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speaking of sirens...Edgard Varese Ionisation

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by frederic b. hodshon, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer

    Offrandes [and voice] (1921)
    Hyperprism (1923)
    Octandre (1923)
    Intégrales (1924)
    Ionisation [percussion] (1931)
    Ecuatorial [and voice] (1934)
    Density 21.5 for flute solo (1936)

    Amériques (1922)
    Arcana (1927)

    Déserts (1954)
    "Good Friday Procession in Verges" (1956)
    Poème électronique (1958)

  2. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Try this sometime....
    Play Poem Electronique faster than it's recorded, then put on Pink Floyd's "Several Species of Small Furry Beasts Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict". You may notice some similarities.
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    ah, Varese. Did you know that along with being a breakthrough composer that he was a child molester ? His wife blocked all publication of his memoirs and biographies because she did not want his reputation tarnished...

    I think maybe we should discuss the First School of Italian Futursism to put Varese in the proper perspective. Russolo, Marinetti, et al.

    Varese. Did he use the siren and the anvil for sonic purposes only or did he subscribe to the Russolian belief that we must embrace the industrialized world with all of its great machines and immortalize(in compositions) the sonic emminations of these industrial giants produced ?
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Does anyone know what has a density of 21.5 ?
  5. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Platinum (yeah, I cheated)..
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    you weren't supposed to cheat ! Can you imagine the cost of a Platinum flute today ?
    I know how much silver costs (5k and up) ..I wouldn't want to have to but platinum.
  7. Molloy


    Dec 6, 2002
    Paris, France
    The first option, I think.

    Here is a text about Varèse's sonic explorations that is way better worded than anything I could come up with :

    Also, according to Varese quotes in the liner notes of my CD featuring Amériques and Arcana, these pieces, while evocative, are not meant as illustration nor as a "transfert into the realm of the orchestra" of the casual, "secular" sounds. Un fortunately I don't have the CD here so I can't give you the full quotes. Let's not forget as well that Varèse had an electroaccoustician engineer formation, he was more into the technical rather than political side of his art.

    Actually it looks like Varèse's ambitions and explorations go well beyond the Italian Futurists rather funny but clogged in controverse ideas - if you've read Russollo's seminal letter to Pratella, "The art of noises", you know what I mean : while the core is interesting, it looks like he is more into rebelling against whatever existed before rather than building solid foundations of a radically new musical form.
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    agreed Russolo's ideas were provacative but did not translate well when put into practice. maybe if some of his noise machines survived we would have a better understanding of him.

    alas, Russolo has gone the way of many revolutionaries, that is, not able to prove to society thru actions
    instead of words his ideas.

    The question was rhetorical. Varese was interested in pure sound. But, he did compose those big ensemble pieces for a reason, which, i suppose, was for him the only way of realising what he composed.

    I do not think the question should be about orchestral versus chamber. i think at that juncture in music history the question was irrelevant to most composers.

    they were on a quest for sound.

    and of course, to break away from the traditions of the previous generation.
    as all good forward thinking composers did.

    I mean, some of the composers that straddled the renaissance and baroque eras were thought to be crazy rogues by some of their older colleagues.

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