4/9/08

Composer of the Day!

Today's Composer of the Day is Mauricio Kagel.

(1931- )

Kagel is an Argentinian-born composer, but he relocated to Germany in 1957. Perhaps his hybrid Italian-German name made the Argentinians nervous? No one will say.

Kagel's music is renowned for its theatrical aspects. He often directs the performers to use certain gestures or facial expressions, for example, at moments in his scores. He also commonly employs actors and dancers in his work. His music, and I guess sensibility, is sometimes compared to Dada or absurdist aesthetics.

Most recently I saw a performance of his piece Con Voce. (Sorry, I could not find a good link for you readers!) Three players sit in the dark with their instruments in playing position. Slowly and finally, they "try" to play, but only noises and strangeness arise--no "properly" performed sounds. Their voices have been stolen (by fascism!). It was fun to watch.

Here is a link to some Kagel percussion music. The theatrical element is well-represented; the music seems to be interrupted by gunshots! And stripping, or something. Yelling. Strangeness. Interesting stuff. The audience seems to get the jokes. Stop hitting yourself, guy-in-the-tie-dyed-shirt!

Here is a film by Kagel, called "Ludwig Van". I think it's about Beethoven. Or Germans. Something. Not really sure. Pretty cool to look at, though.

He also, apparently, owns a gigantic piano, or part of one. Judging, that is, from the picture, above, that is fun to look at.

You should listen to/look at his music.

5 comments:

Aaron said...

That picture is fun to look at.

I wonder if that piano is anything like the one Tom Hanks dances on in "Big." A piano you play by dancing on it seems like the kind of thing Kagel would dig.

Sator Arepo said...

You know, I actually was reminded of that, too.

Sad, really.

But if I could get a piano I could dance on, I would totally want it and never be able to afford it.

Sad, really.

Aaron said...

You'd be able to afford it if you just gave the people what they wanted, SA. Ask Bernard Holland!

AnthonyS said...

And yeah, totally DON'T mention where you heard the piece or anything... throw us some cheap promotion, eh?

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