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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:20 pm 
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Source: The Mother Of All Interviews. Excellent interview conducted by Don Menn in 1992. It was also called "Belgian Waffles in Plastic".

Does anyone have any thoughts on this interview?

What do you think about the traditional composers? Do you care for the old guys?

Frank: Well, name me an old guy.


Frank: I have an appreciation for the skill of putting it together, but the sound of it is not something that I enjoy, so ...

Brahms? Bach?

Frank: Bach is more interesting.


Frank: I just like the way it sounds. The same reason I like Varese. I like the way it sounds. But I wouldn't go out of my way to attend a Bach concert or buy an album of that kind of music. To me, of that period, that is the most tolerable of the material to listen to. I don't start getting interested in so-called classical music until the early 20th Century.


Frank: No. I actually like Wagner. I think Wagner was interesting. It's too long, but it's interesting. I have very few Wagner albums, but the things that I've heard, if you look at the time at which it was written, and what he's doing with the material, it's challenging. That's the thing that depresses me about most of the music of that period. It's just not challenging, because it was written to spec. There was a king or a duke or a church or somebody who said, "Hey. You need to write something. We have a festival coming up, and it must be something I will like." So everything was written to suit the taste buds of some joker with a towel on his head.

So the theory that the church or the nobility helped make the Renaissance happen, or the classical period, is not true in your mind?

Frank: I think it probably held back some of the greatest composers, because you had no choice. If you wanted to write, you had to write at the behest of somebody who had more money than you. It's like dealing with radio-station programmers and the guy who puts your video on MTV. It has to be exactly this, or it goes nowhere. So, here's a guy with 11 kids to feed, what's he going to do? Give the Prince what he wants [sings "Hallelujah Chorus"]: "Hallelujah. Hallelujah." [imitates a prince:] "Oh, yeah, I like that. I can understand that."

So you're not a fan of Handel either?

Frank: No.


Frank: I've only heard four or five pieces by Schoenberg that I can enjoy listening to. There's the Septet, and then there's the suite of pieces for orchestra, the one that has "Summer Morning by the Lake" as one of the movements. I think that's really nice. And Begleitungsmusik: is a parody of motion picture music. I like that. But there's very little else by Schoenberg that I appreciate. And Berg – I like the "Lyric Suite," I like the – there's a piano solo piece, I think it's called Piano Sonata – it's an early piece. I like that. But, I tried to listen to Lulu. I couldn't do it. I had the album of Wozzeck. I could not get through it.
I like Messiaen. Took me a while, but I like that music. He's colorful. But I must admit that the first Messiaen album that I ever got was an Angel recording of Chronochromie, and it baffled the snot out of me. I didn't know what to do with it. I could stay interested for about the first three minutes. I was going, "Whoa, a lot of percussion; that's interesting, but what is this?" It took me years before I could listen to that whole side of the album straight through.

What finally clicked? Just repetition?

Frank: No. It's just that the more I learned, the more interesting it became, because at the time that I was first exposed to this kind of music, I didn't have a musical education. I was just a guy buying records. Everything that I liked was based on my gut reaction to what was on the record. For some reason I liked Varese right away. I liked Stravinsky right away, but these other things not. I didn't like Charlie Parker. I didn't like some other modern jazz things. Listening to these things, I would go, "Why do people like this? I don't understand it."

What became different in the way you listened? What do you start hearing?

Frank: Well, when you start learning about structure, when you start learning about how things work, then you can appreciate how other people deal with the material. Look, if you're writing diatonic music, you've got 12 note names over seven or eight octaves. That's a pretty limited universe. What can you do to take these components, shake them up, reassemble them, and make something that you would call a composition? That's a pretty interesting challenge. I think that other art forms have a much more open – not an open format, but more material to work with. If you're a poet, let's say there are 300,000 or 400,000 words in the English language. There's your universe. But the possibilities are a little bit more restricted in terms of the structure when you're dealing with diatonics. So the more I learned about what the rules of the game were, the more I could appreciate how other people might solve this problem. How do you maintain somebody's interest over any period of time with what you've concocted? Today I have such a limited amount of recreational listening time that if I decide that I'm going to listen to something – I have a very big collection of records and CDs – I'll pull something out, and I'll put it on so I can really focus on it and go, "Boy, that's interesting."

When you're listening to music, then, are you responding intellectually more than emotionally? Are you getting swept away by some great cadence or is it an idea that's hitting you?

Frank: You just have an appreciation for what it is. I mean, I don't think about the composer. I don't sit there and go, "Boy, what a great guy. He dreamed that up." You know, because all I hear is the music. I hear the material performing its little function before my very ears. I listen to the piece. I don't know anything about the lives of these guys. They may have all been absolute ********. I probably don't want to know what kind of a guy Webern was, but I like the music. And the same for the other pieces that I enjoy listening to. I'm not thinking about who wrote it, or why he wrote it. I'm only listening to the results.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:05 pm 
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My thoughts on this are that Zappa was a brilliant composer and produced some of the most interesting classical music (also well as rock) of the 20 century. You only have to listen to the solo Piano pieces and other ensemble pieces all over the internet to see that.

Some below- I like the first one as is very true to the original zappa songs but shows them in the classical piano Sonata form.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
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Location: misanthropia
jackie22 wrote:
We can discuss that.


*deletes account*

that's what happens when you don't read you loose your link to higher thinking

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