Meztijas Transcriptiob blend of jazz and classical styles, the American Songbook, unique covers of pop tunes and originals all seamlessly blend into a fulfilling and varied musical experience. Of course, one could simply enjoy playing, or attempting to play, the transcriptions. I draw on a lot of classical music, pop and rock music, music from Brazil, and other stuff. Though none of these types of analysis excludes it, few analysts have approached jazz. Today, the predominance of the Schenkerian approach, and its use as a sort of senior common-room badge of withitry, is in decline. Live In Marciac is the beginning of a freer approach, I would say, and maybe more ease and fluidity in a musical texture with several simultaneous voices.

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Other writers like George Orwell, Jacques Derrida, Harold Bloom and Terry Eagleton are touched on, as Brad explores how these thinkers contributed to an idea of what it is to be a "truly" modern artist, and - related to that, and perhaps of interest now in the election season - what it means to be a politically engaged person. It was a difficult period of my life, and his words had a spiritual authority for me. They gave me grace and peace. I still come back to Rilke often. For me he is not just a poet; he is also one of the great sages.

The Duino Elegies were probably what initially gave me the idea to make a musical elegy. In the first elegy, Rilke mentions a lament for Linus from Greek mythology. Linus was a poet who died young — one myth states that Apollo, his father, killed him in a fit of jealousy; in another version of his story, he invented music and was the teacher of Orpheus.

The ritual lament is described in the Iliad: Girls and young men, with carefree hearts and innocent laughter, were carrying the honey-sweet grapes, piled up in wicker baskets; in their midst, a boy performed the ancient music of yearning, plucking his clear-toned lyre and singing the lament for Linus with his lovely voice, while the others moved to the powerful rhythm, their feet pounding in the dance, leaping and shouting for joy.

Rilke ends his first Duino Elegy by pointing to this ceremony, rhetorically asking whether it has any meaning for us still: Is the legend meaningless that tells how, in the lament for Linus, the daring first notes of song pierced through the barren numbness; and then in the startled space which a youth as lovely as a god had suddenly left forever, the Void felt for the first time that harmony which now enraptures and comforts and helps us.

Translation: Stephen Mitchell In the Iliad, the lament for Linus is reported to the reader as an event, with no further probing into its meaning.

I always experience a feeling of otherness when I read Homer and Ovid. I think the feeling comes from the non-reflexive stance of the narrator — things simply happen, and then other things happen, and there is often no explanation as to their significance.

This narrative tone is characteristic of writing from the age of antiquity. Indeed, amidst all the various descriptions in the Iliad, it might be easy to miss the strangeness — and the beauty — of this particular event: The other youths who remember Linus do not grieve; they experience joy and celebrate. In sharp contrast to that kind of narrative tone, Rilke is a hyper-aware modernist of the 20th century, with contemporaries like Freud.

But Rilke looks for meaning in the celebration that ensues, and discovers a kind of ecstasy that we can experience precisely because we are mortal. Our mortality should therefore be honored and praised, not shunned. This is the message of the first Duino Elegy, and it inspired me most directly to make Elegiac Cycle.

What I experienced at that time was more of a simultaneous discovery and conformation of the elegiac power of music more generally. This ritualistic musical ceremony first described in the Iliad, and then taken up again centuries later by Rilke, seemed to me the quintessence of what music always has to offer us: Music is always elegiac in the way it allows us to confront our mortality head on.

Elegiac Cycle was about giving a name to that discovery for myself. In one sense, the figure of Linus is Christ-like. It is almost as if through his early death, the other youths are allowed to experience joy. One person dies for all the rest. Furthermore, there is no promise of immortality. So there is honesty in their celebration.

The youths dance and sing with no illusions about their own transience and imperfection. The music and dance have a sacramental aspect, like the bread and wine of the Communion. Our perception of it, like our perception of everything else, is conditioned by the awareness that it will not last. A link is made between beauty and mortality. The implication is that someone is beautiful because he or she is mortal.

Rilke bids us to celebrate this temporary aspect of our existence; in doing so, we are thumbing our nose at the immortals above. His music had a mystical power, and he was able to calm the fiercest of wild animals in the forest with it.

In his songs, he sang stories in verse as well. Orpheus found an ideal form of narrative expression by fusing together music and words. What was it that that bewitched animals and humans alike in his performances — was it the fascinating tale he told in his words, or the hypnotic music that accompanied it? I was thinking about narrative a lot that time. Out of all the arts, music was my first love, and literature — mostly novels — would come next. I was discovering how certain narrative devices that I encountered in novels could migrate to the more abstract medium of instrumental music, and started to think about music as a form of storytelling as well.

Various artists, composers and poets, including Rilke, have drawn inspiration from the story of Orpheus and his wife Eurydice: After Eurydice perishes from the poison bite of a serpent, Orpheus makes a trip to the underworld to try to get her back.

Hades, ruler of the underworld, grants Orpheus his wish, under one condition: She will remain behind him as he leads her on the river Styx, and he must never look back and gaze at her until they are out of the underworld. When Orpheus cannot help himself and looks back at her before the journey is complete, she fades away and is gone, lost to him forevermore.

The part of the myth that always holds my imagination the most is that act of looking back: it is an act of folly. What compels Orpheus to look back, even though he has been told that he will lose his beloved if he does that? He wants to see Eurydice because seeing her will bring him the reassurance that she is still there, with him. That is his ruin, and so the story suggests to us that it is folly to take comfort in the past. This is a lesson I would say I was learning at that time for myself.

I practiced particularly intensely in Berlin, Germany for about 6 weeks. We rented a flat in the far eastern side of the city, where you could really still feel the communist presence in some of the buildings and in the attitude of some of the people there.

