Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quelle jour! , J'aime SAM

Got an early start got downtown before 9:00 AM. Met nephew Wally by the busstop and had good conversation untill his bus came. Caffiene & carbs at Caffe Ladro, and then went in search of the McCleod residence, a commercial art gallery that I found after searching for Nancy Guppy because I didn't watch last Sunday because we had guests.
You can join McCleod and adopt a family name. mine will be "Getoff' McCleod (unless someone else gets to it first)
After that I checked out the new Seattle Art Museum; ces't magnifique! I got lost in the new larger setup, which is one of the best things that can happen to you in an art gallery. Much better than getting lost on a bike trip.
Then a short trip to the library where I listened to my new music links. Can't do that at home, need new computer.
Finally, after a sandwich, at a little shop across from the Benaroya Gulag, where I can cast an evil eye (the left one, the right is 20/83) across the street. I think it's working, I detect a bit of crumbling on the facade.
Finally I trot on up to Broadway and SCCC for my class with David Mesler, where I manipulate him with devious psychological devices to tell me that I am, indeed, a brilliant composer. (He may not have actually said anything of the sort, but I'll hear what I want to hear.
Then I went home.

After which, we went to the second of our chamber music festival concerts.
Due to the heat, the 7:00 recital was held in the (hang on a minute, I'll go look up the proper name of the hall.)
Well, how do you like that? I can't find it in the program.
Anyway, it was Jeremy Denk playing Ives. Something other than was listed, but the one that he has been analysing on his site.
I think it is a better piece than the one we heard last week.
Then, however, he played some Bartok, which was better than the Ives.
I have more to say, but I've got to catch a bus to city hall for the noon concert there.

oh, yeah, I also walked by a rock band playing at Westlake..........
Coincidentally, it was a rock concert at city hall that I just came from today.
And it rained, yesterday it was 100 degrees, today it rained.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, now I suppose you expect me to believe this Sam person is...wait a sec...I see, it's a museum...
never mind.
.....................Emily

11:06 PM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Dear Emily, you seem to be a bit anxious lately, is there anything I can do for you? I am just a guy who wants to make things better.
No matter what you want to say to me, I am here to listen and try to understand. At the very least, I will honor your feelings, even if I don't understand.
The love I have for you is too deep for me to fathom. I am a victim of it's power and can only hope that what I do bodes for good.

........yours forever,..Doug

12:08 AM  
Blogger butch said...

Dougie: You threw me off the track by misspelling McLeod as "McCleod". But you know me, I ferreted it out regardless:
On the website I found:

I changed my name to Buster Butterfield McLeod.

In October, I did the Landmark Forum and started a new company/cult/community/art gallery/lounge with Lele called McLeod Residence.

In November, I ran a half-marathon.

In December, we prepared McLeod Residence for its grand opening in January, and learned how to shoot a gun. And so many other things in between.

*****

I think, this year, everything changed and came into focus for me. I'm starting to see the magic in life... how everything works and how everything should be. Having mottoes helped me build on ideas. Higher highs and lower lows. Go for broke. Create extraordinary problems. Be in it to win it. No more dilly-dallying. Double down. Accept all offers. Be the thing. And, just last night, I realized with Lele and Maggie's help, that making something and forcing something aren't the same things. You force things to happen by wanting things. You make things happen by being the thing. There is no more need to want things, just be things. Be your best self. Everything is an end in itself. If the process of getting something or becoming something isn't the reward that you're looking for, you're never going to get it. Because there isn't anything else. You can't force an idea to come any more than you can force a relationship to work. Ideas come and relationships work when you relax and just be them in the best sense.

It was a year of big changes and realizations. 2007 is going to be about manifesting these ideas and mottoes into a big reality... into my relationships, into the Robot Co-op, into McLeod Residence, and into myself. To make progress on my impossible mission, to blend life, work, play, and love into a lifestyle that is creative, always changing, and extraordinary.

It's all so simple. Figure out what you're striving for. See what's holding you back. Prove to yourself that you're in it to win it by making irreversible steps towards your goals. Think constantly about your ideal scene. Discover the reward that is an end in itself. The great thing about ends in themselves is that they exist right now. There is no journey. It's all mental. We are our own worst enemies. Our own genius nemesis. Man versus himself. But, luckily, you're equally matched. You can do it.

This next week is perfectly timed for madness and explosions. Friends from all over are arriving from SF (Ali, Jess, Aubs, Cameron, Buzz), NYC (Harry, Alice, Sean, LBJ, Kharis, Kevin, Kellianne), Portland (Rachel, Bjorn, others), many others I'm forgetting or don't know about yet, not to mention all of our Seattle friends. All for NYE. All for the new life of McLeod, which is completely invented out of nothing! It's a blank slate for our own aesthetic and our own lives.

