asaf avidan

Asaf Avidan (born March 23, 1980) is an Israeli singer-songwriter. From 2006 to 2011, he was part of the group Asaf Avidan & the Mojos, independently releasing three studio albums.

In a March 2015 interview conducted by French newspaper Le Monde, Avidan stated: “I don’t really feel Israeli. As Israelis, what unites us is the fear. We are always the persecuted, and that is why I am no longer interested in living in Israel, to not feel that fear”. The singer’s statement sparked controversy and received widespread commentary and media attention in Israel, prompting Avidan to respond by saying: “In every interview I gave from the first second I always said I am not an Israeli artist, but an artist from Israel. I am not coming to represent Israel. I am not a politician. I am not a diplomat. And as a son to diplomats I never wanted to be one.”

wikipedia

[it’s truly extraordinary what some consider, ‘controversial’.]

asaf avidan

the varèsian zappa

Frank Zappa’s Letter to Edgard Varèse

Mr. Edgard Varèse 188 Sullivan St. New York, New York

Dear Sir:

Perhaps you might remember me from my stupid phone call last January, if not, my name again is Frank Zappa Jr. I am 16 years old … that might explain partly my disturbing you last winter. The reason for my letter at this time is that I am visiting relatives in Baltimore and as long as I am on the East Coast I hope I can get to see you.

It might seem strange but ever since I was 13 I have been interested in your music. The whole thing stems from the time when the keeper of this little record store sold me your album “The Complete Works of Edgard Varèse, Vol.l.” The only reason I knew it existed was that an article in either LOOK or the POST mentioned it as being noisy and unmusical and only good for trying out the sound systems in high fidelity units (referring to your “IONISATIONS”). I don’t know how the store I got it from ever obtained it, but, after several hearings, I became curious and bought it for $5.40, which, at the time seemed awfully high and being so young, kept me broke for three weeks. Now I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I am looking around for another copy as the one I have is very worn and scratchy.

After I had struggled through Mr. Finklestein’s notes on the back cover (I really did struggle too, for at the time I had had no training in music other than practice at drum rudiments) I became more and more interested in you and your music. I began to go to the library and take out books on modern composers and modern music, to learn all I could about Edgard Varèse. It got to be my best subject (your life) and I began writing my reports and term papers on you at school. At one time when my history teacher asked us to write on an American that has really done something for the U.S.A. I wrote on you and the Pan American Composers League and the New Symphony. I failed. The teacher had never heard of you and said I made the whole thing up. Silly but true. That was in my Sophomore year in high school.

Throughout my life all the talents and abilities that God has left me with have been self developed, and when the time came for Frank to learn how to read and write music, Frank taught himself that too. I picked it all up from the library.

I have been composing for two years now, utilizing a strict twelve-tone technique, producing effects that are reminiscent of Anton Webern.

During those two years I have written two short woodwind quartets and a short symphony for winds, brass and percussion.

Recently I have been earning my keep at home with my blues band, the BLACKOUTS. We have done quite well and in my association with my fellow musicians I am learning to play other instruments besides drums.

I paint in oils and watercolor and last year produced a cartoon film in school by painting color directly onto a 250 foot reel of cleared 16 mm movie film. I painted on the color in such a way that I managed to closely, but not completely, synchronize their movements to your “DENSITY 21.5” and the second “movement” of “OCTANDRE”. It brought about some amazing results from the audience and my counselors in the office allowed me to make a trip I had planned to Walt Disney studios with the film.

Nothing ever came of my trip, but when I got back to school I was informed I had a chance to be skipped from the Junior year in high school to the Freshman year at the junior college which adjoined the school as an experiment.

I went to the Jaycee and studied harmony and music appreciation and history for one semester and came out of it with A’s and B’s.

I plan to go on and be a composer after college and I could really use the counsel of a veteran such as you. If you would allow me to visit with you for even a few hours it would be greatly appreciated.

It may sound strange but I think I have something to offer you in the way of new ideas. One is an elaboration on the principle of Ruth Seeger’s contrapuntal dynamics and the other is an extension of the twelve-tone technique which I call the inversion square. It enables one to compose harmonically constructed pantonal music in logical patterns and progressions while still abandoning tonality.

