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Re: GG: The Firebird that is creativity...

Ah Joseph, too is sleepless in New Jersey!  If it's any consolation, J.,
it's 3:30 AM in New Brunswick and here I write...ironic because I'm up
working on my final bibliography for my Ph.D. Special Topic exam-- a
monster of a thing meant to "be *related* to my topic (Gould's _Solitude
Trilogy_) but not specifically *about* it (i.e. no Gould writings,
nothing about GG or the Trilogy. UGG.)  So I'm working with a lot of
critical texts on media, sound theory, and cultural identities. My
working title for the exam is "Imaginary Spaces: Media and the Forging
of Cultural Dispositions."  It coheres in my head, if only I can
convince my professors that I know what I'm talking about! (Anxiety here
that can't be too far off from that Gouldian dread of the stage.  Alas,
I haven't a Valium perscription like GG!)

But funny that you should bring up GG and composition.  The more I work
with the Trilogy, the more I am absolutely convinced that these radio
pieces *are* compositions, and important ones.  (As for output, no one
held lack of it against T.S. Eliot!)  I do not pretend to comprehend the
tonal/atonal nuances that GG heard in the voices (the voices as music)
but the semantic counterpoint is unmistakable, lively, *archetypal*.
Wasn't GG afraid he was only trying to convince himself that these
pieces were valid as music?  Didn't he mistrust the experimental music
of Karlheinz "Klopweisser" Stockhausen (yet Klopweisser was GG's
staunchest supporter on the Silver Jubilee LP) and John Cage?  (Did GG
ever say anything about Harry Somers?) Listen to _The Latecomers_ the
intonation of "What's a cup of tea to the likes of me?" against breaking
surf, snatches of the conversations in my head like snippets of music.
(I can't hold symphonies whole or accurately in my head.) "nothing would
have induced me to leave"  "Scottish heather" "I burried both of 'em the
same day" [All snippets from GG's _The Latecomers_]

And what about the soundtrack for _The Slaughterhouse Five_ (I'm dying
to see _The Wars_;  anyone have a VHS copy they'd be willing to dub for
me? Or even a copy of the LP soundtrack?)  I'd love to hear what
everyone has to say of his use of the Goldbergs (I mean Montana as a
G'berg variation!?  What a sense of sarcastic humor this man was capable
of!), the Bach f_min concerto, the Beethoven-- what he does with the
train pulling into Dresden scene is astonishing! Can anyone accurately
describe the musical morphs?  The harpsichod to piano to-- lead voices
changing, progressing...whatever it is that they're doing.  

Not to say that a handful of radio dramas and two film soundtracks
constitute an impressive oeuvre of creative output, but I don't think
Friedrich gives them their due.  Payzant's a little more serious with
the radio work, but he helplessly throws his hands in the air in a "oh
that we were all geniuses like GG who can hear so many things at once"
sort of stance.  <rolling my eyes> Then there's GG as re-composer--
Jacques Hitu certainly considered GG's recording of his piece to be
nearly a new composition!     

Back to my bibliography,
Mary Jo,