A displaced Californian composer writes about music made for the long while & the world around that music. ~ The avant-garde is flexibility of mind. — John Cage ~ ...composition is only a very small thing, taken as a part of music as a whole, and it really shouldn't be separated from music making in general. — Douglas Leedy ~ My God, what has sound got to do with music! — Charles Ives
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
NPR has a nice spot here on Stephen Scott and his music for bowed piano. I can recall hearing this for the first time at a concert at Scripps College sometime in the late '70s, using techniques greatly amplified from those developed first by C. Curtis-Smith. The concert was introduced by Gail Kubik, of all people, an extremely conservative composer on the faculty at Scripps (best known perhaps for his Oscar-winning score to Gerald McBoing-Boing), who was nevertheless completely bowled over by Scott's music and the virtuosity of his Colorado College-based ensemble.
Posted by Daniel Wolf at 5:02 PM
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Man, "conservative" and "progressive" have gotten so relative. Kubik was actually too avant-garde for his own good in his film work: his pointillistic score for The Desperate Hours was thrown out by the studio—Kubik later made a concert piece out of it called "Scenario for Orchestra" or something like that.
One nit-picky pedantic correction: "Gerald McBoing-Boing" won an Oscar for Best Animated Short, but Kubik's score didn't win anything, cartoon music having long been (quite unfairly) ignored by the Academy. (Kubik's music for the short is prominently discussed in almost every film-score book I've ever seen.) The score winner for that year was Franz Waxman, for Sunset Boulevard, which is, to be fair, one of the Academy's better judgments.
Scott's music, indeed, rocks.
There is a great interview with Stephen Scott and his bowed piano ensemble at New Music Box. It also has a video.
His Bowed Piano Ensemble at Colorado College has its own
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