Tag Archives: music

Scriabin’s Symphonic Poem of Music, Color and Fire

Don’t ask me how I managed to avoid discovery of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin until just this week.  This is amazing, mystical stuff.

Scriabin composed music that was based on Gnostic and Theosophical concepts, and it was written to be performed on equipment that had not yet been invented in his day.  From what I’ve read, he used the best available at the time — color organs and such.

The colors and sounds of Prometheus: Poem of Fire are nothing short of mesmerizing.  Video below.  From the YouTube recap:

“In February 2010, Anna Gawboy, a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Music and scholar of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, attempted to realize the composer’s final work: a symphony of sound and light called “Prometheus: Poem of Fire”. To accomplish this, Anna worked closely with Toshiyuki Shimada, conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and Justin Townsend, an award-winning lighting designer.

Anna and Justin spent a year developing ideas and preparing for the performance, but a majority of the lighting work was done just days before the concert. This documentary covers the events of that week and the performance itself.”


Pizza and Music Old and New

photo(2)Decided I wanted pizza for cheat day, so the wife and I decided to roll down to Bottoms Up.

On the left is the Bottoms Up Loaded, and on the right the Greek.  Both were outstanding.

Everybody talks about how good Bottoms Up is, but this was my first time eating there.

That’s when you know you’re old.  You say things like, “let’s go try that new restaurant” when it actually opened in 1990, or “you should check out this awesome new band” when they’ve been around since 2003 (last year I discovered a “new” band called The Sword and I actually said that).

I no longer laugh at the old folks in my mother’s retirement community who sit around playing Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr. cassettes feeling the same way my 15-year-old might feel playing The Wytches (who are very cool if you like Lo-Fi Psychedelic Doom Surf).  Give them a play because they don’t suck — here’s a video.

Wunderkammer and Crunchholdoh

Crunchholdoh.net album cover — if you guys spot this and ask me to take this down I will.  It’s really cool though, so I hope you don’t make me.

This weekend I was cleaning out my Sanctum Sanctorum (a.k.a. “The Shed” — my workout room and ritual space) and I came across some stuff from Zinefest (either 2010 or 2011, I can’t be sure).  Among them was a zine called “Wunderkammer” by Whitney Rainey and this CD by Crunchholdoh.net.  I’m pretty sure Whitney did the album cover — her style is pretty distinctive.

Whitney’s zine is thought provoking and well worth a read.  Someday, maybe at a future Zinefest, I’ll be able to look her up and discuss the imagery.  She seems to have a fascination for patriarchal, presidential figures like Teddy Roosevelt.  Based on imagery alone, I suspect she has the same conflicting feelings toward Teddy that I do — admiration for a tough old bird who may have been forward-thinking for his time, but fearful and distrusting of what worship of these figures has become.  Like all good art though, everyone who reads it will see something different.

On the way to work this morning I put the CD in the truck stereo and was treated to the existential earwig that is Crunchholdoh (Track 5, Addressing the Homeless is still stuck in my head).  I’m not a music critic, and I’m not very hip, but I’ll try to write a review by suggesting titles for this apparently untitled record: Echoes of Atari Mindscapes, Scales of the Infinite City, Metronomes and Thought Museums, Mode: Life-Mirrors.  Anyway, with the early morning sun coming in through the truck window, it was pretty magical.

It’s so amazing that people make art that enriches other people’s lives.  I don’t even know these people, and yet they made my day.

Anti-corporate Tunes

The corporate music machine (I think I just threw up in my mouth) pushes some of the most horrible stuff I’ve ever destroyed my IQ with.  So I set out on a quest for some music that doesn’t stink and that doesn’t put money into corporate pockets.

Obviously I’d prefer to go to shows — but that won’t help me when I’m making the morning slave-drive (a.k.a. “commute”).  My search led me to Bandcamp.  I found lots of free music, and some music I could buy for a few bucks.  From what I understand, only about 15% of the money you spend goes to the website, which means 85% goes to the bands.  Seems like a better deal all around.

You can search the site y tags and such, or you can do what I did — search blogs for indie bands and then see if they have anything up on Bandcamp.

If you have better ideas, please say so!

What am I listening to now?