I don’t remember the path I took to discover The Weave. I’m 56 years old and almost completely disconnected from “what’s happening” – even more so because I know that today’s music world is like a vast, uncharted forest.
Nevertheless, I found myself returning to The Weave multiple times a week.
Today, I asked ChatGPT to tell me about them. One member is a guy from Blur (okay) and the other is Rose Elinor Dougall. Ohhh, I remember now that I listened to her 2019 album “A New Illusion” quite a bit. I recall the fantastic cover art, and something clicked in my head: harmonic richness.
Now I want more, and I’m curious to know if Coxon is such a composer, the “full of sharps & flats” type.
Dougall’s “A New Illusion” is a cool attempt at crafting “a cool pop song” (oh, that bass line), while her “Something Real” leans more towards the dreamy side, navigating through intriguing harmonic staircases. The piano in “Christina in Red”…
With “The Weave”, they’ve created a perfect song, an… unfolding. It starts with Dougall’s universe (voice, piano, twisted harmonies) and suddenly takes off like an old New Wave track (Clan of Xymox?). The arrival of the saxophones and the incantatory lyrics make it peculiar enough to raise an eyebrow, right?
This “pop with twisted harmonies” is what I love. The Bird and The Bee. Goldfrapp. Agnes Obel. Vienna Teng.
So I asked ChatGPT for “Female Singers and Strings Arrangements” and got this list. Some names I do not know…
Bat for Lashes (Natasha Khan) (great production & voice, poor harmonies)
Lana Del Rey
Of Monsters and Men (very interesting!)
Aurora (I want to listen more)
Austra (cool universe, original)
Dead Can Dance (Lisa Gerrard)
iamamiwhoami (Jonna Lee) (Don’t Wait for me, Fountain, Canyon: arrangements)
The Sundays (Harriet Wheeler)
Daughter (Elena Tonra)
Emilie Autumn (OMG this universe! Misery Loves Company)
Well, thank you guys! I discovered some cool musicians/singers!
1 An adjective indicating a variety of accentuation demanded by the nature of a particular musical phrase, rather than by the regular metric pulse of the mus. The first note of a phrase, for instance, may be felt to suggest a slight lingering which confers the effect of an accent: similarly, a leap to note significantly higher or lower than the preceding notes, or a strong discord resolving to a concord, may convey an effect of accentuation (by means of lingering, pressure, etc.) and there are other examples. The complementary term to ‘agogic accent’ (accent of movement) is ‘dynamic accent’ (accent of force), which implies the normal and regular rhythmic accentuation of a piece of music.
2 In a wider sense, ‘agogic’ covers everything connected with ‘expression’, e.g. rallentando, accelerando, rubato, pause, accentuation as described above, etc.
Well of course it’s a tool, a state of mind.
I read about this in a Sol Gabetta (a cello player) interview. If we follow the score, it’s gives a computer mood. One needs groove, or rubato, expression. And it’s linked of course (because we follow the sheet music score, right?) to the idea of “freedom blossoming on constraint”. And it’s linked to the two-to-tango idea of “singing melody seems free but it’s conducted”, enchanted and tamed at the same time.
“The interpreter juggles with spells”. Ces sortilèges sont l’agogique.
Of course we have to dig the “-agogy” word. Pedagogy. Andragogy?
And also, seeing this as a pattern for life, action, methods, rules, creation, art. Follow some rules but add some life, some “expression”, freedom into frames, etc.
There’s an interesting SubReddit called LeopardAteMyFace (‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party. Revel in the schadenfreude anytime someone has a sad because they’re suffering consequences from something they voted for or supported or wanted to impose on other people.). Schadenfreude is something we all understand and feel anywhere in the world, but the concept-word seems almost unknown in France. It’s been often used with Brexit (when you want to Brexit and then your company crashes because of all problems caused by it).
Of course they made a CovidAteMyFace, a very schadenfreudish place…
In 2000, the French “plural left government” voted the “35 hours workweek” law. From then, it’s how we work in France! As I work in a store there’s been a little agreement: we work 36h, then 39h in December when it’s crowdy, and get 12 more days off (plus the legal normal 5 weeks off, c’est la France!).
In this company, there’s a senior new thing: when you’re 55 and more (which is me), you can work 80% (28h) in four days, you lose the salary part, but not for your retirement. I chose 85%/30h and I’m the happiest man since.
