Music is nature's language. What it is telling you is to shut up for once and listen.

 

But, as one hit wonders go, that one hit is…well, a hit. It is something that is lodged in your brain and for decades to come will resurface once in a while to show it is still there.

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  
   

Maurice Ravel - The Ten

* disclaimer (for all of you retired classical music fans who are already sharpening your keyboards eager to comment even before hearing what I have to say…) not only am I not, am claiming, or have ever claimed to be an expert of classical music, I would say most amateurs I have met know more than me about the subject.


I Think ravel wrote only one piece. Like the one hit wonders in pop music. I am sure this is rubbish and that he had a very full and prolific composing career, but has anyone ever heard of anything written by ravel other then the bolero? I didn’t think so.

But, as one hit wonders go, that one hit is…well, a hit. It is something that is lodged in your brain and for decades to come will resurface once in a while to show it is still there.

The bolero for me is part of three other experiences, a soundtrack to three good things, almost remarkable things. I am a bit saddened to say that it is a soundtrack, but I do not think it takes away from the value of the piece. I was never a big fan of sitting in a suit without moving for an hour while looking at other people in suits palying music over there on the stage. Music has to be alive, has to be free, and it is not only not a shame to be soundtrack to life, but a big privilege.
 
Music, I feel, must be emotional first and intellectual second."
 
The bolero is one of the most enchanting pieces of music I know. It is meditative, almost a chant , and it goes and goes, like water dripping making a hole in the rock under them, it is a relentless stride forward, a neverending march of notes, as brilliantly shown in ALEGRO NON TROPO an Italian animation spoof of the commercial Disney FANTASIA.
 
 

ALEGRO NON TROPO was one of my most important cultural stations when it came to classical music. even as a child my visual part was much more evolved then the verbal or the musical, and that amazingly fiendish funny movie , with it's touching moments and brilliant creative animation styles made classical music much more accessible to me. True, fantasia came a couple of years earlier, but that whole bubblegum plastic Disney feel was a bit off-putting for me even when I was young and relatively naïve.

I highly recommend finding the full movie and spending a nice evening with a bottle of Italian red wine and this truly inspired visual audio treat.

But for most people, the bolero is known from the movie TEN. I think Dudley moore was there. I don’t really remember. I do remember Beu Dereck in a swiminsuit , riding a white horse on the beach. And you know what? From a marketing point of view, if people , upon hearing your music, have visions of beu dereck in a swimsuit, riding a white horse on the beach? That is not such a bad thing…

 
He said that the bolero was the most descriptive sex music ever written. And he proved it"
– Beu dereck, ten.
 
The funny thing is that ravel himself said :
 
The only love affair I have ever had was with music.”
 
But ravel wasn’t a romantic per se, he was a technician. A brilliantly talented technician but still someone who is more fixated on the knobs and levers of our soul and how to move them, adjust us, spin us into a new state of consciousness.
 
My intention here is to make it clear that not a single cell of my composition, is found by chance or intuition, that the composition moved towards perfection with the precision and inevitability of a mathematical equation.”
 

And it worked.
in this aspect, he truly is a ten.
Can you ask for anything more?