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Bebop Spoken There

Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Wednesday May 22

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free admission.

Julija Jacenaite & Alan Law - Jazz Café, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 261 5618. 2:00pm. Free. Café Mezzanine (first floor, access via crafts shop).

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Blues

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Listening Through The Noise - Some Thoughts

My main thought about this book is that the writer is genuinely trying to say something original about music, but she fails to tell me anything I didn’t already know, so I won’t be hurrying to the shops any time soon.
I imagine there are others on the blog who feel the same, and I’d love them to write something as well. Mind, my experience of electronic music is limited to what I hear on Radio 3’s nightime ‘Late Junction’ music programme, which has a good mix of world and unusual music. I usually have to turn down the cacophany of the electronic stuff.
Maybe I’m missing something. The writer wants natural sounds incorporated into music. They always have been. Classical composers included birdsong motifs in their music. They didn’t have the facilities to record the real thing, and if they had they would presumably have modified the sounds into some kind of musical pattern. Birdsong has musical elements but I think there’s a world of difference between just listening to the natural world itself and making actual patterned music from the raw material.
The writer says there are new ways of listening to music, but people have always listened to music in different ways. When Mozart was played in salons it was often just a background to people flirting and doing business deals. There was never a golden age of people listening with rapt attention. Wagner was the man who tried to get people to listen ‘properly’, by turning down the lights in the theatre.
So people today listen in many different ways, such as background music, music for dancing, or songs in folk clubs where silence is expected because you need to hear the words.
I find listening to modern jazz challenging because I don’t know whether to follow one instrument, let it all wash over me, or what, and that’s what makes it interesting.
The writer mentions the use of silence. It’s in all music already. I believe it was John Cage who wrote a piece of 4 minutes silence, but that was really a piece to question the actual nature of music and what you heard was actually the coughs of the audience and distant outside noises etc. And as for the use of feedback, Jimi Hendrix positively thrived on it!
She gives the example of what happened to painting when photography came along. After a while painting reasserted itself and it’s alive and well today, and one style of painting even copies photography. We’ve already had the same kind of discussion about literature a few years back, when the ‘death of the novel’ was predicted, but it didn’t happen. All worthwhile art forms survive, with modifications over time.
No doubt electronic music will contribute something to music generally, without too much of a revolution.
Ann Alex

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