Amoeblog

Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima

Posted by Whitmore, August 6, 2009 08:15am | Post a Comment
Penderecki
Taking third prize at the prestigious Grzegorz Fitelberg Composers' Competition in 1960, Krzysztof Penderecki burst onto the international scene with Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, scored for 52 string instruments. One of the most harrowing pieces of music ever conceived, Threnody is unforgiving and brutal, horrifying and captivating, solemn and catastrophic.
 
Its atmospheric dissonance engulfs the listener with tone clusters that are piercing and shrieking at an orchestra’s highest register. Originally entitled 8'37”, Threnody’s score is unorthodox and mostly symbol-based, directing the musicians to play at various vague points on their instruments or to focus on textural effects and extended techniques, like playing on the wrong side of the bridge or slapping the instrument percussively. The piece includes an invisible canon in 36 voices and an overall musical texture that is more important than any individual note. Penderecki sought to heighten the dissonant element of the piece by composing in quarter tones -- hypertonality -- creating a greater reaching elegiac mood than could be found in traditional tonality.

BACK WHEN A POETRY READING SOLD OUT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2009 07:56pm | Post a Comment


Thanks to Tom McQuown at Amoeba Music Berkeley for schooling me on the historic night the above clip featuring the late Allen GInsberg is taken from. It was a June 11, 1965 performance at London's Royal Albert Hall and the large venue sold out all of its 7000 seats-- an amazing accomplishment for a spoken word/poetry event. In addition to Ginsberg, the performance, which was billed as the International Poetry Incarnation, attracted a wide variety of important figures at the time, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti, William Burroughs, Michael Horovitz, Tom McGrath and Adrian Mitchell. The performance was recorded by Peter Whitehead, who documented the event on film and released it as Wholly Communion, which is where the above video clip came from. Two years ago the film was released on DVD in the UK under the title Wholly Communion and & The Endless Reinvention of the 1960's, which also includes Whitehead's 1967 documentary Benefit of the Doubt.

As Amoeba's McQuown related, what was most amazing about the night was how it became such a happening, bringing together all these people in London in 1965 who never saw themselves as a collective up til this point. "It was a time when a lot of people who didn't necessarily know each other showed up at this poetry event but they started to recognize each other. They might have seen each other at other art or poetry happenings or at an early Pink Floyd show. But this night kind of solidifed things and people started to realize that they were all connected and all part of a scene," said McQuown. Not surprisingly, a copious amount of mind altering drugs, not to mention a lot of booze, was consumed that evening by those in the audience and on stage and hence some of the performances were a little sloppy. But none of that mattered for the "wholly communion" that took place that night 44 years ago.

August 5, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, August 5, 2009 03:02pm | Post a Comment
The Collector movie ticket stub








Mad Men Season 2

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 5, 2009 12:15pm | Post a Comment
by Scott

mad men season 2

When a cable show starts its 2nd season, there's always a fear that it won't be a worthy successor to the previous one. There's also a hope that, because of the show being given a green light for the 2nd season, mad men season 2the show will push the envelope and try things that they wouldn't have tried in the 1st season.

Mad Men's 2nd season is every bit as good as its 1st -- in some cases, better. AMC has the best show on television: it's halfwayjackie kennedy between a miniseries and a feature film. It's lit and costumed like a feature film, but with the low story arc of a miniseries.

There are many extras in this newly released DVD set of Season 2: do yourself a favor and watch the documentaries first. There are lots of shorts on cultural events of the 60s (Jackie Kennedy's tour of the White House, the Port Huron statement, and Mark Rothko, to name a few). There are longer documentaries on feminism (spread out over 2 discs) and fashion through the entire decade of the 1960s. Commentaries, especially those by the show creator, Matt Weiner, are insightful and entertaining, but should be heard after watching each episode.

Continue reading...

Amoebapalooza North -- The SF Bands!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 4, 2009 12:13pm | Post a Comment
amoebapalooza 09

Having participated once before in Amoebapalooza, our annual night of musical mayhem, rhythm and revelry, I had some idea of what to expect when I stepped through the doors of The Mezzanine on a San Francisco summer night. Without casting any dispersions on venues of the past, I was immediately impressed by the layout of the theatre, the size, the decor, and, above all, the state of the art sound system. I zipped up my green Adidas track suit and strode boldly in.

amoebapalooza 09
    
While looking forward to the entire evening of revelry, I was personally invested in two particular acts.  One of them had me feeling particularly (I'll admit) apprehensive. The other was scheduled to open the show. Let's start there, shall we?

amoebapalooza 09

After a hearty and enthusiastic welcome from our capable and well dressed hosts, W.C. Von der Berc's Cabaret took the stage with preamble courtesy of one drunken and belligerent clown. I had been enlisted to slap upright bass, a duty which I was happy to perform, doing my best to keep up with the dark carnival maelstrom that is W.C. and his Cabaret. Standards of yesteryear such as "St. Louis Blues" and "I Put A Spell On You" were given a treatment reminiscent of absinthe and anarchy, punk and pandemonium. Quite a sight to see!

BACK  <<  1344  1345  1346  1347  1348  1349  1350  1351  1352  1353  1354  1355  >>  NEXT