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  • #91
    6fa86940f23401397694005056a9545d.gif

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    • #92
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      • #93
        Originally posted by Randy Stankey
        Satie was a rather strange bird. He was an Absurdist, a Dadaist and he supposedly had some rather strange habits.
        One of the more notable ones being the consumption of Absinthe, over decades, in quantities that existing knowledge about the effect of alcohol on the human body suggests should have killed him within a couple of hours.

        Originally posted by Randy Stankey
        His music, if you listen to it carefully, is rather strange, too.
        And if you try to play it, it'll have you reaching for the bottle, too. He took Dave Brubeck's penchant for weird time signatures one step further, by doing away with them altogether in some of his compositions. I had to learn Jack In the Box for grade 6 piano, which is pretty conventional by his standards, but still includes some pretty nasty contrapuntal banana skins to slip on, especially in the left hand.

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        • #94
          I first heard Satie on an album by Chicago when I worked in radio. Really like it.

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          • #95
            There are three versions of "Gymnopédie." They were published in the order #1, #3, then #2. Satie could be a bastard like that, making people wonder what happened to #2. All three versions are really just variations of each other, changing chord progressions, etc., to sound dissonant or harmonious in different ways.

            Satie called himself a "phonometrician" (one who writes or records sounds) rather than a musician. Most of his work could be considered experiments in combining notes, chords and rhythms.

            I like Satie, too. In high school, I liked to listen to a lot of obscure music like King Crimson and Brian Eno. One of my faves was Brian Eno's "Music for Airports" which was conceived as "environmental music" or "background music" for various settings such as the bustle of people moving around an airport terminal. When I discovered Satie, I thought his work bore an interesting similarity to Eno's. When I eventually read up on Satie, I learned that he often conceived his music in the same way, as environmental, background music.

            I'd suggest that, to listen to Satie, you shouldn't actually "listen" to it. Just play it at a moderately low level then go about your business. As you do, you'll notice that it blends in nicely and often punctuates events as they happen.

            If you try to intentionally listen to a lot of Satie's work, you might find it difficult or even unsettling. If you listen to the three "Gymnopédie" compositions in order you might find them interesting on an academic level but boring or even maddening on a musical level.

            I could not imagine listening to somebody practicing Satie, over and over, for years, especially when played badly, at the wrong time signature.

            I would probably go postal on the guy!

            When I worked at the Tom Ridge Center, I made a mix CD to play in the theater during intermission. Because it was a state-owned facility, I tried to keep it to more classical music than modern. Of the songs in the mix was "Gymnopiédie" #1, #2 and #3. At the time, I didn't know that they were published in the order, #1, #3 then #2. That was the only music on the disc that anybody commented on. People either loved it or hated it. I even got one request for a copy of the CD.

            Eventually, I ended up taking #2 and #3 out of the lineup and replacing them with Mozart's "12 Variations on Ah vous dirai-je, Maman."

            It was fun listening to people try to figure out what the song was.

            Hint: "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman", "Twinkle, Twinkle," "Baa-Baa, Black Sheep" and the "Alphabet Song" are all the same tune.
            Last edited by Randy Stankey; 10-09-2021, 05:47 PM.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Randy Stankey
              I could not imagine listening to somebody practicing Satie, over and over, for years, especially when played badly, at the wrong time signature.
              That's the maddening thing: there is no wrong time signature in the Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes, because there is no time signature. For example, on a first, superficial listen, Gymnopédie #1 sounds like a waltz, but by changing the measures on which you put the emphasis, it's possible to play it in common time or even 2/4. Dave Brubeck's Take Five (as its name flags up, in 5/4 time), or The Unsquare Dance (7/4, so physically impossible to square dance to) have J.S. Bach level of simplicity counterpoint by comparison! Even large scale classical pieces that have unusual time signatures (e.g. the scherzos in Tchaikovsky's sixth and Bruckner's ninth symphonies) are easier to get your head round, IMHO.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Randy Stankey View Post
                There are three versions of "Gymnopédie." They were published in the order #1, #3, then #2. Satie could be a bastard like that, making people wonder what happened to #2. All three versions are really just variations of each other, changing chord progressions, etc., to sound dissonant or harmonious in different ways.
                I'm still waiting for Sierra to release Larry 4.

                George Lucas needed more than 20 years to deliver his missing parts to some space opera and some still claim to this day it never happened.

                Regarding "Gymnopédie", especially #1, it's one of those compositions that has been used in movies, commercials and whatnot so many times, most people will recognize it after just a few notes, but ask anybody what it's called and who wrote it, almost nobody would be able to give you an answer.

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                • #98
                  Erik Satie was a strange, little Frenchman who wore wire rimmed glasses, a beard and a funny hat.

                  George Lucas is a strange, fat American man who wears wire rimmed glasses and a beard but doesn't wear a funny hat.

                  Satie.png Lucas.jpeg

                  Even if you gave Lucas a funny hat, Satie would still win.
                  Back in Satie's day, men could wear funny hats and write odd music without time signatures and people would think you were cool.
                  Today, if you did things like that people will think you are just strange.

                  Strange as he may have been, Satie did all of his own work. He wrote his own music and crafted his own image and lifestyle.

                  Lucas, on the other hand, could not have succeeded if he didn't have all of the people at 20th Centruy Fox backing him up. Yes, he created Star Wars but, if the movie was done his way, it wouldn't even have gotten off the ground. I've seen clips of scenes from Star Wars before the people at Fox fixed them up and they looked about as good as something you'd find on YouTube, today. In fact, there are a lot of YouTube videos that are probably better than Lucas' original cuts.

                  As far as I can tell, Lucas never really thought about what would come after the original Star Wars trilogy. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure that he thought much about "Empire" and "Jedi" until after the original Star Wars became a hit. It was only after the original trilogy was a success and people wanted him to make more that he even began. It took him twenty years, probably, because he hadn't thought that far ahead.

                  Satie published "Gymnopiéde #1" and #3 in 1885 but waited until 1898 to publish the second. He did it on purpose just to mess with people's heads. He wanted to make them wonder what happened to #2. That's way cooler than what Lucas did.

                  In his later years, Satie drank absinthe and ate only white foods. Lucas smokes weed and eats hamburgers.

                  Satie wins, hands down, in my book!

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