36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 213: Critiquing and my music


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 213 — Critiquing and my music
02-March-1972 (Donnerstag–Thur.)


Like all the rest, a little bit of everything (except piano).

Heard an El. Musik lecture/concert. Most, not too good.


Critique. Sounds like another full day and a contemporary concert. This time, as before in the past, I am critical of an electronic music concert. Today, almost no one attends live concerts of this type, but in the 70s and 80s, and in academic environments, you could find these concerts. My critique is most likely rooted to the difficulty in attempting to aurally codify an electronic music composition. The techniques often result in musical gestures and timbres that sound almost the same as in many, many pieces that you hear. That the pitches might be somewhat different may not make as much difference as in tonal music. The music, and it’s techniques, might begin to sound similar. Today, I think I would be less critical and more appreciative.

Certainly, the same critiques could be applied to my serious composition as well.

My music. After my work in Vienna, my serious writing was only as a student at Indiana University and Ohio State University. As I say above, the same critical observations could be applied to my music as well. I do think that I am a bit different in that a lot of my music is actually fairly traditional. If I use electronic music, it may be combined with some traditional elements. In Fantasy on Broken Glass, the music is a “programme” that is a sound collage of recognizable sounds of nature and man. A bit corny by today’s and yesterday’s standards. I also naturally try to impart some emotion. A good example of this is my version of the folksong Barb’ra Allen, part of Three Traditional Folk Songs for Soprano,Tape, and Piano, at my Master’s recital in Indiana University. Traditional, new, emotion.

One day, I’ll post an excerpt of some of my music, especially Barb’ra Allen for soprano, piano, and tape.


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