Monday, March 31, 2014

BATTLE OF THE BANDS XVII "SLOWLY'



I’m sitting here thinking… thinking… thinking… about my BATTLE OF THE BANDS post for tomorrow April 1st. I’ve had my song and participants chosen for over a month now and a general idea of what I want to write, but no motivation to do so. Anyway…don’t expect too much, OK?

Whenever I have a little extra money, and some time on my hands I go back to school. I have no degree but probably enough credits for at least three. My problem is that I don’t have the corresponding credits in any one area of study to qualify for the completion of a degree. What can I say? I like to learn, but as the years go by my interests have changed. Also, I have avoided college level math courses like the plague. Don’t broadcast that around, especially to the people who I have done accounting work for.

One of my most exciting ventures back to college was while I lived in Breckenridge, Colorado. There I attended Colorado Mountain College. It was an accredited college with courses that were later accepted at other major universities, but they were a little bit quirky. Like they had a precision ‘lawn chair’ marching band, no musical instruments, just the clicking and clacking of lawn chairs being folded and unfolded, twirled around and all with precision that would put to shame any collegiate ‘normal’ marching band. I guess you had to be there.


I lifted this picture from a file for the Vail, Colorado 2013 4th of July Parade (so you could get the general idea). I know they stole the idea from Breck, cause I saw it there years ago. Anyway… I’m getting off track here. While studying at CMC during one summer session, I took a ‘Music Appreciation’ course and it was a blast. As part of our class time we were required to attend several of the concerts that were a part of the ‘Breckenridge Musical Festival.’ At the time I was ther, the ‘BMF ‘ was held outdoors in large canvas tents. Since that time they built a permanent tent-like structure that became lovingly referred to as the ‘Madonna dome’. Maybe you can figure out why. At one of those concerts I was excited to see David Ogden Stiers conduct ‘Peter and the Wolf’. Great concert, marvelous conductor, and a whole lot of frivolous fun.


For my final project, I produced a short film of pictures I took on the ranch were we lived at the time. It was set to a piece of classical music that I fell in love with. The piece is Tomaso Albinoni’s ‘Adagio in G minor for strings and organ’. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘adagio’, it’s from the Italian word ‘adagio’ (DUH) meaning slowly. In music, adagios are slow movements that tend to evoke strong emotion. You know one well and probably don’t even realize it. Read to the end of this post and I’ll clue you into this more famous/popular adagio.

For now I want you to listen to “Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor for organ and strings’.


I bet you scratching your head wondering what I’m going to pit against this beautiful piece of music. Well is seems Jim Morrison had an appreciation for classical music, or at least for this piece of classical music. Next up, The Doors with ‘Adagio in G minor'.


Not to influence your vote in any way, but you have to admit that Jim Morrison and ‘The Doors’ where an enigmatic, and unique troupe of musicians. Wikipedia quotes ‘Rolling Stone’ as saying; Morrison was, and continues to be, one of the most popular and influential singer-songwriters in rock history. To this day Morrison is widely regarded as the prototypical rock-star: surly, sexy, scandalous, and mysterious.[76] The leather pants he was fond of wearing both onstage and off have since become stereotyped as rock-star apparel.[77] In 2011, a Rolling Stone readers' pick placed Jim Morrison in fifth place of the magazine's "Best Lead Singers of All Time.

OK, enough of my yakking. You know the drill. Leave me a comment with your vote and the reason you chose as you did. I’ll be back on the 7th with my vote and the results in this BATTLE.

Since this is the beginning of the infamous A to Z Challenge, I’m not exactly sure who with be posting BATTLES, but I know Stephen T. McCarthy won’t let you down. So, head on over to his site by clicking HERE. I’ll trust that he’ll tell you who else is participating and provide links to their blogs.

One last thing. If you have time here’s one more music video with scenes from the movie that made this piece of classical music ‘more’ famous. (Not a part of BOTB - Just for fun!)

Enjoy, and thanks for voting. See you in a few.



