I wrote a story some time ago. It was for a project where we had to mimic another author’s style. The sample was repetitive. The character would recite the same statement throughout the narration.
I’d just been to the torture museum in Amsterdam and was still holding the experience in my mind. I came up with the tour guide for the museum. A Tippi Hedren type (Hitchcock’s the birds) in a pale green Chanel and updo, but with Melanie’s (Tippi’s daughter) sweetness. The guide would go about the museum pointing out the advantages between one device and the other, while at the same time mesmerizing the guests with the craftmanship and high-quality components, making extra emphasis on the nonbinding Italian leather. The tour guide would repeat after every description, “but don’t forget your parting gift from the souvenir shop at the end of the tour. “
My sister thought the story funny. She liked it so much she shared it with her oldest son. He apparently found it humorous also, because he rewrote it into a play and with his younger sister presented it at his high school show and tell. To great fanfare, celebration and cheers, he got suspended for three days.
I’ve run the gamut on responses to this question. Some, which I assume are Non-Christian favor Jesus’s humanity. Oddly Christians focus on his divinity, which I find misleading given the message is in how Jesus lived his life.
Documentary in which painter and critic Matthew Collings charts the rise of abstract art over the last 100 years, whilst trying to answer a set of basic questions that many people have about this often-baffling art form. How do we respond to abstract art when we see it? Is it supposed to be hard or easy? When abstract artists chuck paint about with abandon, what does it mean? Does abstract art stand for something or is it supposed to be understood as just itself?
These might be thought of as unanswerable questions, but by looking at key historical figures and exploring the private world of abstract artists today, Collings shows that there are, in fact, answers.
Living artists in the programme create art in front of the camera using techniques that seem outrageously free, but through his friendly-yet-probing interview style Collings immediately establishes that the work always has a firm rationale. When Collings visits 92-year-old Bert Irvin in his studio in Stepney, east London he finds that the colourful works continue experiments in perceptual ideas about colour and space first established by abstract art pioneers such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky in the 1910s.
Other historic artists featured in the programme include the notorious Jackson Pollock, the maker of drip paintings, and Mark Rothko, whose abstractions often consist of nothing but large expanses of red. Collings explains the inner structure of such works. It turns out there are hidden rules to abstraction that viewers of this intriguing, groundbreaking programme may never have expected.
Why do people have to condemn what they don’t understand? Art doesn’t have to be the same thing for everyone, and just because someone values a different form doesn’t mean it isn’t legitimate or is “BS”. I’m saddened by the angry responses to this series. We can have different aesthetics, it’s ok to not like abstraction or to love it, that is your freedom. But we owe each other tolerance, and spewing hateful rhetoric doesn’t lead anywhere except further division. Many of these artists in the documentary could render form in a representational matter to a degree that would blow the socks off the realist painters out there. They just reached a point where they didn’t find it meaningful anymore, they had lived through wars and turmoil and painting representational illusions just didn’t cut it for them anymore. They wanted to try and tap into painting the invisible. Who am I to condemn someone’s honest attempt to understand this life, this world? I certainly don’t claim to understand all abstract art, but I don’t deny their sincere attempt to reveal something about life as they have experienced it and their struggle to communicate something of that experience. Mary Moquin
FILM DESCRIPTION: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again by heroic Metro Man (Brad Pitt), Megamind is more surprised than anyone when he actually manages to defeat his longtime enemy. But without Metro Man, Megamind has no purpose in life, so he creates a new opponent, who quickly decides that it’s more fun to be a bad guy than a hero.
Written for the 80th birthday of the Stravinsky’s great friend (and conductor of the riotous premiere of the Rite of Spring) Pierre Monteux, the Greeting Prelude is essentially just a very Stravinskian remix of Happy Birthday, and has ever since been used by orchestras the world over to open birthday themed concerts. By Guy Jones
Stravinsky’s compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresarioSerge Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (1913). The latter transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was largely responsible for Stravinsky’s enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design. His “Russian phase” which continued with works such as Renard, the Soldier’s Tale and Les Noces, was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassicism. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue and symphony), drawing on earlier styles, especially from the 18th century. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures. His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, and of instrumentation.
Stravinsky’s use of motivic development (the use of musical figures that are repeated in different guises throughout a composition or section of a composition) included additive motivic development. This is where notes are subtracted or added to a motif without regard to the consequent changes in metre. A similar technique can be found as early as the 16th century, for example in the music of Cipriano de Rore, Orlandus Lassus, Carlo Gesualdo and Giovanni de Macque, music with which Stravinsky exhibited considerable familiarity.
The Rite of Spring is notable for its relentless use of ostinati, for example in the eighth-note ostinato on strings accented by eight horns in the section “Augurs of Spring (Dances of the Young Girls)”. The work also contains passages where several ostinati clash against one another. Stravinsky was noted for his distinctive use of rhythm, especially in the Rite of Spring (1913). According to the composer Philip Glass, “the idea of pushing the rhythms across the bar lines […] led the way […]. The rhythmic structure of music became much more fluid and in a certain way spontaneous”. Glass mentions Stravinsky’s “primitive, offbeat rhythmic drive”. According to Andrew J. Browne, “Stravinsky is perhaps the only composer who has raised rhythm in itself to the dignity of art”. Stravinsky’s rhythm and vitality greatly influenced the composer Aaron Copland.
