Tuesday, December 06, 2016
How new music can appeal to a wider audience
Jonathan Harvey's daughter Anna has posted via Twitter the new to me photo above of Jonathan outside IRCAM where he created among other seminal pieces Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco. In the Music Machine electronic music anthology Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco is highlighted, together with Désintegrations by Tristan Murail and Digital Moonscapes by Wendy Carlos, as an outstanding example of a composition using spectral analysis, and Jonathan's composition is cited as - and here comes the money quote - evidence that esoteric technology can produce music that appeals to a wider audience. There is a valuable spoken introduction in French to Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco from Pierre Boulez and others at IRCAM on YouTube.
My 2013 post 'Britten looking forward' told how Jonathan met the young composer Ramón Humet at a summer workshop for young composers organised by the National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia, and how Jonathan went on to endorse the 2007 recording of Humet's piano cycle Escenas del bosc. The Catalan composer and musicologist Benet Casablancas - sample his music via this link - recently posted the photo below on Twitter. That is Jonathan on the extreme right and Benet Casablancas on the extreme left. Presumably it was taken at the 2000 summer workshop in Catalonia. Is that Ramón Humet in the centre of the back row? Can any readers identify the other composers and provide links to their music? Writing in 2000 Jonathan described Ramón Humet as "A hope for the future; he has a fine ear, and a spirit full of light". Microludis fractals by Ramón Humet can be heard via this link.
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