Sunday, April 13, 2014

Allegro - Winter 2013 short version

I hope you'll listen to my piece Allegro.  My friend Joe Newman, the brains behind The Rudy Schwartz Project, said this about it:
If you could get a highly skilled Euro prog rock band to play this … I'll bet every pot head in Germany would be all over it. 
If only.

Click here to hear Allegro by David Ocker © 2014 - 804 seconds

One of the principal reasons I gave up actively pursuing careers as a composer and performer of new music, back in the early nineties, was that I often found myself experiencing anger rather than enjoyment from new music performances.

I happened to attend several such concerts this week.  There were pieces on these particular concerts, curiously all of them by New York composers, which brought back that same old anger.  I still dislike experiencing anger when listening to music these days, just like I did back then.  Maybe more.

The capper was when I read in the program notes to the most elaborately assaultive of these pieces, a work which made me wonder whether it had been written by a particularly unhappy and unfulfilled individual, that the composer thought he had written a piece about love.

I suppose that any piece of music without lyrics can be about anything the composer says it is.  What he says about it is his business.  And I suppose a listener can hear his piece and experience great love.  It's not my business to judge what you find loving.

Still, when I perceive such a vast disconnect between my response to a piece of music and the composer's apparent intent, it just reinforces my notion that music works best when it not about anything.  It's just music, just vibrating air, just, to paraphrase Frank Zappa, a decoration of time.

That is why I decided to give my piece such a generic music title.  It's also why I've decided to associate this particular rant with it.  I really like Allegro, although you might understandably think me somewhat biased.

Just remember:  Allegro is not about anything.  It is a mere time decoration.  If you can't listen on that level you're free to make up any description for it, one that seems useful to you.  It can be about love or about purple motorcycles.  What goes on in your brain is none of my business.

Because time is nebulous I have been decorating it in two different, um, timeframes.  To that effect Allegro is the shortened version of Winter 2013.  Exactly the same music, different amounts of silence.  They're part of my series called The Seasons.

These seasons, short or long, are not about anything - anymore than a calendar is about something.  A calendar just marks off hunks of time.  People have to put things into the calendar to give it any meaning.

Allegro just marks off a hunk of time.  If you want it to have meaning, you have to put something into it.   It should come as no surprise that what you decide to put into it is none of my business.

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