Archive for the ‘music’ category

the fear of death, once more. We absolutely can not get out

December 6, 2013

pop stars are really fascinated by contemporary art

Jay Z gave a performance with Marina Abramovic

Lady Gaga’s album cover is signed by Jeff Koons. She has also worked with Robert Wilson.

the usual course of media visibility means artists leave the underground to gradually win the heart of the mainstream,

Lady Gaga, Jay- Z and others are going the opposite way.

Doing so, they may lose some of their fans.

they complicate their message and their music by the way, and withdraw to pop music its first criterion: the simplicity , sacrificing their commercial success on the altar of a sometimes misty artistic vision.

But, in our times of dematerialized music, their willingness to “become art” or to “create masterpieces” expresses their need to enter history, and to leave behind them a lasting cultural heritage.

The fear of death, once more. We absolutely can not get out




exploration of novel gestural interfaces for musical expressions

June 20, 2013

The “MO” (research project Interlude) allows for the exploration of novel gestural interfaces for musical expressions. The interaction paradigms are centered on collaborative use of gestures, body movements and touch.

The interfaces can be assembled to form an ensemble of connected objects communicating wirelessly. A central concept is to let users determine the final musical function of the working objects, favoring customization, assembling, repurposing. This includes assembling the wireless interface with existing everyday objects or existing musical instruments.

The central module MO contains motion sensors (3D accelerometers and 3axis gyroscopes) and transmits the data wirelessly. Moreover, two accesorries, i.e. other sensors can be added to both side of MO.


how a handful of conformists of the non-conformism booed Stravinsky

June 12, 2013

70 years ago, Igor Stravinsky was almost molested at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris,  by a furious mob. Does this famous theater , which is celebrating its centenary, house a microclimate that is likely to push the public to violence? We could think so by reading its history which is full of scandals.

The first of them has held on May 29, 1913, a few weeks after the opening of the theater. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, causes ” Oh ” and ” Ah “, supported by whistles and various type of  horns: bicycle horns, small pocket horns hidden in tuxedos.

Stravinsky will be booed again on 22 March 1945 by a handful of apprentices composers who stood against the neo-classical orientation of his “Norwegian Impressions” presented, that day, at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées. Led by Serge Nigg, the young protesters use roulette whistle … They belong to the class of Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire and will then returned to their beloved schoolyear, while the press accused them of “conformists of the  non-conformism.”

As for their “Master” (Messaien), it does not take long to feel the pangs of a hall where the spirits seem to warm up faster than elsewhere. Twice. In 1952, as a performer, and ten years later, as a composer.

on June 7, 1952, Olivier Messiaen starred with one of his former disciples in an avant-garde score. The French creation of the first book of the “Structures for two pianos” by Pierre Boulez does not occur smoothly. A gentleman received a lady bag across the face, and a wench who protested against the new work, found himself interrupted by a masterful pair of (dodecacophonic) slaps. That day, the peculiar pressure of the atmosphere surrounding the music lovers from Avenue Montaigne (where is located the Theatre des Champs-Elysées) moved from the space to the theater of those of the Comédie des Champs-Elysées, usually devoted to drama productions.

On 13 February 1962, Messiaen unwillingly checks that the air of the great hall is no less harmful. A hysterical listener attack him backstage after the French creation of “Chronochromie”.

But nothing compares with the level of hostility recorded on December 2, 1954 during the creation of “Deserts” by Edgar Varese. Unfortunately programmed between two “tubes” by Tchaikovsky and Mozart, the work for instrumental ensemble and tape causes the ire of the public and the commentators.

“Mr. Varese should be shot on the spot. He is the “Dominici” of the music”, a newspaper wrote. However, if Gaston Dominici, a Frenchman convicted of the murder of an English family in Haute-Provence (Fr), has been sentenced to death, the guillotine is waiting for him, not the firing squad.



the faddish slang of a younger generation. France -6

June 5, 2013

(source Wikipedia)

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary. The term is generally controversial because it was reappropriated to an extent in the 1990s from its use as an anti-gay epithet. Furthermore, some LGBT people disapprove of using queer as a catch-all because they consider it offensive, derisive or self-deprecating given its continuous use as a form of hate speech. Other LGBT people may avoid queer because they associate it with political radicalism, or simply because they perceive it as the faddish slang of a “younger generation.”


A nice electro pop song here:

05 juin 2013


05 juin 2013

This Caravaggio is not a painter

June 4, 2013

Caravaggio is the desire to bring in an amplified music band, instrumental, electronic and pop-rock inspired compositions combined with an element of improvisation.

Benjamin de la Fuente and Samuel Sighicelli are the composers, allied to an infallible beat by Eric Chevillon and Bruno Echampard. A French musical UFO made of rock, jazz, electronic, without any zapping between styles.

Falling in love with Virginia Woolf is “like being caught by a giant crab”

June 2, 2013

Dame Ethel Mary Smyth, DBE (23 April 1858 – 8 May 1944) was an English composer and a member of the women’s suffrage movement.

She attended the Leipzig Conservatory, where she met many of the many composers of the day. Her compositions include songs, works for piano, chamber music, orchestral and concertante works, choral works, and operas

Smyth had several passionate affairs in her life, most of them with women.

