Posts from 16th December 2002

Dec 02

George Anthiel–

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 370 views

George Anthiel–Ballet Mecanique

Four days after Independence Day, in a new century in a fairly new country Anthiel was born. It only took him 25 years to flee to Paris, where a generation of avant guardians was drinking together. Under this influence he created a grand folly that managed to sound more inventive and new then any number of similar experiments made at the same time.

What sounds contemporary about this ballet?

There is that gee-whiz, that’s a neat sound, can I record it, found aesthetic of Cage, and Metal Machine Music and later sample happy puppies like Kid Koala, but in a way that requires one to get two airplane propellers up on stage.

It has an obsession with percussion, its all percussive and it all has a beat, percussion is the instrumentation of this new age, and you can tell how modern something is by how percussive it is dancing is all about the bass line, and so is this.
remember it was constructed as a ballet.

Then there are his feelings around automation. He gets past the artist as auetur and allows player pianos and electronic bells to merge seamlessly with acoustic instrumentation like glockenspiel, gong, cymbal, et. al.) so that it achieves a cyborg grace.

The critical reception of this piece was wholly negative, and his next piece is an achingly pretty neo-classical piece of chamber music, perhaps to remind his audience of his skill, perhaps as a fuck you to his critics, and perhaps as a way to say ‘this is what you guys want, this is what you guys will get.’


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 902 views


You’re just like a pill
Instead of making me better, you keep making me ill”

I Hate Music Lyric watch would also like to draw this item to the attention of the lawyers of Glaxo-Smithkline-Welcome-Beecham-Pfizer (truly the pharmacutical worlds equivalent of Crosby Stills Nash and Young). You see for some reason young Mz(understood) Pink appears to think that to be just like a pill not only do you not make someone better but indeed you make them ill. If I remember my last hospital visit, after they pumped my stomach they gave me a number of pills for the express reason of making me better. So if this fella keeps making you ill, in what way is he – and I quote “just like a pill”. I think you need to go back to your remedial comprehension classes and work out the difference between “just like” and “completely dissimilar”.

And while you are there ponder upon how clever it was to name yourself after your hair colour, now you don’t dye it pink anymore.