Thursday, July 05, 2007

More attitude

We live close to Lake Washington. On the fourth of July we get to see the entire shore sparkle with private firework shows. Directly across from us, on Mercer island, are the homes of some of the more moneyed classes. The size and loudness of some of these displays indicate that they are "illegal" fireworks bought at the reservation stands.
A couple hundred people injure themselves every year with these things.
Which is not a good enough reason to abstain for the millions and millions of us who want to demonstrate our pride in our country by blowing stuff up.
Considering the trouble we are going to to destabilize the semitic east, It seems a small price to pay.
Besides, it's one time of the year when the pops and bangs are not cops and robbers shooting it out.
We also get to see the top of the Lake Union show and the one near the Boeing Renton plant.
America, **** Yeah!!

So... I'm supposed to be interested in music here.

Just finished reading Norman Lebrecht's "Mahler Remembered".
I thought I had read them all, but it turns out that there's one about Handel, I'll have to find it.
My only opinion abt. Mahler is this; I dont think he wrote nine or ten symphonies, I think he wrote eighteen or twenty symphonies and scrambled then all together.

Just the opinion of a redneck in the cheap seats.

I also just finished "The life and music of George Antheil" .
A man overshadowed by his most memorable work.
I began to worry that I would be remembered only for my "Aspice Quod Felis Attraxit"
(as sung by a choir of cats) until I remembered that most likely I'm not to be remembered at all.

Blessed, blessed Oblivion.

Anyway Mr. Antheil was in the habit of writing "manifestoes" which shared the salient features of the writings of many other great artists, like Joe Chris Wolf Theo Mozart* and James Joyce, in that they are mainly pleas for more money.
So I thought I should have a manifesto, too.

It isn't music until it rattles the eardrums of the audience and causes the secretion of various kinds of endorphins and other self manufactured psychotropic
chemistries.
If the seats aren't wet at the double bar, it don't count.

But, of course you are more interested in the tires. The '67 VW van with the '49 formula one Ferrari painted on the side has it's new tires. I drove it to the tire store Tuesday and left it. I enjoyed a nice little walk home, about five miles. I am always amazed at the number of things you see walking that you miss driving. There is a brass plaque on the first south bridge for instance, that informs us that is was built in 1930 and has an official name...ummm
The Duwamish Waterway Bridge? I don't remember (see "*" below)

And the incredible amount of trash along the side of the road.
Tell me if this has ever happened to you; I saw an odd bit of stuff by the road, I picked it up and found that it was apparently some kind small radio receiver. After examining it and finding it wanting, I was reluctant to toss it back because I don't like to "litter". You never know where the "Pure Earth" Gestapo might be lurking.
This in spite of the fact that the roadside was already covered with beer cans, odd bits of plastic, random body parts**, and shards of our broken constitution.
So, I put it in my pocket and threw it in my trash can at home.

Part of the trip took me by the Boeing Air museum where, although it was not open yet, I still could walk around some of the outdoor exibits, including a B-47, a DC-2,
and a FIAT "Frecce tricolore"

Which brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to "attitude" and environs.
Looking at the jet fighters on display reawoke in the depths of my soul the atavistic desire to jump in one of them*** and jam the pedal to the metal and blast up fourth avenue (south to north,it is a one way street)full throttle with afterburners lit at about fifty feet off the ground and suck out all the windows from Jackson street to Mercer.
Fortunately for all involved, I know nothing about flying one of those things and they don't set there all fueled up and ready to go anyway.

Probably some kind of security setup there too, I imagine.

So...I wended my way homeward, taking advantage of my pedestrian status to walk past some dead end signs and visit some paths that have always intrigued my when driving.

They just lead to other streets, sic semper ambulatoriam mundi mundane.

I did find the lightbulb sculpures I have been wondering the whereabouts of since I read about them in the paper. They are part of the park-like landscaping around a local electrical plant. A close walk from the house and not far from the Kuboda Gardens. Go there some time if your in town.

Anyway, the trombone concerto is a magnificant hoot, hope y'all get to hear it some day, I'm on to the tubacon already.
As a precurser to that piece, I've written a two tuba invention called Tubatuba, which I hope to link for you soon.


*
Something like that, you know how I hate to have to look things up.
**
Mainly auto body.
***
Not the FIAT, I have a FIAT, from which home I can walk when stops working it does.

Labels: ,

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geeee!! This blog is sooooo long, I thought it was written by Butch!!

