Many years earlier Adorno had convinced Krenek that music might be moving toward the condition of extemporaneous speech, developing its subject matter on a line through time as a thought is developed in speech. Forward movement was achieved by exploration, confrontation, interlocution, contradiction—perfect process for piecing together his interesting cells. Such an open form did not allow for patterns of theme and variation, and interest tended to be concentrated in discrete moments. But these moments could be woven into a loose network of contrast, similarity, and repetition of cellular bits—or, as Krenek liked to think of them, objects in space. What is significant here is that in relying on intuition rather than on arrays of numbers, Krenek was returning to the practice of his early days, and now, as then, his intuition was personal, sonorous, expressive, and emotional, even though he continued to use the stylistic features—wide intervals, abrupt dynamic shifts, percussive instrumentation—of his most mechanistic serial works.
Stewart, J. L. (1991). Ernst Krenek: The man and his music. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Perhaps this parallel idea I wrote about earlier is coming from similar sources? That would be surprising as I’m finding Rochberg and Adorno to have been likely opposed in intellectual and philosophical opinions on music. This is SO interesting!!
The project I was working on all spring with my composer collective Circles and Lines and Cadillac Moon Ensemble was reviewed by online publication Feast of Music.
Eric Lemmon’s unfinished version of Canis Major, acelestial saga that combined a broad range of extended techniques and complex rhythms to create both a creepy and beautifully ethereal nebulousness of sound. Flutist Roberta Michel performed her atmospheric effects particularly well (such as circular breathing, whistletones, and slap-tonguing), greatly heightening the piece’s effectiveness.
Circles and Lines is interviewed by Melanie Wong of Feast of Music.
“In preparation for their upcoming concert, composer collective Circles and Lines—Angelica Negron, Eric Lemmon, Dylan Glatthorn, Noam Faingold (via Skype), Conrad Winslow (absent)—and contemporary chamber group Cadillac Moon Ensemble—flutist Roberta Michel, violinist Patti Kilroy, cellist Meaghan Burke, and percussionist Sean Statser—sat down with FoM to discuss contemporary music and their unique collaboration.”
Sheesh, such a busy spring! But exciting, with tons of press!
Tune in tomorrow from 10:00-12:30 to hear Circles and Lines with Cadillac Moon Ensemble! Some of the clips you hear on WRIU 90.3 will be a sneak peak at the program from our upcoming concert Cadillac Moon Ensemble and Circles & Lines: A Friendly Collaboration. May 17th, 5:00PM.
Tune in here:
I’ll be talking about some of the inspirations of my new work Canis Major, and some of the structural considerations that went into the 2nd movement of my 1st String Quartet. Hope you all can tune in!
As part of a yearlong collaborative project, Cadillac Moon Ensemble presents an evening of pieces from composer collective Circles and Lines. This concert is the culminating event of a long-standing collaboration with CME and C&L, which has included interviews with WVUM 90.5 in Miami, Florida and WRIU 90.3 in Kingston, Rhode Island, and an open rehearsal held at New York University and streamed for a worldwide audience.
CME will perform new works by Eric Lemmon and Dylan Glatthorn, as well as previously performed works by Angélica Negron, Conrad Winslow and Noam Faingold that have long been regarded as favorites in CME’s repertoire. Immediately following the concert, there will be a Q&A session with the audience and both groups discussing the collaborative process.
The concert is Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:00pm at Tenri Cultural Center (43A West 13th Street, Manhattan). Tickets are: $15 general; $10 students and seniors.
- Angélica Negrón – Quimbombó*#
- Eric Lemmon – Canis Major * # †
- Dylan Glatthorn – Fever Dreams * # †
- Noam Faingold – A Knife in the Water
- Conrad Winslow – Abiding Shapes * #
* commissioned by CME
# premiered by CME
† World Premiere
Funded in part through New MusicUSA’s MetLife Creative Connections program.
