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#2172009 - 10/25/13 07:03 PM A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut  
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pianoloverus Offline
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An interesting article from today's NY Times about the last performances of The Bowed Piano Ensemble, a group that plays music written mostly for the insides of a piano.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/a...ble-to-play-at-allen-room.html?ref=music

The concept may be somewhat gimmicky as the piano is used in almost every way except the one it was designed for. OTOH I find the music (see sample below)quite enjoyable if not quite at the Beethoven level. Many more samples of their music are on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14jPvnWhdNM

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#2172018 - 10/25/13 07:31 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Kinda cool I guess. Only listened to about 20 seconds. 0% chance of ever moving me.

#2172022 - 10/25/13 07:40 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Thanks PLU, for posting this. Entrada is quite captivating.

After a very short time I grabbed for my headphones and ditched the video image. I found myself completely drawn in.

Again, Thanks!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2172047 - 10/25/13 08:47 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: JoelW]  
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ando Online content
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Originally Posted by JoelW
Kinda cool I guess. Only listened to about 20 seconds. 0% chance of ever moving me.


Couldn't you give it a bit more than 20 seconds? It's a slow developing piece, so you can't judge much from 20 seconds. As Marty said, it's quite captivating if you listen through headphones and just take in the atmosphere.

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#2172261 - 10/26/13 09:52 AM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Thanks for an interesting post, PV! It serves to remind us that the modern piano is a very complex musical instrument. If you so choose, you can approach the instrument in entirely different ways than the primary intention -- in this case, use the various resources within for an entire combo of musicians. Thanks for sharing this!

#2172333 - 10/26/13 12:13 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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I'll pass.

But hey, no worries about my cell phone going off during a BPE concert.

#2172362 - 10/26/13 01:07 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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That's pretty neat. I loved the visuals at around 1:30 in the youtube video, with all the hands rising and falling so gracefully. There's quite an element of choreography to those performances. Even to add or change one sound requires a lot of repositioning. As such it's not the most *efficient* way to create music, but the sounds produced are rather entrancing...

#2172481 - 10/26/13 06:14 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Nikolas Offline
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It certainly is interesting.

BUT

1. It requires so many people to get something performed correctly and interestingly enough.
2. It requires so many additional objects, plus amplification, if I understand it correctly.
3. The limitations posed by the technique are somewhat restrictive to the music itself.

In this instance I found that the composer (?) was mainly concerned with the sounds producing and never once did he consider to bloody alter the harmony (or chord if you want) even once. It was a constant drone, and this is something that I do NOT value in music!

#2172500 - 10/26/13 07:03 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: Nikolas]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Minnesota Marty  Offline

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Rochester MN
Originally Posted by Nikolas
It certainly is interesting.

BUT

1. It requires so many people to get something performed correctly and interestingly enough.

Been to an orchestra concert recently? How about opera?

Quote
2. It requires so many additional objects, plus amplification, if I understand it correctly.

Watch a percussion section some time. The soundboard is the "amplification."

Quote
3. The limitations posed by the technique are somewhat restrictive to the music itself.

The music is "composed for" rather than "limited by."

Quote
In this instance I found that the composer (?) was mainly concerned with the sounds producing and never once did he consider to bloody alter the harmony (or chord if you want) even once. It was a constant drone, and this is something that I do NOT value in music!

I guess you don't care for Bolero, either.

Invest in gold - it has value.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2172537 - 10/26/13 10:12 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Alan Lai Offline
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
An interesting article from today's NY Times about the last performances of The Bowed Piano Ensemble, a group that plays music written mostly for the insides of a piano.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/a...ble-to-play-at-allen-room.html?ref=music

The concept may be somewhat gimmicky as the piano is used in almost every way except the one it was designed for. OTOH I find the music (see sample below)quite enjoyable if not quite at the Beethoven level. Many more samples of their music are on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14jPvnWhdNM

It is a gimmicky concept. Everyone just thrill for something new, when the thrill wears off, everyone moves on.

#2172539 - 10/26/13 10:14 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Alan Lai Offline
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty

Invest in gold - it has value.

I'm sure gold lasts longer than these kind of music, but I won't say gold lasts longer than Beethoven.

#2172568 - 10/27/13 12:00 AM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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ChopinAddict Offline
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Land of the never-ending music
I am at 1:25 right now, but I find it interesting, so I will keep listening.



[Linked Image]

Music is my best friend.


#2172588 - 10/27/13 12:45 AM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Nikolas Offline
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Marty,

I really do not understand why this semi-attack, at least from where I'm standing it looks like this, but I'll try to explain a bit further...

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by Nikolas
It certainly is interesting.

BUT

1. It requires so many people to get something performed correctly and interestingly enough.

Been to an orchestra concert recently? How about opera?
ooo... sarcasm.

One of the reasons (for me at least) that piano is THE instrument is because it can cope on its own, without the need for 80 people (an orchestra, choir, etc).

I've been in many concerts, thank you, and I've written music for larger ensembles, and I've published a few.

The idea remains: If you are to use a piano (traditionally used by a single person, which means a more economic recital) and throw in 10 people, you're loosing this "advantage".

Quote
Quote
2. It requires so many additional objects, plus amplification, if I understand it correctly.

Watch a percussion section some time. The soundboard is the "amplification."
Again some sarcasm.

