, DUMB, CRAVEN, EGOISTIC, SELF-PROMOTING, FLATULENT MEDIOCRITY - OR SHOULD I SAY MEDIA-CRITY? NO - IT'S NOT WORTH EVEN A FEEBLE EFFORT AT A JOKE. WHY DIGNIFY IT THAT MUCH?




  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  scott_good at 04:58 on 20 June 2009
 

Ba, ha ,ha ha ha...my my, what a putz. Oh yes, Alex, there is a crisis...

Ok, whatever, so I checked out some John Jenkins - very nice to listen to but sounds even better to play! I was quite intrigued by the changing density of rhythm in this music, and how he treats cadences.

Fancy and Air, #2 - John Jenkins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwQ_gDS5AWs&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.ca%2Fvideosearch%3Fhl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial%26hs%3DWPD%26q%3DJohn%2520Jenkins%2520music%26um%3D1%26ie&feature=player_embedded

And just in case anyone needs their mind cleansed by visiting the "manifestation", I advise this listening to this work of immense beauty. I have been somewhat obsessed with this piece, and am delighted to be programming it next year here in Vancouver!

Anahit - Giacinto Scelsi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cl_QNZVip4

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  Misuc at 14:08 on 20 June 2009
 

Ah! That Jenkins piece! I've got most of his scores that are currently available
but never have any chance to play them. They don't look particularly exciting on paper
(cf Locke and Lawes, even Coperario for more 'extreme' and 'wild' examples of that
tradition)

But I just listened to this out of interest.

Isn't it just marvellous! I was literally moved to tears. This is amazing! I'll
give you some words about why some time, if anybody wants/needs them.

And don't they play beautifully?

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  scott_good at 16:17 on 20 June 2009
 

"And don't they play beautifully?"

Yes. I think that is why I was intrigued to want to play them - I was so convinced by their performance, and it looks like they are having a great time!

"I'll give you some words about why some time, if anybody wants/needs them."

Umm, I'm not sure if I need them, but I certainly want them!

Scelsi? Yes, no? It's my favorite work of his.

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  EugeneMarshall at 16:50 on 20 June 2009
 

I'm just going to throw this out there and say he's better than most of us were when we were 15.
Yes, his music is highly conventional and copies the masters without offering much originality.
But when he's 21, my age, he's going to develop his own identity.
That's what the teenage years are for.

It might be jealousy that makes many of us denounce Alex Prior's talent...
It is not masterful, but it IS impressive.

And I AM a pro-tonal music person by the way.
http://www.wildernessguardians.com/misc/Cinematic_Cue_I.mp3
Alex Prior is somewhat correct in saying the world needs tonal music and the avant-garde have screwed us over.
But he puts too much emphasis on folk-lore.
I am Australian. Good luck getting me to write Australian bush music.

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  Misuc at 17:06 on 20 June 2009
 

I'm not ready with the words about Jenkins yet.

Just a quick note to say I was spell-bound by the Scelsi. I
have never heard anything of his which I could even stand
till now - he's not (usually)much of a charmer is he? - but
this was so poetic and moony - a bit like a sort of intransigent
extension of a Nono moment- I want to see the score. How on earth
does he do it?

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  Misuc at 17:19 on 20 June 2009
 

If I were still 21 I might have been jealous. I am well past
that stage, I'm afraid.

To be envious of someone who, without an original idea in his
head, and £millions at his disposal has been given such extraordinary
opportunities: e.g.a whole series of TV programmes etc. would not be
an unworthy motivation for a talented young composer though.

This has got nothing at all to do with tonality. He shows no
understanding of what tonality means. Tonality is a system building
a series of interlocking forces allowing a relationship between the
individual note and the time-scale of the whole.

I'm sorry if this sounds difficult. But try it: just harmonise
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and you will see it. that is the
starting point. People with sensitivity and intelligence will
want to take it from there. Prior is one of the many nonentities
who shows he hasn't even understood this. Listen>

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  scott_good at 17:51 on 20 June 2009
 

"Just a quick note to say I was spell-bound by the Scelsi. I
have never heard anything of his which I could even stand
till now - he's not (usually)much of a charmer is he?"

I think many of his works were like exercises leading to a handful of exquisite works.

Here is another.

Konx-Om-Pax - Giacinto Scelsi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU6TsyPoX9s

"but this was so poetic and moony - a bit like a sort of intransigent extension of a Nono moment- I want to see the score. How on earth does he do it?"

I have studied this score. What is so amazing is that it defies logic - it shouldn't sound that good! In fact, I would have recommended reading through the score first, and then listen! (that is what I did)

At any rate, I feel that all of those Pezzi pieces were like studies on tone colouring through micro tonal and orchestration effect, and how they can shape form - and he developed a very personal and deep palette through them. Then he writes Anahit. So much deeper, but obviously influenced by these other pieces.

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  scott_good at 18:16 on 20 June 2009
 

Eugene,

1st, I agree %100 with Misuc. Read the "old man's" words carefully (ha ha).

I would also like to add that the so called avant guarde produced both works of beauty and truth as well as garbage. To wrap everything up into one nice little bundle is artistically irresponsible. It is ignorant.

