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2. Aug. 2007, 2:28

Going off the beaten track. Down dark alleys with just a torch and my fingers crossed, hoping I'll be ok. Being brave and trying anyway.

Trying to find out about music that the press doesn't cover, that there is no convenient MySpace page for let alone a next-to-useless artist's own website, is already proving frustrating and I've only just started. Sometimes, there's a reason why there are so few listeners, and it ain't nothing to do with quality! } I

I don't mind being challenged, that's fine, I expect that. I do mind being insulted. You can't make any old racket, slap a label on it and call it music. Sorry, it doesn't wash with me, not even if you tell me you come under some fancypants underground über-cool genre. Not impressed. Look at my face -> : / Basically, it's not enough.

I don't know what other people do, but I try to let my instincts guide me. The advantage of hearing something before everyone else is I don't feel obliged to agree/disagree with other people. (Self-esteem issues, I'm sure). It's just me and the music and I get to decide for myself. I like that.

On my list of non-mainstream sources to check out are:

* join groups that specialise in genres I'm interested in, or that focus on non-commercial/non-mainstream music

* try tag radios that people have built

* listen to 'artists similar to'

* listen to tagged genres, eg

* browse Last.fm for reviews and journals

* ask people

* search the web for specialist sites, eg the latest in Bollywood, latest folk news, etc. Then read them all regularly! :s

* listen to specialist radio online, eg SOAS

One thing I'm a bit stumped on is how / where I'm going to find out about the latest news in classical and opera. I know I could read the Sunday papers, but that's not good enough because I can't hear what they're talking about. In any case, I'm not very impressed with the current stable of Russell Watson, Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins, *cringe* Charlotte Church, and then yet more flamin' Russell Watson. I am also not keen on bratty conducters imposing their will* on classical music, so I think I might have to accept I'm a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra girl and just leave it at that. Which is rubbish because how can I call myself a music reviewer if I'm having trouble with an entire world of music?? Does opera have to stop at Maria Callas? Seems to, for me.

This new project of mine is going to be difficult because I want things now. Yesterday. But I don't want anyone else to do the filtering for me. I want to do that myself. In order to do that, I have to subject myself to stuff I don't like (and yes, utter dross). So I'd best keep some paracetamol handy, huh?

edit * ok, except for maybe Leonard Bernstein.
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Kommentare

  • IanAR

    There's more to Orchestral than Classical (Bernstein is not Classical). Sorry, but the contemporary lowbrow interchangeability, of these terms, bugs all hell out of me. [img]http://panther1.last.fm/groupavatar/1228edad4c50eeb792bb5e0fc3bab5a5.jpg[/img] BBC Radio 3 is a place I'd go for general discovery and news - I've recently been enjoying their Breakfast show. Their programmes all seem to remain on-line for a week, for later listening. Also, playlists (within programmes), are well presented - so if you're only interested in a particular segment, or tune, it's easy to fast-forward to on-line player to the piece you're after - Ian x

    2. Aug. 2007, 9:41
  • davidjennings

    I remember hearing an interview with John Cage in the '80s where he was asked what music he would recommend people listening to. He confounded expectations by not saying anything about composition style or process, but just saying you should listen to the music that your government doesn't want you to. Good answer, I thought. At that time (pre-glasnost) he gave the example of Russian music, but Andy Kershaw clearly had something similar in mind when he did a series of programmes from each of the Axis of Evil countries: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/andykershaw/pip/v1u7e/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/worldmusic/onlocation/iran2004.shtml I share your problem with finding a 'way into' classical genres. Just jumping into Radio 3 is the best way I've found so far, but I find it difficult to keep up the habit... too much else to listen to.

    2. Aug. 2007, 12:18
  • Babs_05

    Thanks for the comments and links. : ) I've been listening to Radio 3 since I was a kid. I used to put it on to help me concentrate when I had homework to do. Haven't listened since I discovered Last.fm, must admit! That's a good point, Ian, I forgot I can 'listen again' online, and just the bits I'm interested in. It's not a way in I'm having trouble with so much as being up-to-date with new releases and differentiating between conductors and their styles. I know which styles I prefer and which I don't, I just can't identify who does what. I'd also like to find out who the real opera stars are, not the ones who are hyped to high heaven and get to be interviewed by Parkie once a year. : /

    2. Aug. 2007, 14:08
  • Babs_05

    Orchestral v Classical - I did choose the term 'classical' deliberately. Orchestral isn't what I meant. Leonard Bernstein crosses both camps and then some with his work for Hollywood. The guy's a genius and someone I've long admired. I wanted to discount him from my grumbles, which is why I mentioned him. Here's the kind of thing I mean: there's a new CD of Mahler's [i]Das Klagende Lied[/i] by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. The review - a great one - reads the conductor's style suits the music, and all in all, it's a good effort all round. Good review - but where do I hear it? Preview clips in Amazon are not enough, and in any case, it hasn't been released yet so even they're not available. I read somewhere that Mahler is the godfather of ambient music so now I'm all excited! I want to listen with different ears, if that makes sense, and I want to listen to this one. : / Just a scribble for me, and for anyone else interested: just checked out the previews in Amazon.com for Debussy - Complete Works for Piano, Volume 1, performed by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. It's good. He hasn't imposed his personality into the music, forcing us to admire him, instead he has made the music shine. He plays smoothly, nothing jars or annoys (from what I can tell in the clips). It's not available in the UK, though. Amazon.com.

