Cage first prepared a piano when he was commissioned to write music for "Bacchanale", a dance by Syvilla Fort in 1938. For some time previously, Cage had been writing exclusively for a percussion ensemble, but the hall where Fort's dance was to be staged had no room for a percussion group. The only instrument available was a single grand piano.
After some consideration, Cage said that he realized it was possible "to place in the hands of a single pianist the equivalent of an entire percussion orchestra ... With just one musician, you can really do an unlimited number of things on the inside of the piano if you have at your disposal an exploded keyboard."
He simply created a solution to a musical/logistical problem. And a great solution at that.
That's an interesting question.
Of course, nerves don't transport the QUALITY of a sensation. (Like: This is what you SEE, this is what you HEAR)
Once the signal has passed your senses there's no way to differ between the original sources (that's why induced signals could seem real, like in 'Matrix' or - more scientific - the 'Brain in the Vat'). It is only the AREA in ones brain, that tells him: this was seen, this was heared, that was smelled, etc.
So it should be possible to induce the illusion of 'sound' even in the brain of a deaf person, by stimulating the corresponding brain-area.
But then -
If one is BORN deaf, the surrounding areas would already have been taken over the 'un-used' parts of the brain, which would otherwise be there for proceeding information from 'hearing'. These areas don't just remain plain 'empty' or 'unused'. So it COULD be, that there is no way to stimulate the specific brain-area of a deaf-born person, simply because there is no such area.
As I said: Interesting question. I don't own the solution. But maybe I'll look it up one day.
I'm willing to dismiss the charges of "gimmick", but all you get when attending a performance of that particular piece is the "silence" of an audience reacting (many nervously, as if they were actually supposed to do something) to 4'33" of "silence."
I've often enjoyed and listened to the "silence" in my life. I much prefer the 17'21" of 8/24/82 and the 2'54" of 1/16/03. Those were particularly smokin'.
No offense, I hope, but piano is such a horribly brittle instrument in classical music. It works perfectly in jazz, but damn do I just hate piano in classical music. I'm an idiot to those of you who might question my opinion.
I attend BSO performances as the mood sees fit; I'll stay at home and pick dog poop off the lawn when the soloist is a pianist.
Harpsichord is a completely different matter, but that ain't a pianna. It's even more brittle, but that's cool because it's honest with itself.
I guess it is simply a matter of taste.
I sometimes have a problem with the sound of certain guitars, classical guitars for example.
The documentary is worth watching. Gould was such a perfectionist. I love his performance as a solo pianist, and he hated playing for the public, they made him sick.
I also liked the fact that he left his estate to The Humane Society and the Salvation Army.
I have been a Glenn Gould fan since I was fifteen. I had played piano since age 8, but didn't achieve any great pleasure from it. Then my piano teacher gave me Bach's Two- and Three-Part Inventions to play and I got my first Glenn Gould LP. That was it! YOWIE! ZAP! OOH! The F-major Three-Part Invention sent me into orbit. Then I got all of his other Bach recordings. There was a good Gould documentary recently on PBS.
I think there is a Buk/Gould connection: both loved solitude, were geniuses, were "mad" and "eccentric," and also Buk didn't like live concerts, but preferred listening to his radio, just as Gould quit giving live concerts since he hated them so much to concentrate on making recordings in the studio. Buk often wrote about the snobby, pseudo-cultural atmosphere of concert halls. Just found a cool poem of his about this the other day--"rain", from Mockingbird, about a man who actually goes to the concert hall to listen to the music.
This morning I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't pay 60 bucks out of my own pocket to go to a concert hall. But I was a guest, and as a guest it was great! My brother is a member, he drove to the underground parking, I left my coat in the trunk and walked into the hall and he paid for the drinks.
All I had to do was to contain myself and behave.
Although, after seeing the Gould documentary, I would feel more normal among that crowd, knowing that the pianist doesn't want to be there either.
I can't say I am an expert at classical music at all whatsoever, but I have listened to a lot of different composers and I know that I am really picky about what I'm listening to. Unfortunately, I'm not good with naming off the names of pieces, but I'm really good at identifying WHO it is I'm listening to.
I'm a big Mozart fan. Pretty much everything - even his operas are amazing, and I don't even care for opera.
For piano, Chopin is the master.
For small (string quartets): Beethoven, and only for that, otherwise I don't care for him.
I'm also a fan of Mendelssohn. I love more than half of everything I've heard. That's a lot for me. great piano parts!
I like Tchaikovsky too, but I guess by now you can tell I like that romantic shit.
I have the same frustrations. I can remember many tunes, not knowing who's who. I have been dreaming of a program where you could sing a few notes in a speaker and a finder would identify your tune. Maybe something called Youtune. Maybe it already exists.
A half-dozen or so years ago at an Estate Sale I bought a huge stack of classical lps for 99 cents, they were selling some deadperson's records by the yard, and somebody had bought up all the jazz and rock but nobody was taking the classical so I figured that I coolect records and sometime in my life I would be appreciative of buying a couple hundred classical albums for a buck so I bought a bundle that was tied up in twine and then it sat in my closet for years and now I finally broke them out because of Bukowski and his whole classical music thing and all the albums are in great shape, lots of Debussy and Dvorak and Mahler and Charles Ives and some Eastern European folk/ethnographic recordings and lots of high quality Duetsche Grammaphone recordings and even some old opera/Maria Callas stuff.
Loving this music now, know nothing about it but it's good background or mood music for writing or drawing or plotting evil ways to get back at people. It's a nice change. Even if I'm only in the mood for it occasionally I raise a scotch to the old man or woman who collected all these albums, they are living on with somebody who appreciates them.
Famous shit but this is how I got introduced into classical music.
Actually, I read Les Mandarins when I was an adolescent and
she mentioned the piece in the novel and how much she and her
platonic lover enjoyed listening to this brilliant piece.
And no, they didn't use the music in Jaws nor in Tom & Jerry.
Last Thursday I was at an OSM concert in Montreal and heard this violist Hilary Hahn, performing Prokofiev. She followed with a Bach concerto for violin which was brilliant.
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