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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gone and Forgotten - Einojuhani Rautavaara and the New York Times

Update 8/3 - After a week, the newspaper of record finally goes on record.

Update - 8/1: Still nothing in the Times. With absolutely no disrespect intended at all towards the departed and their loved ones, the Times has in this time commemorated an extreme skier, a land speed racer, and a noted researcher on "wine chemistry and vinification". All notable and interesting folks, for sure, but are these fields really less obscure and their audiences less specialized than contemporary classical music? (to be fair, they've also acknowledged one of the people responsible for this.

[original post]
In an example of the dwindling commitment to classical music by America's newspaper of record, it has been four days now since the death of the eminent Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, and the New York Times has yet to publish an obituary, or even a news item if the event. Perhaps another correspondent or two is required.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for July 30, 2016

A program following the seemingly now standard jazzy first hour, other second hour.

See the playlist after the break...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Another find from Network Awesome -

There once was a time when PBS was a showplace for serious culture. I can't imagine something like this being show today, alongside Downton Abbey, Andrea Bocelli, or baby-boomer nostalgia musical programming.

By this, I mean "Good Morning Mr. Orwell", a New Year's special conceived by Nam June Paik for New Year's Day 1984, broadcast by PBS and French TV. (Does PBS still show the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Day concert?) The program hoped to emphasize and celebrate the positive aspects of electronic culture, as opposed to Big Brother's intrusive presence. Ultimately, it's a bunch of artsy, avant-garde weirdos having a good time.

RIP Gregg Smith

One of the great promoters of twentieth-century music has died. Not so much an underdog, but a sort of invisible support mechanism. Never really a star, but his name on a record was a seal of approval, an invitation to pick something off the shelf at the library, or out of the record bin at the thrift store, to trust your curiosity.
“We do special music, chamber operas, theater pieces, folk songs and everything else that can serve to expand the whole range of vocal music [...] My great pride is that we don’t belong to any clique. We’ve sung many different kinds of music. You name it — serial, atonal, Americana, Minimalist — we’ve sung it.”

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for July 16, 2016

Hi folks, a jazzy set with some pop song interludes (plus some Messiaen) for hot July day. Plus soundboard hum and motorcycle noises.

Vive la France!


See the playlist after the break...