Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 6 - Immortality in the East

Mixed a provisional San Rafael News: IV Immortality -- best that could be done thus far on GarageBand, what with the outside ambient noise at Chamber Arts, etc., but at least a surreal document approximating what we've been up to.

Lyrics after an encyclopedia definition...

Is a term for the feeling believe
In human life continuing after death
The question whether there is life after death
Has played an important role
In philosophy and religion
An ability to void death totally

It's a mensuration canon -- probably not what first comes to mind -- a sort of "time round" where the three entrances of the melody in the middle of the piece are not only at different pitches, but in different time signatures (normal on top, slow on bottom, and extremely slow in the middle) --

a notion borrowed from Josquin des Pres in Agnus Dei II of Missa "L'Homme Arme" Super Voces Musicales (will have to get the sheet music of Immortality up on site soon, too).

Before this, Deborah does a great dictation of Alan Menken's

A Whole New World from Alladin (1992), beginning, in Bb

Mi Fa La Sol -- another melody with delayed usage of a prominent tonic, as in yesterday's selection from

King Diamond (the name had eluded yesterday -- b. Kim Bendix Petersen [the appelative change definitely suited metal usage], June 14, 1956, Copenhagen, Denmark -- Lord, he's older than.... -- and I suppose we all have to act out -- some regularly for fun and profit... definitely at a distance from Alladin....).

But we digress-- and isn't much of life so? -- at any rate, the Menken selection proves to have great harmony -- again, like King Diamond, Bela Bartok, and so much of the blues, a reharmonization of a static motive.

Distict here is are the nice voice-leading potentials: an initial three chord changes that yield a nice step-wise rising voice; and a chromatic passing bass (4 #4 5), interior harmonized as a diminished 7th, with double common tones from the previous IV.

After this Nick M. plays his animated new piece on guitar, and we hold forth with Kristen's recording of Ozymandias.

Stop at local library on way home for re-supply of borrowed CD's -- have gone through 6/7ths of their collection by now, picking and choosing, of course.

Back in evening for the Music Historians -- our last class at the helm, as students will be giving special presentations over the final two weeks -- music tonight (recapitulating a bit of the past couple of weeks, plus music 200-2008) by Neal Hefti (Batman), Philip Glass (Naqoyaqatsi), John Corigliano (The Red Violin), Jimi Hendrix (All Along the Watchtower as used in Forest Gump), Neil Young (Keep on Rockin' in the Free World utilized as the closer in Michael Morgan's Farenheit 911),

(According to Neil Young's biography Shakey, while on tour in the late '80s, Young and Frank "Poncho" Sampedro looked at photos in a newspaper of the Ayatollah Khomeini's body being carried to his grave. These images showed mourners burning American flags in the street, which incited fear in Poncho. Sampedro commented, "Whatever we do, we shouldn't go near the Mideast. It's probably better we just keep on rockin' in the free world." Then Young asked if he could make a song out of it.),

Kurt Cobain / Nirvana (Heart-Shaped B0x), Steven Clark (Amok Time, first instance of showing a You Tube clip), and music of Symphony X, Death Cab for Cutie, and Panic! At the Disco!

Home late. Blitzed through music sections of NYT, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Times of London, Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, Toronto Star, and Philadelphia Inquirer -- and surely that's enough extended life for one day...