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20th and 21st century classical music
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drdork
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Post 2012-07-04 15:55   [Quote] 
cookie_manager wrote:
I believe there's software that allows you to filter out the human voice in pop songs - is that possible?

I believe that's based on stereo panning, not on any characteristics of the human voice.

Invert one channel, then add the two channels together. The result is a mono signal that's missing whatever was panned to the center.

So if all of the vocals and none of the instruments are panned to the center in the source recording, it may work.
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yetanother
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Post 2012-07-04 16:59   [Quote] 
drdork wrote:
cookie_manager wrote:
I believe there's software that allows you to filter out the human voice in pop songs - is that possible?

I believe that's based on stereo panning, not on any characteristics of the human voice.

Not really, it's based on formants - the same principle used in voice recognition software and devices. However, it's currently still far from being an accurate technology, and of course, when you filter out the frequential content of the voice, you also filter out a good deal of the rest (although at least you preserve the stereo image).

The phase-cancelling method you mention works in theory, but considering that classical music recordings in general use stereo ambience miking, even if the singer were placed right in the middle of the room, you'd still get a very different signal on both channels. And even in commercial pop/rock recordings it would probably not work, since it's common practice to double-track vocals in separate channels to add more "life" to the mix.

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brainpang
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Post 2012-07-05 10:06   [Quote] 
RAMBLING THOUGHTS:

A. Thanks for the tips, all, but I'd have better luck attending a live performance and enacting some type of hostage situation.

B. I didn't see this movie, looks terrible to me, but now want to after seeing the track list for the soundtrack as compiled by Robbie Robertson:

SHUTTER ISLAND (Scorcese)

CD 1
1. Ingram Marshall - Fog Tropes
2. Krysztof Penderecki - Symphony No. 3 - IV. Passacaglia - Allegro moderato
3. John Cage - Music for Marcel Duchamp
4. Nam June Paik - Hommage à John Cage
5. György Ligeti - Lontano
6. Morton Feldman - Rothko Chapel 2
7. Johnnie Ray - Cry
8. Max Richter - On the Nature of Daylight
9. Giacinto Scelsi - Uaxuctum - III. [untitled]
10. Gustav Mahler - Quartet in A minor for piano and strings

CD 2
1. John Adams - Christian Zeal and Activity
2. Lou Harrison - Suite for Symphonic Strings - IX. Nocturne
3. Brian Eno - Lizard Point
4. Alfred Schnittke - Four Hymns - II. For Cello and Double Bass
5. John Cage - Root of an Unfocus
6. Ingram Marshall - Alctraz - I. Prelude: The Bay
7. Lonnie Johnson - Tomorrow Night
8. Max Richter/Dinah Washington - On the Nature of Daylight/This Bitter Earth

I read they used another Scelsi piece not included on the cd as well. Must be a first for Hollywood, right?
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yetanother
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Post 2012-07-05 13:21   [Quote] 
brainpang wrote:
Gustav Mahler - Quartet in A minor for piano and strings

Fuck yeah! Mahler's only surviving piece of chamber music... of which he only finished one movement, BTW. (the "Schnittkefied" version of the scherzo is quite fun too)

brainpang wrote:
I read they used another Scelsi piece not included on the cd as well. Must be a first for Hollywood, right?

...and possibly a last Very Happy

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StatusBaby
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Post 2012-07-05 20:58   [Quote] 
OK - before I ask this question - please excuse me if it's a dumb one - I know sweet FA about classical music - but I have picked up a few things mainly related to FZ (and some not). A few years back I started trying to educate myself about classical music - I read a few internet sites and started with Bach, Beethoven and Mozart et. al. - the traditional classics - I really rate the Brandenburg Concertos.

After buying half a dozen CDs or so of the traditional classic composers I moved on to Mahler, Honneger etc. Didn't like them quite so much so I went back to trusty old FZ and things he had specifically mentioned.

As a result I picked up the RCA Classical Navigator No.92 Charles Ives which features Symphony No 1 in D Minor, The Unanswered Question, Robert Browning Overture and Orchestral Suite No 2 as performed by the Chocago Symphony Orchestra.