Reading a bunch of books about Barbarossa, the 1941 attack of USSR by the Germans. I have a huge book written by two historians, but I completed with a Wehrmacht soldier memories book, a Red Army compilation of stories, two photography books (on each side), a more complete book about all this German/Russia war (1941-1945), the fantastic Alexander Werth’s book Russia at War.
And it IS a tool here: when you want to explore an era, an artist, a country, one must combine sources from different perspectives and heights. It builds a knowledge-web, and more comprehensive way to always remember it’s complex as hell.
There’s a site named Vodkaster where you add your film critics in… 140 characters only! Less than two lines, which is a great exercise for concision.
Where do you need to exercise your concision’s skills?
I have been obsessed with Francis Poulenc, a French composer (1899-1963). There’s absolutely nobody I can’t talk about Poulenc with, but, well, that’s life! I had the visit from a friend working at the Opéra Garnier in Paris, who is a classical music lover, and we could talk a bit.
He told me and I agreed that Poulenc sounds “so French” that it made us smile. We wondered about what “sounds French” in classical music, which is a real question.
You can do that for many countries, I think of Italy or Russia, or the United Kingdom. There IS a British sound in pop (and classical) music, right? There IS something Russian in Prokofiev’s music. Is it in harmony, style, movement?
Poulenc is unframable, it changes all the time, it’s “insanity and beauty”, triangle and sharp like the Russians, and a second later sweet and dreamy. It’s not that serious, it’s lovely but jerky. It modulates in strange delicious ways…
French composers we know: Ravel and Debussy. You can spend a few weeks with the Web and YouTube to explore what is common or different with these guys. Debussy is fluid, impressionist, Ravel is more “Fauve”, with stronger colors. But that’s not that simple…
From Ravel, listen to the Piano Concerto. From Debussy listen to Nocturnes.
Russian Painters are fantastic. When you need a little “good old academic painting” session, you need a book about Russian painting.
Google : “russian paintings trees”.
You need to have someone on the Internet who explores fields you could like. In music, I talked for a long time to a French guy named EdWood since the nineties (we were among the first French diarists on the web, before it was called “blogging”). He’s an explorer! So every year, he posts his best films or best albums of the year, and I dig!
This week I listened to 50 albums, downloaded plenty, and kept 3 names : Weyes Blood, Anna Meredith, The Twilight Sad.
What is YOUR source for musical discoveries?
I just uploaded a new track on YouTube, and I added a post on the GarageBand SubReddit, telling:
Hi everyone! I had fun yesterday building a crescendo based on a loop of “4 bars” + “4 bars with a modulation”. This makes the audience… need a melody based on it, right?
This is based on a single note called “arr1”, the famous “Moments in Love” Fairlight sound of Art of Noise. I wanted this note to be like a wind (like, in a way, the sound of the wind in Fellini’s movies). I added reverb and some distortion, and it’s just a “Hhhaaaaaaaa” all along the track. The carpet note, if you want.
I found this sound on the web after a few Google searches. “”Moments in Love” Fairlight sound of Art of Noise”.
I added pictures of flowers and frogs to make a YouTube movie.
So it’s 4 chords then 4 other chords with a little modulation. This is boring therefore I literally PILED other sounds with echoes, arpeggios, and some drums here or there. I love stairs!
I separated each step (hhhaaaaa) with a one-bar break. It’s like a… “pause then go on”.
There are two breaks, just for the pleasure of “Let’s climb again”.
In the end, I added louder drums and strings. The two guitars give some relief. They… use the modulation to bring something, I suppose.
Is it acceptable? Should I add a “chorus”? What kind of music is it? Should I use a “I’m a man playing piano notes” over the chords? (I admit I always love to build… little machines). Some lyrics?
Thanks for reading and listening!
The other one is built on a “pianist fingers exercise” (notes around one central note).
My YouTube text:
So I wanted to build an ambient loop around these photos of ants. I lost myself a bit, with this somber piano, but voilà. Insects are cool, right? But ants are cooler when you watch them worrying about « having to go », having to quit, to go away, to find a new home… It’s their dawn, their beginning. Queens within soldiers protecting them until they fly… I played with the idea of unstable harmonies. Some things are sweet, some others are bitter, or uncertain. The music loops but constantly stops. The weaving instruments are sometimes dissonant… this was all a funny game, like Lego.
