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#1022836 - 12/22/08 10:57 PM Minimalism - Meredith Monk
xcal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 78
A link on LearnJazzPiano led me to www.pianotoday.com and an article by W.A. Mathieu. Here's an excerpt:
 Quote:

...(Minimalism) helped spawn the commercial phenom called New Age music... Meredith Monk's Railroad (Travel Song) is a classic example of pianistic minimalism from 1981. Since it is brief, deep, witty, and relatively easy to play, perhaps a little painless analysis would point up what all the fuss is about and, perhaps, draw you into its charms.
I thought that was interesting so I bought the music for Railroad and recorded it, in case any ABF members would like to hear Ms Monk's music. I haven't seen any New Age scores but based on what I've heard from ABF members posting recordings I'd say this Railroad tune is easier than the typical New Age piece. It's fun to play. Very minimalist - the left hand consists of a simple two-note pattern repeated from start to end.

I added a train to the beginning and end (why have a digital piano if you can't play trains once in a while?). I also added a bell on the first beat of each measure (the meter changes frequently) and brushes on the beat. I also messed it up a couple of places. \:\(

Rairoad (Travel Song) by Meredith Monk
(It's only a couple of minutes long) \:\)
http://www.box.net/shared/5gjxh1iguy

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#1022837 - 12/23/08 04:43 AM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1588
Loc: Edinburgh
Hi xcal

Really nice piece - and well played! I haven't heard of Merideth Monk before, but will check out her other music. Thanks!

Euan.

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#1022838 - 12/23/08 06:13 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
xcal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 78
Thank you Euan!

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#1022839 - 12/23/08 06:23 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
Beautiful,

Serge
_________________________

“Being able to hear recorded music freed up loads of musicians that couldn't necessarily afford to learn to read or write music. With recording, it was emancipation for the people.”
-Keith Richards


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#1022840 - 12/23/08 08:21 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
xcal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 78
Thank you Serge!

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#1022841 - 12/23/08 08:26 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20747
Loc: Oakland
A choral piece of hers was performed at the show I tuned for Friday.

The production manager for a series I tune for sings with her.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1022842 - 12/23/08 10:16 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
Riddler Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 547
Loc: Florida
Xcal, that was terriffic! If you hadn't told us who wrote it, I would have sworn it was a Phillip Glass piece for a movie scene that takes place on a rickety old train, with intimations of something ominous, but nothing happens. (Yet!)

Ed
_________________________
http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.


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#1022843 - 12/24/08 12:39 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Ooh... I liked this one! I wouldn't call it new age at all, though; it seemed pure minimalism through and through.

I liked the addition of the bells... it added a nice higher contrast to the steady melody.

You made me want to get a digital so I could have fun adding railroad noises etc. to pieces. \:\)
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My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1022844 - 12/24/08 01:17 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
xcal - Interesting piece - brief and relatively easy to play? Yes. Deep and witty? Well . . .
Maybe that's the part you "messed up" (as you say) ;\)

I was a little surprised that the tempo was so "uptempo" - for some reason I was thinking that minimalism meant minimal in everything - not sure where I got that idea -apparently my thinking is somewhat minimalist also :p

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1022845 - 12/24/08 03:48 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
xcal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 78
BDB:
 Quote:
The production manager for a series I tune for sings with her
Thanks for that info BDB. Small world. My grandkids will be very surprised that I played a piece written by someone who's above ground. ;\)

Riddler, I really appreciate your comments. It is a bit melodramatic, isn't it.

Monica, I agree, this is Minimalism, not New Age. (I sent it to some friends with this message: Warning!!! This is art music :p )
I was just attempting a comparison with the New Age style in terms of difficulty. This piece wants to be played. I'm glad you liked it.

JF, undoubtedly I messed up the deep part and the train and bells probably drained some of the water out.
I played it at the upper metronome marking for the piece. But even at the lower end it zips right along. Fast or slow, the blinking red dot just gets me everytime.

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#1022846 - 12/24/08 06:24 PM Re: Minimalism - Meredith Monk
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by xcal:
My grandkids will be very surprised that I played a piece written by someone who's above ground. ;\)

[/b]
:D
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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