26 comments:

  1. I bet Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist for The Doors, who was classically trained, had something to do with recording the song. It's an interesting version, and probably introduced many people to that piece of classical music. Still, I'm going with the original.

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    1. No doubt. I understand Jim Morrison also had some classical training. Regardless of who was responsible it was an interesting version of an adagio written for 'strings'.

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  2. Great pictures! I avoided math in college as well...until I started dating the TA for my algebra class. Never would have passed if it weren't for him. Sad, but true.

    As for my vote, I'm going to stick with the classical here. Probably an unpopular choice, but there it is.

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    1. Now why didn't I think of that.

      We'll just have to wait it out and see. At this point in time, you're on the winning side.

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  3. After listening to the classical version (who is the symphony, by the way?), I thought, "as much as I like The Doors, this ain't even gonna be close."

    It has been years since I listened to "An American Prayer," so I had to listen to the Doors track to get reacquainted.

    Turns out, it's a tough call.

    I think I might have to vote The Doors.

    Yep-lock that vote in!

    Larry

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    1. Thank you very much. I love to hear that it was a 'tough call'. That means I posted a pretty good BATTLE. I think it may be an uphill battle for The Doors, but then I've been very wrong before. Just have to wait and see.

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  4. This is a beautiful transcendent piece of music... in all three versions. It's a hard call, because the first version is breathtaking, but I've gotta go with the Doors. (I know! Surprised me, too!) Their version had me with the first few notes. I just may have to listen to it again...

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    1. OK, another vote for The Doors. Personally, I think this is a beautiful piece no matter who plays it. Thanks for your vote, Susan.

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  5. Hokey-Smoke, FAE, this is probably my favorite of your BOTBs to date. I owned the 'An American Prayer' album, the original release, which I don't believe included this track.

    This was an ultra-tough choice for me, and I actually had to play both pieces twice, all the way through, before I could make up my mind.

    I love the organ and strings of the first version, and the haunting moodiness of it.

    The Doors version was excellent as well, made particularly interesting by Robby Krieger's guitar work. A lot of people don't realize that Krieger's first introduction to music was via his Dad's Classical collection, and he later went on to teach himself the Flamenco style of playing.

    Both versions are quite different but top-notch and this was really difficult for me, but ultimately I'm going to choose the first one, because the sound of an organ always pulls me in, and I loved the haunting, moody quality of it.

    Fantastic BOTB, FAE. Pat yerself on the back for this one!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thank you kind sir. consider my back patted.

      Apparently, The Doors have a wealth of classical music in their background. I did not know this about Robby Krieger.

      It makes me feel good when it's a 'tough choice' for someone, but an 'ultra-tough choice' really makes my day. Not that I want to make it hard on your guys, but I do want to think that I've made a smart match, where both songs are so good/moving/entertaining that it's hard to pick a favorite.

      That deep sound of the organ is superb, but so are those rich notes on the guitar. A difficult choice indeed.

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  6. I will echo the voices already weighing in: this was a tough call. In some ways, they don't even sound like the same piece of music, but they are both lovely.

    The first one had a chord progression in it that I would swear another artist borrowed for a song somewhere down the line. I could almost hear it and trace it to the song that "borrowed" it, but not quite. Drats. I think the first one was more haunting than the second.

    The second was impressive in that it took a piece of music for organ and strings and used none of them. The guitar work... fantastic.

    In the end, I am voting for the first one. I like a piece of music that lingers... and that one definitely does.

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    1. I'm pretty sure the guitar is considered a 'string instrument', but probably not exactly what Tomaso had in mind when he wrote this piece. I also believe that I hear a cello near the end of The Doors version. (OK, that's probably nit picking, I do know what you meant.) All else aside, I agree that both versions are lovely. Glad to hear that another 'regular' found it difficult to decide.

      Thanks for stopping by to vote.

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  7. So now we have a sure sign of the apocalypse... I've had to vote for the Doors (see comment on STMcC's BOTB) twice... It just has more life to this version.