If you're short on New Year's resolutions, Lele's from last year is difficult to beat: do something that surprises, inspires, and terrifies you. And when you do that, do it again. Here are my 2007 resolutions so far:

do something that surprises, inspires, and terrifies me
open a bar/art gallery with friends
revive Office Hours as something new
become a certified Toastmaster
Posted by Buster McLeod

Yeah, I hope "Getoff McLeod" works out for you, even though it may piss off Mick Jagger. What kind of exhibits are now at the "new" Seattle Art Museum? Do they still have the hammering man in front of the building. Isn't the museum right across the street from the evil empire of SSO at Benaroya?
What was the little shop across from the Benaroya Gulag? How wonderful though that you can now witness the fruit of your labors and rage and indignation seeing some "crumbling on the facade." Hey, as you know, I did give a couple listens to Tubatuba, and I dug it; short as it is. What's up with your occulus dexter (right eye)? I have never asked you about your refractive error? Or like me are you developing a cataract?

Did Anonomann and Margrit attend the Jeremy Denk recital with you and Meredith?

Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist and collector of Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk music. He is considered one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and was also one of the founders of the field of ethnomusicology, the study and ethnography of folk music.

Béla Bartók was born in the small town of Nagyszentmiklós in Hungary (now Sânnicolau Mare, Romania) on March 25, 1881.

He displayed notable musical talent very early in life: according to his mother, he could distinguish between different dance rhythms that she played on the piano even before he learned to speak in complete sentences.[1] By the age of four, he was able to play 40 songs on the piano, and his mother began formally teaching him the next year.

Béla was a small and sickly child, and suffered from a painful chronic rash until the age of five.[2] In 1888, when he was seven, his father (the director of an agricultural school) died suddenly, and Béla's mother then took him and his sister Erzsebet to live in Nagyszőlős (today Vinogradiv, Ukraine), and then to Pozsony (today Bratislava, Slovakia). In Pressburg Béla gave his first public recital at age eleven to a warm critical reception. Among the pieces he played was his own first composition, written two years previously: a short piece called "The Course of the Danube."[3] Shortly thereafter he was accepted as a student of László Erkel.


Early musical career

Bartók on his high school graduationHe studied piano under István Thoman (a former student of Franz Liszt) and composition under János Koessler at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest from 1899 to 1903. There he met Zoltán Kodály, who would influence him greatly and who become his lifelong friend and colleague. In 1903, Bartók wrote his first major orchestral work, Kossuth, a symphonic poem which honored Lajos Kossuth, hero of the Hungarian revolution of 1848.

It was the music of Richard Strauss, whom he met at the Budapest premiere of Also sprach Zarathustra in 1902, that had the most influence on his early work. From 1907 his music also began to be influenced by the music of Claude Debussy that Kodály had brought back from Paris. His large scale orchestral works were still in the manner of Johannes Brahms or Richard Strauss, but also around this time he wrote a number of small piano pieces which show his growing interest in folk music. Probably the first piece to show clear signs of this new interest is the String Quartet No. 1 in A minor (1908), which has a few folk-like elements in it.

In 1908, inspired by both their own interest in folk music and by the contemporary resurgence of interest in traditional national culture, he and Kodály undertook an expedition into the countryside to collect and research old Magyar folk melodies. Their findings came as somewhat of a surprise: previously, most people had considered real Magyar folk music to be Gypsy music. The classic example of this misperception is Franz Liszt's famous Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano, which were actually based on popular Gypsy tunes of the time.

In contrast, the old Magyar folk melodies discovered by Bartók and Kodály bore little if any resemblance to the popular music of the Gypsies. Instead, the songs they found were almost all based on pentatonic scales similar to those found in various Oriental folk traditions, notably those of Central Asia and Siberia. (Indeed, Kodály later discovered striking parallels between some ancient Magyar songs and songs of the Mari and Chuvash peoples of north-eastern Russia.)

Bartók and Kodály quickly set about incorporating elements of this real Magyar peasant music into their compositions. While Kodály would frequently quote folk songs verbatim and write pieces derived entirely from authentic folk melodies, Bartók's style was more of a synthesis of folk music, classicism, and modernism. He rarely used actual peasant melodies in his compositions, but his melodic and harmonic sense was still profoundly influenced by the folk music of Hungary and Romania, and he was very fond of the asymmetrical dance rhythms and pungent harmonies found in Bulgarian music.


Middle years and career
In 1909, Bartók married Márta Ziegler. Their son, Béla Jr., was born in 1910.

