Saturday, April 05, 2008

Festival: Remembering Ligetti

I think that's what this was called. It was a weekend, ages ago now, of events based around the music of Hungary's late composer. As well as discussions and performances of chamber pieces by the great man, they showed a couple of the Stanley Kubrick films in which his music was used. We watched The Shining. It is still very scary. The chamber performances we attended were most enjoyable, the discussions a bit musicological and over my head, but the most fun musical thing might well have been the performance that opened the festival. This was called Poème Symphonique, and it consisted of a hundred metronomes being set going until they all wound down and stopped. It is amazing how you start attributing human characteristics to inanimate objects, and wondering which metronome will be plucky enough to hold out the longest. The piece is great musically too, or at least great in terms of noise, the endless TACK TACK TACK sounds going in and out of phase while the overall number decreasing calls to mind nothing so much as the start of Kraftwerk's Radioactivity album.

2 comments:

Andrew Sherman said...

There are a couple of performances of the metronome thing on youtube

Ian said...

mmm. YouTube