Game of contrast : acoustic/electronic, reverb/dry, rooted on the loop/evoluting.
What are the most harmonically complex songs of Bob Dylan?, I asked in BobDylan SubReddit. I got many interesting answers…
To Fall in Love With You, which was never really finished, has an extended progression which takes a long long time to get to the key chord.
I’ve always found On a Rainy Afternoon to have a very elegant chord progression, though it wasn’t ever completed. Very simple in the beginning, but the resolution of the progression gets much more involved.
Lay Lady Lay actually has kind of a weird chord progression, which I just realized yesterday.
Nashville Skyline has soooo many amazing changes. Among my top 5 faves
I threw it all away has some funky changes as well now that I think of it
I’m very partial to Tell Me it Isn’t True
I was going to say Oh Sister but I just remembered I thought the other day that it sounded like Knockin on Heavens Door … not Lay Lady Lay … so I am not helpful lol but I want to see if someone knows!
I think it’s similar to All Along the Watchtower, but not exactly the same if I’m remembering correctly
Frankie Lee And Judas Priest – FLJP is G with a capo on the 7th fret (so effectively C), but it’s G, Bm, Am, G (I iii ii) whereas LLL is A, C#m, G, Bm (I iii bVII ii). The G (bVII) in LLL gives it a unique characteristic not present in FLJP. It also gives it a chromatically descending bassline – A – G# – G – F#. I can’t recall any other BD songs with a chromatically descending bassline like that (though I suspect there are some bridges which do it.
House of the resizing sun and death of emmit till have a C/G D/F# F bassline which gets close and simple twist of fate has E, EMaj7, E7, A which gets close but it’s not the bassline so much.
The rolling thunder review SToF were G, Bm, G7, C which is the closest song, in spirit, to LLL I can think of offhand.
Make You feel My Love also has a rather nice chromatically descending bassline.
There is an interesting ascending bassline in the pre-chorus of Too Much of Nothing.
Ballad of a Thin Man has another chromatic descending bassline in the start of the verse.
There it is! I really need to listen to JWH more I’m pretty unfamiliar with it compared to the rest of 60s/70s work
I will say that Dylan and folk music in general though is not where you go for harmonic complexity. If you compare Dylan and, say, Steely Dan or queen by that metric, he’s pretty primitive. But he does have some deceptively great melodies and chord progressions, as evidenced by the number of artists who want to cover his work. And as for that one-of-a-kind voice and those lyrics, well, we all know about that.
One of the first ones that comes to mind is Forever Young Fast Version
Dear Landlord and In the Garden have some interesting stuff going on. A lot of the gospel songs have chord progressions that vary from the “standard” folk patterns.
Black Rider, In the Garden, Dear Landlord.
Just listening to In the Garden, wow, these constant stairs-like modulations (transpositions?) are amazing!
I Contain Multitudes has some pretty complex chords
In search of little Sadie (or whichever of the two plays first on self portrait) has a strange chromatic chord progression that’s very unusual, and it’s literally Dylan reharmonizing an old folk song so that in itself is pretty interesting to me
Dear Landlord. And if I hear it right, blind willie mctell has an interesting chord progression too
Tears of Rage comes to mind, its sooo pretty and a really unique structure. Richard Manuel composed the music to Bob’s words on that one though.
On A Night Like This uses an Am/F# (F# half-diminished)
“In the Garden” is probably the answer, as it modulates four or five times in the space of a verse while the melody employs a couple scales.
“Dear Landlord” modulates all over the place as well
“Black Rider” is a truly novel progression and the final contender for most harmonically advanced song with its chromaticism and modulations.
“Covenant Woman”, “Moonlight”, “I Contain Multitudes”, “Make You Feel My Love”, “Too Much of Nothing”, “Ring Them Bells” all deserve honorable mention but are not as complex as the three listed at the top.
‘Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You’ has some pretty interesting stuff going on. The verses are a pretty straight forward G-C thing, but then in the B-section the C swaps to a minor chord, and all of a sudden there’s an A-flat major thrown in there which transitions back to C-maj and then A-min.
Mama, You Been On My Mind – I believe it is in the key of C and uses an E7, D7, and G#dim7.
Gates of eden really stands out, because most of his early stuff is very simple chord wise. But here he modulated between g major and c major all the time. And then that Bb major comes out of nowhere and it sounds just great. That Bb to C to G is actually kind of an early punk chord progression.
