Runcible Blog


I jammed with Nathan from Winchester yesterday. I mostly played his cello -- the first time I've played a cello. It's weird since the thing is tuned in 5th's rather than 4th's, but it's quite a cool instrument. I don't know; the stuff we usually play (the stuff he likes to play) is in odd time-signatures and is atonal.

Then, we went to see Joe Maneri, Matt Maneri, and I think Matt Moran (not sure) play at the Zeitgeist art gallery in Cambridge. Well, that music is weird -- atonal, no particular key or time signature, no repetition or mimicry. It wasn't easy for me to appreciate that kind of music. To me, it seems like music for music's sake. It's very very serious music and except for a few moments, I didn't particularly feel any emotion while listening, unless confusion counts. Although I can appreciate the difficulty of playing such a rigid, restricted (but somehow free) type of music, I don't think it's a good idea to take music so seriously. I think there are extremes in music seriousness, with maybe Parliament/Funkadelic on the music-for-fun extreme and atonal stuff on the other extreme. Maybe it would be better to stay somewhere in between those extremes.

Even though I mostly couldn't get into the music, I couldn't criticize Joe. He's seems like a great guy -- a short and stout man in his 70's with a long white beard. He's playing the music that he hears in his head despite the people who don't appreciate the microtonal squeaks and moans, and for that I have to give him credit. He told me he doesn't play for himself and would stop playing if he didn't have an audience. I thought that was a noble sentiment.