Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tōru Takemitsu's Rain Tree Sketch II (1992) is our featured New Music Video this week. Caleb Deupree at his blog Classical-Drone has some thoughts on the piece: "Takemitsu's last major piano work was Rain Tree Sketch II, a memorial for one of his great influences, the French composer Olivier Messiaen. The work was the last in a series of memorial pieces, a set which included orchestral works for composer Morton Feldman and film director Andrei Tarkovsky and solo pieces for composer Witold Lutoslawski and sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Takemitsu had returned to a 'sea of tonality' (his phrase) in the 1980s, and Rain Tree Sketch II centers on a D minor chord (but without any of the directional aspects of nineteenth-century tonality, as far as I can tell anyway). Interestingly, at important moments the D minor chord is arpeggiated and accompanied with high overtones, which sound to me like a gamelan. I am grateful for the jewels that he wrote for piano, and these are well represented on recordings."

NOISE is our FEATURED NEW MUSIC ENSEMBLE. "NOISE is an ensemble of accomplished soloists with a deep commitment to chamber music. NOISE presents concerts that are energetic and engaging as well as intellectually stimulating and technically sophisticated. They believe that music which is sometimes called complex, difficult, or avant-garde is accessible to any audience when performed with passion and conviction." Check them out online, and, if you're in California this week, see them at the soundON Festival of Modern Music taking place in La Jolla, California, June 18-20, 2009.

A facinating read is this week's Featured Thought & Idea ... 2001: A Space Odyssey - Alex North's Unused Soundtrack. And check out the special feature of the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the classic soundtrack replaced with Alex North's original, but discarded, score [sorry, no longer available]...

This week FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVES brings us classically trained ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem. Her most notable performances have included Giselle and Rudolf Nureyev's stagings of Swan Lake and Don Quixote. As of late she has moved from ballet to contemporary dance, working with performers such as Akram Khan as an Associate Artist of the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. Here she is featured in Wet Woman with choreography by Mats Ek and music by the Swedish group Fläskkvartetten (Fleshquartet) ...

Explore, Listen and Enjoy!
Vinny Fuerst

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