Monday, June 25, 2007

When I saw Robert out in Seattle a couple weeks ago, we discussed Netflix to which I'd recently subscribed. Robert mentioned that they carried a few eai-related DVDs including one by Oren Ambarchi and Martin Ng. I just got around to searching for it. The reviews of people who'd rented it are pretty amusing:

1.0 Stars
This has got to be the worst thing ever created by mankind. It looks like someone ran an osciliscope [sic] and put a test pattern signal on for the so called music. If there was justice handed out for wasting other people's time, I would give these people the death penalty. Horrible...just horrible.

1.0 Stars
"feast for the senses" Ha, more like a piddly little ration. Terrible, terrible, terrible! Don't waste your time with this drivel!

1.0 Stars
This is a complete waste of film. I watched 5 minutes of it in disbelief then fast forwarded through the rest of it just to see if it got any better. It didn't. The visuals are VERY lame. The music (music?) is beyond terrible. I don't think it can even be called music, its just high pitched annoying sounds that never seem to end. This is seriously a waste of 'creativity'. zero stars!!!

Needless to say, it was quickly added to my queue.

I forget which other ones of interest Robert said were to be found here but anyone else who's come across worthwhile things of a musical nature, please advise.


Caleb Deupree said...

Hi Brian,

Netflix has the John Cage DVDs released on Mode. I checked out From Zero a while back, but I found the chance operations to be more successful when applied to music than applied to film. Still, interesting stuff.

Brian Olewnick said...

Hi Caleb,

Yep, I'd queued that one plus the "One 11 with 103", the Ohm+ disc and something called "Surround Music" that features Lucier.

Robert K__ said...

I have to admit that while I'm (obviously) a lot more tolerant of the music then your average Netflix user those reviews weren't too far off. A dreadful affair that DVD.

You've got I think most of the other ones I mentioned - I was particularly pleased to be able to get the Ohm+ DVD as I got the first version of that set without it.

BTW One11 with 103 is fantastic, the film is stunning. There are two versions of 103 on the set, if you are only going to watch it once don't listen to the new version as it is dry and pretty uninteresting IMO.

Richard Pinnell said...

I have From Zero and enjoyed it, haven't tracked a copy of One11... down yet, but haven't tried that hard to be honest.

Not sure how much of a Luigi Nono fan you are Brian, but if you have any interest I'd check out A Trail on the Water by bettina Erhardt if its there.

Now, who's going to be nice and tell me what Netflix is?

Brian Olewnick said...

Nope, it's not there. I was amazed something like the Ambarchi thing was.

Netflix is a DVD rental service which claims to carry some 70,000 titles. They do have tons of great stuff (I have some 185 on my queue at the moment). They mail it to you, you mail it back (postpaid) and they send you the next ones in your queue (which you set up on-line and can tinker with at will), all very efficient so far.

Anonymous said...

"free" is a term that just does not do the musicians and the music justice; Nor is the term "avantgarde";
Putting expectations on an artists offering are where the problems began.

My brother plays this music and its one thing he talks about hating is how people try to corner these terms on him and his colleagues;

Art is art; Categories are really only for consumerism.

Brian Olewnick said...

James, I assume your post is directed at the Vision Fest comments? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but if you're going to use the term "free", as those who organize, perform at and attend such festivals surely do, then at the very least we can expect it not to follow theme-solos-theme formats or solo hierarchy, no? You should, as a listener, expect anything to potentially happen, right? I could've missed it, maybe it flew over my head, but I never, ever had that sense this past weekend (with the partial exception of some of Shipp's set).

Anonymous said...

sorry brian, but your comments are just classic from somebody that does not really play this music.
The whole theme/solo/theme whatever is part of a deep tradition. Improvisors who have dealt with the history of the music they play, of all types use it, move away from it, go back to it, add thier own flavor. It's hard hard hard work. There is absolutley, and never was anything "free" about the music you speak of. Perhaps thats the feeling it gives you, which is great, but most musicians i know are also trying to deal with being composers and they have every right to bury themselves in ideas that came before, so that they can also grow.

I think your opinions are 100% valid, but you need to have a little compassion here.

The sacrifices that a lot of the music makers you saw at the vision festival have made in order to deal with these sounds deserves it.

I think the best things serious lsiteners can do is to never go these concerts with "expectations", otherwise I feel you will always be dissapointed. But i guess it is really like they say " opinions are like assholes; everyone has got one"


Brian Olewnick said...

James, well I guess you have to be a musician to comment on the music, eh? Always wondered why that never seems to apply to politics and politicians...

I'm well aware of the history of the music, having been a fairly massive listener for some 35 years now. Give me some Ellington, Mingus, Ornette, Roscoe or Cecil (among countless others) and I'm a happy camper. See upcoming post on Braxton's "For Alto".

But any music, any art, is capable of stagnation, of becoming more a craft than an art. Many people have no qualms about thinking that's what happened with the Marsalis crew or fusion; perhaps you agree, perhaps not. For someone to suggest that those are not the only areas in which it's happened doesn't strike me as too extreme, but as you say about opinions....

Even so, it's interesting that people have harped on the negative comments I made, not the positive ones toward Shipp's set, and portions of the Jenkins tribute, Campbell's band and Anderson/Bankhead/Drake (ah, except I dared criticize Hamid...)