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Music blip

Suddenly I'm listening to a whole bunch of music on YouTube. This has been threatening to happen for a while now, as my appetite for new music has outgrown my budget. The trigger seems to have been delving into John Luther Adams, who won the Pulitzer Prize this year for a piece called "Become Ocean" that was commissioned and premiered by the Seattle Symphony. (You can listen to their more recent Carnegie Hall performance of the piece, along with works by Varese and Debussy, streaming at WQXR.) As I read more about Adams, I discovered that he considered Lou Harrison a mentor. I'd been faunching to listen to some Harrison, whose name keeps popping up as I poke around in 20th century classical music, and there's a whole bunch of it on YouTube. I've particularly enjoyed the Third Symphony so far, but am also intrigued by his music for gamelan.

Meanwhile, via discovering Alex Ross' profile of Adams for The New Yorker, I started reading Ross' archives on the intertubes and found his profile of Nico Muhly, who is a 30-something composer who has collaborated with all kinds of people, including Bjork, and has already made quite a name for himself. So I listened to a couple of *his* pieces on YouTube, and I was impressed by "Gait," which was performed as part of the Proms in London in 2012.

Yesterday I went to YouTube to listen to some Harrison, and the front page was recommending a piece by Arvo Pärt that I hadn't listened to yet, the "Trisagion for String Orchestra". Well, I've been meaning to delve deeper into Pärt for a while now (I've long loved his "Tabula Rasa," which I now realize is using prepared piano to sound a bit like gamelan), so I checked out the "Te Deum" after that. (Was YouTube remembering that I had listened to Pärt's Fourth Symphony previously, or was it noticing that I was listening to other music it considered similar to Pärt's, or was the suggestion of Pärt random?)

This is not to mention the Sixth Symphony of Allan Petersson that I was pointed to by ron_drummond. At an hour, it's a lot of music to absorb, but I've listened to it twice already. There's a whole lot more Petersson there too.

And much, much more. YouTube's an ocean of music, and I'm becoming ocean.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2014 04:45 pm (UTC)
Move on to the Pettersson Seventh next.
May. 21st, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
It has the advantage of at least being somewhat shorter than the Sixth.
May. 21st, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
Indeed. My YouTube bookmark list is getting longer by the day.
May. 21st, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
Is this something you do inside YouTube or in your browser? YouTube itself seems to have all these playlist features that I don't understand yet.
May. 21st, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
It's a bookmark folder on my browser. I've made a couple of my own playlists, but it feels tedious to me.
May. 21st, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
That's good to know. I've bookmarked at least one thing already, and maybe I'll just stick with that approach.
May. 21st, 2014 07:09 pm (UTC)
If you have a YouTube account, you can bookmark inside YouTube, but I've taken to using a bookmark folder in my browser as Luke does, partly because if a video is taken down, if you had it on the folder inside YouTube it becomes just "Deleted Video" and you have no idea what it was.
May. 21st, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
Ah. That's also useful to know!
May. 21st, 2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
If you can stand to, I'd recommend that you listen to that same performance of the Pettersson 6th a couple three more times first.

When/if you move on to the 7th, I recommend this performance, for starters:


May. 21st, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm sure (based on my experience with Mahler) it would take me at least three more times before I got any measure of it, but I also think I like skipping around in my listening more than you do.
May. 21st, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
Skipping around works too, for sure! You can always come back to the 6th if the 7th and other works by Pettersson end up deepening your interest. Really, if the mumbled truth be known, I feel like I should "skip around" more myself, but also -- I already skip around more than you think!

May. 21st, 2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
Aha, a secret skipper-around!
May. 21st, 2014 10:33 pm (UTC)
I skulk when I skip -- or is it the other way around?
May. 25th, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
Arvo Part
Try Part's 'Fratres' or Google YouTube for Arvo Part + tintinabulation. If you like Adams, who else? Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Eric Whiteacre..
Have you found Adams' 'Shaker Loops' yet?
May. 25th, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Arvo Part
Yes, I love "Fratres" as well. I have the album with "Tabula Rasa," two different versions of "Fratres," and "Cantus for Benjamin Britten," which is also beautiful. I first heard "Tabula Rasa" in a live performance that really blew me away, so that's probably why it's my favorite. Listening to the "Kanon Pokajanen" right now. Will check for tintinabulation.

Haven't heard any Whiteacre yet, but yes to the other three. "Shaker Loops" is another favorite, by John Adams rather than John Luther Adams. (They're friends, and John Luther recently joked that he's finally getting famous enough that people sometimes confuse John with him, rather than vice versa.)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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