New Book Contains Chapter On Lennie

General Discussion
B T
Posts: 103
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Postby B T » Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:24 am

Marv Friedenn wrote:The gathering at Lennie's studio occurs BEFORE the overdub is an issue. For the record in question has just been released and few have even heard it not to mention reviewed it. If Leonard Bernstein has acquired a copy, it's because he's an enthusiastic fan of Lennie's. Leonard is aware of the technology. He just wants Lennie to confirm that that's the technology he (Lennie) used. Therefore, since Leonard's motive for asking is probably just friendly interest, like I say, why Lennie prevaricates is more than I can fathom. Surely Leonard Bernstein could be expected to appreciate the music however contrived. In fact the more overdubs the better until the sound approaches the raucus tatoo of a driving rainstorm pelting a tin roof! (Leonard might have thought.)


LT isn't around to ask, so all we are left with is mere speculation. All I can come up with is the importance of just taking the music in, without pre-judging it. Beats me.

I like to be in America!
OK by me in America!
I like to be in America!
OK for me in Amer- REE-cah ...

Marv Friedenn
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:34 am

Postby Marv Friedenn » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:23 pm

Owing to sluggish sales, I feel I should plug my book. Here is the credo of fortune worship. The reader can recite it to see if it applies: "If I believe in good luck or bad luck, then I believe in magic. Moreover, if I believe that I only live once, then I must have my magic now or never. So that if the operation of magic is not obvious, then it must be subtle, how subtle depending on how badly I need to feel enchanted in order to get through the day." Sermon On The Flats: The Egalitarian Alternative To Fortune Worship (psst press). <end of commercial>

To be more musically specific about Lennie's critique of mainstream culture (Supersonic, On A Planet, Air Pocket, Celestia, Freedom, Parallel, Apellation, Abstraction, Palimpsest, all songs on the 1946-1947 Classics CD), there's the expression to be out of tune with the times, right? Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't atonality being out of tune with the times on a regular basis? And when the atonal melodies are not just parodying or satirizing tonal melodies (the tonal melodies representing the status quo, right?) but take on a life of their own as in the above mentioned songs (and preeminently in Wally Cirillo's improvisation on the 5th Variation of John LaPorta's Theme And Variations (Fantasy FCD 24776-2), Wally being a former student of Lennie's, right?), not just protesting the cultural values embodied by tonality but feeling themselves to be attractive and worthy of emulation in their own right; and groping toward someplace new and strange and wonderful where the dislocation and alienation of which they sing become a badge of solidarity instead of estrangement, then doesn't what began as an instinctive gesture of protest become the anthem of art for art, when the atonal melodies finally arrive at the capital melody of all atonal melodies, in San Atonia, where, heaving and writhing like a pile of snakes, they rear up on their codas and, home at last, intone with artless simplicity the major chords of the Internationale?

In spite of BT and my manful attempts previously to distinguish art for art from protest, I fear they're indistinguishable. Therefore, the best I can do is prove that BT's heavy investment in art for art is quite as subjective as mine in protest art. But in order to do that, I need to learn BT's opinion of the human condition, the expression of which, he admits, made him persona non grata on a few websites, I hope not on his dad's.

B T
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:49 pm

Postby B T » Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:45 pm

Marv Friedenn wrote:Owing to sluggish sales, I feel I should plug my book. ... Sermon On The Flats: The Egalitarian Alternative To Fortune Worship (psst press). <end of commercial>


Yes, this is the Sermon thread after all. Its about time we got back to it.

Marv Friedenn wrote:To be more musically specific about Lennie's critique of mainstream culture (Supersonic, On A Planet, Air Pocket, Celestia, Freedom, Parallel, Apellation, Abstraction, Palimpsest, all songs on the 1946-1947 Classics CD), there's the expression to be out of tune with the times, right? Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't atonality being out of tune with the times on a regular basis? And when the atonal melodies are not just parodying or satirizing tonal melodies (the tonal melodies representing the status quo, right?) but take on a life of their own ...

not just protesting the cultural values embodied by tonality but feeling themselves to be attractive and worthy of emulation in their own right; and groping toward someplace new and strange and wonderful where the dislocation and alienation of which they sing become a badge of solidarity instead of estrangement, then doesn't what began as an instinctive gesture of protest become the anthem of art for art, when the atonal melodies finally arrive at the capital melody of all atonal melodies, in San Atonia, where, heaving and writhing like a pile of snakes, they rear up on their codas and, home at last, intone with artless simplicity the major chords of the Internationale?


At a stone wall in San Atonia ... pondering art and protest ...

Marv Friedenn wrote:In spite of BT and my manful attempts previously to distinguish art for art from protest, I fear they're indistinguishable.


(psst ... referencing an old thread ... )

Life imitates art or art imitates life?
:arrow: Remember the Alamo!

Marv Friedenn wrote:Therefore, the best I can do is prove that BT's heavy investment in art for art is quite as subjective as mine in protest art. But in order to do that, I need to learn BT's opinion of the human condition, the expression of which, he admits, made him persona non grata on a few websites, I hope not on his dad's.


Coming soon. It's Keith's site.

Marv Friedenn
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:34 am

Postby Marv Friedenn » Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:21 am

Here's an Easter egg in memory of Lennie. It's a preface to an unobtainable GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS which I self-published in 1982. It's entitled Lucky Toss Nets God.

