12 January 2013

Edgard Varèse - Experimental Essentials


I always do this. I always, always do this.  I've took another request from the man who asked for Frank Zappa - Civilization Phaze III (cheeky link to the blog there) and it is in the form of any work by the composer Edgard Varèse. Now this turned out to be easier than I thought it would be, I was half expecting it to be a total chore trying to find stuff, but his work is on Spotify!

Edgard Varèse was a French born composer who lived from 1883 till 1965, and was famous for his work with electronic music, off key rhythms and general outlandish music leanings.  His works were also an big influence on the aforementioned Frank Zappa, who on his 15th birthday had an arranged phone call with the man himself - it didn't work out as he was in Belgium at the time, so he had a nice conversation with his wife. They did get their conversation years later and talked about working together which sadly never happened. If that had have happened, it would have possibly been one of the most scary albums of all time.

Ok, now onto the work - this is a compilation of records of various pieces by Varèse and it is by no means an easy listen. To be honest it is very harsh indeed in classical terms, you cannot see many people putting this on for a relaxing evening.  Although I have a feeling it would be magical in a live performance by an orchestra who gets the music that is in front of them.  The work is very accomplished and in my mind I can see his influence on movie soundtracks, electronica, obviously Zappa and modern classical music.  The stand out pieces on this album?  To be honest the whole thing is a stand out piece.  I am not too sure how to describe the mounting horror/joy I got from sitting in the work room, headphones on and various comforts with this work of mayhem and unnatural musical arrangements going on in the background.

This is a challenging group of work, much like the artist himself, and it is going to be the 3rd album that will get the "none" mark as it is both good and bad in equal measure. Changing from the batman symbol, due to not wanting to be took to the side by some lawyers. But believe, this is a great piece of work - tread very carefully if you have not been on the musical side where the strange things grown......

The Chainsaw symbol - When in doubt, see if a Chainsaw is about

You can purchase from here (MP3's only)

You can listen on Spotify here

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