Sunday, May 18, 2014

New York Sounds

I know that New York is the cool metropolis where a good deal of progressive artistic innovation is concentrated, but why is it that so much of what I hear emanating from there is beyond merely awful? Yes, I said, "awful" not "awesome". The latest example, discovered through Alex Ross, music critic for the New Yorker, is a debut album by up and coming composer Guy Barash. Blogger refuses to embed, so either go to Alex Ross' post or follow this link:

You have to go listen. This is piano with interactive computer processing. Honestly, I found this sort of frenetic, jagged chaos tiresome twenty or thirty years ago. Why is it still considered the latest thing in New York? The producer for the album that this will appear on is Elliot Sharp, whom we last ran into as a contributor to Hilary Hahn's Encore album. Here is a sample of Mr. Sharp's work:

And that is exactly the kind of thing I would go to great lengths to avoid hearing!! I guess the apocalyptic/industrial waste/dystopia feel of this sort of thing must appeal to lost and overheated young minds. There was a time when the long improvisations of Cream seemed essential to me. But at least in their music there was some sort of aesthetic appeal:

But the Guy Barash/Elliot Sharp aesthetic is one I just can't get behind. And again, I am reminded of the Gerard Depardieu fake of a piece of avant-garde piano music at a fashionable New York dinner party in Peter Weir's movie Green Card. His performance is preceded by the hostess playing some Chopin:

It's not Mozart!

What is it about New York?

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