"When I was ten years old, I threw a wooden ring around a clothespin at a carnival in Worcester, Massachusetts and was handed a plaster of paris figurine of Jesus. Since it was the first prize I had ever won, I thought it the most beautiful object in the world. My cup of joy--to quote a song which the three Greeley sisters standing behind a picket fence in Boston a few years earlier had sung to me at the end of our day of play--was full and running over. However, my mother's resistance to the idea of installing in a Jewish home the graven image of Yoska in retaliation for whose death--so she believed--the Nazis had recently exterminated some seven million Jews, was not to be overcome by her son's stormy protest that one thing had nothing to do with the other. Jesus stood by my bed for one night. When I returned from school the following day, a desperate search through the garbage can proved that my rightful inheritance, the tangible portent of a glorious future, had vanished forever.

"More than three decades later I am still rummaging for my plaster of paris Jesus. That figurine is mine. I want it back!"
Last edited by Marv Friedenn on Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

B T
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:49 pm

Postby B T » Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:32 am

Marv Friedenn wrote:Here's an Easter egg in memory of Lennie. It's a preface to an unobtainable GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS which I self-published in 1982. It's entitled Lucky Toss Nets God.


Nice segue to what I want to say. Its got just about everything in it.
Symbols and symbolism. Idolatry. Theology and political science. The masses. And it ties in with your book very well. Would you call that a story of fortune worship?

B T
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:49 pm

Postby B T » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:04 am

Marv Friedenn wrote:In spite of BT and my manful attempts previously to distinguish art for art from protest, I fear they're indistinguishable. Therefore, the best I can do is prove that BT's heavy investment in art for art is quite as subjective as mine in protest art.


One last thing before I state my case.

Remember, we were talking about one of our favorite subjects - music. Discussion is always great. But it just backfires when people get "fundamentalistic" about their point of view. It really doesn't matter whether its art, entertainment, or protest. Let the bluegrass guy say its too electric, the bluesman say its too fast, the shredder say its not fast enough, the metalhead say its not loud enough, the jazzbo say its not harmonically complex enough, the classical snob say it was written after 1899 ...

Not only that, but by rigidly excluding the ego you are including it!

Its as easy as falling off a log - just let go - and let the magic of music take over. Which is love. It sounds like silly hippy shit, but its true. And when the old rocker says, "sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll", he really means, "love, life, and music". If I have a heavy investment in anything, its love. And if anybody cares enough to put a stone where ever I may rest in peace, may my epitaph say:

The fool believed in love till the day he died.

Marv Friedenn
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:34 am

Postby Marv Friedenn » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:13 pm

While we're waiting for BT to respond, I'll describe my favorite film. It's twelve hours long, from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. It's set in what used to be called Burma. There's a tree in Burma where the fireflies from miles around gather once a year (I forget when). When they arrive in the evening, they're all out of synch with each other. But by moring they flash in unison.

B T
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:49 pm

Postby B T » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:33 am

While I'm mulling over Ben Hur and Platoon, let me preface my little presentation with my favorite bumper sticker. I saw it on a car parked in Squirrel Hill, a suburb of Pittsburgh PA ...

Lord, protect me from your followers


Let me also recommend a book:
Sam Harris - The End of Faith
(2005 W. W. Norton & Company)

give me a moment ...

Marv Friedenn
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:34 am

Postby Marv Friedenn » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:48 pm

While BT gathers his thoughts, let me lay to rest the overdub contraversy. By introducing Lee Konitz's testimony regarding the overdub discussion in Lennie's studio, Eunmi Shim clears up the matter at least to my satisfaction. There was more one-upsmanship going on than I allowed for in my previous analysis. (For example, William Kapell playing Mozart at fingerbreaking speed to prove he's as fast as Lennie!) Furthermore, John LaPorta's criticism of Lennie's ethics is naive, since John fails to consider that Lennie is wearing two hats: that of an entrepreneur and that of an artist. As an entrepreneur Lennie is well within his rights to refuse to disclose to the competition, that is to Leonard Bernstein and William Kapell, both of whom we presume, are highly interested in selling records, the advanced technology that distinguishes his product from theirs. On the other hand, by failing to disclose the overdub, Lennie gives himself more credit as a performing artist than he deserves, which is John's point. All this simply illustrates that Lennie is no exception to the rule to which he more than anyone subscribes, namely, that the ethics of commerce and art are incompatible.

Marv Friedenn
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Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:34 am

Postby Marv Friedenn » Wed May 02, 2007 6:43 pm

What happened to BT? To pass the time until he posts I offer the following review. Is it valid?

SESSION (1997)Connie Crothers, Lennie Popkin, Carol Tristano, Rich Califano

The composed melodies played in unison by Crothers and Popkin are designer lennie tristano solos which, true to the source, are enchantingly unpredictable. They are seductive and amusing narratives always just a hair's breadth away from breaking into speech. Collected together they make a valuable if inconspicuous contribution to the contemporary song book: tone rows with bebop icing. The harmony of the compositions on the cd are uniformly skewed as are the solos which rise and fall in tone rows but without the icing; as if bebop is old enough now to be an embarrassment, like swing was to bebop. Except we’re not sure what musical style bebop embarrasses. The bebop phrasing of the unison work keeps the row under melodic tension. In her solos, however, Crothers releases that tension in order to present the tone row in its purity. But without that melodic spring the watch is either stopped or timeless--hard to tell which. Popkin also loosens up the bebop accentuation with the regretable result that his solos seem wimpy-sensitive. Carol’s solos are zen sound gardens. Carol and Rich are on top of the beat even when the eerily introspectral excursions of Connie and Lennie don’t really require a pulse.

Every atom is lonely.
Every atom is blue.
That’s why they cluster
into me and you.


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