26. July 2007 · Comments Off on Singers Needed · Categories: Ramble

In a live concert directed by the American conductor Paul Henry Smith the “Vienna Symphony Orchestra” — in the shape of the well-known Vienna Symphonic Library VSL — will play symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven. The stage will feature not a single instrument or musician; all sounds will be generated by a PC, which will function as a sample player. The conductor will be controlling the dynamics, the tempo and the entries of the various groups of instruments in real time with the help of a gaming console, thereby conducting a “fauxharmonic orchestra.” For all that Mr. Smith is an accomplished conductor, having learnt his art from such stars as Leonard Bernstein and Sergiu Celibidache.

Okay … here we go again.

So would you go to hear this? (Not much to see, eh?) Oh … but while you read that “The stage will feature not a single instrument or musician”, they do say they need singers. Heh. I guess singers aren’t musicians? (Something we instrumentalists frequently joke about, but still ….)

It says Paul Henry Smith is an accomplished conductor. Well. Fine. But I’d prefer working with a robotic conductor, thank you very much.


26. July 2007 · Comments Off on Keep It Simple (cuz they’rewe’re … okay I’m) Stupid · Categories: Ramble

“Orchestras are very busy,” Puts said. “It’s all business. And music isn’t going to sound as good if it’s too hard to put together fast.”

Hmm. So are composers supposed to write simple stuff so we play it well? How discouraging.

Read here.

26. July 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD & More · Categories: Quotes, Ramble

I couldn’t play guitar for a few months, so I just started studying music again. I started working on (the symphony), and I learned very quickly that there were a lo of gaps in my musical knowledge.

-Mike Einziger (from the rock band Incubus)

I like this. I like that he admits he didn’t know everything. And I like this too:

Einziger began studying five days a week with a teacher and also spent time with a “musical mentor.”

Now of course I realize he might fail at what he’s doing. But I just really appreciate that the guy didn’t just say, “Woo hoo! I’m off to write a symphony!” He studied. Good for him.


So some guy in KORN is writing an opera. This man is writing a symphony. McCartney wrote a few “classical” works. It would be interesting to put together a list of rock/pop/other folks who are now entering into the classical (we-are-so-dead-or-at-least-dying) realm.

And why? What is it that so drives them to do this?

I’m not being sarcastic. I’m not even being skeptical of Mike Einziger’s work. I’m honestly wondering what it is that is causing people do delve into a new music world.

Thoughts? (I do have some ideas. I think it might even connect with my desire—long since given up—to become a poet.)

26. July 2007 · Comments Off on Is It A Big Problem? · Categories: Ramble, Videos

I understood very little of Bart Schneemann’s conversation here, but I did understand this bit (only because it was in English!):

Conductor (I think): Yes Bart, there is a little problem for tonight.

BS: Is it a big problem?

C: Mmmmm. Yes. It’s quite a big problem.

BS: What is the problem? Is it a problem with the concert or something?

C: Yes, it’s a problem with the concert, because the concert hall is burning.

Well, yeah, that’s a problem!

But MY problem? My problem is that I’m not even close to bilingual. Yes, I’m a stupid American. Sigh.

Translation, anyone?

But While I’m On YouTube:
Who says recorders should only play old music, eh? These musicians do something new! (I’m guessing I’m just out of it as usual, and most people already know about this. My YouTube-ness is somewhat behind the times.)

For some older stuff try this. And okay, I’m not too proud to admit this … I nearly cried hearing this. I’m not sure why. It just touched me emotionally. Am I ridiculous? Geesh.

Back to the something contemporary, short & sweet.

26. July 2007 · Comments Off on Must I MUSO? · Categories: Ramble

I’m debating (with myself; I don’t debate others, because I’m the wimpiest of wimps when it comes to confrontation and argument). Should I continue with my Muso subscription?

I subscribed just this past year. It’s easy reading. It’s good pit material because there’s nothing heavy in it. There are only beautiful people pictured except when they do a segment on some more famous, older musician. It introduces me to a lot of musicians I’m unfamiliar with. Now they’ve sent out a re-subscribe notice and they’ve even offered me a FREE Muso card. (Hmmm. But will the card only be for the UK? Guess I should ask.) It’s really the first (and last?) sexy classical music magazine.


Well, a person they recently had on the cover is supposed to be a great classical musician. Then I heard that musician play. Wow. How bad are you allowed to be and still be featured because you are Incredibly Beautiful Musician (IBM)? I wonder.**

Is Muso about fine classical musicians, or is it about the IBMs of the world, ignoring lack of talent?

Still … I keep thinking about that nice PitRead™. Short articles. Easy words. Pretty pictures.

Oh dear. Here I go again, sounding like a snob. What to do? What to do?

**I know, I know, one lacking-in-quality musician does not a bad magazine make. Most of the other featured musicians have been unheard by yours truly. What I would love would be for Muso to include a CD with snippets of the musicians they feature.

26. July 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

But the thing I really believe, after reading O’Hagan’s piece and seeing my own behaviour, is that the best way in to classical music is to take yourself enormously seriously, to suspend any immediate judgements and to pretend that you’re liking something when you’re really not, until the pretending becomes real. In other words, you have to be pretentious. It’s the only way.

-Lloyd Shepherd (RTWT)