Sunday, January 18, 2009

MUSICAL UMAMI

Here was my Sunday homework for next week's class, in case you want to emulate:

a. The first 10 seconds of Stevie Wonder's Superstition, on repeat, over headphones. Close your eyes and concentrate on those hi-hats -- those hi-hats! I said: THOSE HI-HATS!

b. The Adagio Cantabile from the Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata. How to make a yearning melody by starting a third above the root, tease the listener by going down, but then go up, and generally postpone the appearance of the root until measure 8. Then cursorily skip&hop away, of course. Beethov': you tease!

c. Burial's Near Dark. Beats done and undone, shells clattering, surf breaking, heart aching -- After which sure-fire remedy had to be applied:

d. Feed the Animals, by Girl Talk, at full volume, fingers pointing disco-stAAAHl, while fixing some chiles anchos rellenos con picadillo de tofu. (A man's got to eat.)

So, thank you, Daniel Levitin and Jonah Lehrer, for a corticofugal afternoon the neighbors will never forget.

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