Daniel Goode

Composer & Performer

Tag: gaming

Roi Reviews: more H. Goebbels

March 19, 2011 10:50:53 PM EDT

3/18/11 Tully performance

Orchestra qua Theater. But why? It is (they’re) the medium, not the message. I have a feeling that he’s spinning his wheels waiting for a suitable text or libretto to come along. His wheels are well oiled. The Surrogate Cities raised that question most. But in the G. Stein, it was so over-the-top all the time. But the Stein is so intentionally flat. A mismatch spiritually. Still, along with cantorial music samples, he is associating himself with Jews, and with lesbians. Well inoculated. I thank him for that.

He doesn’t need more than an acoustically thin “broken consort” (or the Schoenberg kammersymphonie/radio orchestra) sized orchestra because he adds a mesmerizing layer of sampled invariably THICK drone-ish, or rhythmic texture which distances and interprets the chamber orchestra’s sounds. These drones and samples become electronic hooks themselves—that’s possible now, ever since techno, and before that, electronic music and radio. H.G. has beautiful white hair and a large frame dressed in musician’s black. I complimented him on giving new life to the “broken consort” (he even had a theorbo in the mix). At first he looked puzzled, but then got it, and thanked me for coming.

The chamber orchestra is being re-contextualized with lighting and concrete sounds. And you hear right away not to focus on the instrumental orchestration, melody, etc. But what are all the bells and whistles focusing you on? They were beautiful bells and whistles. The new Tully sound system and lighting were spectacular. So resources count. At times I thought of it as an “uptown Richard Foreman.” Instead of a mad cacophony of actual bells and whistles in Foreman, we had smooth, elegant textures of fabulous instrumentalists doing difficult imaginative music. Flashing lights and breathtaking cuts.

Music for Merce CD Party

March 22, 2011 6:40:25 PM EDT

10 disks from New World Records of composers for the Cunningham Dance Co. In the audience or on stage were those still alive. Wonderful artists. To single out is to ignore. 2 concerts-worth. Kosugi’s incredibly intense mouth sounds, hand filtered, and later an ear-splitting oscillator piece that was thrilling, if dangerous. Gordon Mumma’s elegant short piano pieces, he played beautifully, presided professorially, dressed the part. Christian Wolff, calm and steady at the piano. (We were told that he composed his first piece for the Company when he was 18). A beautiful sax sound from Matana Roberts, not part of the cohort on the disks. Only criticism, is that all the original pieces were composed for dance. Only one film clip was shown, at the head, but the electric nature of the music and image when combined really eclipsed the rest of day and evening concerts as experience, though not as to accomplishment.

Phenomenological Approach to Elliott Carter’s Music

May 11, 2012 12:39:53 PM EDT

Steven Beck performed the complete solo piano music of Carter this May 5th at the New Spectrum Foundation on 23rd Street, NYC. It was about an hour and a half of very technically demanding music which he played with panache and complete conviction. He was a pleasure.

The music was either soft-ish, loud, or very loud. It was either very fast or slow. You could cut a swatch of it at any time from his continuing career (he’s 103) and it would sort of sound the same—similar. (I’ve thought that of Philip Glass, too, on the other end of the spectrum of style). Punkt. Period. That’s all. Nothing more to say. Nada.

Well, there’s a little more: Most of the music makes an auditory impression of cantus fermi. There is a long, accented series of tones, “elaborated on” by very fast sprinkles of notes in between and around. Both layers are non-tonal. It’s amazing how few gestures he uses, but also, how tedious to hear them over and over again.

I am, admittedly, looking through blurry glasses which can only discern general shapes and qualities. I’m not sure I want to focus in.

It’s catty, but fun to say that Carter’s Little [Liver] Pills must work, because the family invention has given their composer-son a century plus of life and creativity. Thumbnail review.

The Rite Resists Dance

Thumbnail Review, March 9th
March 11, 2013 10:45:30 PM EDT

How can the most famous dance score of the 20th Century, The Rite of Spring, resist choreography? It does, easily. I watched a solo pianist, Neil Alexander play his arrangement of the score on an amplified upright piano at the corner of the stage of the Alvin Ailey Theater in New York (thank you Citigroup!) while a dance troupe (Jonathan Riedel Dance Theater) did a lot of things with seven dancers, one, a man with a vicious looking stage knife or alternatively a German cross as pendant. A lot happened.

With all this action going on, my eyes and ears were still glued to the music Sometimes the amplified sound distorted. Mostly it sounded as familiar as a Brahms lullaby. It was just lovely piano music, not spectacle, or dissonant blockbuster. (I remember an L.A Philharmonic performance of it at the Disney auditorium where I was seated behind the stage, almost falling into the brass section as I swooned to their hypnotic choiring.) This was not like that. It was more like delicate Chopin traceries with occasional big bangs. Wonderful bangs, still 100 years later! And the gorgeous achingly beautiful slow dance in Eb-minor-ish: “Spring Rounds.” I could listen to that section over and over again. Maybe I’ll make that happen.

It’s been going around during this 100th anniversary of its premiere, that the booing and hissing in Paris was to Nijinsky’s choreography, not Igor’s music. How would we know? Maybe I need to see a few more dance versions before I proclaim that the score will always resist its dance interpretation—because of the mind-numbing stupidity of a “pagan ritual” with female sacrifice as its coup de grace.

It’s dumb 19th Century imaginary “anthropology,” romantic primitivism put out, I think, to rationalize the great innovative break that Stravinsky made, and foisted on a conservative culture. Perhaps that insufferable pagan ritual context was the reason the Riedel interpretation overlayed it with another story, the program notes told me, from a 13th Century Swedish folktale. Relief! when the dance ended with an embrace instead of a sacrifice. I predict that only a miracle will find a dance that matches the music and satisfies all senses.

Thumbnail review.