The People's Music is a wild surrealist fantasy that traces a rhythmic counterpoint in sound between the playing of a musical instrument, namely the violin, and the mass production of that instrument, according to the liner notes. What we have is in fact the musical element of a multimedia piece involving an interactive video installation, and as such we're missing at least fifty percent of the overall spectacle of the production in much the same way as any soundtrack album. The fact that the whole thing is presumably deeply ironic in its very celebration of the "People's Music" also means that any discussion of this music as such is rendered only more difficult.
As it is, this is a dose of pretty anonymous writing for strings with the occasional accompaniment of "industrial percussion" — presumably to symbolise the noise of the title in the case of "Working People" — which in its way might just be a celebration of wearying physical labour by people who will never have to do it.
"Some People" has some hectoring narrative, including a quote from Mao Zedong, and this has the effect of making the absence of a visual element even more pronounced. Here, as elsewhere, the music doesn't have enough character to stand on its own, although on "People Control" (oh the irony!), something distinctive does emerge, and it's here that we get closest to Rose's highly individual work both as an improvising violinist and as a sculptor and manipulator of sound; the absence of the visual element and the concept behind the work are both irrelevant, which is as it should be if the music is to be evaluated for what it is.
Ultimately, for all of its surrealism and wildness, neither of which are overtly detectable in the music itself, this disc has all the maddening aspects of the average soundtrack, and unless the listener is able to approach it without any prior information as to what the music is all about, the effect is the opposite of watching, say, Citizen Kane with no volume.
Track Listing: 1. Start The People
2. Wake Up People
3. Working People
4. No People
5. Your People
6. Some People
7. People Control
8. Big People
9. Odd People
10. Noisy People
11. Busy People
12. The People's Struggle
13. The People's End
Personnel: Members of the West Australian Youth Orchestra and the University Of Western Australia String Orchestra.
Lindsay Gregory, Conductor. Hannah Clemen, Rachael Dease, Chris Cobilis, Industrial Percussion. Jon Rose,
Accelerometer Powered Sampling, Conducting Arm.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.