So - onto my question - I like that CD - I'm not educated enough to know if it is a particularly good version - but I thought the music very unmodern and really quite like traditional classical music - especially when compared with Varese, Stravinsky and Webern. Am I missing something ? What is so revolutionary or innovative about Ives that turned Zappa on when he (FZ) apparently didn't like Beethoven ? What am I missing ?

I should also add that I recall Zappa mentioning Copeland somewhere (not sure if it was complimentary or not) but I got the RAC Classical Navigator volume on Copeland and I really like that as well.

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cookie_manager
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Post 2012-07-05 22:00   [Quote] 
I'm all a fan of plinky plonky avantgarde Stockhausen stuff etc, but in the end, Charles Ives' 4th Symphony might be my favorite composition in classical music. No other classical number moved me emotionally like that (the 5th Scelsi string quartet comes close though).
In that number, you get for example microtonal textures and thereby orchestral effects that people used again in the 60s.

And one speciality in Ives oeuvre, also very prominent in the 4th Symph... well, let's say one of way of working for him was (I think): He wrote something... something quite traditional. A hymn. Two years later, he continued working on it: Adding another layer of independent original material. Five years later, he dragged out the torso again, and added yet another layer of stuff. Just piling stuff on top of each other. In the 4th symphony that technique in certain spots results in brutally cacophonous chaos. Nobody else wrote stuff like that in 1916. And in the end, that's a quite bold collage technique.

I once read some essay on Ives, and they listed two or three more things he "invented" in music.
Maybe one could say he afforded the luxury to compose quite freely, following his ideas and not so much a set of rules or systematical composing techniques rooted in the classical european tradition.

The Universe Symphony is another bomb. It opens with a very complex multitempo-texture which in the end reqires coordination by seperate click tracks for the players. That was conceived in the 20s. If you put it next to what Varese wrote in the mid 20s, the Universe Symphony might seem a bit clumsy (if I remember right), but still it's a very visionary creation.

I think his oeuvre is a very mixed bag, but I regard for example Unanswered Question and Orchestral Set 2 (on your CD) quite highly. Given what kind of material the other three composers you mentioned wrote in 1906 (when the Unanswered Question was created), I'm not sure what "very unmodern" means.

(yetanother - correct me if something's wrong... well, you'll do that anyway Smile)


Last edited by cookie_manager on 2012-07-05 22:08; edited 1 time in total
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Post 2012-07-05 22:03   [Quote] 
cookie_manager wrote:
I'm not sure what "very unmodern" means


Just that it is not (to quote you again) plinky plonky or avantgarde. I don't get what Zappa heard in it that turned him on - although I haven't listened to some of the pieces you mentioned.

Ives may have been innovative for 1906 - but surely Bach was innovative in 1720 (or whenever it was) - there must have been more than innovation to float Zappa's boat.

Of course it could be that I just haven't heard enough Ives Wink

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cookie_manager
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Post 2012-07-05 22:39   [Quote] 
exploring new ways in
collage technique - multi-tempic - complex polyrhythms (totally forgot about Ives' piano sonatas!)
plus a good dose of humor...

- and Ives obviously was a free mind not caring very much about existing compositional systems!

Totally sounds like Zappa's man to me Smile
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yetanother
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Post 2012-07-05 23:34   [Quote] 
Totally agreed about Ives. I find it quite easy to understand what FZ "saw" in his music - not only the simultaneity of several unrelated musical streams but also (perhaps even more importantly) the way he liked to bend tradition (in Ives's case, ragtime, military marches, church hymns etc. - in FZ's case, blues, doo-wop, waltz, early 20th-century "classical" music etc.) according to his own artistic ideas, not denying it but rather distorting and "contaminating" it with his own twisted vision.