Cadillac Moon Ensemble and Circles and Lines is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Here is the recording of the Live Stream Cadillac Moon and my composers group Circles and Lines put on. My segment is at the end, and I hope you enjoy! During the course of the rehearsal, Meaghan (Cadillac’s cellist) asked me why I had chosen to use dashed bar lines in the score. After the short rehearsal I thought on the question more and I remember that as I had begun to write the movement a|STL: Wormhole. I imagined it was originally to exposit in a far more free way, much like the very beginning (which you hear). Time signatures were to be non-existant and gestures were supposed to be quasi-aleatoric in their temporal execution (after all time and space warp in wormholes!).
Eventually though, I found the material that I was bringing in from other movements demanded a more rigid structure for practical purposes. For example, the fast leggiero section from the last movement would be silly to represent in a dashed bar line setting without time signatures, so I threw in double bar lines to demarcate the major section and put in time signatures to make it easier to read. It turned out I had to keep returning to this kind of scoring to the point that having dashed bar lines in an attempt to elegantly convey the freeness of the movement and gestures became meaningless.
Live Stream of Cadillac Moon Ensemble and Circles and Lines in Open Rehearsal at NYU, April 14th, 2013 from Circles and Lines on Vimeo.
Our Interview with Cadillac Moon Ensemble and Jackson Parodi on WVUM 90.5 FM The Voice‘s classical lunch will air at 11:00AM EST Today! Topics discussed cover collaborating during the composition process, new classical music and much, much more! Oh, yeah also clips of pieces we’ve written for Cadillac Moon! Tune in here: http://wvum.org/index.php/wvum/stream/
I’m combing my way through Krenek’s set of essays Exploring Music, and it’s providing some great insight into the man and his beliefs. His vignette on Milhaud that I wrote about before was really cool. I’m currently digesting ‘New Humanity and Old Objectivity’ and some of his views on vernacular forms of art (pop music in this case) are astonishingly backwards. The genre or medium of a work should not be taken as a way to blanket judgement of quality. I turn it over to Krenek to show you what I mean:
Now in music the age has found the art that satisfies all its needs–popular music. As far as its production and consumption are concerned it corresponds perfectly to the other present-day principles of creation and running. Production takes on a conveyor-belt system–wach of the numerous operatives taking part in the process carries out only one ‘repeated, thoroughly leaned action’ as they say in the collective contracts for a given category of industrial workers. We hear that there are refrain-specialists, verse-specialists, specialists in harmonizing the half-finished product, others specially skilled in producing witty or imposing titles; there are others who do the rhymes and specialists in radio, salon, jazz and other orchestration who then put the finished project into its normal commercial package. It is rather like a cloth factory where at one end the wool is taken off the sheep and at the other the finished material emerges. But in this case the part of the fleeced lamb is played by the unconscious consumer.
This art is, of course, adjusted to the conditions of a large turnover; the goods are mass-produced, so that production costs are lowered the articles are almost interchangeable types so that you can get away with an unsubtle, dull feeling for the type and are not disturbed or surprised by individual traits; the material is easy to understand and the words satisfy the hunger for scraps of information in a particularly accessible field half-way between sex and sentiment.
But of course it must not be thought that this art is deliberately produced because there is a need for it, and that its creators could write differently if they chose. On the contrary, here as elsewhere the demand is created by the producers, for at bottom the public is indiscriminate, ready for anything. The writers cannot do anything else because they themselves cannot rise above this sphere and one cannot but be convinced that they are doing the best they can, for no artist can deliberately write below his real level. If anybody says he could just as well write symphonies as pop songs and only writes the songs because they pay better, he is lying, perhaps unconsciously, and ruining his character without improving his talent.
Seething through this passage is condescension for writers of pop songs, and popular forms themselves. Krenek states that, “if anybody says he could just as well write symphonies as pop songs and only writes the songs because they pay better, he is lying,” but is the inverse true at all? Could Krenek have written a single song out of Exile on Mainstreet? Additionally, the idea that multiple parties coming together to produce a musical track “fleeces the unconscious consumer” is utterly false. Does the help Al Green, The Supremes, Beyoncé, and so many more artists receive over the course of producing their albums inherently reduce the value of their music? There is remarkable depth to some popular songs, this is not a new idea.
Couldn’t write a symphony.
I’ve got a bunch more to input, but it’s coming along.