She wrote to his unique boy lover in 1892: “I wonder why it is so much easier for me to love my own sex passionately than yours. I can’t make it out for I am a very healthy-minded person.”

At age 71 she fell in love with writer Virginia Woolf, who, both alarmed and amused, said it was “like being caught by a giant crab”, but the two became friends


Vivaldi, Venice, 1715, a sonata at the Pieta: in the first few bars, first Pelegrina comes in with the Oboe, then Prudenza and then Lucieta, they are all stars

May 26, 2013

In picture of the “Partenza del Bucintoro” by Antonio Stom, the Pietà of Venice is perfectly shown,
which is the large red building in the centre of the painting. The main door is that of the
church. Beside the Pietà to the left is a row of shops, among which is a chemist, a hat shop, a pork butcher, and a dry cleaner. This is the scene that Vivaldi was familiar with in his lifetime

26 mai 2013(ANTONIO STOM ; La partenza del Bucintoro; post 1729?; olio su tela, 132×265 cm)

What was the Pietà?

It was an institution for unwanted and abandoned children. Known as “Ospedale della Pietà”. “Ospedale” in this sense is Hospice, and not “Hospital”. In Venice at the time of  Vivaldi were four main “Ospedali”:

– the Mendicanti, being the biggest which was for the poor, war wounded, the homeless, and the nobility who had fallen on hard times,

– the “Ospedaletto” for orphans,

– the “Incurabile” for those with incurable diseases

– the Pietà.

Babies would be put in a niche in the wall called the “Scaffetta” by the mother,  relative, parish priest who had found a baby left on the roadside. The child was sent either into the country or in Venice, to be brought up by the whet nurses that the Pietà employed, and then returned to Venice after several years, to start life at the Pietà.

The boys were separated from the girls, and then left at the age of 16, having been trained in skills such as stone–cutting, cotton–beating and weaving, in preparation for a job in later life.

The women had three options, to become nuns, but few entered into convents,  marriage, or to live at the Pietà all their lives. The majority, stayed.

They were well looked after, had food and a roof over their heads, but they were put to work.

Inside the Institution, the woman were in two categories:

– the musicians, known as the “Figlie di Coro”,

– and the non–musicians, the “Figlie di Comun”, who would do the sewing, embroidery, silk and cotton weaving, and take care of various tasks in the institution, they would then sell the work they produced.

The musicians were the elite of the Pietà. In Vivaldi’s day there were 60 or 70 in the  Coro. They however also worked and earned their living always within the Institution, they had their own separate rooms and apartments. On of the most lucrative sources of revenue, was to have a “Figlia in Educazione”. The Rich and noble families of Venice and Italy would send their daughters to been educated, at the Pietà, and whom ever received these Children had the title of “Una Figlie Priviligiata”. There were only 14 from the Coro, and ten from the Figlie di Comun who were allowed this privilege.

The head of the household was the Priora, who was in charge of everything that happened in the Institution. The next senior posts were the two Maestre di Coro, and then the two “Scrivane”, whose responsibility it was to look after all the babies who entered the Pietà, they over saw the whet nurses, both in house, Venice and in the country, paid their
salaries, and were present in any disputes there might have been with parents. A mother or the family could claim their child back at any time.

The Pietà was overall governed by about thirty noble and wealthy Venetians

The Music Room into the Pieta:

in this room Vivaldi gave his music lessons, the Figlie di Coro practiced, and Concerts were given to visiting nobles and Royalty from Italy and Europe. It would have been in this room where the famous Gloria of Vivaldi would have been first heard in practice form by the neighbours. Before finally been performed as part of the Mass in the Chapel. Th eMusic Room was a very large room, with a fireplace, the roof was that of wooden beams, the walls were plain, and at the far
end were 13 wooden steps, restored later into stone, leading to an upper part where the Figlie performed, behind an iron grille, as they did in Church.

Vivaldi first went to the Pietà as Maestro di Violin in 1703. He had a 38 year association with this Ospedale. He had been ordained to the Priesthood in March of the same year, and was given what is known as a “Mansionaria”, which is the duty of saying a specified number of Masses for the soul of a woman named Lugrezia Molin Memo, who in her will, stated that she left 2500 ducets for Masses to be said at the “Altare Privileggiato” of the Church of the Pietà. For this he was paid 20 ducats every few months

One of Vivaldi’s pupils playing his work for violin:

Anna Maria is the Figlia for whom he wrote 37 violin concertos, and two for Viola d’Amore, she was an
exceptional musician, and already when she was 16 he could see her exceptional talent.

The relationship between Vivaldi and some of Pieta women (specially Pelegrina, oboe player and Prudenza, violinist ), was very special.

there was an energy between them that was electric, they recognised in him a musician and composer
of exceptional quality, and he saw the same in them. But it is his sensitivity that is remarkable, which show in his writing for them. They all had the same beginnings, they were all unwanted and abandoned, which in a situation such as this, made them more emotionally vulnerable and sensitive, and Vivaldi had understood this, and adapted his
music accordingly.

Playing the sonata that Vivaldi writes for Oboe, Violin, Organ and Salmoè (a small reed instrument,resembling a small clarinet):

in the first few bars, first Pelegrina comes in with the Oboe, then Prudenza and then Lucieta, but they are given equal importance and time. This shows also in his Concertos for Molti Strumenti, they are all stars.