Monday, October 22, 2012

Stitched Portraits: Charles Ives

"Stand up and face the full force of a dissonance like a man."

A precursor to modern experimental music, Ives (b. Oct 20, 1874) began his dissonant descent in the early part of the twentieth century, New England. His work mostly went unrecognized in his lifetime as he spent most of his working career as an insurance salesman. The use of polytones and polyrhythms in his compositions were strange in 1907 but became part of our musical lexicon over the course of the century.

John Cage writes about Ives with a respect and an admonishment. Although both composers worked in the realm of cacophonous noise, Cage's was born from indeterminacy, while Ives' were concrete images - memories of specific times. In his blog, Richard H Brown Jr. speaks of the dichotomy between Cage and Ives and likens them to their literary counterparts, Emerson and Thoreau.

Charles Ives (strength and stoicism):

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