Friday, November 26, 2010

I got your new music right here.

Blame it on the holydays, or blame it on my favorite scapegoat — le media social. I do, and frequently -- not merely for convenience, but because it’s demonstrable (accent on demon) that the siphoning off of communicative impulses into Facebook and Twitter makes blogging seem downright long-form (aka antique).

Culpabilities aside, I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to return to ye olde confessional mode soon. Meanwhile, here’s a fun bagatelle for you. One of my favorite composers in the aggressively moderne style is György Ligeti. Like many, my first exposure to this artist was via Stanley Kubrick, who used Mr. Ligeti’s often disturbing music to great effect in The Shining in particular.

Ligeti doesn’t make for pleasant background music; it’s full of quirks, such as flatulent squeaks and whispered words. Many’s the time I’ve been asked to eject his CDs or, more passive-aggressively, just asked “How can you listen to that?” And my response is that I don’t invariably hear scary movie music. Instead I hear whimsical, playful, even mischievous music.

Q.E.D.: this performance of Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, as performed by the fabulous Oregon-based new music ensemble Beta Collide, in a video produced by Yachats company BlueDot Productions. Consider this proof positive that new music doesn’t have to be a solemn affair.

Mysteries of the Macabre from BlueDot Productions on Vimeo.

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