Music

Those Artists Are Always Looking Inwards, Tugging At The Heartstrings- Nostalgia, Regret & The Sublime

It’s very lush, bombastic, emotional and Romantic, but those first few minutes of wandering bassoon reach nostalgic, meditative melancholy for me.

Give the first minute a listen, if nothing else:

Towards that theme, David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) jumps to a lap steel guitar to unleash raw, tattered glory at minute 5:13 of this live performance of High Hopes.

John Williams playing Isaac Albeniz’ Cordoba reaches a more sublime state for me (especially at minute 1:20):

I think this is more reflection and a desire for the holy and larger-than-oneself (ducking into the Mosque away from the busy streets….into quiet interplay of shadow and sun, observing the stars carved into the ceiling).

Is our desire for the transcendent, pure and true simply reflected in this rather useless activity we tend to cherish so much?  Can the arts corrupt you?  Do you need a guide?

As posted:

Via C-SPAN-The Historical Context Of Allan Bloom

Thanks to a reader.

Quite a varied discussion on Bloom’s surprise 1987 bestseller: ‘The Closing Of The American Mind

Does rock/popular music corrupt the souls of youth in preventing them from evening-out the passions; from pursuing higher things that a quality humanities education can offer?

Might such a lack allow political ideology to offer young people something to do, something to be, and something of which to be a part?

A questioning of premises, with varied disagreement, including that from an Emersonian.

Related On This Site:

Heather McDonald At The WSJ: ‘ The Humanities Have Forgotten Their Humanity’

-Update And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’

Repost-From Darwinian Conservatism: ‘Nietzsche–Aristocratic Radical or Aristocratic Liberal?’

-Update And Repost: ‘A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche / Strauss Connection’

Various Products Of Radical Reason And Reactions To Them- John Gray At The New Statesman

Some Sunday Swedish Pop-Country-Folk Links

These are great vocals and harmonies and very good songwriting.  It’s country-folk with a bit of distance and strangeness; as though its been washed-through some pop and the indie L.A. scene, but also, apparently, through Sweden.

The Swedes seem to bring a forlorn, northern folk-depth to the table.

Hey, this reciprocity works for me:

A quintessential pop-song.  There’s actually a lot of depth and arrangment here:

Downward To Darkness: Friday Poem From A Reader-Wallace Stevens’ ‘Sunday Morning’

A return to Nature?  To origins of faith?  To a simple freedom in a wild land, and new understandings, with death in view? To visions of Romantic Primitivism becoming modern?:

VII

Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
Not as a god, but as a god might be,
Naked among them, like a savage source.
Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
That choir among themselves long afterward.
They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
Of men that perish and of summer morn.
And whence they came and whither they shall go
The dew upon their feet shall manifest.

Wallace Stevens

Full poem here.

Read it aloud, for God’s sake, as the meaning lies in the experience of saying.

Three Songs and A Poem-Merry Christmas

I prefer ‘Silent Night’ to be pure, and simple, and clear.   I imagine drifts of snow frozen and crusted over, everything still, under a starry sky.

A bit of a prayer, really, but one of warmth:

It reminded me of this:

IV

My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.

William Butler Yeats

Whole poem here.


Not exactly Christmas…

Become a gentlemen, and recover your nobility, honor, and dignity, but with twinges of nostalgia, melancholy and loss.

Please don’t think of windmills, but there’s a lot of Spain in this one:

And if you’re tired of Christmas music, have some metal. Give this one a chance. It’s exquisitely played and thoughtfully arranged:

From Vinheteiro: ‘Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Memes’-If You Bring Back The 80’s, Please Don’t Do It In Public

I had always thought the deep bass note is the driving force behind the song. Much like the low rumbling and deep bass sounds indicate foreboding and fear in a cinema experience.  Relentless with a hint of dread.

But then again, the chord progession is rather haunting and Annie Lennox’s vocals (top-notch) are stark and beautiful.  Maybe it’s the syncopation?

From the description (arranged for order):

I’m going with the 8-bit or the dual piano (2 and/or 4).

‘Piano version, 8 bit version, ragtime version, dual piano version or the terror version…’

The original video is mildly surrealistic 80’s shock-pop; just cheesy enough to flirt with schlock, but the combination of lyrics, story, musicality and simplicity give this song serious staying-power:

 

Ye Olde Blue-Green English: Some Songs And Links For Merry Listeners

Too much shredding?  Maybe, but that’s some tone, timing and technique!

You need a guy with near virtuosic talent on his instrument, some feel for composition, and long, long hours to play so faithfully live.

I like the change to the Am chorus at 2:50 or so.

Towards a theme.  New-agey and way 80’s yes, but I really like the composition, and the raucous feel beginning at the :32 mark as the drums and bass kick-in:

Why, it’s a like a tapestry of vocal harmonies:

Everything old is new again.  It gets positively medieval at 3:20 seconds?:

Who’s writing these things?  Just enjoy.  You culture has much to teach you if you bother to listen.  Stuff gets passed down, you know.

You can’t see (hear) it all from one place.

Repost-Some Music: Beatbox Sax & Bach’s Chaconne In D Minor

A lot of breathing, technique, and multiphonics going on here. That can’t be easy. Smooth funk?

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From what I’m told, it’s really tough to get the fingering, and the feel, and the different voices of a Bach piece working together, but Ireland’s John Feeley does a really fine job:

You Never Go Full ‘Adult Contemporary’-Some Links

I’ve wondered why Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells, English guitarist and smart composer, New-Agey prog rock but deep…out there) seemed so popular in Spain.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an appeal to a sense of the deeply tragic going on, well-designed but emotionally intense songs; compositions with some classical influence and historical context, but still functioning as popular/bar songs.

He manages to work with excellent singers too.

Going For Baroque (get it?):

I imagine a bunch of little kids slowly waking-up in a loft, daylight breaking through shutters, the cobwebs of sleep still filling the room.

A simple wonder at the architecture of things:

Ewan Dobson Via Youtube-Winter By The Sea

A Scottish/Irish bar song, via Canada, via a Classical Guitar background, via a video game influence?:

This guy’s got serious technique and finger-independence:

Scott Tennant-Couperin’s ‘The Mysterious Barricades’

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He’s a member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

As to the title of Couperin’s piece, the mystery continues, from women’s eyelashes to a train and all that mass, slowly gaining momentum as each constituent car clacks along, picking up speed.

An ‘American Folk’ uptempo version by Christopher Parkening: