Friday, September 11, 2009

In the words of Peter Jacobi (Herald-Times, Bloomington, Indiana) "TomFlaherty's Trio for Cello and Digital Processor (1991) has his instrument communicating with itself. The effect actually suggests the presence of three players rather than just the one who appears on stage. An impressive tour de force." Watch a performance of this "Trio" - with the composer/cello soloist, his cello and the cello's transformed self ... one of this week's FEATURED NEW MUSIC VIDEOS.

For those who know the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the last thing most of us would associate the composer with is film music - yet he DID compose eleven film scores from 1940 to 1958. For some insight into RVW's film music excursions, take a look at this week's FEATURED ARTICLE Ralph VaughanWilliams and '49th Parallel' by Rolf Jordan.

Director William Wyler returns for a second week here at Pytheas, though in a completely different context then when last we saw him. Our previous PYTHEAS SIGHTING was The Heiress, the 1949 film with music by Aaron Copland, directed by Mr. Wyler and set in late 19th century New York City. Our current PYTHEAS SIGHTING is Ben Hur (1959), with music by Miklos Rozsa, again directed by Mr. Wyler and set in 26 AD Rome. The film and the music (which won an Academy Award) are CLASSIC! ... check it all out at this week's PYTHEAS SIGHTING.

FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVES this week brings us a very unique convergence of cultures - John Cage performing one of his pieces on the popular 1960 TV game show I've Got A Secret. From Jens Mügge at NetNewMusic: "At the time, Cage was teaching Experimental Composition at New York City's New School. Eight years beyond his groundbreaking work 4' 33", he was (as our smoking MC informs us) the most controversial figure in the musical world at that time. His first performance on national television, presenting his piece Water Walk,was originally scored to include five radios, but a union dispute on the CBS set prevented any of the radios from being plugged into the wall. Cage gleefully smacks and tosses the radios instead of turning them on and off. While treating Cage as something of a freak, the show also treats him fairly reverentially, canceling the regular game show format to allow Cage the chance to perform his entire piece." Quite a wild ride! Have a look ... this week's FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVES.

Explore, Listen and Enjoy!
Vinny Fuerst
Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music

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