It was an interesting time to be in Berlin. Whole portions of the city were under construction. It was changing very fast and there was a feeling of possibility. Yet a particularly German awareness of history was in the air just as strongly, and that was what resonated with me; I would even say that I was seeking out a feeling of history. This weight of history was like a drug for me at the time. I became intoxicated with the heaviness of history; it seemed to be a balm against the banality of the present moment.

I was idealizing history, and this tendency to idealize the past was rising to the surface of my consciousness as I approached the age of thirty. I had diagnosed the psychological problem in myself, but had not yet purged myself of it. Orpheus held my imagination because he looked back at Eurydice and lost everything he loved — he was a model for me because of that fact and not in spite of it.

The final product is an expression of my ambivalence at the time: There is an attempt to purge myself of this idealization of the past, but still, a cloying love for that past. I speak mainly of the liner notes that accompanied the record. I was very good at critiquing the world, or my generation, but had not yet found a tenable standpoint for myself. So my standpoint in the liner notes was unclear: I was trying to stand on higher ground and administer a viewpoint with some world-weary objectivity.

My ideas may have been authentic, but the world-weary tone was not. I had been smitten with so much German art and thought all through my twenties — composers like Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms; writers like Goethe and Thomas Mann, philosophers like Kant and Hegel.

When Fleurine and I arrived in Berlin, I was a real Germanophile, with my head full of sturm und drang. Relatively quickly, I noticed the juxtaposition between my own idea of German culture, with its heavy emphasis on romantic works, and the culture of Berlin in My romantic idea of German art was of course hopelessly dated: Here I stood on the edge of a new millennium, and yet much of the art and ideas that captivated me had come to fruition at the end of the last millennium.

In Berlin, the mood was one of cautious postmodernism, and Germans that I talked with viewed their own cultural heritage with a certain ironic distance. My initial enthusiasm deflated a bit, but that was good — the idealistic sheen that had blanketed my view of the past was blemished for the first time.

One of the first trips Fleurine and I made after arriving in Berlin was to the public library, of all places. I was attracted to a huge poster hanging outside. When we arrived there, the library in Berlin was marking the 50th anniversary of the publication of that book, which was written just a few years after the end of the Second World War. At that time I had a small notebook with a cover made out of corkwood and an elastic ribbon that held it shut, and I carried it everywhere.

It was filled with quotations and sometimes several paragraphs that I had copied by hand from Dr. Faustus, with various headings I made that described the subject matter. I wanted to burn these passages into my memory and make them permanent. Mann was, for me, the model intellectual, and remains a strong one.

One thing that had frustrated me for a while was the seemingly mute quality of music. Language often seemed like an interloper in the realm of tonality. The principles of tonality — for instance, the principle of tension and resolution; the way that a chord built on the dominant 5th degree of the scale is magnetically pulled towards resolution on the tonic first degree of that scale — were knowable and logical. In one sense then, the aesthetic pleasure we receive from the resolution of tension in a cadence at the end of a Bach Chorale is objective: it is derived from pre-existing phenomenon, out there, in the world, and is no mere human conceit.

Music is a force of nature in this view, and it gains an autonomous stature that places it in a privileged realm apart from other arts. The question of whether to view any kind of phenomenon, though, as an object independent of our perception, was one of the big unresolved problems in philosophical thought.

Adorno yoked music out of this objective, idealized realm and back into the gritty world of our subjective experience. In this way, he was allowed to consider its power in other contexts — particularly a political context.

A Beethoven symphony in an Adornian reading, with its tension and resolution on the grand scale, could become a discourse about domination and subjugation.

Adorno was a strong reader of Hegel, and his reasoning follows the Hegalian dialectical model to a point. There is often a duality — between subject and object, between master and slave, between the universal and the particular — and an attempt to reconcile or synthesize those two poles. Adorno was steeped in this way of thinking but was deeply critical of Hegel as well, as well as much of western thought since The Enlightenment.

It was a disappointment in the whole history of Occidental thought. His gloomy conclusion — spelled out in Dialectics of Enlightenment, which he wrote with his colleague, Max Horkheimer — was that the founding ideas of The Enlightenment, which had supposedly initiated our liberty from ignorance and suffering, already contained the seeds of 20th century fascism and totalitarianism. As a committed Marxist, Adorno was on the lookout for any system of thought, however noble its intentions, which might surreptitiously collapse into an apologia for oppression.

His writing can be heavy-handed — much is sinister for him and there is not much good he has to say about anything. In that regard, I discovered something while reading Dr. Once they were wedded to a story with characters that I cared about, they had more relevance for me because I had empathy for those characters. Despite its muteness, could music communicate ideas with specificity, or to go a step further, could a purely musical utterance, with its independence from linguistic discourse, transmit an idea that would even supersede language?

Under the sway of dialectical thinking, I began to think a lot about the music and language as a binary relationship fraught with interaction, tension and paradox. So Dr.



Meztikree But there are also great things that have come out of the newer technology, and there was this opportunity to see and hear my music in a different way. Particularly favoured during the last fifty years is the technique developed by the Austrian Heinrich Schenker Throughout your career you have put your own spin on pop songs written by artists such as Elliott Smith, The Beatles, Nick Drake, Radiohead, James Taylor and many others. Mehldau is a dazzling and brilliant player who maintains one of the finest trios in all of jazz. Philippe Andre is the musician who made this transcription, and it was really fun to view that. Live In Marciac is the beginning of a freer approach, I would say, and maybe more ease and fluidity in a musical texture with several simultaneous voices. His blend of jazz and classical styles, the American Songbook, unique covers of pop tunes and originals all seamlessly blend into a fulfilling and varied musical experience.


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Looking Back on Elegiac Cycle


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