Monday, May 11, 2009

Resourceful

New Musical Resources is a blog with a swell Cowellian name which shows that yes, Virginia, musicologists can do interesting work, too.  Among other things, blogger Peter Gillette is doing research into some American composers who have slipped through the cracks.  In addition to a lot of valuable work about Albert Fine, a composer with connections to East Coast early '60s experimentalism, he has an interest in the ultra-modern music of the early 20th century.* Good stuff, and I hope more musicologists can soon follow suit, allowing people like myself to rest on our imaginary laurels.

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*I was particularly pleased to learn from this blog that the book The Relation of Ultramodern to Archaic Music by the Skryabiniste Katharine Ruth Heyman is now online,  which Dane Rudhyar (perhaps America's best-known Skryabiniste) once recommended to me while a precocious high-schooler (a recommendation which I have filed, for some reason, in a corner for unexplored esoteric advice, alongside that time when Ornette Coleman recommended Cyril Scott's Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages and the Dick Gregory Diet.)   I have mentioned the Skryabinistes here before, as an example of a path mostly untaken by modern music, except for isolated figures like Rudhyar, a handful of Russians and for that all-but hidden thread which runs via Wyschnegradsky and Obouchov to Messiaen and Boulez.  It's strange and heavy stuff to which I've never been able to get particular close, but perhaps that is an inescapable aspect of such a free and intuitive style.

2 comments:

Office of the Cultural Liaisons said...

confused? your online link just says where it is for sale

sfmike said...

Did you actually meet Dane Rudhyar or did you correspond? He needs a major biography.