Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Belated "Happy 142nd Birthday" To Erik Satie

I'd like to give a shout out to a composer who died about 72 years, 10 months, and 16 days ago. Erik Satie haunted me when I was a child, because one of his melodies appears twice on a 1969 Blood, Sweat and Tears album for which one of my sisters had a great fondness. Before I can remember anything visual, I can remember hearing their variations on Satie's "Gymnopedies No. 1" -- a song with which I've been more or less obsessed all my life.

Бардовской хип-хоп

The last time I was in Moscow I had the pleasure of accompanying a friend to a hiphop concert. Little did I know that the concert was actually only half hiphop, and that the other half would be devoted to "authorial" or "bardic" song, which is the genre I study. The emcee for the evening explained at the start of the show that authorial song and hiphop were "twin brothers -- two forms, one content."

This was more than a little astonishing to me because, despite their shared focus on narrative, many people would say that there are no two genres that are more different than bardovskaya pesnya and hiphop. Indeed, even I had my doubts... until I saw this: