Thursday, April 12, 2018

Under the Umbrella

As a little teaser for an item in tomorrow's miscellanea here is a very unusual piece for a very unusual ensemble of five percussionists playing, wait for it, cowbells. Under the Umbrella by Jo Kondo:


6 comments:

Marc said...

I didn't make it through Under the Umbrella and in fact dozed off at some point after the nine minute mark, until the applause at the end. Then, feeling I had failed at my duty, ha, I tried Steve Reich's Music for Pieces of Wood-- which I actually enjoyed listening to. I suspect I don't much like the sound of the metallic clankiness of cowbells.

Bryan Townsend said...

Marc, a gold star for at least trying. For some reason I have always had an affinity for Japanese music, the weirder the better (I also like samurai movies). Me, I tend to doze off during music by Handel...

Marc said...

By Handel? The horror! perhaps one of the lesser exorcisms will help you recover from that terrible affliction.

Bryan Townsend said...

Obviously I'm possessed by some demon or another.

Marc said...

Only possible explanation for dozing during Handel! :-) Because the melodies are typically so beautiful, I can listen to... well, I cannot recall at the moment the proper term... those not infrequent passages where the lovely soprano sings the first part, and then the second, and then repeats herself, with or without minor but (I insist) beautiful embellishments, for (perhaps) another five or six minutes: generally speaking, I love these but, the other day, during a passage from Judas Maccabaeus that I had probably listened to four or five times since Easter, it suddenly dawned on me that just perhaps the occasional criticism of too much repetition might not be entirely unjustified. 'Da capo aria' is, I believe, the term I had in my head that wouldn't come out.

Bryan Townsend said...

Ah yes, the da capo aria. I sang bass in a performance of Judas Maccabaeus in university choir one year. I have also sung bass in the Hallelujah chorus from The Messiah. But other than those occasions, I think I have fallen asleep in nearly every performance of Handel I have been present for. Also there is that interminable set of harpsichord variations: sixty or so?