We are referring to the arts here,albeit “fine art”,film and music.
It’s interesting. Notice “ fine art “ stands alone.
Fine art,if your not familiar with the term,is static,for all intents and purposes.
We are referring to paintings,photography any medium that doesn’t have movement or sound . ( Generally speaking )
What is it that captures the mind,soul and heart of an image ?
Why is it that everyone is aware of the Mona Lisa ?
How is it that when you view a Warhol serigraph, you know who created the genre of “ pop art “ ( I know. Lichtenstein etc. )
Picasso. You know it when you see it .
Define what it is that makes something memorable .
What differentiates some images from others .
You know immediately who did what to whom …( who put the brush or whatever ( photomechanical ) to a canvas or piece of paper )
This medium is very difficult ( I won’t venture into photography ) to extract what it is that moves our memories .
I’m asking a question,not defining the medium .
Film,in any context, ( analog or digital ) can be manipulated .
You’ll notice the trailer for a film ( I’m using that term generically ) is what the producers feel is the hook.
It’s short on the attention span,and they are in hopes,you will believe the entire movement of the film,is this “ catchy “
Needless to say ,ninety nine percent of the films don’t live up to the previews ( trailers ) .
Focus groups. The bane of mankind …
It’s business as usual.
Just visit Netflix,Hulu or whatever ,and you’ll wonder how most of these films ever got produced .
It’s all about money .
When we see something both artistic and commercially viable,it’s an anomaly ,not the norm.
There was a time when filmmakers had small budgets and produced incredible content .
Woody Allen still does it for me.
Does he bat a thousand ?
Of course not.
But view his entire canon ( oeuvre , if you want to sound pedantic ) .
Maybe five hundred .
Then you have large budget films like “ The Godfather “ sagas.
It used to be about the stories .
Now it has devolved to technique of manipulated effects .
We’ve lost the intellect to our visual senses . ( Avatar ) …
Huge budgets with no heart,no wit,no charm and no story .
I don’t know where to begin ?
We are assuming the contemporary mind,not the minds of people of the eighteenth century .
How is it that commoners and royalty shared an understanding of a complex form of musicality ?
I won’t go off the rails here .
How is it that we remember Beethoven’s ninth ?
It’s because it has a repetitive hook,one that doesn’t last very long .
If you were to ask someone to hum the entire work,they wouldn’t have a clue,unless they were a studied musicologist.
Here is one for you.
Schubert’s cello quintet in C ( D 956 ) . This is chamber music. You’ll understand it . Only five instruments . Schubert doubled the cellos,not the violas .
The last work he ever wrote . ( performed posthumously. Schubert died in 1828 )
Listen to the third movement ( Scherzo ) .
I suggest anyone reading this,to visit your search engine and find this piece.
( The live recording with Casals ,is right up there . But just about any rendition will serve you well )
This entire work is beyond the realm of brilliant composing .
There is not one of the four movements that is not sublime,in its own right .
You’ll understand why I’m inclined to try and influence you,after you have listened to the entire work .
( I stole/borrowed the introduction of the third movement for a pop piece I wrote. It juxtaposes perfectly )
Now contemporary music.
What does that mean?
I could start with the Gershwin’s,but I won’t .
I’ll go to the sixties and focus on three writers.
I’m not intentionally dismissing Brian Wilson,Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell for lack of musicality . Rather time constraints .
It’s a matter of writing about what I know best.
The Beatles and Paul Simon .
The Beatles are profound in many ways.
They crossed so many genres and they were their own session players .
One thing that sets them apart is their vocals.
There is not another group that could have a singer with the range of McCartney .
He sang “ I’m Down “ in the key of G … That’s high !
That’s a three chord balls out song .
They made so many shifts in their seven year career.
Lennon’s voice is unto itself.
“ In My Life “ and “ Twist And Shout “
I just referred to songs they recorded by 1965.
From Rubber Soul to Abbey Road ,this band created the most diverse catalog of originality we have ever witnessed in music.
Popular or otherwise .
It’s too easy for me to get caught up in what they recorded and how they did it,from a technical vantage point .
From their 1962 UK album “ Please,Please Me” to “ Abbey Road “ is a leap so vast musically,one would have to write no less than five hundred pages of analysis .
