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music downtown pt 2

December 26, 2010

It’s been a while since I continued on with this, but I am, and that’s what is important.


  • Gann does a feature on Trimpin, who seems to not have a ton of musical examples on the Internet (and some mp3s on Amazon of mechanical performances of Nancarrow).  Trimpin experimented with using robotics to create music.  It’s a little sad, because if he was just starting out today, he’d be all over the Internet.  I’m most fascinated with his attempt to use robots to play conventional instruments in a way impossible for humans.  Its infinitely more fascinating than creating robots to play instruments in a way humans already can.  I’m hoping the documentary shown at SXSW on him pops up on Netflix soon.
  • Carman Moore (who unfortunately is less interesting to Google than Carmen Moore), director of Skymusic in prepration for his Mass.  I’ve been recently concerned with the idea of the 60’s and 70’s generation looking around America today and very concerned with the fact that things are kinda FUBAR, both in our political world and much smaller art music one.  So, I was pretty amazed at Carman Moore writing an opera in response to Baby Boomers attacking Iraq, despite all of the potential they displayed in the 60s towards peace and environmental preservation.   The music is also pretty good, if you head to his site, and he has a great quote about how moving between styles is like “doing a dance with the audience.”
  • Glenn Branca is just awesome, and I’m so glad I now have leads on some different parts of his artistic output I wasn’t aware of (Symphonies 9 and 10, which are a far cry from his guitar heavy earlier works I knew)
  • One thing that’s always kept me from entirely diving into Mikel Rouse’s work is that its not very easy to find video of his works, and I think any opera or multi-disciplinary piece of art needs to be shown in all its dimensions to fully appreciate it.  Still, what I’ve heard of his music, including the featured piece here (Failing Kansas), has all been good.  Gann’s writeup of his sit down with Gann is probably the best written article so far in the book.   More recent write up on Rouse’s newest project.
  • “I thought I was Pythagoras Jr, in tune with nature and unlocking the keys to the universe.  But you hit a wall, and it no longer becomes art.  Because art is man’s subversion of nature, not his surrender to it.  Artists have egos, and if they do something they consider a collaboration with God, they want half the credit.” – David First, on writing music based on scientific principles.  Nothing else needs to be said on it, really.

part 3 soon (ish)

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