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I was taking a break from music making to enjoy the summer, family life and marriage. However, the question of simplicity keeps returning to mind, stimulated again yesterday by Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" played on the youth concert Proms from London. Thrice 55 is very simple, some indicators are given on the score, how much further into simplicity can one go?
:-)
Writing a blog on simplicity took me to some strange conclusions, see
hes20.blogspot.co.uk
and to this slow, intense, brooding music for strings.
It was a piece like a fairy story I know where a thief had to add something extra into his overfull bag of stolen jewels to escape his imprisonment.
Folklorists probably know the answer.

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Following up on Albert's advert here are some Åke Parmerud works, I like the Gesang der Jünglinge moments in the Grain of Voices piece (around the 8th minute), it makes an interesting "drop in" point. There's lots of drama as well as familiar and unfamiliar electronic sounds here, well worth spending some time with these pieces, and some lucky people may get to the masterclasses!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phbd-UaXx1s Åke Parmerud ~ La vie mécanique

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-4IyFaZo2Q
Ake Parmerud - Grain of Voices

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq8vakF-MfI Åke Parmerud ~ Out of Sight

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Dear colleagues, Kyiv Contemporary Music Days is launching masterclasses for electroacoustic music with composers Åke Parmerud (Sweden), Alla Zagaykevych (Ukraine), Mehmet Can Özer (Turkey) and Jaime Reis (Portugal).

From September 4 to 10 this year, we gather the above-mentioned composers together with their young colleagues-students under the roof of International Scientific Creative MANLAB.CAMP in Pushcha-Voditza - the forest zone of Kyiv - and organize a week of intensive master classes for them: four individual courses (many, many hours of classes: Ableton live, Max/Msp from beginners to advanced level an lots of other stuff to learn and improve in), rehearsals with performers (if your work involves live instruments), a series of public lectures and, of course, the climax of the week - a concert of electroacoustic music in the city center, where the works of students and their teachers will be presented for Kyiv audience.

All participants will be provided with the main fuel of the composer - a roof overhead and three meals a day. Last but not least, evening hangouts at the fireplace, volleyball/football/badminton field and a company of great KCMD volunteers that are always ready to help will be there for you.

If you're interested, please check all the details on http://www.kcmd.eu/mc

Best,
Albert


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29t-Kn-s1ts

I had a discussion with musician and composer Alex Rotundo about simplicity and complexity on the New Music Hub yesterday. These pieces inform the argument, be prepared for the change in the 6th. I wonder why nine people disliked this Xenakis? Expectations? Make up your own mind

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A recent YT video, excellent clarity and balance of sound, in fact just wonderful.

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The composer Giorgio Sollazzi shared some MIDI files with me to help me get more familiar with his music. This work attracted my attention, and I was driven to create a sound world somewhat different to the original intention.
With thanks and apologies to GS for the outcome! :-)
KH

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Ligeti's Etude No. 8 delights me, my excel pattern below shows the regularity of the rhythms (32 beats L.H, 36 beats R.H.) coming together on an 8X9 and 9X8 rotation. This can be easily worked out but the remainder throws some interesting changes - from bar 52 onwards where an 18 beat grouping emerges, closely related to the original. There are lots of interesting details like this, so why not ponder over the score? Link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYNCMIHgaaA

Photo

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Two pieces to share today, this one sent to me by GS which is short (5'50") and makes clear use of repeated phrases (particularly in the final section) and dynamic contrasts which some might find surprising.
The second Nature pieces

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCJWjCtDkhE

also opens with regular phrasing but is quiet, the music gradually loses the rhythmic energy of the opening. The character changes around 4' and plays with chord and rest spaces, including a longer phrase that is in danger of taking on a Beethoven like character. Around the 8th minute the rhythmic energy returns extending to a jazz-pointillism style. Listen out for the arpeggio at 9'18" - it forms a little cadence figure to start the return at the 10th minute to the character of the opening rhythm, but instead of expanding into tiny fragments we have a child-like stepwise and arpeggio melody. The final minutes throws us into another contrast, again with a touch of jazz.
I suggest anybody composing piano music spend time with these pieces and think about how much time and space a musical figure requires to express itself fully. I wonder if Feldman had a liking for the Beethoven piano sonata rondos?
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