In 1911, Bartók wrote what was to be his only opera, Bluebeard's Castle, dedicated to his wife, Márta. He entered it for a prize awarded by the Hungarian Fine Arts Commission, which rejected it out of hand as unplayable. In 1917-1918, Bartok completely reworked the score of the opera, and then he was pressured by the government to remove the name of the librettist, Béla Balázs, from the program on account of his political views. Bartók refused, and eventually withdrew the work. For the remainder of his life, although he was passionately devoted to Hungary, its people and culture, he never felt much loyalty to its government or official establishments.

After his disappointment over the Fine Arts Commission prize, Bartók wrote very little for two or three years, preferring to concentrate on collecting and arranging folk music (in Central Europe, the Balkans, Algeria, and Turkey). However, the outbreak of World War I forced him to stop these expeditions, and he returned to composing, writing the ballet The Wooden Prince in 1914–16 and the String Quartet No. 2 in 1915–17, both influenced by Debussy. It was The Wooden Prince which gave him some degree of international fame.

Raised as a Roman Catholic, Bartók had by his early adulthood become an atheist, decrying the existence of God as unknowable and unnecessary. He would later become attracted to Unitarianism, and publicly converted to the Unitarian faith in 1916. His son would later become president of the Hungarian Unitarian Church.[1]

He subsequently worked on another ballet, The Miraculous Mandarin influenced by Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, as well as Richard Strauss, following this up with his two violin sonatas (written in 1921 and 1922 respectively) which are harmonically and structurally some of the most complex pieces he wrote. The Miraculous Mandarin was started in 1918, but not performed until 1926 because of its sexual content, a sordid modern story of prostitution, robbery, and murder. He wrote his third and fourth string quartets in 1927–28, after which he finally found his true voice, starting broadly incorporating folk music in his compositions. Notable examples of this period are Divertimento for strings (1939) and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1936). The String Quartet No. 5 (1934) is written in somewhat more traditional style. Bartók wrote his sixth and last string quartet in 1939.

Bartók divorced Márta in 1923, and married a piano student, Ditta Pásztory. His second son, Péter, was born in 1924.


World War II and later career
In 1940, as the European political situation worsened after the outbreak of World War II, Bartók was increasingly tempted to flee Hungary.

Bartók was strongly opposed to the Nazis. After they came into power in Germany, he refused to give concerts there and switched away from his German publisher. His liberal views caused him a great deal of trouble from conservatives in Hungary.

Having first sent his manuscripts out of the country, Bartók reluctantly emigrated to the USA with Ditta Pásztory, settling in New York City. Péter Bartók joined them in 1942 and later enlisted in the United States Navy. Béla Bartók, Jr. remained in Hungary.

Bartók did not feel comfortable in the USA, and found it very difficult to write. He was also not very well known in America, and there was little interest in his music. He and his wife Ditta would give concerts, and for a while, they had a research grant to work on a collection of Yugoslav folk songs. While their finances were always precarious, it is a myth that he lived and died in poverty. There were enough supporters to see to it that there was enough money and work available for him to live on. Bartók's health began to deterioriate in 1944, making composing difficult for him. His last work might well have been the String Quartet No. 6, were it not for Serge Koussevitsky commissioning him to write the Concerto for Orchestra, at the behest of the violinist Joseph Szigeti and the conductor Fritz Reiner (who had been Bartók's friend and champion since his days as Bartók's student at the Royal Academy). This quickly became Bartók's most popular work, and one which would ease his financial burdens. He was also commissioned by Yehudi Menuhin to write a Sonata for Solo Violin. This seemed to reawaken his interest in composing, and he went on to write his Piano Concerto No. 3, an airy and almost neo-classical work, and begin work on his Viola Concerto.


Béla Bartók on 1000 Hungarian Forint banknote (1983)Bartók died in New York from leukemia (as a result of secondary polycythemia) on September 26, 1945 at age 64. He left the viola concerto unfinished at his death; it was later completed by his pupil, Tibor Serly.

He was interred in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, but during the gradual fall of Hungarian communism in the late 1980s, his remains were transferred to Budapest, Hungary for a state funeral on July 7, 1988 with interment in Budapest's Farkasreti Cemetery.

There is a statue of Béla Bartók in Brussels, Belgium near the central train station in a public square, Spanjeplein-Place d'Espagne, and another in London, opposite South Kensington Underground Station. There is a third statue in front of one of the houses (now a museum) that Bartók owned in the hills above Budapest.

Yeah man, triple digits temps are not good for some of us old duffers. The first couple of days of this week really tore me up, cascading over me with chronic fatigue and malease.

Glenn

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The large hall is "St. Nicholas";
see you and Meredith there Wed.
-- Anonomann

4:53 PM  

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