Thursday, January 8, 2009


Scott and I went to the NY Philharmonic tonight and heard some amazing music. My favorite was the piece by Tristan Murail called Gondwana. Gondwana is the name given to the southern portion of Pangaea.

I searched online for a performance of Gondwana, but couldn't find anything. The music is really hard to put into words, but here is a review I found that describes it pretty well.

The originality of Murail’s musical approach is everywhere apparent, couched in a sequence of saturated harmonies which sometimes achieve a positively Messiaenic luxuriance. The work’s opening few minutes, in which a single chord is gradually transformed and ultimately dissolved into a flurry of trills is a good example of Murail’s spectral technique, both in the strange initial harmony (a complex, bell-like sonority generated using the studio technique of frequency modulation) and in the way Murail shapes his music in long, seamlessly evolving paragraphs – an apt musical parallel to the massive geological processes which led to the formation of the ancient super-continent of Gondwana evoked by the work’s title.

Spectral music involves the use of the fundamental properties of sound as a basis for harmony, as well as the use of spectral analysis, FM, RM and AM synthesis as a method of deriving polphony.

I'm starting to sound like Scott now, but all those words above = really cool sounds that make you want to lay back, close your eyes and let the waves wash over you.

Oh and on the way home, I didn't notice, but some dude was "apparently" taking photos up my dress with his phone and this other guy walked over and started screaming at him to erase the photos and then told me that he saw the guy taking flash photos up my dress. The photo guy of course denied it and offered to show Scott his cell phone for proof to which Scott said, "nah man, I've already seen up there." I felt bad for the guy if he wasn't taking photos, but just in case, I moved seats. Only in New York...

1 comment:

grambini said...

that was really interesting - then really disturbing.