View Full Version : Music, emotion and the mind.

Loose rivets
25th Oct 2008, 05:15
A while back, the kid got me one of those little things that hold 'tunes', and you can download stuff oft' net. I searched for some of the records that still languish in storage at home.

Stan Kenton. Now there's one. Changed my whole life he did. None of those kids making twanging noises and screaming into the microphone just prior to swallowing it. Nor them girlies that hide behind the mike and contort their faces like they're trying for a good....well, you know what I mean. Whatever it is that they're doing, they do it before letting out bizarre screeching noises through their teeth. Bollow, said I...at a very young age, don't like that.

A girlfriend took me to Colchester in 1958 I think it was, to see Ted Heath. Dizzy Galespie Sp? was playing with the -fairly rare - English Big Band. I was smitten. Then came Count Basie and on to Stan Kenton. Quite, quite different was he.

'Harmonic Discords'. That's what they were called. His American Big Band played like nothing I'd heard...nothing the World had heard. Many thought he was just out of tune...many thought he was mad. But that's how music should be played thought I. Loved it, until slowly the quasi-classical bands crept into my life at around 30 years of age. In no time, the real thing took its place, and when my daughter got her first piano, I was hooked on that instrument for the rest of my life. Okay, back to the point.

I had a yearning to hear Stan again. What was he really like? Was it just big brass and a flat-top haircut? I searched and searched...and at last, there it was, the Peanut Vendor. This was perhaps his most famous piece, but there were dozens that he recorded over and over again, and that was the problem. They were all just either a tad different, or totally re-vamped. Some were even Laninized. :yuk::yuk: I searched, and listened to the samples, with ever increasing confusion. They were just not the same.

Was it the near 40 years that had dulled my memory. Surely not. Then, with little hope of...anything really, there it was. The disk he cut in 1955 I think it was. The cover was unmistakable, half red and half black, apart from the man, baton in hand, looking back at the camera. That's it! PLAY.

I just could not believe it. Every note, every inflection, perfect. Had to get the CD. Life, or the threatened lack of it, got in the way for a few months, but here I was in Narns & Bobal, sticking the same picture on a CD pack under a scanner. The bar code let me have a sample in the head-phones. Mine for $4.55

The charming lady sensed my excitement as she scanned my card.

'Oh, while I'm here. You don't have the Moonlight Sonata played by Walter Giesking do you?" No chance...he had popped off before stereo was invented...but in a moment, it was in my hand. I was in music heaven.

Kenton...Third movement by Giesking...Kenton, Giesking. Beethoven won because of that third movement...the one that made me quit the piano. Just couldn't hack it, but nor could most others...even the top names. This was the only man in the world that could ever master it, and it was being sucked into the technical abyss of my dash. Would it play? Would it ever come out? Track 13. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect...the drive home was bliss. Trucks by the million, the heat, the dust, people in silly hats...all were lost to Beethoven, mast of that primordial rhythm. Original jazz. Kenton waited -- until tonight.

The Rivetess is baby sitting; stereo output set to terra-joules, and there it was. Every note, every inflection...but this time I'm singing slightly ahead of it. All the discords, all the sexy summing of frequencies in the mind, not my music anymore, but still very, very special. Next track, I'm imitating trumpet and drums before it starts. Every note had been stored in my noggin for 40 years. But something, just me perhaps, but something was wrong.

It had been wrong on the Beethoven disk, but I refused to believe that this moment wasn't perfect...but now, a record I must have played a thousand times, sounded just a tad fast. Just the most minute amount mind...and the frequency was just sharp by a few cents.

When I was learning, I used to tune the piano to the exact pitch of the CDs that I was learning from. I always thought that it was minutely high, but guessed it must be the kit that I had made in the hobby-shop that was out of kilter. Based on the Fairchild chip, the Evenly Tempered Scale was a compromise...one only sensed by top tuners, but its math would have had to be orders of magnitude greater to really achieve Bach's ratios. There is was. Could I blame that?