This Wheel’s on Fire has more chords than most Dylan tunes and a diminished chord in there as well, which he doesn’t use a lot. Rick Danko is credited for composing the music with Dylans lyrics.
Baby let me follow you down
“It’s all over now baby blue” which is in C, uses an E major on the transition, which is and sounds interesting
In thE Garden, Dear Landlord, Moonlight, and Black Rider are the ones I see most commonly mentioned here
I’ve seen people post before that In the Garden is probably his most complex song harmonically which I would have to agree with.
I wanted, at the beginning, to sound like English New Wave from the eighties, but I added some percs, and a piano, and I lost everything about this, so there.
I tried many ways to sing the words, then the “Watch it drip, wait for it”, and failed. This is why I whispered all of it.
Really, I like to destroy the usual structure of a song. This is why it doesn’t verse/chorus. This is why I changed the beat in 1’44”, mutation, towards a “walking thing”.
It’s again about “modulation in the 4th bar”, and I think the reason this song exists is in the two guitars in the end.
I used old picture of my mom’s garden in the rain.
Eventail means “fan”, it’s a very complex poem from Mallarmé, which is really funny to interpret. Again, the usual song structure is melted. I added some tunnels with rockets of sound, which lead to this synth sound I love.
I tripled my voice I had to sing very low. The end brings a sweet chaos.
Same garden, another year: rain, birds, insects.
De frigides roses pour vivre Toutes la même interrompront Avec un blanc calice prompt Votre souffle devenu givre
Mais que mon battement délivre La touffe par un choc profond Cette frigidité se fond En du rire de fleurir ivre
A jeter le ciel en détail Voilà comme bon éventail Tu conviens mieux qu’une fiole
Nul n’enfermant à l’émeri Sans qu’il y perde ou le viole L’arôme émané de Méry.
Frigid roses to live
All the same will interrupt
With a white prompt chalice
Your breath turned to frost
But let my beat deliver
The tuft by a deep shock
This frigidity melts
In the laughter of blooming drunk
To throw the sky in detail
Here is a good fan
You are better suited than a vial
No one enclosing with emery
Without losing or violating it
The aroma emanating from Méry.
Someone tries this:
Belonging to Méry Laurent
Frigid roses to exist
all alike will interrupt
your frosted breath
with a quick white calyx
but should my ﬂuttering liberate
the whole bunch with a profound shock
that frigidity will melt into the laughter
of a rapturous blossoming
see how like a good fan
you are better than a phial
at carving the sky into fragments
no ﬂask could be stoppered
without losing or violating
the fragrance of Méry.
Again, a walking bass. I love them! Dong dong dong dong dong. I tried to add less mechanical music. I added string chords, but interrupted them sometimes. I tried another style for the end, a long stroll of bass string going nowhere…
The pictures I took along a long walk strangely fit the song: creatures. Birds. Drawings. Things.
For this one I found an old voice from the London docks, with a bell, announcing something.
The game is the Moby one: add drums, JP, bass, strings, saxes and whistles. Then it’s a puzzle around this loop: adding things/cutting things. I should chorus but nope. I should double the bass with somme upper pianos… maybe.
I’m casual, I know. When I compose I don’t finish. I draft. I need a producer!
Also, I sing and I shouldn’t. But well, I’m the only singer around 🙂
Also, I build films with a few pictures and the Ken Burns effect. I don’t want to finish, it’s boring. Voilà.
These days I have fun with poems.
“Aimez-vous le passé ?” means “Do you love the past?”. I googletranslated the poem for you:
Do you like the past And dream of stories Evocative With erased outlines?
Old rooms Widows of steps Who smell all low Iris and amber;
The pallor of the portraits, The worn-out relics That the dead have kissed, Dear, I would like
May they be dear to you, And talk to you a little Of a dusty heart And full of mystery.
“Veuve de pas” : widowed of steps, meaning “deprived of people walking in these rooms”.
I found pictures I took in Cabourg ten years ago in Normandy (yes it’s near the D-Day beaches), hop, iMovied.
The music is an exercise about obsession: there’s no change, no chorus, it “walks” all the time.
I wrote the bass after hearing “In the Army Now” by Status Quo : dong, dong, dong, dong, adding a tatatatata guitar over it.
