Genre Implosion revisited – Episode 3, “Rhythm” 23 Nov 2005

Genre Implosion Revisit, Episode III – RHYTHM

GI rhythm episodeGI was the name of a graduate research project I completed as part of the requirements for my M.A in Music Criticism, in the always unique and unfortunately now-defunct program founded by Allan Walker at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and offered from 1981 to 2007. The project, which consisted of a major research paper, a 21-episode weekly radio show and a survey that sought to understand how we classify music into genres and how we are in turn influenced by that system of classification is chronicled on an area of my own main website… genreimplosion.orgalt.com.

IAM is hosting my re-visit, and perhaps your first visit, to this project as it aired Wednesday mornings from November 2005 to April 2006 on CFMU, the student radio station at McMaster University that kindly agreed to support my work. I’ll say only briefly that every 30-minute episode chose a simple musical premise that could be applied broadly across genre lines, and offered selections drawing attention to how this premise appeared in widely divergent styles.

Episode III, in classic GI “not even scratching the surface” tradition, dealt with rhythm.

 

Wed 23 November 2005 – SHOW III: RHYTHM

Central to a piece of music’s life, rhythm is both a founding principle, a pervasive pattern of structure and a flexible parameter at the disposal of musicians and composers to make musical points, imbue energy, and finesse the mental connection between a piece and the body of the listener.

J.S. BACH: Prelude, BWV 846 from ‘Das Wohltemperierte Klavier’ (2:07)
(Ton Koopman, harpsichord)

AASHID HIMONS: Little Red Rooster (5:09)
(The Mountain Soul Band, from ‘West Virginia Hills’)

CHRISTÒBAL MORALES (c1500-1553): Sanctus (4:44)
(Hilliard Ensemble, Jan Garbarek, Saxophone)

DAN LOCKLAIR: Caput Serpentis from ‘Constellations’ (1:15)
(George Ritchie, organ; Albert Rometo, percussion)

FATALA (Guinean drumming ensemble: Yoky (2:03)

MAURiCE RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloe: Opening to Scene I (excerpt 2:30)
(Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal / Charles Dutoit)
JOHN STAFFORD SMITH: Star Spangled Banner (excerpt 4:50)
(Jimmi Hendrix, recorded live at Woodstock)
—– Music 22:08

Genre Implosion revisited Episode 2 (endings) – 16 Nov 2005

Genre Implosion Revisit, Episode II – ENDINGS

musicGI was the name of a graduate research project I completed as part of the requirements for my M.A in Music Criticism, in the always unique and unfortunately now-defunct program founded by Allan Walker at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and offered from 1981 to 2007. The project, which consisted of a major research paper, a 21-episode weekly radio show and a survey that sought to understand how we classify music into genres and how we are in turn influenced by that system of classification is chronicled on an area of my own main website… genreimplosion.orgalt.com.

IAM is hosting my re-visit, and perhaps your first visit, to this project as it aired Wednesday mornings from November 2005 to April 2006 on CFMU, the student radio station at McMaster University that kindly agreed to support my work. I’ll say only briefly that every 30-minute episode chose a simple musical premise that could be applied broadly across genre lines, and offered selections drawing attention to how this premise appeared in widely divergent styles.

Episode II, in answer to Episode I’s “Introductions”, dealt with musical endings.

Endings have presented challenges to composers and performers, who frequently resort to formulae and clichés – even non-endings like the ubiquitous fade of pop music just to ‘make it stop.’ Yet, scanning history, we see just as many examples that echo their beginnings and even make radical departures in their closing seconds.

MICHAEL BUBLE: Fever (3:52)
JOSSY ABRAMOVITCH: Turkish Circus (4:41) (Quartetto Gelato)
SAMUEL HONG/ANNA GUO: Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake (4:50) (Toronto Dunhuang Chamber Ensemble)
CLAIRE LYNCH: Children of Abraham (2:56)
MYCHAEL and JEFF DANNA: The Blood of Cu Chulainn (4:07)
BUCK 65: Wicked and Weird (3:12)
—– Music 20:26

TEMC “Organ Tweet” for Sunday December 7

The Bombarde Organ

BombardeThe notion of bright, brassy, high-wind-pressure trumpet-like stops on pipe organs is centuries old – Spanish organs in particular were famous for this feature in the Renaissance and Baroque eras – but dedicating an entire pipe division to these and related stops was a late 19th-20th century trend driven by technological advancement, and by players, composers and builders interested in orchestral sonorities, and in particular with mimicking the effect of a complete orchestral brass section. It is no coincidence that Bombarde stops and divisions are named by the same root as military ‘bombardment’ – they are frequently used in connection with fanfares on royal and military occasions – but historically there is a closer connection to a bright and powerful Breton folk instrument related to the oboe and its ancestor the shawm.

As the photo shows the TEMC Bombarde division, currently playing from Manual V and mounted at the front of the west chancel chamber, is based on two ‘Tuba’ stops (‘tuba’ is the Latin word for ‘trumpet’), but also includes three other stops, Violoncello, Flute and Principal – used either to colour and complete the trumpet effects or as bright, prominent solo stops in their own right.

Our ‘Organ Century’ plans for the TEMC organ call for the combination of the Bombarde and Solo (see next week’s “Tweet”) divisions onto Manual IV, and the creation of a new Antiphonal division above the south balcony joining the current Echo division on Manual V. The crowning glory of this new division is to be a Trumpet ‘en chamade’ (another military reference) projecting out horizontally from the south wall. This new division would be our organ’s new, and best-ever connection with the space in our nave, and God willing, with our hearts as we gather there.

More on this in 2015…