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    1. Whoa! I certainly had not intended THAT.

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  8. Hmmm I like the first one, but the doors seemed to ramp it up a bit. So they get my vote.

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    1. Someone else having a difficult time deciding, eh?

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  9. Definitely slow music. Something to have running in the background while my mind's doing other things.

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    1. It's interesting you would say that...I had read a study that said Adagios where proven beneficial to recall. It suggested playing them while you were studying for a test and it would help you retain and recall the information you had studied. When I was preparing this post, I searched the Internet for something about that study and couldn't find it. Maybe I read that in a dream long ago. I dunno, but I don't think it would hurt you.

      What no vote?

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  10. Wow, this is indeed a tough choice--almost a toss up for me. I'd agree about Ray Manzarek's influence on this. I have a solo album by him where he does something similar with Orff's "Carmina Burana". I like the Doors version, but I also like the classical version. Since the Doors version is more compact and less draggy I'm going to go with them.

    Are you aware that the "Adagio for Strings" used in Platoon is a different piece of music? Written by Samuel Barber, I prefer it to the Albinoni "Adagio". I thought it was used very effectively in Platoon. It's such a hauntingly beautiful work of music. I think the Doors would have had a difficult time pulling off a better version of Barber's "Adagio".

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. I am loving it that almost everyone is having a hard time choosing between these two versions. I haven't taken the time for do any kind of tally, but I'm hoping for a close race and I didn't think that would happen.

      I am aware that the piece from Platoon is Samuel Barbers Adagio for Strings. ARE YOU AWARE that IS what I posted at the end. Did you really read my comment with regards to that piece at the end. Methinks, I caught you skimming and not listening to all the videos. Ha, ha, ha! Hey it's OK, I know this is A to Z time and nobody has time for nothin', BUT is that really a 'good thing'?

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  11. I listened to the videos that were part of the Battle and only the beginning of the Platoon video to make sure it was the Barber piece. No skimming of the text which I think is the real important part here.

    I considered what you said about taking classes and thought about saying something about my own class taking experiences when I was in college. If I had the money I'd probably still take classes. These days I might take some computer repair classes to maybe help me figure out how to remedy my computer problems which bog me down throughout the day.

    I also noted that you mentioned David Ogden Stiers and thought about mentioning how I was just listening to my old LP of the Broadway musical "The Magic Show" where he does a clever little tune as the rival magician to Doug Henning.

    I don't usually skim many blogs which is the reason why I don't get around to as many as some people think I should. I also tend to leave longer comments that are more relevant to a post when I have something I want to say.

    I do however frequently skip viewing videos (not for the BOTB posts) because of my sluggish computer problems. A video can put my computer activity at a standstill for longer than I like so I don't look at every video that I run across.

    I wish I was computer smart enough to come up with answers to my problems or had the money to buy a big powerful computer and the support to maintain it. Oh well, that's life.

    But no time for nothin'? I don't know about other people but I put in a decent amount of time answering people's questions about things and trying to get around to as many sites as I can and almost always leaving comments unless it's a site that really offends or annoys me, which is rare. A 'good thing'? Not sure what that means. I guess we all have time to do the things we want to do and the things we have to do and I guess that's what I'm doing.

    Anyway it's late. Gotta get to bed cause I gotta get up at 5 AM to see my wife off to work and start another day. I hope my computer is cooperating with me tomorrow.

    Lee

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    1. OK, i guess I misunderstood you AGAIN. I thought you were telling me that I was CONFUSED. Now, that would be a first, ha, ha, ha. I should know better than to think I can operate a keyboard that close to midnight. Thanks for your vote. I think this one is going to be close.

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  12. A very close call, but the first one tugs at my heartstrings more. I can really feel it. So I'll give this one to Tomato.

    (You say Tomaso, I say Tomato. Let's call the whole thing off)

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    1. OK, I'll put you down for Tomato Albatross.

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