The game was to weaveknit chords under this walk. I added little dissonnances in the piano, it’s a bit irritating for ears and all – but now so much. Here it is:
Aimez-vous le passé
Aimez-vous le passé Et rêver d’histoires Évocatoires Aux contours effacés ?
Les vieilles chambres Veuves de pas Qui sentent tout bas L’iris et l’ambre ;
La pâleur des portraits, Les reliques usées Que des morts ont baisées, Chère, je voudrais
Qu’elles vous soient chères, Et vous parlent un peu D’un coeur poussiéreux Et plein de mystère.
Paul-Jean Toulet, Chansons
I wanted to try another one, so I googled “dance in poetry” to find this “Dansez, Petites Reines” (Dance, Little Queens). I found a possible translation (I did not use the whole poem) which changes things a bit:
THE GRANDFATHER'S SONG.
Dance, little Queens,
All in a ring ;
Loves to Lasses
Sweet kisses will bring.
Dance, little Madcaps,
All in a ring ;
The crabbed old mistress
Will grumble and fling.
Dance, little beauties,
All in a ring ;
The birds will applaud you
With clapping of wing.
Dance, little Fairies,
All in a ring ;
With corn-flower garlands
And fair as the spring.
Dance, little women,
All in a ring ;
Each Beau to his Lady
Says some pretty thing.
The game here was to alternate a crappy vintage sound and a more luxurious one in the choruses (voices and instruments). I had fun with the bass line, and linked parts with a golden trumpet.
I found images with ducks for YouTube, because why not, right?
( thequietus.com ) is a magazine about intelligent music, movies and some other arts like graphic novels or architecture. It’s typically the chest-like website, full of possible discoveries.
Many (most of the) musics I don’t like here, but it’s always interesting, even when it’s awful or ridiculous. My brain is playing like a kid with colorbricks, analyzing how the artists push the cork a little or much too far.
Even the texts, the critics, are cool. Vocabulary gives a hint for each musician. “an album designed to both inspire calm as well as disrupt it” makes me want to listen.
What I selected here is, I agree, the less avant-garde possible. My pearls, emeralds and nuggets come often like this, digging, finding
I’ve been amazed by Hen Ogledd (26), who begins like Robert Wyatt then develop a… splendid pleasure of making music (I’m probably influenced by his great eyes). The most adorable guy of the list?
Katie Gately (49 )surprised me with her Waltz. I loved, immediately, the way she marked the first beat of this dance. Then, it’s a crescendo, weaved with surprises, sounds, breaks. It puts her into the territory of Björk, Kate Bush, even Dead Can Dance. Lyricism! Modulation under a bridge, responding voices, changes, this climbing. Fascinating, right?
I found another clip (same musician), which frightens me a bit more, but the clip is so fantastic that I had to keep listening. She explores limits, between pleasure and chaos. This music is like… growing like she’s alive.
I listened the broken things of Malibu Liquor Store, the swarming The Homesick (try The Pawing), the floating pedal steel guitar or Susan Alcorn, the acid synth loops of Lorenzo Senni, the rotating sickness of Sex Swing, the laments of Keeley Forsyth, Nadine Shah, the strange clips of UKAEA, the silly repeats of Horse Lords.
Then Memnon Sa (76 ), an insisting music with synths. Simple and haunted.
Mary Lattimore (35)? Quiet, but neve too much (which is always hard to achieve). Try Ana Roxanne too.
Thanks for reading!
Next to this I found two names you can explore : Chapelier Fou & Olafur Arnalds. Good day!
I read a good book about a… harpsichord player. I found ideas. Here they are.
The easy question is “What is it?”. Another question is “What does that mean?”, therefore “What does the artist want to say to us?”. This is a totally higher question, right? Instead of the work, you ask about the artist’s mind, and their will. Does art need a meaning, after all?
Where should we, instead of focusing of things in front of us, focus on what the maker wants?
If you are a Bach (b 1685) specialist and you want to study or play Mozart (b 1762), you have to make a jump in time and music, and Mozart will appear very modern. But if you come from 19th Century, it will feel like a loss.
From where will you come, to study this or that?
If you’re enthusiastic, do you master your work?
Does elegance need the existence of another person? What about the idea telling that real elegance consists in not getting noticed. And Balzac says that to reveal some economy of means is inelegant.
It’s from Latin “elegans”: who knows how to choose.
A pretentious simplicity, does that exist?
