Friday, October 9, 2009

From the folks over at Bad Assembly: "György Ligeti composed Artikulation in 1958 and recorded it at the Studio of Electronic Music of the West German Radio in Cologne. The piece predates the modern analog synthesizers of the late 60’s and early 70’s – the sound sources are a combination of generated sound and tape manipulation. When you hear it you can’t help but think of R2D2, and yet Artikulation was written 20 years before Star Wars was released. Twelve years after Ligeti recorded the piece, Rainer Wehinger created an "aural score" for it. The liner notes from Ligeti's score provide an explanation for what’s going on in the music: "The piece is called Artikulation because in this sense an artificial language is articulated: question and answer, high and low voices, polyglot speaking and interruptions, impulsive outbreaks and humor, charring and whispering". To realize this in a score, Wehinger used a timeline measured in seconds, and used shapes and colors instead of notes on a staff. He used dots for impulses and combs for noise. He used different colors to represent variations in timbre and pitch". Have a look and listen - György Ligeti's Artikulation (1958) with "aural score" by Rainer Wehinger . . . one of this week's FEATURED NEW MUSIC VIDEOS.

"It's impossible to discuss twentieth-century music without touching upon Stravinsky's best-known work (Le Sacre du Printemps/The Rite of Spring - 1913) to some extent. Indeed, the twentieth century's long list of masterpieces would have been inconceivable if not for this forty-minute work that ruffled many feathers at its debut". (Paul-John Ramos: Stravinsky's Le Sacre at 90, Classical Net). Watch a performance choreographed in 1959 by the great Maurice Béjart ... our current DANSES PYTHEUSES.

Check out what Phil Muse of Sequenza21 is talking about ... "The scintillating performance by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz - a longtime champion of contemporary music - of four works by Bright Sheng shows clearly why this composer is a great favorite among present-day musicians. He has a penchant for treating traditional instruments of the orchestra in non-traditional ways that today’s generation of young musicians find stimulating and challenging. And his rhythmic vocabulary will keep everyone (the audience included) on their toes" ... this week's FEATURED RECORDING. Then read Vivien Schweitzer's (The New York Times) article about Bright Sheng's life and works - Intrepid Journey Leads to Ambitious Works - our FEATURED THOUGHT & IDEA this week at Pytheas.

And what more can be said about the most controversial piece of contemporary music there is - John Cage's 4' 33" (1952). I think it's just best to have a listen with a friend and speak your mind ... experience it at FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVES.

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

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