Over the course of his career, Stravinsky called for a wide variety of orchestral, instrumental, and vocal forces, ranging from single instruments in such works as Three Pieces for Clarinet (1918) or Elegy for Solo Viola (1944) to the enormous orchestra of TheRite of Spring (1913), which Aaron Copland characterized as “the foremost orchestral achievement of the 20th century.”
Stravinsky’s creation of unique and idiosyncratic ensembles arising from the specific musical nature of individual works is a basic element of his style.
Following the model of his teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky’s student works such as the Symphony in E♭, Op. 1 (1907), Scherzo fantastique, Op. 3 (1908), and Fireworks (Feu d’artifice), Op. 4 (1908), call for large orchestral forces. This is not surprising, as the works were as much exercises in orchestration as in composition. The Symphony, for example, calls for 3 flutes (3rd doubles piccolo); 2 oboes; 3 clarinets in B♭; 2 bassoons; 4 horns in F; 3 trumpets in B♭; 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, triangle, cymbals, and strings. The Scherzo fantastique calls for a slightly larger orchestra but completely omits trombones: this was Stravinsky’s response to Rimsky’s criticism of their overuse in the Symphony.
The three ballets composed for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes call for particularly large orchestras:
The Firebird (1910) requires winds in fours, 4 horns, 3 trumpets (in A), 3 trombones, tuba, celesta, 3 harps, piano, and strings. The percussion section calls for timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, tamtam, tubular bells, glockenspiel, and xylophone. In addition, the original version calls for 3 onstage trumpets and 4 onstage Wagner tubas (2 tenor and 2 bass).
The original version of Petrushka (1911) calls for a similar orchestra (without onstage brass, but with the addition of onstage snare drum). The particularly prominent role of the piano is the result of the music’s origin as a Konzertstück for piano and orchestra.
The Rite of Spring (1913) calls for the largest orchestra Stravinsky ever employed: piccolo, 3 flutes (3rd doubles 2nd piccolo), alto flute, 4 oboes (4th doubles 2nd cor anglais), cor anglais, piccolo clarinet in D/E♭, 3 clarinets (3rd doubles 2nd bass clarinet), bass clarinet, 4 bassoons (4th doubles 2nd contrabassoon), contrabassoon, 8 horns (7th and 8th double tenor Wagner tubas), piccolo trumpet in D, 4 trumpets in C (4th doubles bass trumpet in E♭), 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), 2 tubas. Percussion includes 5 timpani (2 players), bass drum, tamtam, triangle, tambourine, cymbals, antique cymbals, guiro, and strings. (Piano, celesta, and harp are not included.
Old fashioned romantic Richard Wagner wrote this piece as a birthday/Christmas gift for his wife Cosima (her birthday was on the 24th December). She awoke on Christmas morning to the strains of the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich performing the work on the stairs of their Swiss villa. She said “As I awoke … no longer could I imagine myself to be dreaming … such music!” Maybe Kanye gets all his gift ideas from Wagner…
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (/ˈvɑːɡnər/VAHG-nər, German: [ˈʁɪçaʁt ˈvaːɡnɐ] (listen); 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, “music dramas”). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).
His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas, or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.
Until his final years, Wagner’s life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment, notably, since the late 20th century, where they express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; his influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wagner
A rare thing – a bright, cheerful piece by Shostakovich – the second piano concerto was written for his son, Maxim, for his 19th birthday and he premiered the piece at his graduation ceremony from the Moscow Conservatory. Shortly after completing the piece, Shostakovich wrote in a letter that it had “no redeeming artistic merits”, although he still performed it himself many times, and indeed it has become one of his most famous works. By Guy Jones.
AllegroThe first movement is in sonata form. The jolly main theme of the first movement is played first by the bassoon, then soon accompanied by the clarinets and oboes. The piano enters unobtrusively with an answering theme, played as single notes in both hands an octave apart. This evolves into a march-like theme. A new melodic theme in D minor is then introduced, with unisons two octaves apart on the piano, winding down to nothing. Then, an abrupt blast from the orchestra leads into tumultuous and low jumping octaves on the lower piano, while the orchestra plays a variation on the original piano melody fortissimo. The piano builds in a triplet pattern to introduce the D minor theme (now in D major) in an augmentation in a triumphant tutti. At the climax, everything comes to a silent pause, and the piano comes in with a fugue-like counterpoint solo. After a minute of the fugue, the orchestra comes back in, playing the melody in the high winds. The orchestra builds on the main melody while the piano plays scales and tremolos, which lead into a joyous few lines of chords and octaves by the piano, with the main theme finally resurfacing and bringing the movement to a close. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Concerto_No._2_(Shostakovich)