7 March 2005

The process of listening

It confounds me to no end, and is probably very "site specific," how impressions develop the longer we listen to a piece of music. I'm focused now on several new works (if I hadn't heard them, they're new-to-me), so it's the short term process that's interesting right now. As much as your opinion can develop over a month or so, it takes even stranger turns over the years.

Blueberry Boat, The Fiery Furnaces - On the first minute or so of the first song, during my first listen, I was turned off by the electronic doodling of it all. As soon as structure and variation appeared, I was hooked. I'm still very enthusiastic about 90% of the album--although a few of the experimental sections have ultimately failed to grow on me. Not sure why.

Facing Goya, Michael Nyman - I just got this two days ago (thanks to an unexpected gift certificate from some friends). I had originally heard one of the arias on the WNYC [RadioWave] show New Sounds and was immediately hooked. I've casually listened to the first CD a couple of times and there's the same immediate appreciation. There is much to take in. His arrangement and of course style are similar to that in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, but it does veer off into greater dissonances. That, plus the longer form, will make it more difficult to absorb this piece.

The Who Sell Out, The Who - I had read much about this and needed to finally give it a listen. The sheer 60s-ness about it (not just the engineering and arrangements but also the compositions themselves) turned me off during the first several listenings. I have eventually come around and have really enjoyed the zany fake radio commercials they insert.

Frances the Mute, The Mars Volta - I have listened to this a couple of times and just have not warmed up to it. I like the shifts with arrangement and style, but their extended jams just aren't to my taste. I'll have to give it a little more time.

[ posted by sstrader on 7 March 2005 at 1:44:41 PM in Music ]