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Showing posts from March, 2015

Upcycling - Boulez's 'Notation' and BBC Symphony Orchestra.

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I was fortunate enough to attend last nights concert at the Barbican - the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing 'Notation' and 'Pli Selon Pli'.  Interestingly, both works are considerably old.  'Pi Selon Pli' was written at the end of the 1950s and 'Notation' was completed in piano form just at the end of the Second World War, pre Boulezian serialism.  Its present manifestation (for orchestra) begun in 1978 and was then reworked in 1984 and 1987.  "Pli Selon Pli" is over 50 years old.  In historical terms, it is halfway to being officially recognised as an antique.  "Notation" has been 'recycled'; it begun as a piano work and has been transformed into a modern orchestral work. In a modern terms, we would refer to this kind of recycling as something which has been "upcycled"; that's where recycled...

... old products are given more value, not less.(- Reiner Pilz)





Imagine an item of furniture, at the end of the war, w…

What is populism?

This can be described as music for the
"‘the masses’ (through reference to ‘their’ folk-music genres) ... topical social and political ideologies, chiefly nationalism and later, at the start of the twentieth century, evolutionism, which influenced the composers’ selection of folk-music themes for their ... [compositions]. " by Rhoda Dullea

The Pulitzer Prize

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This is a prize that I can never see myself winning.

The first obstacle is that I am not American.  I admire a lot of American music and a few of my British heroes have spent a long time in America building their career. Neither am I closely linked to music in the U.S.A. This is not a problem; every region has its own prestigious prize intended for their own countrymen and women.

There certain expectations expected from a Pulitzer prize winner.
Last year, it was John Adams forty minute orchestral work based on a single note group, "Become Ocean".  The year before, it was Partita for 8 Voices by Caroline Shawa mixture of vocal exploration and repetitive music. And so on..you probably get the picture; you have to be in the America circle of composers and writing some form of repetitive music. I don't fit the bill...never mind.

But are you happy with this? Do you think that it should perhaps be more open, more varied?