I Wanted Music, They Brought the Noise – Call Me Ol’ Skool

I see some unimpressed faces here.

Recently, Marc schlepped us along to a saxophone quartet ensemble in hopes of reconnecting to the days of yore when he was a blossoming saxophonist. Marc has recently rekindled his interest in the saxophone and has even brushed off the 25 year old dust from his high school instrument and has been honking it around the house.

Ever mindful of being on the look out for new and interesting experiences to share with the girls, we came upon this opportunity to a free concert at Old Cabell Hall on the grounds of the University of Virginia.  We felt this was a splendid opportunity to venture into a beautiful theater and be awash in the melodic sounds of the evenings performers.

Our girls are young musicians in training, so we are attempting to incorporate more musical outings to tune their ears toward growing a larger appreciation for all things instrumental.

Boy, was he (as well as we) in for a shocker!

Bring the Noise

Instead of the melodic and harmonious or smooth and silky, what we got was raspy and edgy and not in a good way.  The sounds we heard from this “far out” modern ensemble left us…..well, scratching our heads as we tried to make sense of the noise we were hearing.

There was screeching, scratching, squeaking, wailing, and harsh abrupt tone changes and textures.  There were the unusual and inhuman sounds of them only blowing air into their horns for what seemed like an eternity.  We were forced to uncomfortably watch as they began to contort into bizarre body movements, convulsing like shimmies as they writhed and wriggled back and forth in their seats to our amazement.

Some of it literally sounded like the proverbial nails on a chalk board, while at other points it sounded like whale calls.

On this night, we witnessed what I suppose some would consider to be the evolution of music – The added complexities of incorporating automation, video footage, unusual sound effects, and antics to entice more of your senses, such as onstage flashing light bulbs.

Call Me Ol’ Skool

What the heck was with all the blowing into the horns making wind sounds or ocean sounds just under the threshold of a musical note? Not to mention tones that reminded me of my middle school band tuning up before our practice session.

These performers left me thinking about how some styles of music have evolved over the years, so much that it’s barely recognizable as music.  Granted I am a bit ol’ skool and prefer a more traditional musical aesthetic.

But I’m not the only one!

Listed in the program, one of the composers proudly displays two of his critics reviews which described his music as “interesting…I guess”, and “the sound just ruined my day.”

Need I say more?

Actually, I’d like to add my own – “An annoying discombobulation,” and “wildly inarticulate.”

I must concede that it was certainly a fun evening none the less.

Nice try Marc, but I’ll stick with traditional, even contemporary, but I must say no thank you to this sort of new age “music.”

enjoy these sound bytes.

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