Goethe : When an intention is too visible, it irritates
Who plays – and how – the tango of strength/delicacy?
Purity of the sensation, or of the landscape?
When you touch the harpsichord‘s key, the note appears, that simple. There’s no possibilities of ppp or fff. It’s “the note”, always the same intensity, it’s a yes or no thing.
Without any possibity of nuances, of touch, the subtleties must come from elwhere: the phrases.
Where else do we have this?
“Deep understanding” and at the same time, “spontaneity” (or precision/passion). Both. Same time.
Where? Sex? Conversation? Acting? What kind of skill is this?
When a rule emerges, its exceptions appear at the same time.
In French: “Déroger à la règle” (The English “to contravene” and “to infringe” sound “to go against”, to fight, but the French one sounds “to take a hidden door”, to depart from, to invent my own path).
An artist who knows enough rules to depart from them: to explore/invent.
What is a work of art with simultaneity of significations? Sorrow and courage at the same time; violence and sweetness; pride and vanity. What kind of richness is that?
“To admit” (it’s the same in French, admettre) is a curious verb: to confess, to acknowledge, to allow entry, to accept validity, to place, to permit, to conceide or recognize.
A style emerges, how?
When can’t we prevent aggravation (or stop worsening)?
Baudelaire: The restless crowd, whipped on by pleasure
Do you produce differently (by other means) or something else?
Is the existence of the past Law, or Force?
Acknowlegment or recognition? Even gratitude, if you push?
Which one is the most interesting? Beauty created by nature, or beauty created by men?
Could you go that far, without the resistance of it?
It is the moment to explore Japanese Post Rock because why not.
So what is “Post Rock”? Let’s Wiki:
Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock instrumentation with electronics.
Good! The tool here is easy:
Find a field you don’t know at all
Explore a micro-part of it
It can be Hungarian jewelry, or Italian photography, and then you choose a century, or a single artist…
The game here is to listen to things, randomly, like a kid picks up shells on a shore. Here we go:
A Picture of Her is a bit boring with their jazz-rock, technical and with a always-the-same guitar sound.
Anoice: Quiet music with piano, sometimes a little dissonant, sometimes a little “japanish”. Climates, like sad movie music. Some violin. I like it, and some colors are interesting, but… too shy.
Behind the Shadow Drops: simplistic naive melancholia is terrible, right? It is! There’s a laziness, here. Dumb ideas stretched for too long. Not a single harmonic spark. Shame!
Floating in Space has the same problem, but it’s a little better. Too much sugar, and no colors. I couldn’t find a single good track.
Gargle is mildly more interesting, because of the accordion. But, well, sigh…
Kukangendai is Math Rock (a subdivision of Post Rock, more complex). This music is pulsating, it’s like watching fabric, or machines. I find it boring but interesting. Brain, brain, brain. No body.
Lite is much, much better. They’re good, fast, intellingent, complex :
Mono seems the most prolific band on this list. Plenty of albums, between prog rock and film music. They take their time, and they like big badaboum crescendoes. It sounds sometimes like Joe Hisaishi. It’s too conventional for me, but many people love them! Here’s a best of :
Mouse on the Keys, two keyboards and a drummer! More dynamic, more jazz, I like it with a but, always. A bit too… disheveled, maybe?
Nabowa? Cool! :
Ovum seems to like loud music and electric guitars, hmmm.
Qujaku, dark, intense, too much.
Toe, math rock, it knits! :
World’s End Girlfriend, the lone young genius type. First album, 15 years old. Devilish energy in the 1st vid, and a cool waltz to finish this page.
Thanks for reading! What did you like here?
(For this last one wait until 5:20 for a cloud of fantastic harmonies)
Most of the time, I don’t listen to my Shazams afterward. I did it because of “an element”, a sound, an idea, something which made my eyebrow upping up. If I “like” the YouTube film, I’ll find them back one day. Maybe.
S. Decoster, because it was the end credit music of a great quirky French movie called “Perdrix” (“The Bare Necessity” in English). Nothing great here but I Shazamed it though, probably because the movie was hilarious and balanced.
The loopy “Je veux être à vous” means “I want to be yours”, BUT as you know, French has two “you”, the you for the persons you know well, and the you for the persons you don’t. Thus “I want to be you” with the “polite you” is charged differently, because it’s adressed to someone you don’t know from a long time.