12:57 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Yeah, it is wonderfully long, isn't it? No, I just read it, and had very little to add --at least at first reading. It is a wonderful stream of consciousness kind of prose that Doug excells at, somewhere between Brautigan and Vonnegot.

Gustav Mahler (July 7, 1860 – May 18, 1911) was a Bohemian-Austrian composer and conductor.

Mahler was best known during his own lifetime as one of the leading orchestral and operatic conductors of the day. He has since come to be acknowledged as among the most important post-romantic composers. With the exceptions of an early piano quartet and Totenfeier, the original tone-poem version of the first movement of the second symphony, Mahler's entire output consists of only two genres: symphony and song. Besides the nine completed numbered symphonies, his principal works are the song cycles Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (usually rendered as 'Songs of a Wayfarer', but literally 'Songs of a Travelling Journeyman') and Kindertotenlieder ('Songs on the Death of Children'), and the synthesis of symphony and song cycle that is Das Lied von der Erde ('The Song of the Earth'

Gustav Mahler was born into a Jewish family in Kaliště (in German Kalischt), in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (today in the Czech Republic), the second of twelve children. [verification needed] His parents soon moved to Jihlava (in German Iglau), Moravia, where Mahler spent his childhood. Having noticed the boy's talent at an early age, his parents arranged piano lessons for him when he was six years old.

In 1875, Mahler, then fifteen, was admitted to the Vienna Conservatoire where he studied piano under Julius Epstein, harmony with Robert Fuchs, and composition with Franz Krenn. Three years later Mahler attended Vienna University, where Anton Bruckner was lecturing. There he studied history and philosophy as well as music. While at the university, he worked as a music teacher and made his first major attempt at composition with the cantata Das klagende Lied. The work was entered in a competition where the jury was headed by Johannes Brahms, but failed to win a prize.

Growing reputation
In 1880, Mahler began his career as a conductor with a job at a summer theatre at Bad Hall; in the years that followed, he took posts at successively larger opera houses: in Ljubljana in 1881, Olomouc in 1882, Vienna in 1883, Kassel also in 1883, Prague in 1885, Leipzig in 1886 and Budapest in 1888. In 1887, he took over conducting Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen from an ill Arthur Nikisch, firmly establishing his reputation among critics and public alike. The year after, he made a complete performing edition of Carl Maria von Weber's unfinished opera Die drei Pintos, the success of which brought financial rewards and contributed to his gradually growing fame. Brahms was greatly impressed by his conducting of "Don Giovanni". His first long-term appointment was at the Hamburg Opera in 1891, where he stayed until 1897. From 1893 to 1896, he took summer vacations at Steinbach am Attersee in Upper Austria, where he revised his Symphony No. 1 (first heard in 1889), composed his Symphony No. 2, sketched his Symphony No. 3, and wrote most of the song collection Lieder aus 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' (Songs from 'The Youth's Magic Horn'), based on a famous set of heavily redacted folk-poems.

In 1897, Mahler, then thirty-seven, was offered the directorship of the Vienna Opera, the most prestigious musical position in the Austrian Empire. This was an 'Imperial' post, and under Austro-Hungarian law, no such posts could be occupied by Jews. Mahler, who was never a devout or practicing Jew, had, in preparation, converted to Roman Catholicism. Upon meeting a friend of his shortly after his conversion, he remarked, "I have just changed my coat", showing that it was only for the job.

In ten years at the Vienna Opera, Mahler transformed the institution's repertoire and raised its artistic standards, bending both performers and listeners to his will. When he first took over the Opera, the most popular works were Lohengrin, Manon, and Cavalleria rusticana; the new director concentrated his energies on classic operas of Christoph Willibald Gluck and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and, in collaboration with the painter Alfred Roller (Brno 1864-Vienna 1935), created shadowy, transfixing productions of Fidelio, Tristan und Isolde, and Der Ring des Nibelungen.

In Mahler's day Vienna was one of the world’s biggest cities and the capital of a great empire in Central Europe. It was home to a lively artistic and intellectual scene. It was home to famous painters such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. Mahler knew many of these intellectuals and artists.

Mahler worked at the Opera for nine months of each year, with only his summers free for composing; these summers he spent mainly at Maiernigg, on the Wörthersee. In that idyllic setting he composed his fifth through eighth symphonies, the Rückert Lieder and Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children), both based on poems by Friedrich Rückert, and Der Tamboursg'sell, the last of his 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' settings.


