Toru Takemitsu – How His Film Scores Shaped Post War Japanese Cinema

October 8th, 2014
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    Toru Takemitsu (武満 徹 Takemitsu Tōru, October 8, 1930 – February 20, 1996) photo by Kinoshita Akira

    Composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Takemitsu’s contribution to film music was considerable; in under 40 years he composed music for over 100 films. via wiki

    Follow his works.. you’ll get the best of post war Japanese cinema.

  • Double suicide Double Suicide Trailer (youtube)

  • See Woman in the Dunes full film (Abe Kobo, Teshigahara, Toru Takemitsu)

    Hiroshi Teshigahara Two films based on novels by Abe Kobo, The Face of Another, Woman in the Dunes, Rikyu about the zen/artist/tea master. and Pitfall –
    Click to see large – Rikyu 1rikyuMikuni

  • The Burmese Harp 1Toruburmeseharp

    The Burmese Harp full film (youtube) directed by Kon Ichikawa

  • Harakiri – trailer (youtube) (With Masaki Kobayashi – Takemitsu also did the film scores for Kwaidan and Samurai Rebellion)

  • Takemitsu also composed for Black Rain (Imamura Shohei), Ran, Dodeskaden (Akira Kurosawa), Empire of Passion (Nagisa Oshima) and Rising Sun (Philip Kaufman).

  • Toru T and Iannis Xenakis 1toruXennakis click to see large

    Iannis Xenakis (previous post)

    Orlando Gibbons was Glenn Gould’s Favorite Composer

    October 3rd, 2014
  • 1aglenn-gould-photograph
    photo via

    Glenn Gould died of a stroke on October 4, 1982, and was laid to rest in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  • Interview (youtube)

  • Orlando Gibbons

  • Lord of Salisbury (youtube) (One more piece by Orlando Gibbons)

  • He refused to play Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Debussy and much of the other core piano repertoire, deriding their masterpieces as empty theatrical gestures. He especially disliked Mozart, and named the obscure 17th century English composer Orlando Gibbons as his all-time favorite. (via)

    On Orlando Gibbons

    …”ever since my teen-age years this music … has moved me more deeply than any other sound experience I can think of.”
    * The Glenn Gould Reader. p. 438. New York: Knopf.

    (Thanks Richard Bohn for the above quote)

    William Boyd

  • Adieu Antoine Duhamel – Film Composer For Godard & Truffaut

    September 12th, 2014
  • 1antoineDuhamel2
    Antoine Duhamel (30 July 1925 – 11 September 2014) was a French composer, orchestra conductor and music teacher.

    Antoine Duhamel filmography

    Top tracks for Antoine Duhamel

    Click to see large 1antoineSafeC

    In 2002 he was awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his music for the Bertrand Tavernier directed film, Laissez-passer.

    Safe Conduct (Laisser-Passer) by Bertrand Tavernier.
    The film is almost 3 hours long. The first half was a bit frantic and confusing but the last half the film began to take shape and delivers.
    Filmmaking under Nazi rule during the occupation in France is the theme and the central character played by an actor who was a real biker made this cycling resistence movie memorable. The film deals with a controversial and difficult subject.

    Ridicule composed by Duhamel (Ridicule is a film about Wit.. a great film by Patrice Leconte).

    Antoine Duhamel :Les Charmes du Japon (Truffaut – Antoine Doinel series)

    The Making of Amadeus + Paul Scofield as Salieri

    August 17th, 2014
  • Antonio Salieri
    8/18/1750 – 5/7/1825
    Italian composer
    1) Take this quiz..
    by Mikhail Simkin

    The audio clips below are either from Mozart or from Salieri.

    After listening to each clip choose the composer. Hit the Submit button when done. The quiz will be graded and you will see the correct answers.

  • Google Mozart Morzart
    digital image by Fung Lin Hall

    Adios Señor Horace Silver – (September 2, 1928 – June 18, 2014)

    June 18th, 2014
  • LAtimes obit

    “He was not only prolific, he was a unique composer,” said Phil Pastras, editor of Silver’s 2006 book, “Let’s Get to the Nitty Gritty: The Autobiography of Horace Silver.” “Even an ordinary 12-bar blues in his hands turned into something magical.”

    Horace dies at 85.. (September 2, 1928 – June 18, 2014)

    NYtimes obit – Master of Earthy Art

  • Last year Dec Horace Silver Update... (click to see large)

  • Funky and Humorous –

  • Miles Davis and Horace Silver
    With Miles here.. Adios Señor Horace Silver.
    (06 Mar 1954, Hackensack, New Jersey, USA — Musicians Miles Davis (left) and Horace Silver
    work on the piano during a recording session for the Miles Davis Quartet. — Image by © Mosaic Images/CORBIS © Corbis. All Rights Reserved.)

