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Old 10-05-2013, 02:37 PM   #1
ChucklesMginty
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Horrible Modern Composers

Curious if you any of you are into contemporary classical (which quite frankly needs a better name.) I've been into some of the less offensive early 20th century stuff for a while (Bartok, Stravinsky, Strauss.) Then I dared a little further into the 2nd Viennese School and Ligeti, Xenakis and Scelsi (who it by far my favorite so far post Schoenberg.)

But the really, really hard stuff like Ferneyhough, John Cage, Babbitt's synthesizer music and the whole new complexity thing I'm just rather lost. I don't outright hate it, but I'm curious what people are getting from it and what I have to do to understand it. I found Bach fugues difficult to understand at first, but after I educated myself more on his music suddenly it was beautiful.

But this shit is on a whole other level. I was watching a video of Ferneyhough rehearsing with the Arditti quartet, and actually humming parts of them to get across the articulation. So it's not just maths to him it see,=ms, he's hearing it melodically like any other piece.

But is anyone really moved or by this? That doesn't seem to be the point. Do you have to understand the theory behind it to listen to it, in the same way (for me at least) you need to read about a piece of modern art for it to make sense.



Excuse my rambling, but I'm pretty fascinated.

Also, Ferneyhough's totally legit and amazing Twitter account: https://twitter.com/FernBri

Last edited by ChucklesMginty : 10-05-2013 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChucklesMginty
Curious if you any of you are into contemporary classical (which quite frankly needs a better name.)

I'm into it, and yeah it really does.

As for the music, it can be challenging. I don't really know what to say other than that. It's hard and sometimes you have to work at it to unravel it. Repeated listenings always help/ If you feel learning more about it might help you, then do that. At the end of the day, sometimes there's just stuff you plain don't like.

For New Complexity specifically, I find that in that type of "maximalist" music it's easier to appreciate on a macroscopic level. By that I mean that the individual elements like melody, rhythm and articulation don't matter as much as the large scale elements like density and register.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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I have found reading the score is pretty much essential, this is an earlier Ferneyhough piece and I really do enjoy it actually.

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Old 10-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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I know I always get pissed off when I'm playing civ IV and something awesome like beethoven's 6th is playing and then I progress to the modern era and John Adams comes on.

Also, I only made it about 25 seconds into that, but that Ferneyhough dude should really consider suing Killswitch Engage for the start of their Save Me video...
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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Classicpolo is one of the best brands for exclusive collections . you can Buy shirts online, buy t-shirts online ,buy formal shirts online from our store @classicpolos.com. we have widest range of collections. you can choose the best pants . Buy pants online and Buy trousers online from the store at best price
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:30 PM   #6
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^ Christ this is really becoming a problem.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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polo shirts suck nearly as much as those minimalist guys. I mean seriously, what's the point in them?
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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I'll try my best to explain this, some music is meant to be art, some music is meant to be entertaining, some is meant for other more specific purposes.

The piece you sent certainly would sound awkward to the uninitiated, as it does to me, but is it that much different from how a mainstream music fan reacts to technical death metal when first introduced?
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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Maybe we're in the grunge and alternative era of classical style of composing.
Or the hipster era... hahaha
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
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I listened to the string quartet no 6 and waited 24mins for the music to start, but it never did
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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I made it 31 seconds though the video in the OP. I don't like it - it sounds too strange for me!

We once listened to Schoenberg in my music class last year with the score and we concluded that he was on a drug of some sort or he was a blind man who threw darts at a stave to write music.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aralingh
I'll try my best to explain this, some music is meant to be art, some music is meant to be entertaining, some is meant for other more specific purposes.


Oh absolutely- it's the same for other artforms, too.

You could also (as you did) make the point about some things being an acquired taste (though there's often a fine line between something being an acquired taste and just genuinely sucking ).

Still doesn't mean I don't think it sounds like ass
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:02 PM   #14
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For me listening to Schoenberg is sort of like reading a really unpleasant book or watching a disturbing movie, in that I don't exactly enjoy it but I feel compelled to experience it.

Funny how Scelsi is much more accesible despite being some of the most disturbing, perhaps because I heard his music in Shutter Island it gives me more context to put it in.

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
Oh absolutely- it's the same for other artforms, too.

You could also (as you did) make the point about some things being an acquired taste (though there's often a fine line between something being an acquired taste and just genuinely sucking ).

Still doesn't mean I don't think it sounds like ass



Yes, it is. However, I must mention that all of these distinctions are available for interpretation, I may say "I consider this art", but I may not say "this is art", since, in the absolute sense, I don't consider it as something that exists, it's just a concept.

So, in general, taste IS indeed acquired, and even something that is universally hated, in the global sense, it is still subjective. Myself I don't consider the use of term "art" actually valid, but I find it to be useful with people who do consider it such, just to let them know that I may have more of a preference towards specific styles- if they are interested.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:59 AM   #16
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I listen to many of the new complexity guys, Ferneyhough, Barrett, Cassidy ect. in terms of gesture. It feels very theatrical to me. Changing your approach to how you listen can affect your enjoyment of new music a lot.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #17
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I came across Edgard Varese solely through Zappa, but he's very much in this vein - lots of weird percussive stuff which appeals to me as a drummer

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Old 10-06-2013, 10:42 AM   #18
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I have no issue with New Complexity. When I'm asked about awful modern composers, I think more of composers who write tonal music, that doesn't go anywhere, and are just bad it. Foremost among them, in my mind, would be Julie Gyroux. I've played under her before, in a program of her own music, and it was an awful experience for me. She claimed to have never really practiced her instrument when she was a french horn major, went off on bizarre tangents, could not conduct at a steady tempo, and in the concert started conducting a beat pattern that was completely unrelated to the time signature the ensemble was playing in.

I have some unresolved issues.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenGuitar
I listen to many of the new complexity guys, Ferneyhough, Barrett, Cassidy ect. in terms of gesture. It feels very theatrical to me. Changing your approach to how you listen can affect your enjoyment of new music a lot.


How do I do that? Sometimes I come up with images or movies in my head as I listen, that helps.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ChucklesMginty
How do I do that? Sometimes I come up with images or movies in my head as I listen, that helps.

I guess the best advice I can give is to pay more attention the parameters of articulation and rhythm. Also try to feel it in your body.
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