Friday Quickie -- A Little Thing Called Contemporary Music

figure obvious: Well, duh.

I think Mark Kanny, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, thinks I'm stupid.

International Contemporary Ensemble sees endless possibilities in contemporary music

figure obvious: Yes, but do you have huts?

There's a word for my response...an expression of disdain for something stupid or obvious, especially a self-evident remark. Hmmm...?

Contemporary music offers the opportunity for incredible variety in assembling a concert program.

I think Mark Kanny just discovered the 20th century, or that there is music written for ensembles other than orchestras and string quartets.

There's no dominant style of composition today, and the ingenuity of fresh instrumental combinations is breathtaking.

If only I knew how to express my annoyance at this banal, obvious statement.

The situation has spawned a new world of mixed chamber groups that go far beyond dominance of string-quartet instruments, often with piano, characterizing older chamber music.

The situation? This sounds serious.

figure obvious: This is also serious.

Now, the possibilities for varied sonorities are virtually endless.

Boy, those contemporary music guys sure are clever people.

The International Contemporary Ensemble will present a program of mixed chamber music Saturday evening at the Andy Warhol Museum in the North Side.

Sounds like a cool event. Bringing in musicians from around the world to present the music of international composers to a new and interesting alternative space....awesome.

The concert continues the collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh's Music on the Edge concert series and the Warhol.

Nice. Kind of wished I lived in a city that offered such events.

So, we're in Pittsburgh, in a museum dedicated to a quintessentially American artist...how about you tell us about the international component of tonight's concert? The International Contemporary Ensemble...from which far off land of mystery do they hail?

The group is based in Chicago and New York City, and numbers 30 musicians.

Ah, the great Republic of Chicago, and the Federated States of New York. How very international.

It recently was described in The New York Times as "one of the most adventurous and accomplished groups in new music." Four musicians from the roster of the International Contemporary Ensemble will play the Saturday concert...

Excellent. I bet they all have exotic, international names...

...flutist Claire Chase, clarinetist Joshua Rubin, percussionist David Schotzko and guitarist Daniel Lippel.

Claire, Josh, David and Daniel? How ever do you pronounce these crazy foreign names? Me and my blasted American education.

figure obvious: Obviously.
Also, flute, clarinet, percussion, guitar...that's a funny sounding string quartet.

Note that there is no string quartet instrument -- violin, viola or cello -- and no piano.

Oh, right, this is "contemporary" music -- full of possibilities.

But no piano? Where does contemporary music get off taking the piano out of the string quartet?

Sounds like the work of socialists if you ask me.

And frankly, all these foreign names, far off lands like Chi-cag-o, and now, no piano in the string quartet, is beginning to make me think that I might not be ready for this "contemporary music" and their "varied sonorities". I think you can just count me out.

figure contemporary music: Contemporary music is trying to make me take drugs and turn me into a socialist.


Sator Arepo said...

It's like ever since Dostoyevsky, people can just write for any instruments they want! Crazy!