As far as your previous post goes, cookie_manager, I don't have any corrections to make, I'll just expand on some of the concepts...

cookie_manager wrote:
one speciality in Ives oeuvre, also very prominent in the 4th Symph... well, let's say one of way of working for him was (I think): He wrote something... something quite traditional. A hymn. Two years later, he continued working on it: Adding another layer of independent original material. Five years later, he dragged out the torso again, and added yet another layer of stuff. Just piling stuff on top of each other. In the 4th symphony that technique in certain spots results in brutally cacophonous chaos. Nobody else wrote stuff like that in 1916. And in the end, that's a quite bold collage technique.

Actually that was not necessarily a result of resuming work on material from several years back (although I'm not sure how he arrived at it in the specific case of the 4th symphony), but it was a product of Ives's own personal experiences growing up in New England. He specifically liked to pay attention to random superpositions that resulted, for instance, when two marching bands crossed each other's way, or between folksongs played by street musicians and distant church bells, urban and "natural" sounds etc. That multiplicity was a fundamental aspect of his musical formation and he spontaneously tried to recreate it in every piece he composed - in "Unanswered Question", for instance, between the traditional chorus-like material of the onstage strings, the "questions" asked by the (invisible) woodwinds, in an increasingly fast tempo, and the trumpet's answers. So it was something very personal and meaningful to him, rather than just a fancy attempt at "avant-gardeism". And in this sense, yes, his music was as "traditional" when compared to Varèse or Webern as was FZ's when compared to Boulez or Berio (hence his remark on the liner notes to The Perfect Stranger about the music being "preposterously non-modern").

cookie_manager wrote:
Maybe one could say he afforded the luxury to compose quite freely, following his ideas and not so much a set of rules or systematical composing techniques rooted in the classical european tradition.

...because he didn't have to worry about making a living from his music! That part was already taken care of by his insurance agency, so he really didn't care whether or not his music would be played or even heard, and in that sense he was probably even more radical than FZ - who said he only started writing rock 'n' roll songs due to the impossibility of having his orchestral and chamber music performed. FZ obviously did care a great deal about whether or not his music would be heard, and furthermore his entire life plans revolved around making a living from his music. Ives just didn't care, so he could write whatever he damn pleased. And to my ears, much of his music sounds just as fresh today as it did when he wrote it (however "fresh" you take it to be).

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StatusBaby
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Post 2012-07-06 00:29   [Quote] 
Thanks for your comments - I'll listen again to Unanswered Question with that in mind. It's also clear from your commenst that I should seek out the 4th Symphony.

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franktomatozappa
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Post 2012-07-06 02:11   [Quote] 
Right. I'm cracking open the Ives..... Patricia, the loveable dog from The Perfect Stranger (and others!), dancing
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drdork
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Post 2012-07-06 02:40   [Quote] 
For what it's worth, FZ identified his favorite Ives compositions as Calcium Light Night, The Unanswered Question, and "some theatre music for a small group".
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cookie_manager
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Post 2012-07-06 06:58   [Quote] 
I got one combi CD of Ives' 4th with Ameriques of Varese, but for the Ives Symphony I really prefer this, last but not least because the (few) choir-parts are much more present and powerful in that recording: Charles Ives - Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - NPO, Farberman (1968 Vanguard 1997). And the little Halowe'en is fun too.
Seems out of print, but if you google what I put in italics above, you should get it anyway Wink
Love this to pieces.
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arf
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Post 2012-07-06 07:57   [Quote] 
Here is a good documentary on Ives :
http://video.pbs.org/video/1295300727/
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brainpang
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Post 2012-07-06 10:26   [Quote] 
This is great. I never much got into Ives. 'course the Concord is in hand but the one LP I had did nothing for me, it seemed so quaint. No idea what it was, got rid of it years ago. Will check out the above recs eventually, thanks!

And while we are on the subject of the big names, what about Eliot Carter? He's another that I've managed to avoid for 35 years or so. Where to begin? He always seemed to use too many damn notes.

And Luigi Nono? I heard one unidentified piece on the radio I liked plenty, others not so much. Maybe his politics scared me off (not that I agree or disagree, not even sure what those politics are).
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