Thursday, January 17, 2008

Free Music, Books and Photos

I've been reading Washington Post article claiming classical music is becoming more and more serious really puts a smile on my face, here it is, enjoy!

I felt a journalistic need to confirm these assertions. I looked up “Music, Classical” in the Yellow Pages, but it wasn’t there; it was in the White Pages. When it/they picked up the phone, Classical Music sounded none too serious. I spoke first with “Eroica” Symphony, the 3rd, a major spokesperson; but immediately, his brother “Pathetique” Symphony, VI, got on the line too, brusquely and mincingly at the same time, if that were possible. “We totally aren’t that monumental, dude,” they said, while apparently downing shots of tequila and trying on silly noses. “OK, we are morally superior, that goes without saying, but that’s cause we don’t sleep around like rock’n'roll, we have, like, values. It has nothing to do with irrelevance.” But their agreement only went so far: one concluded on a sunny E-flat major chord, while the other, ominously, on b minor. The conversation was therefore mildly cacophonous; as a journalist, again, I wondered: which one is giving us the real scoop? The closing theme of the first movement of the Brahms A major Piano Quartet phoned me later, to add, with a bit of Viennese lilt:
annemidgettelyrics.jpg

“It’s true,” said the midpoint of Berg’s Chamber Concerto, in a subsequent follow-up meeting, “some of us get a little stuck up sometimes; some of us are a little aloof,” gesturing vaguely towards the Boulez 2nd Sonata, which in turn was making rabbit ears behind the Chamber Concerto’s head, “but you know we’re just pieces, we’re none of us perfect, can’t we just get along?” As to Midgette’s charge of monumentality, a panel was convened, comprised of Josquin, the tenor voice of his Missa Pange Lingua, the Evangelist from the St. Matthew Passion, the ghost of Jascha Heifetz, the upper manual of a 1735 harpsichord, a Tristan chord, and a Schenkerian 3-line. Plied with nachos and beer, this group soon agreed that they were all in danger of getting fat, and expressed a desire to get back to the gym.


Also, I think it's worthwhile to point out that culture is not as serious as people think, or as commercial: Lawrence Lessig made his last book, Free Culture available for free download, and also possible for purchase. His new book, The Future of Ideas is now available in the same fashion.

Tasmin Little also made works by J.S.Bach, Paul Patterson and Eugène Ysaÿe free for download on her website.

We really need to make books, music, or photos (The Library of Congress has over 3000 images so far on their Flickr collections under a new copyright license devised for institutions), free and available to all so that they would seen to be less "serious".



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