Thursday, November 17, 2011

The concert in the Nursery

It was a very varied program at Grow Gardens Nursery last Sunday night. We hope the plants recovered from the Xenakis and thrived with the 15th Century choral music (that we stole and used for strings). Good to have shovels and rakes handy in case we dropped notes.....Mr. London is taking it all very seriously in this photo.
And now....on to "Z" last concert!
December 30 in Sebastopol, where we started!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Xenakis: Composer and Architect

Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)
Xenakis was raised in a music loving family and studied both music and architecture in school. Forced to leave Greece after WWII (where he had been a resistance fighter) he landed in Paris and studied with Le Corbusier. This picture is the Phillips Pavilion at the 1958 Worlds Fair in Brussels, which he designed. Looking at it might help in understanding the jaggedness of his music.
In Paris he also wanted to continue his musical studies. He was rejected by Boulanger, and Honegger, who said that the fact that there were parallel fifths and octaves in his compositions meant that they were not music. It was Olivier Messiaen who did finally accept him as a student. Messiaen introduced him to serialism and also encouraged him to use his mathematical and architectural skills in composition. That is the path he followed. He also went on to be part of the budding computer music world in the 1960's and 70's. His book, "Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition" was written in 1971 while teaching at Indiana University.
"Charisma", the clarinet and cello duet on this program is an edgy piece. In just 4 minutes he builds a sparse, varied, and yet unified structure.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

We're back!

In case anyone had trouble getting into this blog, it actually was removed for a few days by Google. It somehow got trapped in a spam filter. After reviewing it I guess they decided that we really are not very scandalous!