Thursday, March 15, 2007

Getting your music on iTunes

For all of my friends who want to make it to the big time, Tunecore has come to the rescue. With recording technology available to almost anyone with a computer, now you can distribute your files through most online retailers. including iTunes and Rhapsody. Best of all, Tunecore doesn't take a percentage of the sales. All the money comes to you. There are setup and posting fees, but from the company's own figures, it costs less that $20 bucks to upload 5 tracks to several online stores. Hopefully my classical colleagues will take advantage of this service, since most of their repertoire is in the public domain. But you say you don't have studio-grade mics and preamps at home to do this kind of stuff? I think the public would like to hear rougher quality "basement tapes" of most artists, classical or otherwise, for the appearance of intimacy might trump what these recordings lack in audio fidelity. And if the public takes to you, they might seek out your public performances for a higher quality listening experience. A strange thing to say post-Beatles and Glenn Gould, but true nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

György Ligeti - documentary 1993 - part 4 of 4

Thanks to French TV for making the best documentary on a composer I've ever seen. This hour long portrait of Ligeti includes information about his childhood, life in post-Stalin Hungary and covers most of his life as a composer in Western Europe. I've included the last part here not only for it's cameos of Aimard and The King's Singers, but as an added bonus, the only film footage I've ever seen of Nancarrow with his player piano. Ligeti's french is not very complex, so anyone with some high school exposure to the language should be able to follow along. Finane, are you listening? Special thanks to Tibor Torontali for bringing this to my attention, as well as making some thoughtful comments on my earlier Ligeti post.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Mitsuko Uchida on Schoenberg's Piano Concerto

Another great find by the Arnold Schoenberg Center! In their continuing quest to bring all things Schoenberg to the online community (including all of his works thorough streaming MP3), they've uploaded quite a bit of video to YouTube, including this great clip of Mitsuko Uchida talking about Schoenberg's Piano Concerto.

What continually amazes me about Schoenberg is that despite his many personal failings (friends and allies were frequently the target of his caustic wit if he felt that their devotion was suspect), I can think of no other figure in music history other that Richard Wagner to garner such fanatic support amongst his enthusiasts. Uchida is simply bursting with her love and passion for the work, and hopefully some of that enthusiasm with garner the work some more (sorely) needed fans.

As an added bonus you can hear Uchida perform part of the work in concert below.