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Thread: Game (prelim 22/25): 2000 and beyond

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    Default Game (prelim 22/25): 2000 and beyond

    In this game, the 21st century is in the spotlight. We have nominated 300 compositions from the years 2000-2019, which will now be pitted against each other in twenty five preliminary rounds, five semi-finals and one final.

    Each prelim will see the top three compositions go on to the next round. The resulting 75 compositions will be distributed over 5 semi-finals (the 25 prelim winners will be distributed first to ensure that each semi-final has the same amount of prelim winners). The top four compositions of each semi-final will qualify for the final.

    Voting Rules:

    1. You may vote once daily (your calendar day).

    2. To vote, please:
    - copy/paste the previous post
    - remove the (+x) by the previous poster
    - add your votes and include your own (+x) after them
    - after posting, please check whether someone else has posted just before you
    - if so, adjust your post accordingly
    - please do not bold the compositions you vote for, please do not use different colours
    - if you want, you can bold the composition reaching the finish line (60)
    - please do not delete the reminder statement about halfway the compositions list

    3. When you vote, you will have 10 upward points to use as you wish except that no work may receive more than 3 points.

    4. The Half-Time Adjustment is not in effect.

    5. The round ends with the first composition to collect 60 points.

    At the end of the round, the top three compositions will move to the semi-finals (I'll use a tiebreaker if required - the last time there was a difference between the compositions involved). The winner of the round gets seeded in the semi-finals.

    I encourage everyone to post background information on any of the compositions in the currently played prelim, including YouTube links etc. - you can do this before the prelim starts or any time during the game. Please do not post negative comments on any composition.

    The full list of the 25 preliminary rounds can be found here. The current prelim will start in about 24 hours. Stay tuned to this channel.

    Line-up for this prelim is
    Andre - ... als II ... (2001)
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008)
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003)
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001)
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004)
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005)
    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005)
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001)
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012)
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012)
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003)

    We're not voting yet! Feel free to post something about the current candidates.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003)

    One of my picks of this set. Perhaps too much of a mix of styles for some, but it does appeal to me, not least because the cello is one of my favourite concertante instruments.

    YouTube link.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003)

    A substantial violin concerto inspired by Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry Murals and Frida Kahlo's paintings done in Detroit.

    YouTube links:
    I. Volcano
    II. River Rouge
    III. Assembly Line
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    There are four fantastic pieces in this round: … als II …, Concertini, Black Box Music, and Generation Kill. But the latter two, written in the same year, should be explained together. Besides complementing one another in style, both Black Box Music and Generation Kill are game changers in contemporary classical music in the way they have visual content interacting with the music.

    In most multimedia music, the music itself holds primacy as the art form to be understood and enjoyed while any content in other mediums (usually visual but could also be tactile sensations or olfactory scents or taste sensations) is optional and only serves to augment the aural experience. Aperghis’sAvis de Tempête, a piece we heard earlier, is a multimedia work where the visuals, frankly, weren’t necessary (Aperghis might argue otherwise); the music could be appreciated on its own. Another example is the way many of us listen to opera nowadays. Unless we’re someone who needs to see a live performance with props and costumes, we can enjoy opera on a CD with music only.

    Black Box Music and Generation Kill, however, completely flip the script and make understanding and enjoyment of the music completely dependent on visual content. That is, without the visuals, the music sounds random and chaotic and totally without meaning. This is especially the case in Black Box Music. Here, the music actually imitates the noises of certain objects, but a visual component is required for us to make that connection between noise and source. In Generation Kill, the music will still sound chaotic with or without the visuals; however, the visuals have an important, albeit more complicated, part to play, as explained below. Flipping the importance of music and its visual supplements: you’d think that such a simple trick would’ve been tried already in classical music. But to my knowledge, it hasn’t (maybe in other genres), and that’s why I say they’re game changers.

    Here’s a brief explanation of each piece.

    Black Box Music is essentially a concerto for conductor in three movements. Yes, conductor. To achieve this, Steen-Andersen blurs the line between a conductor who just gives instructions to an orchestra via hand signals and a puppet master who creates the illusion of sounds actually emanating from the hands (or puppets).

    The conductor places his hands in a box, and everything that happens inside the box is projected onto a screen in front of the audience. On both sides and behind the audience are three ensembles of 5 musicians each. When the conductor "plays", he will sometimes give instructions typical of a conductor. For example, if he points to the left, the ensemble on the left will play; if he raises his hand, the ensemble(s) will respond with increased dynamics; if he puts up the stop-sign hand sign, the musicians will stop playing. However, there are a few moments when the conductor gives signals and the musicians refuse to acknowledge. At these points, the conductor will humorously throw up his hands in exasperation or will wag his finger as if giving a stern lecturing.

    The best parts, though, are when the conductor gives everyday hand gestures like the V-sign, the telephone sign, the middle finger, paper/scissors/rock, the talking hand gesture, the finger gun, etc. Or when the conductor plays with knick-knacks in the box like rubber bands, plastic cups, and an electric fan. At these moments, the ensembles either play music that match our expectations of what the hand gestures should personify (e.g. the telephone signals give way to a telephone-sounding noise coming from the ensembles) or play music that comes eerily close to the actual tactile sounds of the knick-knacks. Either way, we're given to the illusion that the conductor himself is the source of these sounds. This is the concerto aspect of the work, the conductor being the soloist.