Poltrock, Mute #2, navigates in interesting waters. Quiet piano music can easily be sugary – here it’s not because of the modulations of course :
Bon Entendeur, Basta Cosi, a sound, and a singer who does not sing but speaks.
Portugal The man, Fell it Still, the groove?
Lana Del Rey, For Free, a Joni Mitchell cover??! The song is splendid, and Del Rey has a good idea to sing un-reverbed, it whispers in ears. It modulated all along like smoke. Joni’s version stays much better of course. Here are some of the lyrics:
I slept last night in a good hotel I went shopping today for jewels The wind rushed around in the dirty town And the children let out from the schools
I was standing on a noisy corner Waiting for the walking green Across the street he stood and he played real good On his clarinet, for free
Nobody stopped to hear him Though he played so sweet and high They knew he had never been on their TV So they passed his music by
Sting, Mad about you. Great song, right? Production is strange, it’s like… rustling, quivering:
Mahsa Vahdat & Mighty Sam McClain, Ambassador of Hearts.
Naïssam Jalal, Un sourire au cœur.
Duran Duran, Save a Prayer, and old thing I listen today with new ears, the bass line, the attemps for vocal harmonies, the chorus which climbs then falls back, modulations like stairs.
Mansfield. TYA, Ni morte ni connue, for the “old French new-wave” sound. Neither dead neither well-known.
Celeste, Love is back, because the vintage sound, the smiling desire to compose a similar base, and the broken Amy-like voice.
Colman Jones, Kiev, a dreamy walk in an unknown city under lukewarm clouds:
Ophélie Gaillard, Dos Gardenias, makes me ask someone to dance in the dark:
Have a nice day! Je vous souhaite une très belle journée.
This little article is about the fact that between two artists you often choose the “obvious” one, but sometimes you come back to the choice and pick up the other one, because… Let’s see.
When I was 30 I watched Fellini‘s movies in awe, with a smile, and a question mark above my head. He looked like a clever silly artist, full of exaggerations and weird images, cf Satyricon. And I also watched Antonioni‘s movies, like Eclisse. This guy seemed much more serious, full of clever questions about incommunicability in couples and deep thoughts about the sense of life.
More than 20 years later, I still adore Antonioni and I often watch his movies, but I prefer, by far, Fellini today. I explored his worlds, read a lot about his work, analysis, and interviews, and I realized the… richness of all of it. The baroque, the myths, the fragmented aspects of reality. It’s vast, clever, sensitive…
So, I see the “obvious” choice in many things, today. Because we change and we age, of course, we go deeper. We understand deeper the idea of efforts, which lead to extensive discoveries.
I have another example with the double-headed Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. I read a lot about them, I listened and dismantle their music. And of course, I preferred Lennon! He’s stronger, takes more risk, he’s the fool who wrote the Walrus (while McCartney wrote Yesterday). Lennon is spicy, Macca is sweet. Voilà.
But the more you dig, you realize that McCartney is stronger, is a better musician. He wrote Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which is a splendid masterpiece, very quietly though.
So I always loved Brahms, who is strong, heavy, very Taurus, with earthian symphonies and concertos, and I didn’t like Schubert, whose music is closer to Mozart. But today Schubert’s Great is unreachable. I eventually found out the nuggets, the colors, the subtleties in this…
The structure here is simple:
We often have choices between similar things. One seems obvious, and we choose this one. But sometimes we reconsider things and we bend over the other one, to find out that its treasures were maybe hidden, too subtle, or complex/difficult. It’s a tango!
I heard some music from Brazil, but I did not want to learn about their rhythms or about their scales, thus I wrote stupid lyrics about a guy in love with a contrary of a Brazilian girl : slow, pale, with a small behind. Found a beat, a big Liverpool bass (because why not) and played with bars where the 2nd bar is dissonnant.
I added “my idea” of an Elton John’s piano, sang (4 layers!) in Portuguese (like a Spanish cow), added a storm, a crowd, whistles, and voilà!
I saw this violonist, walking, a sad Hungary figure, on a Sabine Weiss photography. I wanted to build a Tom Waits’ like waltz, a slow one. I sing very badly, so I added this sad harmonica, a crazy fly-like Chinese violin, and silly noises of a dog and cars. The waltz itself is broken, not following the 3/4 at times.
Totally drafty, but I posted it eventually. Non Finito.