Music for mallet instruments, voices and organ (Steve Reich, 1973)

Just came across this fantastic version of Steve Reich’s Music for mallet instruments, voices and organ (1973), by ensemble Alarm will Sound. I can vividly imagine this music to sound during the creation of a universe – or two.

Great interview (in Dutch, Groene Amsterdammer, 1985) by Frits van der Waa here.

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St. James Infirmary by Koko the Clown (1933)

Gorgeous classic Betty Boop from 1933. Check out Koko the Clown (sung by Cab Calloway) stealing the show from 4.20 on – the beautiful way he dances! Fleischer’s animator Doc Crandall used¬†Rotoscope¬†(invented by Max Fleischer) to be able to transpose Calloway’s famous dance moves into animation. ‘An undisputed highlight of cartoon surrealism, matched by very few other cartoons’, says Dr. Grob’s Animation Review. Can’t stop watching Koko and his ghost version dancing.. His movements are simply gorgeous, the feet timing brilliant. Calloway’s rendition of this early jazz standard has a haunting quality of its own. Listen to his unique phrasing, the way it propels the meaning of the words. Chilled to the bone..

Folks, I’m goin’ down to St. James Infirmary
To see my baby there;
She’s stretched out on a long, white table
She’s so sweet, so cold, so fair

Let her go, let her go, God bless her
Wherever she may be
She will search this wide world over
But she’ll never find another sweet man like me

Now when I die, bury me in my straight-leg britches
Put on a box-back coat and a Stetson a-hat
Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain
So you can let all the boys know I died standing fair

Folks, now that you have heard my story
Say, boy, hand me over another shot of that booze;
If anyone should ask you
Tell ‘em I’ve got those St. James Infirmary blues

Byrne interviews Byrne

In an attempt to bypass promotional interviews for the movie Stop Making Sense (1984), Byrne decided to interview himself. Besides being outrageously funny performing as several interviewer types, Byrne as interviewee excels as usual with some razorsharp observations like ‘music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head’. Hence the legendary big suit: to make his head smaller! I cheered out loud at home watching this, when Byrne states that ‘the better the singer’s voice, the harder it is to believe what they are saying’. The lovesong he sings to a lamp is ofcourse this gem, a personal favourite.

all anxieties tranquilized

network
Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976. Met: Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, William Holden, scenario: Paddy Chayefsky).

Arthur Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it! Is that clear? You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU… WILL… ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.

Howard Beale: Why me?

Arthur Jensen: Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.

Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.