Later years
In June 1901, he moved into a fine new villa on the lake in Maiernigg, Carinthia ([1]). On March 9, 1902, Mahler married Alma Schindler (1879 –1964), twenty years his junior and the stepdaughter of the noted Viennese painter Carl Moll. Alma was a musician and composer, but Mahler forbade her to engage in creative work, although she did make clean manuscript copies of his hand-written scores. Mahler did interact creatively with some women, such as viola-player Natalie Bauer-Lechner, two years his senior, whom he had met while studying in Vienna. But he told Alma that her role should only be to tend to his needs. Alma and Gustav had two daughters, Maria Anna ('Putzi'; 1902 – 1907), who died of diphtheria at the age of only five, and Anna ('Gucki'; 1904 – 1988), who later became a sculptor.

The death of their first daughter left Mahler grief-stricken; but further blows were to come. That same year he discovered he had a heart disease (infective endocarditis), and was forced to limit his exercising and count his steps with a pedometer. At the Opera, his obstinacy in artistic matters had created enemies, and he was also increasingly subject to attacks in anti-Semitic portions of the press. His resignation from the Opera, in 1907, was hardly unexpected.

Mahler's own music aroused considerable opposition from music critics, who tended to hear his symphonies as 'potpourris' in which themes from "disparate" periods and traditions were indiscriminately mingled. Mahler's juxtaposition of material from both "high" and "low" cultures, as well as his mixing of different ethnic traditions, often outraged conservative critics at a time when workers' mass organizations were growing rapidly, and clashes between Germans, Czechs, Hungarians and Jews in Austro-Hungary were creating anxiety and instability. However, he always had vociferous admirers on his side. In his last years, Mahler began to score major successes with a wider public, notably with a Munich performance of the Second Symphony in 1900, with the first complete performance of the Third in Krefeld in 1902, with a valedictory Viennese performance of the Second in 1907, and, above all, with the Munich premiere of the gargantuan Eighth in 1910. The music he wrote after that, however, was not performed during his lifetime.

The final impetus for Mahler's departure from the Vienna Opera was a generous offer from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He conducted a season there in 1908, only to be set aside in favor of Arturo Toscanini; while he had been enormously popular with public and critics alike, he had fallen out of favor with the trustees of the board of the Met. Back in Europe, with his marriage in crisis and Alma's infidelity having been revealed, Mahler, in 1910, had a single (and apparently helpful) consultation with Sigmund Freud.

Having now signed a contract to conduct the long-established New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler and his family travelled again to America. At this time, he completed his Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), and his Symphony No. 9, which would be his last completed work. In February 1911, during a long and demanding concert season in New York, Mahler fell seriously ill with a streptococcal blood infection, and conducted his last concert in a fever (the programme included the world premiere of Ferruccio Busoni's Berceuse élégiaque). Returning to Europe, he was taken to Paris, where a new serum had recently been developed. He did not respond, however, and was taken back to Vienna at his request. He died there from his infection on May 18, 1911 at the age of 50, leaving his Symphony No. 10 unfinished.

It is said that among his last word was "Mozartl" ('Little Mozart!'). He was buried, at his request, beside his daughter, in Grinzing Cemetery outside Vienna. In obedience to his last wishes, he was buried in silence, with the gravestone bearing only the name "Gustav Mahler." Mahler's good friend Bruno Walter describes the funeral in his book Gustav Mahler (1958), on page 73: "On May 18, 1911, he died. Next evening we laid the coffin in the cemetery at Grinzing, a storm broke and such torrents of rain fell that it was almost impossible to proceed. An immense crowd, dead silent, followed the hearse. At the moment when the coffin was lowered, the sun broke through the clouds."

Alma Mahler quotes Gustav as saying "I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed." However, this is astonishingly close to a remark written by Anton Rubinstein in the 1860s or 1870s, and may therefore have been adapted, for its appositeness, by Mahler (or indeed Alma).

Alma outlived Gustav by more than 50 years, and in their course, she was active in publishing material about his life and music. However, her accounts have been attacked as unreliable, false, and misleading.[1]This constitutes the Alma Problem. For example, she allegedly tampered with the couple's correspondence and, in her publications, Gustav is often portrayed more negatively than some historians might like.