Are you really trying to imply that I don't know what I'm talking about? Or you failed to notice the "If I understand it correctly". The video posted was rather closed miced, and I'd imagine that it doesn't sound the same in a live setting.

Of course I could be wrong...

In fact I was listening to the other works posted recently with the piano being tempered with and was thinking to myself that the chances of something like that become a "main thing" are quite limited, because exactly the pre-work on the piano required.

Quote
Quote
3. The limitations posed by the technique are somewhat restrictive to the music itself.

The music is "composed for" rather than "limited by."
Again as far as I'm concerned your reaction is meh...

The idea remains: If you've got a string bowed, then how many notes can you really play? same with hitting a hardboard on the soundboard, to make the percussive sound... It IS limiting because you cannot expand on that much further.

Quote
Quote
In this instance I found that the composer (?) was mainly concerned with the sounds producing and never once did he consider to bloody alter the harmony (or chord if you want) even once. It was a constant drone, and this is something that I do NOT value in music!

I guess you don't care for Bolero, either.

Invest in gold - it has value.
I am in fact investing so much time and money in the link in my signature. wink

Think about it for a second...

EDIT: On my very last quote I stand by that. I feel (<- OMG! A personal opinion) that the composer (? as opposed to more than one composers, thus the question mark ?) missed a great opportunity in this instance to do something more interesting. For me at least and my own aesthetics. I really can't find much fault in that, but Marty, my boy, you certainly found fault in everything I said.

Your turn!

Last edited by Nikolas; 10/27/13 12:48 AM.
#2172663 - 10/27/13 07:57 AM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Hi Nikolas,

What I took "fault" with is that you merely dismissed the entire concept as being without value 'because ...,' or as you worded it: "BUT." I simply pointed out the flaw in your reasoning. If you feel that there is a reason why a piano should not be used in such a manner, point it out, rather than demean composers who choose to explore a new medium.

If you would have taken some time to research the work of the composer, you would have learned that his compositions are fully constructed and not left to chance improvisation. The works are fully rehearsed for performance.

Whether you like the composition, or not, is really irrelevant to my assessment of the work and performance.

I do not need to be told why I should dislike it. That is why I posted my reply.



Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2172667 - 10/27/13 08:05 AM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Alan Lai Offline
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Alan Lai  Offline
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USA/Hong Kong
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Whether you like the composition, or not, is really irrelevant to my assessment of the work and performance.

I do not need to be told why I should dislike it. That is why I posted my reply.


And yet, you attack others for stating their opinion. "H word" much?

#2172677 - 10/27/13 08:35 AM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: Alan Lai]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Minnesota Marty  Offline

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Joined: May 2012
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Rochester MN
Originally Posted by Alan Lai
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Whether you like the composition, or not, is really irrelevant to my assessment of the work and performance.

I do not need to be told why I should dislike it. That is why I posted my reply.


And yet, you attack others for stating their opinion. "H word" much?

I didn't attack anyone. I countered an 'opinion' that came off as a directive. Mine is a different viewpoint. I have no clue what the "H word" is.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2172740 - 10/27/13 12:21 PM Re: A farewell to pianists who aim for the gut [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Nikolas Offline
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Nikolas  Offline
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Hi Nikolas,

What I took "fault" with is that you merely dismissed the entire concept as being without value 'because ...,' or as you worded it: "BUT." I simply pointed out the flaw in your reasoning. If you feel that there is a reason why a piano should not be used in such a manner, point it out, rather than demean composers who choose to explore a new medium.

If you would have taken some time to research the work of the composer, you would have learned that his compositions are fully constructed and not left to chance improvisation. The works are fully rehearsed for performance.

Whether you like the composition, or not, is really irrelevant to my assessment of the work and performance.

I do not need to be told why I should dislike it. That is why I posted my reply.
Hi Marty,

First of all I think your replies were rather mean and sarcastic...

I actually didn't dismiss the whole project/concept: How can I? I'm not involved in any way with it, and I'm a single person, behind a computer screen: How much does my opinion weight?

But even more so, do you really think that I have any right to dictate to anyone how to use their piano? I mean I'm a composer and a publisher (I repeat that) and this is outright insulting! I pointed the reasons why I didn't care much for this project, what I thought were the problems with the techniques used and why the piece felt somewhat static...

I don't care to research the work of the composer... It didn't make such an impression on me to carry on looking at that. Nor I care to dismiss him/her as a composer: But I felt (as a composer myself) that perhaps it was too static and an opportunity missed (same way I feel about Jean Michel Jarre for example).

As for the technique, etc... I think I've posted this before, but in the world of computer science, music technology, etc, however fascinating it may be, ideas like those of Ligeti seem (TO ME) a little outdated: If music is not being communicated through the internet with such ease, and the various studio techniques can be done very easily (as opposed to cutting and taping magnetic tapes together), I find little PRACTICAL reason to compose towards that.

Certainly I've been proved wrong many times, by my own self and even more so I'm enjoying the works of Ligeti very much. Still I hope you'll allow me the right to my own opinion.

Lastly.

You really think I posted what I did, to show the world why they should dislike the work? Not a chance and you misread what I posted. You can like whatever you like and you can enjoy whatever you do. In fact I relistened to the same work today.


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