Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp

The piece of classical music I have been listening to the most in 2013, have been Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp by Claude Debussy from 1915.

It one of Debussy’s (22nd August 1862 – 25th March 1918) later pieces, unique by the brilliant balance between the three instruments.

Debussy is known as one of the most prominent Impressionist composers together with Maurice Ravel, but his later pieces like this one, may also be seen as parallel to Neoclassicism, (best known through Stravinsky’s works from about 1919-1954)

Debussy was a very private, almost isolated man, he saw the world as corrupt and ugly, and had very little social life, besides a few close friends. He wrote about this piece : “My last evening have been charming, I have finished the sketch for the sonate for flute oboe and harp and all reality has been far from me”, he later replaced the oboe, for the viola.

The piece was first performed privately on dec. 10, 1916.

2013 – Highlights – Deceased

Kevin Ayers died 18 February 2013, 68 years old, in his home in the village of Montolieu France.
Ayers was an major force in the English psychedelic movement. A founding member of the pioneering psychedelic band Soft Machine, associated with the Canterbury Scene. After their first album he left the band, but continued with solo works and made 16 albums between 1969 and 2007.
The clip is the opening track from “Whatevershebringswesing” 1971 with the later so prominent Mike Oldfield’s on bass.

2013 – Highlights – Album I did not listen too.

Yes, this is about the most interesting release in 2013, that I actually haven’t heard, or rather that I am listning too right now on Youtube, for the first time.
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks.
After listning to the 2008 instrumental dobbelt album Ghost I-IV ** many many times, and being so much in love with that album. I would have expected myself to have no hesitation, in digging into this new album, which I have heard should be amazing. But I never got back to that and forgot all about it.
** (I know “the slip” came later, but Ghost was the last one I got)
Anyways, from what I have heard so far, I am sure I will get it pretty soon, it is a great NIN album. A bit more accessible than the other NIN albums I know.

Nine Inch Nails is the one of the most popular industrial Rock bands, the only permanent member being Trent Reznor from Cleveland, Ohio,USA . Who also write all material and lyrics, and almost plays everything himself.

Why listen to difficult and avant-garde Music.

I have always been interested in music, as long as I can recall. Unaware of why, especially music that was not played on the radio, music that was not mainly made for dancing, music that was not easy to sing along to, in the bathroom.

Recently I have been thinking about why that is, why would you want to dig into difficult music, that may at first seem like just noise or even worse, that may at first stress you up a bit. When you could just pick a simple tune, pleasant and easy to dig out and like.

MusicFM

I have come up with some answers to that. Some answers that I believe could explain to others, why they should do the same, turn of FM radio, and start listen to complex Classic music, Jazz, 70’s Progressive Rock, and avant-garde experimental music in general.

The first answer that I thought about, was the analog to other things you want to do as ahobby. If you should play golf, would you prefer the easy par 3 courses, or would you prefer to play the difficult 18 holes courses, if you should go skiing, would you prefer the easy hill, or would you want to try the Alpes.

All of us I guess, would allways have more fun, with the harder task, because it is more rewarding to complete a task, if it was hard to do, why would that be any different with music. Digging into a difficult genre of music, that you don’t know, is a hard task, the rewards found there so much more satisfying.

Another reason is from an art point of view, listening to FM radio hits, in that perspective is like looking at paintings mass produces for tourists, its only made to please the receiver so that it is easy to sell, with little or no artistic ambition. Only the music expanding adding or commenting, on the culture of its time, will ever become great music. Just as it will be and have always been in the other arts.

All this said,there is nothing wrong with pop music, mainstream rock, or other music that just continues an already established genre, but if you want music to blow your minds off, you should try to explore the edge of music, if you get it, its amassing.

Danish Band Svin combines styles such as jazz, alternative rock, post rock and free jazz.”

Robert Fripp – exposure trilogy

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My first blog will be about the stunning Robert Fripp Exposure project. Resulting in some interesting album, in the later part of the 70’s.

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The trilogy was never as he intended, especialy due to the late release of SS, but its still easy to find a lot of similarities between the albums.

Daryl Hall, Sacred Songs (recorded 1977 released 1980)

Peter Gabriel, (II – Scratch) (1978)

Robert Fripp, Exposure (1979)

And more so, because they recorded several versions of some of the songs on Exposure, resulting in the so called third edition bonus disc (2006).

Fripp put it like this : “What I was trying to do in the original trilogy was to investigate the ‘pop song’ as a means of expression … I think it’s a supreme discipline to know that you have three to four minutes to get together all your lost emotions and find words of one syllable or less to put forward all your ideas. It’s a discipline of form that I don’t think is cheap or shoddy.”

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Another angel on this project, that is interesting, is how Fripp wanted the sound, the stripped down vocals production, the very “retro” mix, is so much in opposition to what prog was about to become, with Yes Genesis, 80’s King Crimson  and the Neo-prog wave, of “overproduced” albums, that was to become the plague of the next 20 years of music. Fripp made the sound that many find modern today, in the late 70’s.

Everyone interested in Fripp and/or Gabriel, should take the time to listen trough these 3 albums, in one long session, starting with SS, and ending with Exposure, it’s a wonderfull journey.

Digging Deeper into Music

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