    Time of Igor Stravinsky – Spring to Summer 2014

    June 17th, 2014
  • Awesome Trio BGIgor
    Image via


  • Listen to Variation:Aldous Huxley in Memoriam (youtube)

  • Click to see large 1BIgorStravinsky
    Painting by Ward Schumaker (Composer painting series)

  • Mr B and Stravinksy Balanchine and Stravinsky

    Enduring Friendship -Igor with Balanchine (June 17, last year’s birthday post for Igor)

    Igor with Paul Hindemith

    With Eliot Carter

    Coming to Play with Kobayashi Issa, Robert Hass and Beth Levin

    June 15th, 2014

    Goes out come back the love life of my cat.

    Even with insect some can sing some can’t

  • Kobayashi Issa (小林 一茶 born on June 15, 1763)

    It’s the birthday of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa born in Kashiwabara, Japan (1763). He’s one of the masters of the Japanese form of poetry called haiku, which uses 17 Japanese characters broken into three distinct units. He spent most of his adult life traveling around Japan, writing haiku, keeping a travel diary, and visiting shrines and temples across the country. By the end of his life, he had written more than 20,000 haiku celebrating the small wonders of everyday life.

    (via Facebook Beth Levin)

    Friends of Beth Levin enjoy her frequent posting of haikus by Issa.
    For Issa’s birthday, two haikus hand picked by Beth Levin


    Looking at me the pheasant on tiptoe on tiptoe ~ Issa {year unknown}


    Massaging my back with the pine tree’s gnarl… evening cool 1815 .松瘤で肩たたきつつ夕涼 matsu kobu de kata tataki tsutsu yûsuzumi “Massage” here is hard, Japanese-style pounding (tataki).

    P.S. Happy birthday, Issa!!! He was born in the little village of Kashiwabara in the mountains of Japan’s Shinano Province on the fifth day of Fifth Month, 1763: June 15 on the Western calendar

  • Beth Levin Piano (homepage)

    Beth Levin plays Beethoven here. (youtube)

  • 1bethIssa

  • (Calligraphy by Issa)

    Haiku Issa

    Come and play,
    little orphan sparrow-
    play with me!
    The poem was probably written years later in reflection on the incident, but Issa displayed enough literary ability in his youth to attract the attention of the proprietor of the lord’s residence, a man skilled in calligraphy and haiku poetry, who believed that Issa would be a good companion for his own son. He invited Issa to attend a school he operated in partnership with a scholar in Chinese studies who was also a haiku poet. Issa could attend the school only at night and on holidays-sometimes carrying his stepbrother on his back-when he was not compelled to assist with farm chores, but this did not prevent him from cultivating his literary inclinations.

  • Google Kobayashi Issa (4 haikus with illustrations here)

  • One of Issa’s haiku, as translated by R.H. Blyth, appears in J. D. Salinger’s 1961 novel, Franny and Zooey:
    O snail
    Climb Mount Fuji,
    But slowly, slowly! (via wiki)

  • Previous post Robert Hass

    Bye Rubin “Hurricane” Carter – (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014)

    April 20th, 2014
  • Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014)

  • R.I.P Maximillian Schell – Actor, Director, Lover of Music & Art

    February 1st, 2014
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    Schell listening to Bernstein on Beethovan – (youtube treasure a must see repost)

    I don’t actually have a profession. I wander through life and through all areas of art,” Schell once said.
    Max played piano.

    R.I.P Maximillian Schell Oscar-winning actor,dies aged 83.

    Mr. Schell sometimes performed as a concert pianist and conductor and appeared with such classical music luminaries as Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein. In the early 1980s, he and Bernstein were co-hosts of a PBS television series in which they discussed the music of Beethoven.

    (His wiki here )

    His film on Marlene was great. See the trailer here (Max shared a birthday with Delmore.)

    How it all started.. his film on Marlene..(Max on youtube)

  • Schell worked with Vanessa Redgrave in many films.. among them Little Odessa directed by John Gray.

  • Max & Monty both were brilliant.

    Full film Judgement at Nuremberg

  • Click to see large
    Photo via
    May Sister Maria

    Maria Schell’s life was filled with romances, loneliness, unrequited love, disappointments, debt, depression, suicide attempts, and an unwillingness to grow old gracefully. Her brother and confidant, actor/director/cowriter Maximilian Schell, blends interviews with staged scenes in this examination of their personal relationship, expressing his great respect for her lifework and the regret he felt at her later failures.

