From The Desk Of Of Montreal: Krzysztof Penderecki

of Montreal’s music is hard to define, given it changes more often than frontman Kevin Barnes’ sequined and feathered outfits during a live show. One album might be heavy on the drum machine and synthesizer, while another showcases Barnes’ best high-pitched Prince wail with more traditional strings and percussion. The Atlanta band boasts a prodigious body of work; in a decade and a half, Barnes and Co. have churned out 10 albums, eight collections and 29 singles and EPs, including their most recent effort, thecontrollersphere (Polyvinyl). Barnes and of Montreal’s two art directors—wife Nina Barnes (a.k.a. geminitactics) and brother David Barnes—will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Kevin: Hearing Krzysztof Penderecki‘s composition Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima completely changed my life and sent me on a new musical adventure. Some of you may recognize it from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. I can’t think of a better composition to inhabit the world of Kubrick’s hellish masterpiece. The score of the composition is a work of art in itself. This is from Wikipedia: “The piece’s unorthodox, largely symbol-based score sometimes directs the musicians to play at various unspecific points in their range or to concentrate on certain textural effects; they are directed to play on the opposite side of the bridge or to slap the body of the instrument. Penderecki sought to heighten the effects of traditional chromaticism by using “hypertonality”—composing in quarter tones—which sometimes makes dissonance more prominent than it would be in traditional tonality. The piece includes an “invisible canon,” in 36 voices, an overall musical texture that is more important than the individual notes, making it a leading example of sound mass composition. As a whole, Threnody constitutes one of the most extensive elaborations on the tone cluster.” Here’s a link to curious sections of the score (you have to scroll down a little).

Video after the jump.

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