5.06.2006

Gebrauchsmusik

This quote from Alex's just posted article:

you end up feeling like Alex at the end of A Clockwork Orange—battered, fatigued by, and disgusted with the music you love. I think the reason I suffer from a musical malaise for the first couple of months of every year recently is largely because October, November and December are spent frantically listening to a morass of the year's records in an effort to concoct "best-of" lists for end-of-year polls. By Christmas I simply have a massive dose of listening fatigue that takes 8-10 weeks to recover from. I very much doubt that this is just me.

and this quote from the Barenboim Lectures

And not only we neglect the ear but we often repress it, and we find more and more in our society, not only in the United States, although the United States I think was very active in starting this process, of creating opportunities to hear music without listening to it - what is commonly known as muzak. I have spent many very happy years here, but I have suffered tremendously. In the hotel where I stay they think that it is very culturally minded to play classical music in the elevator, or in the foyers of concert halls before the concert.
And I have been on more than one occasion subject to having to hear, because I cannot shut my ears, the Brahms violin concerto in the lift, having to conduct it in the evening.


made me think of this quote from the recording angel:

I knew a couple whose anthem was a 17th century setting of verses from Canticles. In the synagogue that scroll is chanted once a year; to this couple, Helmut Rilling's record of the chaste, ecstatic setting by Heinrich Schutz was so sacred that they played it just about that often. And this was their favourite record.



I'm thinking about taking Jeff' Buckley's Grace off of my computer because it just doesn't feel right when MojoPin pops up on shuffle. You have to be ready for that stuff! And after it's over, I either need to hear the next song (Grace) or a minimum of three minutes of silence.
I have never had A Love Supreme on my computer because hearing those 4 songs (Curiously 3 on my CD of it!?) out of sequence would be very , umm..., I will let Barenboim generate the proper insult. In fact, I havent' even listened to that record in years. Take that Helmut Rilling!
The other recording that really is the most ritualistic for me is Horowitz's 1978 recording of Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto. I play my vinyl copy of it only when I am testing my latest stereo equipment or just celebrating life!

What music do you "save"?

4 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

The man cannot stop coming up with great topics!

I baptize each new stereo system and each new residence with a playing of Revolver (Boreh pree ha-Taxman). Have done it since I moved to college, and every time since. I do still listen to it at other times though.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous joel said...

As for the baptisms Alex mentioned above, for me it's side two of Brian Eno's Before and After Science. A really sweet full side.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous JB said...

When I first bought Ágætis Byrjun in early 2001, I listened to it almost daily and delighted in playing it for people who hadn't heard it before.

In late Sep. 2001, I saw Sigur Ros perform for the first time at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. This concert had an effect on me that is impossible to describe.

I couldn't listen to the album for six months afterwards. I simply could not do it. I guess I was still working on metabolizing the concert experience.

I still listen to it sparingly, and never casually.

12:32 PM  
Blogger jEFF said...

I guess it wasn't that great, Alex.
Or, most people do not ritualize their music listening. (speaking of)
I just remebered that when I was 13 I used to lay down on the floor in between my Cerwin Vega's and listen to "The End" by the Doors.
Anybody do anything maudlin like that when they were a teenager?
Depeche Mode fans?
Come On...
I know you did something weird with nail polish and mousse.

8:21 PM  

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