Abbey Road was remarkable in that George had two songs on par with John and Pauls .
If you listen to that album in its entirety ,you’ll hear Lennon and McCartney’s throwaways, but the magnitude of the rest is so remarkable .
To have a song like “ Come Together “ open one side and “ Here Comes The Sun “ open the other,gives you a glimpse into what is to come.
It’s ironic ,the two above noted songs were written by Lennon and Harrison, Paul was the closer ( to use a metaphor ) .
Songs that cannot be denied on Abbey Road ,from a musical perspective ,not commercial POV.
1. Come Together
3. Oh Darling
4. I Want You ( She’s So Heavy ) incredible …
5. Here Comes The Sun
7. You Never Give Me Your Money
8. Sun King
9. Golden Slumbers ( Paul stole this entire song )
10. Carry That Weight
11. The End
That’s eleven songs on one album that are each in its own right a classic piece of music.
The breadth of the songs and the performances are remarkable .
Consider side two starting with “ Carry That Weight “ which will sequel into “ The End “
Trading the guitar solos was totally off the cuff and recorded in one take.
It exposed each Beatles style,including Ringo.
They were an incredibly tight studio group.
The actual finale of “ The End “ could not have been a more fitting swan song . ( Her Majesty,in my opinion should not have been in the runout groove. They could have done something else,much more inspired ,but you can’t second guess a Beatle )
First of all.
It makes me nuts when I see Paul Simon listed as a “ folk singer “.
Fuck you,you no talent critic .
Simon was done with the “ folk “ image by the time “ Bookends “ came out in April of 1968.
Bookends is hard to define .
It was a quantum leap for Simon and Garfunkel .
Rather like the Beatles going from Help to Rubber Soul.
Just listen to the song “ Overs “ just acoustic guitar and voices .
( “America” has an introduction that people don’t understand . They are humming fifths in parallel . It broke the rules and in my opinion,is the most creative introduction to a popular song,ever recorded vocally )
The movement of the song is brilliant .
His playing is sophisticated .
Art’s voice on the bridge,fits perfectly . ( I’m calling it a bridge ,for lack of better term,when you don’t have an A/B/C structure )
“Bridge Over Troubled Water “ The right tempo,the right melody,the right arrangement and without dispute,the right singer .
The one problem I have with this song of the year is the bridge .
It sounds like an add on lyrically .
With that said,ther
In my opinion, this is what separates Paul Simon from all other composers of the twentieth century .
After the duo split,Paul started his solo career .
He kept growing.
From his first solo album to the present,Paul Simon has always been relevant musically .
Take “ Rhymin Simon “ record and released in 72/73.
“ American Tune “ He just kept up this incredibly high level of songwriting ,for so many years .
So Beautiful Or So What ! ( The moronic critics and writers for publications ,list this album as FOLK MUSIC !
I’m sorry,it just pisses me off ,that there are people that have no idea in respect to music,yet they have paying jobs to write about it .
I’m going to read as many bylines today as I have time for.
I’m going to call out these poseurs by name !
How you can possibly confuse a genre of music to this degree is unfathomable .
I left out so much .
But if you have made it this far,I applaud you and respect your giving me your time.
In closing .
I’m enclosing part of a piece of music I have written.
I’ll be asking for help on two of the lines you’ll be reading,assuming you read the lyrics .
The outro is finished,but not notated .
For the technicians . Great musicians I play with and know,are all very technically oriented .
Each views things a bit differently . When you see a “o” it’s actually a diminished seventh chord. I always assume people know I’m referring to the seventh . Another thing. Say the G/B . That is referring to the bottom note being the third of the major triad,rather than the root of the chord . I do this,because I’m very aware of the bass lines movement .
The Bb/C is a nine chord. It could have been written Bb9 and it would be the same thing . Again,it is the bass note,the C is on the bottom of the chord .
In Nashville ,they write charts like no place else in the world. They use the key as the “ one “ and then everything is relative to that one chord .
If there is a key change,they will make a notation. Point being,it is all based on numbers ,rather than letters and the session players read these charts in real time,without so much as a rehearsal,unless it is a tune like the one I posted .
Nashville Cats are great educated musicians.