Sunday, January 30, 2011
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Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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Saturday, January 15, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
From the Harry Partch Information Center:
Harry Partch (1901-1974), one of the greatest and most individualistic composers of all time, was not only a great composer, but an innovative theorist who broke through the shackles of many centuries of one tuning system for all of Western music, a music instrument inventor who created dozens of incredible instruments for the performance of his music, and a musical dramatist who created his own texts and dance/theatre extravaganzas based on everything from Greek mythology to his own experiences as a hobo. Between 1930 and 1972, he created one of the most amazing bodies of sensually alluring and emotionally powerful music of the 20th century: music dramas, dance theater, multi-media extravaganzas, vocal music and chamber music---mostly all performed on the instruments he built himself.
With parents who were former missionaries to China, living in isolated areas of the American southwest, Partch, as a child, was exposed to a variety of influences from Asian to Native American. After dropping out of the University of Southern California, he began to study on his own and to question the tuning and philosophical foundations of Western music. During and after the Great Depression, he was a hobo and itinerant worker and rode the trains, keeping a musical notebook of his experiences, which he later set to music.
In 1930 Partch broke with Western European tradition and forged a new music based on a more primal, corporeal integration of the elements of speech with music, using principles of natural acoustic resonance (just intonation) and expanded melodic and harmonic possibilities. He began to first adapt guitars and violas to play his music, and then began to build new instruments in a new microtonal tuning system. He built over 25 instruments, plus numerous small hand instruments, and became a brilliant spokesman for his ideas. Largely ignored by the standard musical institutions during his lifetime, he criticized concert traditions, the roles of the performer and composer, the role of music in society, the 12-tone equal-temperament scale and the concept of "pure" or abstract music. To explain his philosophical and intonational ideas, he wrote a treatise, Genesis of a Music, which has served as a primary source of information and inspiration to many musicians for the last half century.
Posted by Tony Renner at 9:27 AM
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Jedediah Berry's novel The Manual of Detection chronicles the efforts of Charles Unwin, recently promoted from clerk to detective, to solve the mystery of the disappearance of detective Travis Sivart. Set in an undefined time and place of manual typewriters and never-ending rain, The Manual of Detection eludes easy description like trying to recount a dream.
Posted by Tony Renner at 2:41 PM
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
T. Renner, "Improvisation for Syd Barrett (Shine On You Crazy Diamond) #2," 2009, acrylic on paper, 17" x 11".
Today would have been Syd Barrett's 65th birthday. He died on July 7, 2006.
Posted by Tony Renner at 3:56 PM
Madeline Avirov has an essay, "A Primitive Mind," about her relationship with art and poetry in the January 2011 issue of Poetry, which includes her work "A Mind of Winter." The above is my attempt at something similar.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
From the New Musical Express:
Japan bassist Mick Karn has died aged 52.
Karn, who revealed in June 2010 that he had been diagnosed with advanced stage cancer, passed away at his Chelsea home today (January 4), according to a statement on Mickkarn.net.
The statement added that Karn "was surrounded by his family and friends" at the time of his death, and that he "will be deeply missed by all".
Born Andonis Michaelides in Nicosia, Cyprus, Karn played with Japan from their formation in 1974 until their split in 1982, and again in 1991 during a brief reunion under the new name Rain Tree Crow. He also worked with Gary Numan, Kate Bush and Bauhaus founder member Peter Murphy, with whom he formed Dali's Car in 1984.