Friday, June 29, 2012

Guest Post: In C, The Gospel According to Dylan Mattingly

You simply have to relax and trust in that flow, let the music fill you and believe that it will take you places.  Because it will.

Post by Dylan Mattingly
The thing about In C that is so incredible to me is that it is completely radically different every time it's played.  In C is a byproduct of its performers and location to the extreme.  The performers have control over how many repetitions they give each cell (little chunk of repeated music), they have control over how loud, how soft, what octave, how slow/fast, and yes, how harshly/smoothly they play.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Variations on a Blue Guitar

They said, “You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.”

The man replied, “Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In C

A music broke out
and walked in the swirling snow
with long steps.
Everything on the way towards the note C.
A trembling compass directed at C.
One hour higher than the torments.
It was easy!
Behind turned-up collars everyone was smiling.

—from Tomas Tranströmer’s C Major

A salutary thing it is, to throw out the rule book and start anew.  Terry Riley did it with the piece In C.  In going back to C, Terry Riley delivered classical music from the clutches of the unlistenable.  Had it not been for him, we might still be offered up, more often than not, music that isn't music, but math equations, unadorned.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wales Diary, From Celtic Village to Castle Gardens

St Fagans Castle Grounds
The sun continued to shine for the remainder of my stay.  Nothing short of miraculous, and it created a conundrum for my last day in Wales.  I pored over the train and bus routes, but to no avail:  a stretch of wild Welsh coastal path where I might ramble as I quoted from Dylan Thomas (or something of the sort) was simply out of reach.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wales Diary, Art and the Aquabus

National Museum of Wales, Cardiff

And lo, the sun shone on Cardiff once again.  Not just a dry day, but another blue-sky sunny day.  Nonetheless, I had one important indoor activity to which I needed to attend.  The one-day stoppage was over, and the National Museum Cardiff demanded to be seen:  in particular, the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection bequeathed to the Museum by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wales Diary, the Covered Streets of Cardiff

Morgan Arcade
My third day in Cardiff was again glowering and rainy, but I had the absolute best of indoor plans.  I was going to spend the day at the National Museum Cardiff.  Just for starters, thanks to the Davies sisters, the National Museum has one of the largest collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art outside of Paris.  Some say the largest, but I’m from Chicago, so you won’t hear that from me (read:  Art Institute).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wales Diary, Cardiff Castle

—for Hilary and her mother

My first attempt to breach the walls of Cardiff Castle didn’t work out quite as planned.  When I returned from walking the barrage, it wasn’t yet 6 o’clock, and the sun was still out, so I thought, why not hop over to the castle and take a look?  The hotel’s front desk staff recommended a taxi over the bus, and I thought, OK, just this once.  I’ll figure out public transportation after I’ve had a proper night’s sleep.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wales Diary, Cardiff Bay Barrage

Cardiff Bay Barrage
I’d not been in this position before when traveling:  my evenings while in Wales were, by and large, spoken for with Vale of Glamorgan Festival of Music concerts, but I’d nothing planned for the days.
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