Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Unacceptable hiatus

I thought since Alex Ross was taking the summer off I might as well too. Not really, I'm still just biding my time until arriving in Boston. I'm writing a book too, but his will be cooler than mine. Unless you live in Oshkosh. However, on his blog I did stumble upon a column concerning Frank Martin, whose "Quatre Pieces Breves" I've been working on throughout the summer.

In the column Alex Ross freely admits that Frank Martin is no household name, but he holds a special place in the hearts of many guitarists since his "Pieces" is one of the first great breaks with the Iberian tradition that Segovia firmly enforced during his tenure as "the" guitarist. Martin wrote the gnarly, angular work in 1933 for Segovia, who promptly rejected it, and it wouldn't see much light until Julian Bream (who service to post-tonal music is often overlooked compared to his work with early music, funny how those always seem to go together) championed it in the 60s just before Martin's death.

However like most guitarists I haven't explored much beyond that, so when Alex Ross describes him as "one of the greatest religious composers of the past two hundred years" it's a bit like being handed a locked box. Is there anything it? Does it matter? Such concepts are harder to decipher when you don't have, you know, words. Searching for meaning within the brambles and tone rows should be a acceptable musicological challenge until I arrive on the East.

Sorry if it's a bit anti-climatic. I found $5.

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