This is Day three! I’ll tell what album I chose in a minute. Look here for my intro.
Don’t know this challenge? Here is the basic idea (which I’ll semi-ignore):
Post a song a day for five consecutive days. (will do, well album, not song)
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional) (nope – instrumental)
Post the name of the song and a video. (will do – a song from the album)
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge. (Well…, All of you)
(I was “volunteered” to do the challenge by Sue Vincent ;) )
Yesterday I talked about Wendy Carlos’ Switched on Bach. After that I was always in search of electronic music. A lot of it was garbage (not that I cared as a kid), often kitsch or novelty. Often just bad. But I listened to what I could find.
One day when I was about 10, I saw a very cool looking album. It was too expensive, but I had a plan – I bought it as a Christmas present for my brother (the same one who received Tommy). It soon became a favorite.
This was Isao Tomita’s Snowflakes are Dancing.
On this album, the Japanese composer/musician played the music of Debussy on a Moog modular synthesizer. In many ways his vision of electronic classical music couldn’t have been more different than Wendy Carlos. His sound was unique. It sometimes fell into the novelty/kitsch, but was more often lush and occasionally breathtakingly beautiful. All of the sounds were ethereal, surreal and spacey. Nobody else had that sound, though some tried.
Besides the sound of the synthesizer, he used very different music. He thought J. S. Bach was a terrible choice for the synthesizer and instead went for the late Romantic and Impressionist composers. Having listened to a lot of his music, I think he did his best with the various pieces by Debbusy he did through his career and hit the peak with his first try, Snowflakes are Dancing.
Here is the title track
And here is another piece from it
I really love his synthesized orchestrations and first fell in love with 20th century composers after hearing this album. Remember yesterday when I said my first 20 classical albums were either Bach or 20th century? The 20th century part started here.
Just about all of my classical music is heavily influenced by the composers Tomita used the most: Debussy, Stravinsky, etc. OK, I also went into Bartok, Hindemith, Shostakovitch, Berg, etc., but it all goes back to this music.
So, were do I begin? Here is one that has a very strong influence. This using orchestral instruments, but I think, after listening to the two above, you’ll understand:
As I said, just about any of my orchestral works. This includes large sections of my Hamlet Symphony. I think this really shows in the 4th movement:
On a sad note, Isao Tomita was one of the lesser known casualties of 2016. He was not a young man and had lived a full life, but he died doing what he loved best, composing and playing music to the very end.