    2. Aug. 2007, 16:09
  • IanAR

    Hi David - You've taken the words from my mouth. I typed a paragraph about East European opera, in my earlier comment, and deleted it - Not having time to explain how I was doing any more than [i]stabbing in the dark[/i] - I'll cover this better later, I thought. Then you've come along with references and everything ;) Thanks for the Kershaw links, I'll follow those up! [sup]<aside>[/sup]I've currently got a massive urge to tour Iran, before my country becomes embroiled in an [i]oil war[/i] with it. By most objective standards, it seems like a fantastic place to visit![sub] </aside>[/sub] Picking-up on David's pre-Glasnost and way into allusions - If I fail to find an all encompassing / authoritative understanding / source on a subject, I'll often attack to problem by tackling a specific element and following all avenues of inquiry, that open up, to the point that they can be generalized. This may be a useful technique, for a subject area as wide as orchestral / opera music. For me opera's an undiscovered country. When asked What kind of music do you like?, my answer's often, the like of: [i]Good music from all genre, except and [/i]. For me, the commonality of these genre is [i]musical density[/i], in that, with both it feels like music that happens [i][b]to me[/b][/i], with little facility to enter into the music so it happens [i][b]to me[/b][/i]. Also, with Italian opera's seeming concentration on melodramatic / romantic subjects, the amount of pathos applied seem so ridiculous that my [i]suspension of disbelief[/i] is scuppered. I don't find the same barriers with Russian, German or English opera. I imagine the same qualitative changes from Scandinavian opera, but'm not familiar with any. Generally, I find these operatic traditions less bright and [i]in your face[/i], with often political / sociological / folkloric themes, more fitting of pathos and aggrandizement. If I were to pursue an discovery / investigation / analysis project, on a specific element of opera, it'd be how censorship of opera has changed in the Post-Soviet regime (different, but still far from free speech). Wikipedia touches on this issue-> here, but the entry could do with expansion, on this aspect. Babs, if you're fishing for something to do, in this area, you might like to take this on. - Ian x

    2. Aug. 2007, 22:35
  • IanAR

    The second [b][i]to me[/i][/b] is meant to be [b][i]with me[/i][/b] - Ian

    2. Aug. 2007, 22:37
  • Babs_05

    Wow, great, thanks! It's not what I meant, but that's another avenue for me to peer down and form some thoughts on. I have to figure out what I do mean.... *thinks*.... When I say opera, I think what I mean is the singers. Who does a body of work justice and who just takes over so all we see is them? I mean, Maria Callas is a bit of a heroine of mine, and it could be fair to say she dominated things, but her quality of voice and the power she put behind it matched up and often surpassed, so that, whilst you were listening, you were caught up in the song, the music, the emotion, and you forgot you were watching, or listening, to her. Or at least, that's how it is for me. That's the quality I'm looking for and that's the quality Russell Watson / Katherine Jenkins / Charlotte Church et al don't have. All they have are their looks and personalities. Not so much ability. (Sorry that paragraph is so unpolished, but I'm leaving it as is).

    2. Aug. 2007, 23:00
  • Babs_05

    Sorry, I just have to quote this: Ian, you said, [quote]Italian opera's seeming concentration on melodramatic / romantic subjects, the amount of pathos applied seem so ridiculous that my [i]suspension of disbelief[/i] is scuppered.[/quote] So you've never watched a Bollywood movie then? Dear me! I'd love to be a fly on the wall when you do! Italian opera. Bollywood. Same thing. Doubt anyone'll disagree! lol! :D x

    2. Aug. 2007, 23:12
  • IanAR

    Two differences are better dancing and looks ;) Ian

    3. Aug. 2007, 1:35
  • Babs_05

    I'll give you that. ; )

    3. Aug. 2007, 3:23
  • IanAR

    Sorry Babs, I don't see a good fit between this & the [i]Track Tag Bitches[/i] journal - Ian[sub] Track-Tag Bitches[/sub]

    4. Aug. 2007, 11:41
  • Babs_05

    No worries, Ian. : ) x [b]Notes to self:[/b] hear more try hear more (Ghost Box label) browse: http://www.last.fm/music/?m=tags&q=concrete

    5. Aug. 2007, 6:28
  • IanAR

    ... is from the group: concrete everything - Ian

    5. Aug. 2007, 17:28
  • IanAR

    No jolly pic's for 11 posts, so ... [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewvIpqJdTfk[/youtube] ... is slightly relevant and got me laughing - Ian

    5. Aug. 2007, 22:52
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