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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #79
Cooking with Maria
David Gunn
Two notes of historical importance: on a day other than this one in 1989, 16 musicians from Blandford played a double bass simultaneously -- five fingering and eleven bowing -- in a rendition of Strauss' "Perpetuum Mobile" at Blandford Town Hall; also not on this day in 1989, Rory Blackwell of Starcross, aided by his double left-footed perpendicular percussion pounder plus his three-tier right-footed horizontal 22-pronged differential beater and his 12-outlet bellow-powered horn-blower, played 108 different instruments --19 melody and 88 percussion -- simultaneously in Dawlish. He also played 314 instruments in a single rendition in just under 84 seconds, also in Dawlish, and also not on this day in 1985. Coincidentally, Blandford and Dawlish are the two English communities which tied for first place in last year's World Cup of Musical Eccentricity. Entrants from the US were conspicuously absent from the competition. We, of course, did not know of it. If memory serves -- and in the past it has usually doubled-faulted following protracted bouts of recollective lobbing -- one or more of us was rather perturbed to be attending the premiere of "Rotten Icelandic Sea Grass," a ribald opera of serial pretensions but naturally-occurring melodies. While the costumery was good-naturedly gelatinous, the orchestration was the musical equivalent of potpourri, leaving a bad taste in my nose that remains to this day, especially during periods of high dudgeon and dragons, or when the sentence drags on, such as this one -- the more strung-together clauses it accumulates, like wayward chordal progressions in a 20th century zither concertino -- is prone to do, providing ample deprivation of serious thought to structural continuity, given the persistance of outside influences similar to but anthropormorphically unrelated to le flambeau oriange.

Much of the previous wordage has its basis in actual fact. The words gelatinous, eccentricity, zither, and horn-blower are factual as they relate to today’s birthday composer, Krzysztof Pederasty ... sorry, Penderecki. His angular and neutrino- laden lyrics speak volumes of an early bitter life lurking in the shadows of Hoagy Carmichael and Lorenz Hart. But he bade his time and, in 1961, when the sun had at last begun to set on Hart’s seemingly immutable personality, Krzysztof stepped up to the plate and dribbled for a touchdown with his Polymorpha, a musical tribute to the crystallization into two or more chemically identical but crystallographically distinct forms, as well as to the existence of an animal or plant in several color varieties, such as might be found in the University of Tennessee’s Vivarium for Dendriform Spleenworts.

"Crystallographically distinct" is a term, perhaps the only term, which can also be safely applied to that part of the radiophonic dial set aside on Saturday afternoons for, yes, Kalvos & Damianis New Music Bazaar, this portion of which is being concurrently studied at the aforementioned University of Tennessee for possible use as therapy on patients who have voluntarily undergone hearing loss. (dead air) But there’s never any loss of hearing or any other normal bodily function to speak of when you're tuned to this radio station at this time cloaked in whatever gabardine apparel may suit you, as long as youire willing to pay attention to those vocal exercises which are chemically identical to Kalvos.