Thursday, August 31, 2017

Lyraka Musical Update

First off, thanks so much to the tremendous patience and generosity of our friends and patrons, all of  whom have gone well beyond the call of duty in terms of support. We are both hugely indebted beyond any material means, and you will all be remembered forever.

I am currently juggling the final mix of Lyraka Vol. 2 with the Lyraka Vol.1 reissue (the latter will include actual recorded orchestral sections and tutti, especially striking on tracks like "Coronation", "Palace Guard", and "Errandia"). So, added to my daily musical studies and writing of myriad orchestral pieces I'm still doing this 7 days a week, six hours minimum per day! The bad news is that this is going to take me quite awhile, but at least there's a definite light at the end of the tunnel for Lyraka Vol. 2. I am putting up a blog article that pretty much repeats the above, but I just wanted to make sure to connect to all my awesome friends personally.

I'm going for it, wish me luck as I wish all of you great success and happiness.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Fran├žois Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 and A Change of Heart

I watched this film because I love the Ray Bradbury book, plus I'm a huge fan of Bernard Herrmann's music. I gave it my usual two views, and came away greatly enchanted by the end scene (again, mostly for the music), and completely turned off (at times furious) about the rest of it. The bizarre, antiseptic feel to it, Julie Christie's hardly acceptable acting, the (imo) negative departures from the book...

then I watched it a third time. And a fourth. The movie progressively went from a weak two stars (the music was the whole movie for me at first) to five.

As intimated above, Fahrenheit 451 is one of those movies that unfolds its value upon repeated viewings. Upon my aforementioned fourth viewing, the whole plot device involving the public-sanctioned medications really hit home for me, today it almost seems prophetic. This day and age brings with it the era of seemingly any sort of admitted feelings of (perfectly natural and essential) angst being labelled as "clinical depression".

The sterile, hospital cleanliness of the film also started to make sense the more I watched. In a world that does all it can to exclude internal experience (vociferously campaigning to erase "unhappy", i.e. individual thought), the setting would ultimately end up being about as spotlessly clean and neat as certain areas of the world today (which I won't point out specifically due to political reasons that might colour this review negatively).

The masses are encouraged to watch television. A lot. And what's on tv is a lot of condescending talk that comes across as intentional dumbing down...and if you don't like it, there's something wrong with you. At one point Christie's character (the protagonist Montag's wife) engages in what appears to be a sort of pseudo-interactive tv show. The show's prefabbed seams show obviously, even to a pre-reading Montag. When Montag mentions the program's gimmick, Christie calls him mean for mentioning it ("oh dear, that means I have to think")...and turns to the tv once again.

In this world, savoring something is discouraged....Montag's wife can't even remember how they met (providing one of the most revealing scenes in the movie). Her cluelessness (and, judging by her actions it is an at least somewhat willed cluelessness) is just one of the things that starts to stand out and bother Montag once he's started reading.

The government portrayed wished to have children as its subjects, and through the use of media and drugs and long work hours they achieved it. Books (inward reflection) were subversive, why rock the boat?

Even Bradbury loved the film (and agreed with my own, oblivious judgement that Christie was the most glaring weak point).

The people at the end, repeating the books they love over and over, holding fast, at any cost, to relics of personal expression. Their own ability to express their inner experience was sparked through the eyes of another, leading to a fire of reflection, the sort that even the heaviest snowfall can't snuff .

Sartre (whom is mentioned specifically in the film) would have had a field day with this movie. And so will you.

If you just allow yourself to think about it.


Lyraka Symphony no. 1, Mvt. 5

This is my rough cut version of "Lyraka Symphony no. 1 Mvt. 5". By rough cut I mean that this hasn't been treated to a final mix and master yet, it exists simply to give Lyraka fans an idea of the full arrangement. Note the extensively embroidered, hybrid composition, as well as more of my Serial Vignette compositional technique. Though the instruments have been woven together, there is a strong modular side to this composition, evident not just from the overlapping (and at times exclamatorily interjecting) parts, but in how factors such as, say, effects are arranged, automated, and so much more. I paid lavish detail to those and other factors, in order to most faithfully represent what I heard in my head. The presence of aleatoricism is evident not only in the transitions  and rhythms, but to some extent in the sequencing. Of course, this is essential purposeful composition and orchestration here, but happy accidents are the meat and potatoes of both the Serial Vignette and Aleatoric compositional styles, and were as always welcomed both during the composition of the piece and its final production. Finally, it was important for me to express a multi-dimensioned listening experience, evident for instance in the changing distances of both the separate instruments and enembles...even the movement in tutti. The sense of depth and distance is just as much achieved through predelay on a good reverb as well as scrupulous panning and volume automation. Well, not too will become obvious as you listen to this that there's a lot of space to breathe, and in the interest of complete disclosure, such happened more times than not by accident during the early mixes. The massive initial set of themes were written in a rush of inspiration, from there it was like a was taken into a world said brass took me, and couldn't stop writing.


All music ©2017 Andrew Neires DiGelsomina