Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Modernist music and pop culture

First the Second Viennese School, now Varèse:

(h/t Mind the Gap)

This is so tasteless as to be really awesome, and I found myself wondering why this hasn't been done before. Much twentieth-century music - and I think particularly of my own favourite avant-gardist, Xenakis - has a strong spatial, almost visual appeal that would seem to offer limitless possibilities for video presentation. Unfortunately, this is usually done badly, as in the following example (danger: epilepsy warning):

I own the complete eighty-minute DVD from which this clip is excerpted. Only someone who has experienced it can possibly imagine how tiresome these visuals become after an hour. And so unnecessary, too, because the visual aspect of the musical performance is frequently so interesting - as in this hypnotic performance of Rébonds B:

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