Can you say that the 19th century's music was nothing but good for the development of humanity? There were good things and not so good things. Yes, there was a common functional tonality, so everything sounds "nice" and predictable, but so what. Sugar tastes nice, so, should we put sugar in all of our food?

The 20th century was such a fertile ground for the imagination and the creative spirit. To ignore it is to regress. I do not envy Prior, I feel sorry for him. Too much attention when he should be humble - society is doing him a disservice.

That is what the teen years are for. Knowing that you know very little, and being proactive with that understanding. It is a time of learning, not explaining.

And, in the best of them, this spirit never dies, only changes weight in ones overall personality.

Read Erik Erikson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Erikson for an introduction.

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  MartinY at 20:04 on 20 June 2009
 

Jealousy. Not an emotion I had on Monday night. I can't even say anything which is not profane or libelous 5 days later.

And this is not even considering what was said over a drink the next day among viewers of the TV program........

I agree that one day Prior might even be what we would call a great composer. If he does he will be embarassed. Does anyone know the fabulous consort song by Thomas Greaves which goes, Forgive, Forgive, Forgive O Lord the errors of my youth.

Thanks so much for the UTube links Scott. The microtonal music still has me thinking. Will comment later. I can't imagine for a minute that Greaves' 'When I Behold' is on UTube but if it is we should have a link....... I intend to republish my out of print edition as soon as possible, though Stainer and Bell do a score. Must think about 20C music not Thomas Greaves........ Stop thinking about music by dead men wearing wigs and ruffs Martin!

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  scott_good at 21:27 on 20 June 2009
 

"I can't imagine for a minute that Greaves' 'When I Behold' is on UTube but if it is we should have a link......."

Not that I found, but there is this (the magic of google and youtube, and your title led me to this). In fact, this may have more insight into the present human condition than anything discussed so far. (make sure to make it through the 2nd refrain - that's where it gets profound).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81FP_RGpV70&feature=PlayList&p=E11ED5769296CC93&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  Misuc at 01:32 on 21 June 2009
 

Child Prodigies

There is more originality, imagination - content in the very
first little piece written by Mozart when he was five than in the
collected works of Prior. (It was more inventive, in a way, than
when he he had learned how to do it: organically encompassing a
change of time-signature within 6 - 8 bars)

But never mind Mozart, look what Mendelssohn was doing at 10 and 12!
Extraordinarily daring adventurous Sturm & Drang writing: complex and
technically advanced part-writing and form.....

Or Prokofiev!- who had mastered,transcended an made rational the
most avantgarde of harmonic systems of the time (Scriabin's)at the
age of 12. Or have you heard the thrilling opera 'Madalena' which I
think he started when he was 9 but anyway finished when he was 11.

Schubert? Purcell? Beethoven? (The sonatinas he wrote when he was 13 are brilliant,
bold, innovative...)

Well maybe it's unfair to compare Prior with these geniuses, so how does he
compare to, say, that mediocrity, Korngold? Korngold was no genius, but at 11
he already had a prodigious mastery of the most advanced techniques and
language of his day..............

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  nickscott at 14:05 on 01 July 2009
 

I don't think jealousy is the big issue here. What frustrates me the most is the media attention he gets. One headline (available on his site) reads: "composer, conductor, singer AND HE'S ONLY FIFTEEN". This sort of statement ignores the fact he's not any good.

As for whether or not he's better than what we were when we were fifteen is irrelevant. He may have been better than I was when I was fifteen, but I'm 24 now and am much better than he is now. He'll look back on these works in ten years time and cringe, like we all do when we look back on the works we wrote in our early teens.

I haven't read the original statement, but to dismiss the entire "avant-garde" (whoever they might be) outright is ignorant and stupid. Yes, there is an incredible amount of rubbish written by the avant-garde, but so is there an incredible amount of rubbish written in any music genre or, indeed, fifteen year old russians with delusions of grandeur. I would bet all my money that he hasn't even listened to ANY piece of music he calls "avant-garde" all the way through. And if you haven't heard it, you can't judge it. You're simply parroting the views of your parents/the establishment.

Some (most?) of the avant-garde is unlistenable, yes, even to so-called avant-garde composers. But then I doubt he's listened to Gavin Bryar's "Sinking of the Titanic" or Ingram Marschall's "Fog Tropes", or any number of other beautiful pieces of music written in the last 50 years. He needs to get himself an education before he makes such sweeping statements, because then, even if he still feels the same way, he will be able to argue his point in an informed manner.

Tonality doesn't necessarily mean "pretty" chords. Tonality, at least to me, is the functional use of dissonance. Until he understands and implements that, he is not, in my view, a tonal composer.

  Re: Neo Tonalist Manifestos  EugeneMarshall at 15:06 on 15 July 2009
 

I have a VERY sound understanding of what it means to be tonal.
Quite frankly I don't like his music either, but I can see his potential.
At fifteen, I was still writing little music box waltzes.

And yes, the avante garde did write good music.
Perhaps 10 pieces in the entire decade amoungst them.
It is strongly opinionated, but their music was detrimental to the popularity of Western Art music.
They helped drive audiences away from modern music even more.
No matter how intelligent they were, they were selfish.
And their ideologies are flawed.

History will remember them as blemishes.
They already aren't getting nearly as many performances as their conventional counterparts like Britten.

This 42 message thread spans 3 pages: [1]  2   3  > >