Orchestral Subculture

Frank Zappa’s Orchestral Subculture: “Zappa was a hopelessly conflicted practitioner of absolute-music aesthetics in a world that chose to hear him as a rock star–he was a “serious” composer who made it to the top ten and won a Grammy (for the album Jazz from Hell, 1986) at the very point in his career when he found such industry honors most hateful and embarrassing.” (Go read the article and then come back to explain the word “Darmstadtian” to me)

5 thoughts on “Orchestral Subculture”

  1. Ah thanks for that info Al. Outhere we use the expression “faxing to Darmstadt” which means taking a dump (darm = bowel!). Gee I feel so much better now that I’ve shared this with the rest of the world.

  2. I have absolutely NO idea what this article
    is really talking about. This does, however, seem to be out of the Ben Watson school of critical pomp. Is this the lastest trend in Zappa studies? God help us all!

  3. Wow Barry, that’s intriguing info for a linguist like me. I also think it’s an insight into what the article is really about.

  4. Makes perfect sense to me! FZ liked to make music of all kinds and used all kinds of stuff to do it e.g the bass in 5/8 the drums in 3/4 and the alto sax blowing his nose. In the popular music context he could be considered the antithesis of Odorno’s critique of ‘popular music’ as being hidebound by standardisation. But then again Frankie also liked to play a shuffle. The writer of this article seems to be waffling on about whether FZ was a serious composer doing popular music or a popular musician (or ‘rock star’ if your prefer) with pretentions to be a serious composer. The way I see it, Barry, FZ didn’t set out to be either but wanted just to make his music and he’d do it in whatever forum he could get a hearing.

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