George Carl Johann Antheil (June 8, 1900, Trenton, New Jersey – 12 February 1959, New York City) was an American avant-garde composer and pianist

Antheil grew up in a family of Lutheran immigrants from Ludwigswinkel, Germany. Antheil was not Polish, as he claimed, nor Jewish, as others thought. [1] His father owned a local shoe store. [2]

Starting in 1916, Antheil studied piano under Constantine von Sternberg of Philadelphia and then Ernest Bloch of New York. Here, Antheil received formal instruction in composition. In 1922, Antheil was invited by agent Martin H. Hanson to replace the injured Leo Ornstein, playing Chopin on a European tour.

Reactions to his first performances were cool at best; His technique was loud, brazen, and percussive. Critics wrote that he hit the piano rather than played it, and indeed he often injured himself by doing so. Audiences in Budapest got so restless sometimes that Antheil would pull a pistol from his jacket and lay it on the piano to make people pay attention. [3]

Success
Around this time, von Sternberg introduced the young Antheil to his patron of the next two decades: Mary Louise Curtis Bok, founder of the Curtis Institute of Music.[4] As critical as she was to his livelihood however, Antheil never acknowledges her in his autobiography. He briefly alludes to her, saying how unfortunate it was that a musician’s art should be interrupted by a constant need to ask for financial support.[5]

By 1923, Antheil had married Böski Markus (of Jewish Hungarian descent, met in Austria) and moved to Paris. There, he found many influential friends, including his idol Igor Stravinsky, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway, among others. These young artists would attend Antheil’s performances and yell support if the crowd was rude. In fact, the director Marcel L'Herbier filmed one incident in Paris, when Man Ray supposedly slapped a protester. The clip was taken for the movie, L'inhumaine. Friends like Ezra Pound and Natalie Barney helped produce some original works, including the First String Quartet in 1926.[6] Pound’s mistress, Olga Rudge, performed Antheil’s violin sonatas.


Man, Dougie, you really hit your stride with the "Music Manifesto". I loved it !!
Quote: "It is not music until it rattles the eardrums of the audience and causes the secretion of various kinds of endorphins, and other self-manufactured psychotropic chemistries. If the seats aren't wet at the double bar, it don't count."
Pound away, sir, your wordsmithing is off the chart.

In the United States, Independence Day (commonly known as the “Fourth of July,” “July Fourth”, the “Glorious Fourth”, or simply the “Fourth”) is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, baseball games, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Fireworks have been associated with the Fourth of July since 1777.

Though the Fourth of July is iconic to Americans, some claim the date itself is somewhat arbitrary. New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775. The first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made on June 4, 1776. After hard debate, the Congress voted unanimously, but secretly, for independence from Great Britain on July 2 (the Lee Resolution) and appointed Thomas Jefferson to write a draft. The Congress reworked the draft until a little after eleven o’clock, July 4, when twelve colonies voted for adoption (New York abstained from both votes) and released a copy to the printers signed only by John Hancock, President of the Congress, and Secretary Charles Thomson. Philadelphia celebrated the Declaration with public readings and bonfires on July 8. Not until August 2 would a fair printing be signed by the members of the Congress, but even that was kept secret to protect the members from possible British reprisals.

John Adams, credited by Thomas Jefferson as the unofficial, tireless whip of the independence-minded, wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.[citation needed]
Adams was off by two days, however. Certainly, the vote on July 2 was the decisive act. But July 4 is the date that Jefferson's stirring prose, as edited by the Congress, was officially adopted and was the first day Philadelphians heard any concrete news of independence from the Continental Congress, as opposed to rumors in the street about secret votes.

Observance
In 1777, thirteen guns were fired, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white and blue bunting.
In 1778, General George Washington marked the Fourth of July with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
In 1781, Massachusetts was the first legislature to recognize the Fourth of July.
In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held the first celebration of the Fourth of July in the country with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled “The Psalm of Joy.”
In 1791 was the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day.”
In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.[1]
In 1941, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday. The residents of Vicksburg, Mississippi, celebrated the Fourth of July for the first time since July 4, 1863, when the Siege of Vicksburg ended with a Union victory during the American Civil War.


The Boeing B-47 Stratojet jet bomber was a medium range and size bomber capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the Soviet Union. A major innovation in post-World War II combat jet design, it helped lead to the development of modern jet airliners. While it never saw major combat use, it was the mainstay of U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command strategic striking power in the 1950s.


The Douglas DC-2 was a 14 seat, twin-propeller airliner produced by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation starting in 1934. It competed with the Boeing 247. In 1935 Douglas produced a larger version called the DC-3, which became one of the most successful airplanes in history.


