Music & Vision's new monthly column -
GORDON RUMSON writes:
The web allows many creative people the chance to promote their works
around the globe, establishing connections in far-flung locales that would
have been next to impossible a dozen years ago. At present the range of
materials is large, but not complete. Or completely overwhelming. There
are still hundreds of composers, artists, poets and such who are not online.
But there is a start to it now.
The formats vary widely: RealAudio, MIDI, audio files, MP3, MPEG and
so on. And there are few established traditions about how to set up sites
for ease of navigation. I'll try to warn you if something odd is going on
and what your browser might need to do that's extra or unusual.
Hugh Flynn: Composer
Flynn is a UK-based composer of what he calls World Orchestral Music,
an amalgam of many ideas and influences. He's been composing since the late
70s so he is no newcomer and his largest work is the Wexford Symphony,
given here in painfully brief sound files (MP3) examples. It's impossible
to tell how it succeeds in total so would some creative, enterprising impresario
PLEASE program this work? The last thing the world needs is another symphony
gathering dust so JUST GET ON WITH IT!!
Flynn seems to like to take the bad-boy/angry man attitude, but his works,
like The Park are genuinely interesting. They are listed by period
up to only the late 80s while his more recent works await electronic encoding.
I look forward to that. Navigate through the site to the MP3 files. Mine
had to download as they don't seem set up to stream -- or is that just my
browser failing me?
Site at: hugh-flynn-composer.com
Leo Ornstein: Composer
Born either in 1892, 1894, or 1895 and still living in Wisconsin (yes
still alive and well!) Leo Ornstein is a genuine American original. When
a young wildman his music was compared with Schoenberg and Stravinsky (and
they came out sounding tame); later he retired from the faddish concert
world but kept composing right up to the 1990s. This site has an interview
done in the late 1980s and is divided into bite sized RealAudio bits listed
by subject matter. Hear Leo Ornstein talk about how he composed, his teachers
and many other things. The site is hosted at Affordable Arts (the Internet
Shopping Mall for fine arts at: www.affordablearts.com ) and is well worth the visit. Here's
to Leo Ornstein!
Site at: www.affordablearts.com/html/ornstein_archive.htm
M&V article at: www.mvdaily.com/articles/1999/12/ornstein.htm
Paul Badura Skoda: Pianist and Scholar
One of the most eminent pianists of his generation as well as a scholar
of considerable attainments, Paul Badura Skoda's recordings date back to
the 1950s. Samples here are from CDs and of live concerts including performances
in Madison, Wisconsin when he was professor there in the 1960s. Be sure
that Badura Skoda's performances are thoroughly thought out and well balanced
as befits a master of the Viennese tradition. But also listen to his performances
of Chopin (the E flat Nocturne with embellishments derived from tradition)
and even Debussy. Accessing of the MP3.com site is painfully slow just because
there is so much material here: Beethoven, much Mozart, Debussy, the Liszt
Sonata (in two parts for some reason), Chopin, Bach. Worth the wait, though
I would like them to redesign the site (dividing material by composer) to
speed loading time. Most interestingly is a Mass composed by Paul Badura
Skoda and premiered in 1950. Perhaps one of the reasons he performs with
such understanding is that he too is a composer. Would that more pianists
learned THAT lesson. Now all we need is an online version of his book on
Mozart (in conjunction with Eva Badura Skoda) with audio examples...
Site at: artists.mp3s.com/artists/112/paul_badura-skoda.html
Stephen Hansen Smythe: Composer
Calgary-based composer Stephen Hansen Smythe has a wry sense of humour,
an infectious sense of rhythm and a complete command of electronic music
making. Every music teacher should listen to Theory Student Electro Shock
Collar for its dead-on satire (ex-music students will get it too). And
most magical is the electronic composition Sundayalyis with its hauntingly
beautiful bells, ghostly voices, creaking ropes and splendid musical shape.
This one's for keeps. Hansen Smythe has also done a great deal in film and
animation shorts and should do more.
Main site at MP3.com:
Steve's homepage is at: www.cadvision.com/shansens/
Allan Rae: Composer
One of Canada's most significant composers, Allan Rae has been producing
music of great interest and merit for almost 30 years. His Mirror of
Galadriel, a large work for orchestra, may be one of the best, most
serious and significant works ever inspired by Tolkein's Lord of the
Rings. Allan Rae has written works in every genre and recently has spent
a great deal of time working in the theatre. This site is mostly a promotional
one, having samples rather than complete works in some cases. Most of the
files are in MP3, one or two in RealAudio and most prepared on synthesiser
and far too brief except to give a tiny tantalising taste. Performers should
take note of this music.
Site at: www.cadvision.com/raea/
Copyright © 1 January 2001 Gordon
Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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