4'33" Video

Video of a performance of John Cage's essential 4'33". Not the best performance I've ever heard, but still.

Here's my take on the piece.


Review, etc.

Here's my review of a recital by pianist Joyce Yang.

I saw Terrence Malick's latest film, The New World. I don't have the vocabulary needed to give it a full-fledged review, but I wanted to say that I found it moving and deeply felt. The pace of Malick's films is slow, allowing images and events to resonate for the viewer, and I find that very compelling. I did want to comment on his use of Wagner's "Vorspiel" to Das Rheingold at crucial moments in the film. The New World is an elegiac telling of one of America's creation myths, the founding of the Jamestown colony. The use of the Wagner during the opening scene depicting the arrival of the ships (and two other times) was poetic as well as beautiful.

I also saw David Lynch's Eraserhead on DVD. For my money, Lynch uses sound (as opposed to music) as an expressive element in his films better than any other director I am aware of. The sense of foreboding that hangs over this film is in no small part a result of the sonic environment.


Running the Voodoo Down

I don't have much technical knowledge of jazz in any of its incarnations, but I do like it quite a bit. I especially enjoy '50s and early '60s era Miles Davis. His various quintets of the period are chamber music of a very high order.

Music critic and fellow High Hat contributor Phil Freeman has just published a book on Davis' later, electric music, Running the Voodoo Down. Here's a very positive review by John Kelman of all about jazz. Mr. Kelman's emphasis on the author's status as a jazz "outsider" (Phil is best known for his reviews of metal) and how that informs both Mr. Freeman's listening and writing offers another hint for those of us who want to expand the audience for concert music. We need to listen with new ears and write with a new mind.

I look forward to reading Running the Voodoo Down and expanding my own appreciation for Miles Davis' remarkable artistry. I want also to acknowledge Jeff Harrington's invaluable new music reblog, where posts about new music are compiled in what amounts to a one stop blogroll, for pointing me to this review.



Greetings and Happy New Year!

Sometime this morning a lost soul wandered in here and became this blog's 20,000th visitor.

Greg Sandow continues his "improvised book" on the future of classical music. I agree with Mr. Sandow that "form and structure" are essential differences between classical music and other kinds of music:

It gives classical music a special richness, not a greater richness than any other kind of music, but a richness unique to itself.