Well, no...not if what I read about real enthusiasts is to be believed. The warmth of the KT66s and the reality of broadcast onto VHS tape. Poor top end, but just 'More Real'.

Well, this is what my ramble is all about really. The mind, and its storage, and the quality of CDs versus records.

Tell you what. I forbid anyone to discuss this.:}

Howard Hughes
25th Oct 2008, 10:50
Does music that is perfect, lose it's allure? I for one like imperfections in my music, it makes one appreciate the masters more so.

25th Oct 2008, 12:55
the mind holds the music in that moment of perfection,all the nuances,all the memories associated with that moment in time, all are recalled, no other recording media can do this.they may give a rough approximation but they cannot reproduce the whole experience.Sad really, but the memory still remains and can be reignited by the simplest things.

25th Oct 2008, 19:34
Bits from my exsistance

Magic Flute - Motzart - Awakening intellectually.

Waterloo Sunset - The Who. - Puberty overnight literally.

And So by Man came Death - Handel - Realising the reality my own mortality.


Jetex Jim
25th Oct 2008, 20:50
ppruners on this thread may find this of interest
YourBrainOnMusic.com (http://www.yourbrainonmusic.com/)

Daniel J. Levitin, is the author of "This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of Human Obsession." Levitin a former record producer, who today is a neuroscientist studying the relationship between the brain and music.

Romeo India Xray
25th Oct 2008, 21:13
Waterloo Sunset - The Who

Pedanticism I know, but wasn't Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks?

Im sure if I dig deep enough I would be able to find it on a a 45, just dont have anything to play it on :{


25th Oct 2008, 21:27
Why not use your mind to listen to it? And yes Waterloo Sunset was The Kinks :ok:

Maybe the Fleetwood Mac thread has started something in my head ;)

Jetex Jim
25th Oct 2008, 21:40
It's not so difficult
YouTube - The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvDoDaCYrEY)

Romeo India Xray
25th Oct 2008, 21:41
Maybe the Fleetwood Mac thread has started something in my head

Got me thinking too - I LOVE the piano introduction in the link. Rumours album while great didn't really carry too much emotion for me at the time, now when I listen to it I am in a different world - ah nostalgia!

Why is it that once you get through your teens your taste in music becomes so much more diverse?


edit - I have the Rumours album on CD so no need to use my cranial void for that one :}

26th Oct 2008, 01:29
Surprising indeed what can be found online. Tchaikovsky Sym. #2, very first commercial recording (Goossens, Cincinnati Symphony, during WWII) is but an example.

If Kenton and Heath and Miller and the Dorseys are your thing, point yer browser to WMKV-FM (http://www.wmkvfm.org) and have a listen. Disregard please the funny colonial speech. :O

26th Oct 2008, 01:54
For me...I connected with Beethoven's Ode to Joy. As a 7 yr old, I was captivated by how I felt hearing it.

...for the life of me, I can't find the original on YouTube. Go figure?? :} :p

Found this from one of my favourite films, Immortal Beloved. Experienced similar during a sleigh ride up a mountain in Vail, CO on a clear night, then again on a Windjammer cruise on a star filled night and in both cases, infinity was my visual and it was JOY!

YouTube - Ode To Joy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9KU3vik3mI&feature=related)

henry crun
26th Oct 2008, 03:39
Agree with you about Immortal Beloved CofF.

The scene at the debut performance of the 9th where the conductor touches him and indicates he should turn round to see the standing ovation alway brings a lump to the throat.

26th Oct 2008, 03:41
It's a great film....and wonderfully woven.

Loose rivets
26th Oct 2008, 03:44
It's a strange thing, but when Beethoven wrote the 4th movement, he hadn't realized that it would be difficult to find anyone that could meet the demanding range. The first performance was probably not anywhere as stunning as we hear it now, because we can search the world for the appropriate singers.

Sadly, by then, Beethoven would have had to be advised on the difficulty. I'm not sure that anyone would have wanted that job.

26th Oct 2008, 03:55
LR...very true. Those who are brilliant, often don't realize the limitations of those who still possess only great talent.