    Unfortunately, I don't see a complete performance on youtube, only a few excerpts. There is a DVD performance put out by Dacapo Records that's pretty cheap on Amazon, like ten bucks. If you're really into the more avant-garde contemporary music, I highly recommend knowing this piece in full.



    Stefan Prins’s Generation Kill is a bit more complicated than Black Box Music in that it’s not just the visuals that determine the music but rather our perceptions of them and our desires to see what we want to see that determine the music. In other words, Generation Kill is a commentary on virtual reality in a musical setting. And virtual reality, like many topics, have explicitly political associations. What spawned the writing of the piece in 2012 was the increasing use of surveillance cameras in public spaces, the beginnings of drone warfare in Iraq, and the 2011 Arab Spring, where footage of protests went viral on social media and thereby accelerated the protests even further.

    The piece is composed for violin, cello, percussion, and electric guitar. The four players sit behind semi-transparent screens that project for the most part pre-recorded footage of those musicians playing the same music. But those screens are in turn manipulated by four additional people on Playstation controllers where they are sped up, slowed down, reversed, or altered (the use of Playstation controllers and the title “Generation Kill” are references to an eponymous TV show about the recruitment of “the Playstation generation” into war). The result is a struggle between the real and the virtual worlds vying for supremacy on the screens. The controllers desire to see one thing, namely, control over the actions of the musicians and superhuman performances by them (and increasingly in the second half of the piece, their own faces to show up on screen) while the actual performers simply desire agency. One can say the controllers win out much of the time except, crucially, at the very end when the musicians switch places, which is a full assertion of autonomy. The system immediately breaks down.

    Last edited by calvinpv; Feb-22-2020 at 19:29.

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    … als … II, for cello, bass clarinet, prepared piano, and live electronics, takes its cryptic title from a line in the Book of Revelations: “And when [German: als] the lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” The ensuing silence upon the breaking of the seal serves as a metaphor for the guiding principle of the piece. The three instruments are placed in a triangle around the edge of the concert hall. Such a large distance between only three instruments creates too big of an acoustic space for the trio to handle, making resonance – a phenomenon that is necessary to project sound across an auditorium – much less likely. And when resonance fails to occur, the acoustic space breaks down and silence ensues. The failure is not anticipated ahead of time in the score but is rather an ever-present risk that Andre is willing to take on. In any given auditorium, it’s quite possible that everything functions smoothly; it’s also quite possible that nothing goes smoothly.

    The music itself was composed in the same way as the music in … auf … III, a piece we saw earlier. Before the composition process, Andre fiddles around with different sounds and then analyzes their frequency spectra using software technology before arranging them into “scales” based on certain acoustical properties (Andre doesn’t say which properties). From there, he runs the scales through algorithms to get the final music. In the case of … als … II, the chosen sounds seem to possess a limited range of pitch values but much variation in terms of intensity. Such emphasis on intensity at the expense of pitch gives one the paradoxical sensation of an emotional drama mired in stasis and equilibrium, a sense of uneasiness that something catastrophic is about to happen.


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    Finally, if you liked the Andre, then you'll like his teacher Lachenmann's Concertini.


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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 0
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 0
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 3 (+3)
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 0
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 1 (+1)
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 0
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1 (+1)
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 0
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 2 (+2)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 0
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 3 (+3)
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 0
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 0
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 3
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 3 (+3)
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 4 (+3)
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 0
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 0
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 5 (+3)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 0
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 4 (+1)

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 3 (+3)
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 0
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 3
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 4 (+1)
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 4
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 0
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 0
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 8 (+3)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 0
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 7 (+3)

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 5 (+2)
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 1 (+1)
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 3
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 5 (+1)
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 4
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 2 (+2)
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 1 (+1)
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 9 (+1)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 1 (+1)
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 7

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 8 (+3)
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 3 (+2)
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 3
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 8 (+3)
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 4
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 4 (+2)
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 1
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 9
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 1
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 7

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 11 (+3)
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 3
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 3
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 10 (+2)
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 4
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 4
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 1
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 11 (+2)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 1
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 10 (+3)

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 13 (+2)
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 3
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 3
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 10
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 4
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 6 (+2)
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 4 (+3)
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 11
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 4 (+3)
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 10

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 13
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 3
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 4 (+1)
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 13 (+3)
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 7 (+3)
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 0

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 6
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 1
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 4
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 14 (+3)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 4
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 10

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    Andre - ... als II ... (2001) - 15 (+2)
    Carter - Flute Concerto (2008) - 3
    Daugherty - Fire and Blood (2003) - 4
    Dusapin - Piano Etudes (2001) - 13
    Glass, P - Symphony No. 7 "Toltec" (2004) - 7
    Hersch - The Vanishing Pavilions (2005) - 1 (+1)

    Reminder: you have 10 points, max 3 per composition, round ends at 60 points.

    Lachenmann - Concertini (2005) - 9 (+3)
    Narbutaite - Symphony no.2 (2001) - 2 (+1)
    Prins - Generation Kill (2012) - 5 (+1)
    Saariaho - Sept Papillons for solo cello (2000) - 15 (+1)
    Steen-Andersen - Black Box Music (2012) - 5 (+1)
    Yoshimatsu - Cello Concerto "Centaurus Unit", Op. 91 (2003) - 10

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