Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes Of The Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943) from SeriousFeather on Vimeo.

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) is a short experimental film directed by wife and husband team, Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid. The film's narrative is circular, and repeats a number of psychologically symbolic images, including a flower on a long driveway, a key falling, a door unlocked, a knife in a loaf of bread, a mysterious Grim Reaper–like cloaked figure with a mirror for a face, a phone off the hook and an ocean. Through creative editing, distinct camera angles, and slow motion, the surrealist film depicts a world in which it is more and more difficult to catch reality. In 1990, Meshes of the Afternoon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", going into the registry in the second year of voting. According to a 2010 exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, the film cost only $275 to make.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shaun Ryder The Ecstasy & The Agony

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Filmed over eight months, we follow the singer-songwriter as life hits a depressing low during his time in Australia around 18 months ago. Having been locked in a messy legal battle with his former Black Grape management team for the past six years, all Ryder's assets were frozen. Facing a life ahead being totally skint while battling with ongoing drug problems, his family feared for his life. Any self-respecting Mondays fan should not miss this chance to see the legend that is Shaun Ryder piecing his life back together.

Because of their notoriety, it's easy to forget that both Ryder and the Happy Mondays are rightly acclaimed as musical innovators. Formed in 1981 in Salford's Little Hulton by Ryder, they were signed by Factory Records legend Tony Wilson in 1984 and with the release of their second album, Bummed, in 1988, the public were finally tuning into a band whose glorious mix of shambolic punk, funk and dance, combined with a rock and roll attitude that reeked of hedonism of the highest order, would see them being feted as working class heroes and a cultural phenomenon.

Despite continuing to look like scally car thieves, by 1990, The Mondays were bona fide stars. Their indie-dance anthem, Step On, and musical masterpiece, third album Pills, Thrills & Bellyaches, saw them playing Wembley Arena with Ryder the mouthpiece of a generation. Who will ever forget the era defining moment when the Roses and the Mondays shared the stage of Top of the Pops- Mancunian magic at it's best. Sadly, the dream couldn't last. Self-combusting amidst inter-band feuds and escalating drug abuse during the recording of ill-feted fourth album, Yes Please, the eventually split acrimoniously in 1993.

Ryder's main post-Mondays highlight was his glorious 1995 return with Black Grape and their superb debut album, It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah! - which makes it ironic that the management of Black Grape have been the very ones causing Ryder, and his accountant, so much grief. But now, thanks to the success of his Get Loaded DJ tour, Ryder is back: The Happy Mondays are playing live once more and Get Loaded has mutated into a fully-fledged festival of all things musically Madchester.

Thankfully, Shaun William Ryder's long legal battle has finally been resolved. Having reached a settlement with Black Grape's former management team, he is now free to resume his musical career and keep his earnings, once he's paid back his debt to them. Even though Shaun lost a lot of cash during the prolonged legalities,
we're sure he's merely relieved it's all over - not least because, at one point during the court case, Lord Justice Thorpe observed that Shaun had "said he was freaked out by paperwork and that it 'did his nut in'". Brilliant.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Musical Humours of Captain Tobias Hume


A Pavin by Tobias Hume bass viol solo

from "The First Part of Ayres" (No.10)
viola da gamba Bruno Re

Tobias Hume(1659-1645)~Harke Harke
Jordi Savall~Viole de Gambe

The Spirit of gambo" for solo viola da gamba from "Musicall Humors" (1605)
Performed by John Dornenburg

Tobias Hume (1569-1645)
A question
The music for viol by Hume is written in a style called lyra-style. A kind of lute style with many chords.

Tobacco, No.3 the First Part of Ayres or the Musicall Humours (1605)Filmed February 6, 2009 in Duesenberg Recital Hall, Valparaiso University Center for the Arts, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso,

Touch Me Lightly

Tobias Hume (possibly 1569 – 16 April 1645) was an English composer, viol player and soldier.

Little is known of his life. Some have suggested that he was born in 1569 because he was admitted to the London Charterhouse in 1629, a pre-requisite to which was being at least 60 years old, though there is no certainty over this. He had made his living as a professional soldier, probably as a mercenary. He was an officer with the Swedish and Russian armies.

His published music includes pieces for viols (including many solo works for the lyra viol) and songs. They were gathered in two collections, The First Part of Ayres (or Musicall Humors, 1605) and Captain Humes Poeticall Musicke (1607). He was a particular champion of the viol over the then-dominant lute, something which caused John Dowland to publish a rebuttal of Hume's ideas.

Hume was also known as a prankster, as some of his somewhat unusual compositions illustrate. His most notorious piece was "An Invention for Two to Play upone one Viole". Two bows are required and the smaller of the two players is obliged to sit in the lap of the larger player. This work was notated in tablature and is indeed technically possible to play. His instructions to "drum this with the backe of your bow" in another piece, "Harke, harke," constitute the earliest known use of col legno in Western music.

At Christmas 1629 he entered Charterhouse as a poor brother. His mind seems to have given way, for in July 1642 he published a rambling" 'True Petition of Colonel Hume' to parliament offering either to defeat the rebels in Ireland with a hundred. 'instruments of war,' or, if furnished with a complete navy, to bring the king within three months twenty millions of money. He styles himself 'colonel,' but the rank was probably of his own invention, for in the entry of his death, which took place at Charterhouse on Wednesday, 16 April 1645, he is still called Captain Hume.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Greek Meme

I showed this to some of my students today in order to illustrate what a meme is:

Zorba the Greek (originally titled Alexis Zorbas) is a 1964 film based on the novel Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

"The Chooky Dancers" at the Ramingining Festival, East Arnhem Shire Australia on the 30th September 2007

Britain's Got Talent 2009, Stavros Flatley AKA Dimitri and Lagi

A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with "cream") is a unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. (The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word μιμητισμός (/mɪmetɪsmos/) for "something imitated".) Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Neil Young - Le Noise - The Film

Neil Young's film "Le Noise," (39 mins) featuring performances from his new album