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Showing posts from 2013

Name: William Shakespeare/ Profession: uncertain

In the Bronze Age of the Internet – some ten years ago – blogging started to flourish, and I was tempted to start blogging about my music. However, I was always hesitant when it came to explaining music in words. As I feel that music should speak for itself in its own language, I only accompanied my releases with bare-bones comments. Not many years later, but in an era in which blogging as a form had lost all of its novelty, I added some more elaborate texts to my blog and saw it take off. Initially, I thought I would be writing only about music. In my latest post, however, I mentioned Shakespeare, and some readers then had a few questions regarding my stance on a popular subject—the authorship of his work. So, here we are now: not only am I blogging, but also, I do so about a subject that is out of the musical domain. It seems that almost every great artist must have some weak point in the public consciousness, something that can taint their reputation, or even potentially t

Playing Subtilior

Or Plaidoyer For the Emancipation Of Early Music Francesco Petrarca, a 14 th century poet famous enough for his name to be Anglicized to “Petrarch,” is credited with giving a name to the “Dark Ages.” Meant were the centuries immediately following the fall of Rome, which were comparatively obscure and lacking in cultural achievements and historical artifacts. The time in which Petrarch lived was full of hardships; nevertheless, the arts and sciences flourished, and new ideas spread all over Europe. This age of humanism, however, is placed somewhere in the “dark ages” in the collective perception of our time, and its artistic works presented generally within strongly historical contexts. The artistic achievements of Petrarca’s age are generally of aesthetic interest exclusively to experts, and wider audiences (like regular classical music concert goers) are mostly unaware of the excitement that pre-Renaissance music and arts can provide. There is much injustice in such

guitARS subtilior 14th century music is out of awareness of today's classical music mainstream. Music written prior to the 16th century is taught very sparingly (if at all) at conservatories, save within the specialized programs that focus almost exclusively on music of these ages. Even compositions of early Baroque composers (like Monteverdi, 1576-1643) are regarded as "early music", yet most of the materials on this album were composed some 250 years before Monteverdi's "The Coronation of Poppea". For the sake of perspective, 250 years ago today Mozart was a child and Beethoven wasn't yet born.  One could go on with similar examples of music categorized as “early,” but the fact is that most classical music lovers today wouldn't expect music so intriguing, complex, and experimental to have been created over six centuries ago. "Ars subtilior" is not a musical era, but rather a style. It was geographically limited