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Re: Introducing myself (long)
On Sun, 22 Jun 1997 15:56:27 -0400 (EDT),
Noise - Citizens Against <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>Peter has had a quote on his home page for quite some
>time now by a fellow named Chesterton I believe. It goes
>something like "Music with dinner is both an insult to
>the cook and violinist". Here we are trying to mix the
>sense of taste with the auditory sense. The two are in
>direct competition with each other. I find the more I like
>a piece/style of music, the more distracted I become from
>enjoying my dinner.
Yes, I first heard that quote on a BBC program called "My Music".
It was put as a question to each of the panelists for them to state
whether they agreed/disagreed and why. It was rather an odd question
for that program as the usual format is something of a classical "name
that tune" contest. I was very surprised to hear each one disagree
with Chesterton. One even offered the example of works by Mozart
(which he couldn't remember) written specifically to be played at
I emphatically agree with Chesterton. I only wish he had
said "musician" instead of "violinist".
> With videos its complete sensory overload, particularly
>if the music is very appealing (which it rarely is with
>todays videos). I feel that it's almost sacrilegious to
>combine music with video.
In my opinion, the most profound works in which musical and
visual compositions are combined are those in which each is given a
minimalistic approach. On of the better video art pieces I saw in
the mid '70s was a 30 or 40 second fragment from a work by Ron Hays in
which splashes of color blossomed, swept forward and vanished off the
of the screen, all to the accompaniment of Wagner's "Tristan und
Isolde". I really liked Oscar Fichinger - fascinating person - father
of 6 children who still found time to make a career as an independent
animator. After creating the opening sequence for "Fantasia" he was
fired by Disney for insisting on sticking with abstract imagery. Also,
Hans Richter, who made films dating from the '20s based on pure
geometry. And, of course, Canada's very own Norman McLaren, who
produced many great works for the National Film Board of Canada.
His piece "Begone Dull Care" with music by the Oscar Paterson Trio,
is just fantastic.
I don't know what's going on with video art these days. I had
hoped it might become at least as popular as classical music, but that
certainly didn't happen. I imagine it's still going on, to some
extent, but I doubt even the most successful video artist ever sells
more than 200 copies of any particular work, and most of those would
probably go to museums.
I remember when VCR's first came out, I was so excited I stopped at
the first video store I saw and asked if they had any video art. The
owner said, "Well, we have new releases here, classics here, porn over
there. What was it you wanted?"
"Well", I said, "you know...video art. Ron Hays, Jordan Belson,
Stan VanDerBeek. That sort of thing."
We went back an forth a couple more times. Finally he said, "Do
you know what a VCR is?"
After that I said "forget it" and walked out. It was a rude
awakening for me, but probably for the best. Being a successful Video
Artist was going to be very tough.
David Staudacher - email@example.com
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