Would you please reply as soon as possible because I will not be here much longer. My address here is 4803 Loch Raven Blvd., Baltimore Maryland. Phone Hopkins 77336. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,

Frank Zappa Jr.
(From Edgard Varèse, Composer, Sound Sculptor, Visionary (ed. F. Meyer and H. Zimmerman), Suffolk 2006)

 

the varèsian zappa

zappa redux in comparison to verese’s ionization, below:

it might even be considered, falsely, rock and roll…

but to consider this rock and roll would fail to recognize Z’s theatrical and early avant-garde classical musical influences, that are determined to mix genres. which in effect, makes thee various genres of commercial music, including punk, footnotes to zappa. i’ve not listened to a single commercial genera that doesn’t arise from Z. or, can’t already be found in his work.

zappa redux in comparison to verese’s ionization, below:

reflections on Terrence Malick’s film, Song to Song, 2017 – and on, Patti Smith because otherwise, S to S, would be unrecognizable, and I suspect, inconceivable.

i just watched for the first time terrence malick’s song to song.

i’d seen a couple of malick films before song to song, and thought highly of them. but they didn’t prepare me for the brilliance of S to S.

i’ve been trying to think of what to compare it, and can’t come up with anything, at all, in any media. it’s ‘shakespearian’ or, not to be ethnocentric about it, say to, 1001 Tales, in the way, that nothing seems to be comparable; or perhaps to the plays of  Sophicles. definitely as profound as all those authors.

i always try, when watching a film to understand how it was made. i often don’t after, say, bladerunner, because it’s too obvious in the CGI filmic era, it’s enough to say, well, that’s CGI and have done with it. [well, not completely, but mostly] it’s not important or that interesting, really. though, there is one exception to this, Fury Road… But how Malick’s song to song was made, edited, constructed, composed, etc, totally escapes me. it’s pure, to be metaphorical, alchemy, in it’s mostly naturalistic filmic idiom. it does begin with making use of some wide angle lens shots to great effect.

the following was used, as much for the visuals as for the music, in my estimation. it’s just that her music appears as often in the film as does the following. and the following two both appear more than anyone else other than patti smith. and yes, i’m partial to posting here, patti… 🙂 but malick’s wider inclusion is of great interest.

the other the musical thread of Preisner’s From The Abyss”

Sound for the visual poems of Terrence Malick’s Song To Song (2017)

As for Patti Smith, bits from her songs were included throughout. but i can’t find anything but the follow dramatic dialogue on youtube, so far… from the film:

though the entire sound track can be heard here:

https://thefilmstage.com/news/listen-to-the-soundtrack-for-terrence-malicks-song-to-song/

so, from that, malick included lines from:

my totally intuitive guess is that natalie portman was cast to represent the younger smith, and therefore, that, song to song is very auto-bio-biographical about malick, smith, and maplethorpe? and? no doubt there is much research on this that i’m unaware of. just the note of a late comer to this realm, after a first viewing of malick’s song to song. that said, not sure his film has been given the due of the greatness it deserves.

and well just because. perhaps the unstated homage of malick’s film is this:

for the record, smith’s lyrics are searingly true, about the world, period. so any poetry or music that sears less, is merely cultural detritus.

Load up on guns
Bring your friends
It’s fun to lose
and to pretend
She’s overboard
myself assured
I know, I know a dirty word

Hello, hello, hello, hello,
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out
it’s less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah

I’m worse at what
I do best
And for this gift
I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

Hello, hello, hello, hello,
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out
it’s less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah

And I forget
Just what it takes
And yet I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard
Its hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind

Hello, hello, hello, hello,
Hello, hello, hello!

The empty hand of innocence
transfusing street of the sorrows
and children of the wood
Hounded, shredding all veils
and winding all sheets of the dead world droning
Overturning tables laden with silver sacrificial birds
Beating goat-skin drums
Advancing with hands out-stretched
and we keep filling them with mercury nitrate, asbestos
Baby bombs blasting blue
Scavengers picking through the ashes
Children of the mills!
Children of the junkyards!
Sleepy, illiterate, fuzzy little rats
haunted, paint-sniffin’,
stoned out of their shaved heads
Forgotten, foraging, mystical children
Foul-mouthed, glassy eyed, hallucinating

Hello, hello, hello, hello,
Hello, hello, hello!
Hello, hello, hello, hello,
Hello!

With the lights out
it’s less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido

Ah, la la da
Ah, la la da
Ah, la la la
Ah, ma la ta
An albina
A mosquito
My libido,
Oh, My libido

Oh Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

 

then, the last stanza of Land: Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances/La Mer (De),  is:

In the sheets
There was a man
Dancing around
To the simple
Rock & roll
Song

_________

that dancing man, I suggest, was/is terrence malick.

reflections on Terrence Malick’s film, Song to Song, 2017 – and on, Patti Smith because otherwise, S to S, would be unrecognizable, and I suspect, inconceivable.