Below the Apricot Tree

Transcript

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Nutcracker – a 100 word story

The nutcracker bird was sitting on a high brunch overlooking the kingdom. The king was standing below the apricot tree shouting orders. “Where is my nutcracker? I want to eat some nuts!” he shouted. The bird, hearing the king and wanting to shut him up, did the only thing it could do and dropped some crap on him. “Off with the bird’s head” shouted the king quite angrily, “and do it quick. I’ve got a Tchaikovsky concert to catch. They are playing The Nutcracker Suite.” The bird laughed a little birdie laugh and flew away, as birds would often do.

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Hi there and thanks for stopping by. I’m Guy, and you’re listening to my surreal sketchbook of reality.

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Episode 5, Below the Apricot Tree

Stitching sounds together, we create music. This episode Is a semi-philosophical look at music. I’m not a professional philosopher by any means and my approach can be quite absurd, illogical and not at all that serious, so – you’ve been warned. Do not take this podcast too seriously. If you tend to take things too seriously, this might not be the podcast for you. Seriously. I mean it. Find another podcast to listen to.

You’re still here? Good. Let’s talk about music. When you put sounds together in an orderly fashion, you usually come up with music. There are many debates about the nature of music. Some claim that creating order and aesthetics in sound are essential in music. Music according to that definition need things like harmony and rhythm in order to be music. If I take the sound of, let’s say, the ocean waves, break them into recorded chunks and rearrange them, then call it music, is it really music? According to that very narrow definition of music as harmony and rhythm patterns, it isn’t, unless you can find harmony in the random sounds of ocean waves, but there are other ways of looking at music. For example, I used to do take the human voice, break it into little pieces, rearrange it and call it music. At least, I believed it was music. Some people disagreed, but I digress. I do think that by checking the boundaries of music, we redefine it and evolve it into something a lot more interesting. I hear something in the other room that might be concrete music. Let me check it out. I’ll be right back.

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Apricot Tree – a 100 word story

The king loved his apricots. Everyone knew that, that is, everyone except the new servant who brought him prunes by mistake. The king was furious and the sentence was immediate, “off with his head!”

Jasmine, the servants’ wife, was furious. Now, you don’t want to anger a sorceress, especially not one of Jasmines’ skill level. In the morning, they found the king with an apricot tree growing out of his gut, and… very much alive. In the end they just left him there. They say the king is still there, living off his apricot tree. He really loves his apricots.

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Welcome back. Musique Concrète is an experimental musical genre that emerged around the end of the 1920s’. The composers of Musique Concrète used recordings of found sounds as the basis of their music much in the same way Ready Made artists used found materials in their artworks. Included in Musique Concrète were things like the sounds of passing cars and industrial machines from factories. The act of recording sounds and sculpting them into a musical sentence became the act of composition. Other musical genres evolving from Musique Concrète like Industrial Music took it even further, incorporating electronic sounds that where sometimes very far from being melodic or harmonic. They created a new kind of aesthetic for their music.

Things like Industrial Music and Musique Concrète show us that there is more to music than meets the ear. The only thing that defines music might be the intention of the musician. Music might have some completely random elements, but by arranging them or deciding which musical element goes where, music is created. In short, music is what the musician decides is music. This concludes episode 5 of this podcast. Close the door on your way out and don’t forget – I’m just a figment of your imagination.

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