Thursday, January 26, 2012

New short Andres work available on YouTube, to be performed in San Francisco; "short film" interview of composer

NYC composer Timo Andres recently tweeted the location of a YouTube video performance of his new 7-minute piece “You Broke It, You Bought It”, apparently composed in conjunction with the Living Earth Show (link), and performed at the Mission Science Workshop (link) in San Francisco.  The group says the work will be performed Jan. 27 at the Old First Church in San Francisco, along with works by Max Stoffregen and Damon Waitkus.  Is "YBIYBI" the policy of an Apple or Best Buy store? That sounds like what we were taught in the 50s as kids.  

The work is composed for guitar and xylophone (or instruments that look like these) and some other incidental percussion. The workshop looks quite “cluttered”, as if it were a film studio for horror movies (note the skeleton) -- or is that just for "science", as in a similar museum in Richmond, VA)?  I must confess to not knowing the variety of recreational musical instruments.   The composition begins very quietly, and remains at a slow pace.  The composer has an event in NYC Jan 28 (92Y Tribeca link), missed this one myself. 

One of my own sci-fi scenarios envisions that the “protagonist” (me) has passed into another world, and finds himself in a "model railroad" world, placed in an arbitrarily selected history period, in a barracks-like room, with a musical instrument appropriate for the period. The protagonist is challenged to teach a child to play the instrument, partly to show that he is capable of acting as a role model and imposing some discipline.  When the music is appropriate for the period, it plays (on the period instrument supplied).  When it is too advanced (eg, polytonal or atonal), no sound comes out.  The protagonist must sell the other people in the “ashram” of the value of more advanced music. Then he can advance ("get promoted") and live in a later period with more technology again.  I actually dreamed this once.  Would this make a good movie?

I need to get on with getting my own music entered, but in conjunction with movie scripts (above).  One more appointment with Apple Genius next week, and then I think I order Sibelius. I hope I can get my music entered quickly -- and correctly.  Looks like I'll need an iPad before long. (See New York Times story today on iPad manufacture in China.) 

On the Movies Blog, I have a review (Jan. 23) of Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”,  with mention of very primitive woodwind instruments, and of the long-short about music-making (rehearsing and teaching), “Ode to the Dawn of Man”.

Pictures: (1) Summit of the Washington and Old Dominion bike trail in northern VA, at Clark’s Gap (yesterday's day trip). (2) Wikipedia attribution, Chinatown in SF.

Update: Feb. 23

Timo has a new short work for Baritone, violin and piano, "Two River Songs" based on Thoreau's "A Week on the Connecticut and Merrimack Rivers", the second of which, "I Am Bound", can be played at his site here. Daniel Schwait is baritone, Tema Watstein plays the violin, with Timo the Pianist.  This one has a light touch, almost Benjamin-Britten-like.

Feb. 24

Timo does a 20-minute interview from his Brooklyn NY apartment for the blog "I Care If You Listen", by Thomas Deneuville, in a posting called "Hang #3", link here. (For some reason, the browser doesn't unconvert the tinyurl, but Facebook did translate it for me!). It's interesting that he characterizes his "Shy and Mighty" (2010, reviewed here in May 2010) as an "album", in the sense of a collection of Schumann's piano pieces.  Timo also plays a 12-minute version of the "I Am Bound" song above for solo piano (in a second video).  The music starts with light, almost Parisian fingerings and cross hands (using the highest notes of the 88-note-piano), and gradually migrates toward expressionism. Toward the end, there is a descending theme that reminds me of a similar effect near the end of Arnold Schoenberg's "Pelleas et Mellisande".  Curiously, a little atonality makes music sound more lush.   YouTube URL's are (one) and (two).  Taken together, the two clips amount to a "short film".  Is there a film festival for films and videos about classical music?

In the interview above, he says, "All music is about other music."  On Jan. 3, 2012 on my Books blog, I reviewed Google counsel William Patry's latest book on copyright, in which Patry says that almost all creative work involves some "copying".  Then today, Andres on his blog (URL above) discussed the "Golijov Issue", discussed in the New Yorker here.  I'll return to all this later in my main blog.


Andrew said...

Hey Bill, thanks for posting the video!

Timo wrote the piece for us, and the instrumentation is electric guitar and percussion. The percussion setup is for vibraphone (vibraphones have metal bars, xylophones and marimbas have rosewood bars), cymbal, and crotales (those disk-shaped bell things).

I think Mission Science Workshop might be one of the coolest places in the city.

-Andrew, Living Earth Show percussionist

Bill Boushka said...

Thank you for the details on the instrumentation. It was hard to see these details in the video.

I may visit the West Coast this spring and would try to stop by; would have to visit Electronic Frontier Foundation on the trip (in San Francisco) before heading to LA (maybe to sell a movie?)