  • Schell made his Hollywood debut in 1958 in the World War II film The Young Lions (1958) quite by accident, as the producers had wanted to hire his sister Maria Schell, but lines of communication got crossed, and he was the one hired.
    Schell ultimately won two more Oscar nominations for acting, in 1976 for Best Actor for The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) and in 1978 as Best Supporting Actor for Julia (1977) (via IMDB)

    Schell as Hamlet
    Flick philosopher
    (Saw his Hamlet with Japanese subtitles.. dialogue in German.)

    Schell collects Josef Albers.

    Maximilian Schell discovered Josef Albers’s Homages to the Square at the Sidney Janis Gallery in the early 1970s, where, every two years, Albers, by then an octogenarian, would present his latest “platters to serve color”. This was the deliberately unpretentious term the artist applied to his unique forays in color presentation that evoked the mysterious interaction of one hue beyond its boundary and into its neighbor’s territory, and that held the film and theater man captive to the poetic possibilities of pure paint applied with technical virtuosity to the panel.

    Schell instantly realized that he had found a level of mastery and subtlety and nuance akin to his own ideals as a director and actor, even in his lesser-known territories of interest as a pianist and an athlete. Schell would point out to people that the difference of less than a split second could distinguish a gold medal winner from one who took a bronze medal in the Olympics, and that an equally minuscule unit of time was the decisive factor in Pollini’s or Abato’s playing of a Mozart piano sonata as opposed to that of a hack. That attention to a mere particle of a second of time represented the level of perfection that Schell sought in every arena of his own life, and he recognized that Josef Albers achieved it, to a tee, in the realm of color.(via)

    R.I.P Pete Seeger – The Power of Song

    January 28th, 2014
  • Pete Seeger

    Photo via Passion for boating

    Pete Seeger performing “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” in Calcutta in 1963.

    This bhajan (Hindu devotional song) translates:

    Chief of the house of Raghu, Lord Rama,
    Uplifters of those who have fallen, Sita and Rama,
    Sita and Rama, Sita and Rama,
    O beloved, praise Sita and Rama,
    God and Allah are your names,
    Bless everyone with real wisdom, Lord.

    h/t to Priya Barr

  • The Power of Song - a film by his late wife..

    Pete Seeger Remembers His Late Wife Toshi, Sings Civil Rights Anthem “We Shall Overcome”

  • Fracking Indigenous Struggle and Hiroshima Bombing

  • Arlo Guthrie

    Pete Seeger:

    I usually do a little meditation and prayer every night before I go to sleep – Just part of the routine. Last night, I decided to go visit Pete Seeger for a while, just to spend a little time together, it was around 9 PM. So I was sitting in my home in Florida, having a lovely chat with Pete, who was in a hospital in New York City. That’s the great thing about thoughts and prayers- You can go or be anywhere.

    I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly, like a father in some ways, a mentor in others and just as a dear friend a lot of the time. I’d grown up that way – loving the Seegers – Pete & Toshi and all their family.

    I let him know I was having trouble writing his obituary (as I’d been asked) but it seemed just so silly and I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t sound trite or plain stupid. “They’ll say something appropriate in the news,” we agreed. We laughed, we talked, and I took my leave about 9:30 last night.

    “Arlo” he said, sounding just like the man I’ve known all of my life, “I guess I’ll see ya later.” I’ve always loved the rising and falling inflections in his voice. “Pete,” I said. “I guess we will.”

    I turned off the light and closed my eyes and fell asleep until very early this morning, about 3 AM when the texts and phone calls started coming in from friends telling me Pete had passed away.

    “Well, of course he passed away!” I’m telling everyone this morning. “But that doesn’t mean he’s gone.”

    R.I.P Claudio Abbado – (A Great Conductor Arranged the Tarkovsky Festival)

    January 20th, 2014
  • R.I.P Claudio Abbado (26 June 1933 – 20 January 2014)

    Click to see large

    Andrei and Claudio
    ( Photo by Cordula Groth)

    Photo via Nostalghia.com.

    Tarkovsky spoke Italian here.., with Claudio Abbodo.

  • Hearing the silence :a portrait (youtube) of Claudio Abbado

  • Gustavo Dudamel dedicates TV live Berlioz Requiem in Abbados Memory

  • Abbado conducted Cecilia Bartoli, Exsultate,Jubilate by W,A,Mozart

    David Lang – I Lie or Living in Pain with Great Beauty

    January 8th, 2014
  • The Great Beauty

    Paolo Sorrentino narrates the opening of his film ‘The Great Beauty’ – with music by David Lang

  • Happy birthday David Lang.. image via

    David Lang: Living in pain with great beauty

    Composer David Lang Explains Bach Connection

    Little Match Girl Passion by David Lang – 2012 Hot Air Music Festival