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pittura..............musica..............illuminazione............architettura.............parole perse...........



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  (fingerpainting with sound)
   

"Hey what's that stuff all over your head?"
"Where? I don't see anything."
"I think you might have stepped in some god poop."

- Curb Your God, from "Songs That Will Never Win A Grammy"

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    Sometime in the late 90's, i became interested
in adapting il lessico to music. Computer
music technology was now affordable and i was able to create things and hear them back instantly without the need for other musicians to read from a score.
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So how does il lessico apply to music?

Since both music and ART are often talked about in reference to design elements (texture, line, form, etc...) the notes themselves have very little to do with it.

It's what's between the notes, the overall character and sound of the music, the attitude, where one can see/hear a connection.

   
The music started with an idea that came out of my head or the piano
like this improvisation:

BettysBastardBopBits* **

     
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the primeTime sublime

a:    a suburb of contemporary society located somewhere between the soul and the mind

b:    elevating and inspiring awe, beauty or transcendent excellence from that which is banal and meaningless

c:    reducing and commercializing that which is unique, complex and sacred to something meaningless and banal

c:    all of the above and none of the above

   

From around 2001 to 2008, i composed, recorded and produced 3 CD's with the primeTime sublime Community Orchestra (New Music that doesn't fit anywhere).

The music received radio airplay in over 60 countries around the world, mostly in Europe and the U.S. on public, university and community radio stations, and in Italy and England on the national stations, RAI and the BBC.

The music was also licensed to production companies that produced programs on cable TV in the U.S. on stations such as MTV, VH1, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, A & E, The Biography Channel and some others i don't remember.

Usually only snippets of the music were used here and there: under a scene with dialogue or as transition music between scenes. This was somewhat lucrative, comparatively speaking, and i still receive royalties occasionally (well...trickles of dollars one month, nothing the next - they mysteriously appear in my checking account and i don't know from where).

 
 


               
The basic agenda: the fusion, juxtaposition and/or superimposition of simpler music
                                              (various forms of popular music, at times chessy and
                                              rather banal)  with more complex music (mostly avant-garde jazz,
                                              classical, electronic music) guided by a sense of humor and irony.


This is an arrangement of "Caravan" by
Duke Ellington.
The actual melody doesn't come in until towards
the end, but all the music is based off of it.

Caravan

 
    So it's really about integrating extremes,
the result being a
'sonic salad of diverse music styles and
surreal associations',
as one music critic put it.
       
     

The CDs:

 

(     )

     

A Life in a Day of a Microorganism

     

Songs That Will Never Win a Grammy


Strictly instrumental, the 1st CD combines western and non western instruments/ sounds (orchestral instruments, sitar, pipa, african percussion, electric guitar, synthesizer, samples of garbage trucks, Tahitian and American Indian chants, farm animals, sexual moans, etc...), with a fusion of many musical styles - rock, jazz, country, hiphop, contemporary classical, various ethnic musics, "avant-garde" sounds, film music styles, R&B, 1950's easy listening and cartoon music.

Music that blurs stylistic boundaries and has no answer for
"What Kind Of Music Is It?" 

 

     


More of the same but the 2nd CD takes a more cinematic approach and features a narrated story about a dysfunctional family of microorganisms in the style of a mid-20th century, elementary school science film (and just like a school film can be kind of boring to listen to).

The 1st half is a combination of instrumentals and sound-collage narratives created by splicing bits and pieces of dialogue and sounds from mostly TV commercials, film and the internet.

The 1st "tune" on the CD is Fashion Flag for a Part-time Patriot, a reference to all the SUV's that had little american flags sticking out the window right after the WTC tragedy on Sept. 11th, 2001.
(That lasted about a year.)

     


Songs, mostly pop songs with vocals sung by a computer and "avant-garde music" that interrupts, supports, fades in, fades out, dominates or destroys.
(Samuel Beckett and Edgar Varese at DisneyLand)

Just Do Me Tonight integrates bits of a recording of a cheesy lounge act at Murphy's Sea Bay Inn in NJ made sometime in the 70's with orchestral strings, piano and woodwinds, and a silly little song about wanting sex.
(Charles Ives meets Wayne Newton)

As silly and light-hearted as it is, the CD ends with a
nuclear explosion in the "song" Rainbow Seeds of Mass Destruction, (a reference to Saddam Hussein and GW Bush) concluding on a philosophical note -
It Will Be Over Before Ya' Know it
(which can be heard here at the bottom
of the page)

 
CD artwork (click to enlarge/scroll):  
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You can hear excerpts here.

Here are 2 more piano improvisations:

postponing eternity one more time* **

 

waltz in the 7th dimension* **

* recorded live at Carnegie Hall, September 7th, 2008 at the primeTime sublime Community ORchestra Farewell Concert 
** no not really  
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minotto il disegno in tutto

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