Le Frecce Tricolori sono la pattuglia acrobatica nazionale (PAN) dell'Aeronautica Militare Italiana, nata nel 1961 al seguito della decisione dell'Aeronautica Militare di creare un gruppo permanente per l'addestramento all'acrobazia aerea collettiva dei suoi piloti. Con i 10 aerei, di cui 9 in formazione e 1 solista, sono la pattuglia acrobatica più numerosa del mondo.

The National Acrobatic Team "Frecce Tricolori" of the Italian Air Force has been established in Rivolto airbase on the 1st of march in 1961. From 1964 till 1981 they used this Aeritalia Fiat G-91 PAN, which is a single-seat tactical strike/reconnaissance fighter.

Finnegans Wake, published in 1939, is James Joyce's final novel. Following the publication of Ulysses in 1922, Joyce began working on the Wake and by 1924 installments of the work began to appear in serialized form, first under the title "A New Unnamed Work" and subsequently as "Work in Progress." (The final title of the work remained a secret between the writer and his wife, Nora Barnacle, until shortly before the book was finally published.)

The seventeen years spent working on Finnegans Wake were often difficult for Joyce. He underwent frequent eye surgeries, lost long-time supporters, and dealt with personal problems in the lives of his children. These problems and the perennial financial difficulties of the Joyce family are described in Richard Ellmann's biography James Joyce.

Because Joyce's sentences are packed with obscure allusions and puns in dozens of different languages, it remains impossible to offer an undisputed and definitive synopsis.

The book begins with one such allusion:

“ riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. ”

"Commodius vicus" refers to Giambattista Vico (1668-1744). Vico believed in a theory of cyclical history. He believed that the world was coming to the end of the last of three ages, these being the age of gods, the age of heroes, and the age of humans. This opening also contributes to the effect of Joyce's novel as a whole, since it begins and ends with "riverrun" on the lips.

More generally, the introductory chapter gives an overview of the novel's themes. First, we hear of a central character, here called Finnegan and identified as a hod carrier in Dublin (seen as representing all builders of all kinds throughout world history), falling to his death from a scaffold or tower or wall. At his wake, in keeping with the comic song "Finnegan's Wake" that provided Joyce's title, a fight breaks out, whiskey splashes on Finnegan's corpse, and he rises up again alive (Finnegan awakes).

This Finnegan is all men, and his fall is all men's fall. Subsequent vignettes in the first chapter show him as a warrior (in particular, as Wellington at Waterloo), as an explorer invading a land occupied by his aboriginal ancestors, and as the victim of a vengeful pirate queen (Grace O'Malley).

At the end of chapter one, Joyce puts Finnegan back down again ("Now be aisy, good Mr Finnimore, sir. And take your laysure like a god on pension and don't be walking abroad"). A new version of Finnegan-Everyman is sailing into Dublin Bay to take over the story: Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, whose initials HCE ("Here Comes Everybody") lend themselves to phrase after phrase throughout the book (Note they appear as "Howth Castle and Environs" in the opening sentence).

Chapter two opens with an account of how HCE was given the name "Earwicker" by the king, who catches HCE "earwigging" when he's supposed to be manning a tollgate. Although the name begins as an insult, it helps HCE rise to prominence in Dublin society, but then he's brought down by a rumor about a sexual trespass involving two girls in the Phoenix Park (close by Chapelizod).

Most of chapters two through four follow the progress of this rumor, starting with HCE's encounter with "a cad with a pipe." The cad asks the time, but HCE misunderstands it as either an accusation or a proposition, and incriminates himself by denying rumors the cad has not yet heard. Joyce expresses HCE's confusion by spelling the cad's Gaelic phonetically, making it look like a suggestive English phrase. Eventually, HCE becomes so paranoid he goes into hiding, where he'll write a book that evidently resembles Joyce's own Ulysses.

Christ, Dougie, it is masterful how you hop back and forth from classical music to literature to film to philosophy. You amaze me. Perhaps it is a good thing you could not get into one of those jet fighters and streak up town. It would have caused the Civil Air Patrol to call a red alert, and the National Guard would have scrambled their fighters to bring you down in flames. If you think the Pure Earth Gestapo would kick your butt, don't stir up the National Guard.

And I love your closing line where you quote Yoda, or at least set up the sentence structure like him, them.

Glenn

6:22 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

I wonder about Yoda, He's s'posed to be so friggin' smart, He knows everybody elses language, youl'd think he could at least try to get it right.
Maybe he's not a real Yoda, maybe he's just a TOY yoda.
Haw!

11:56 PM  

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