Tag Archives: minimalist music

Almanac – October 14

INTERPLANETARY CONFEDERATION DAY
To recognize the other planets with which Earth  shares the galaxy.

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1066  – Battle of Hastings –  on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings (although there have been other sites suggested), the Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeated the English army and  King Harold II of England was killed in the battle—legend has it that he was shot through the eye with an arrow. He was the last English king to die in battle on English soil until Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, and the battle marked the last successful foreign invasion of the British Isles. Although there was further English resistance, this battle is seen as the point at which William gained control of England, becoming its first Norman ruler as King William I.

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1656 – Massachusetts enacted the first punitive legislation against the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The marriage of church-and-state in Puritanism made them regard the Quakers as spiritually apostate and politically subversive.

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1935 – La Monte Young born.  American avant-garde composer, musician, and artist,  generally recognized as the first minimalist composer. His works have been included among the most important and radical post-World War II avant-garde, experimental, and contemporary music. Young is especially known for his development of drone music. Both his proto-Fluxus and “minimal” compositions question the nature and definition of music and often stress elements of performance art.

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Almanac – October 03

1283 – Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales, became the first nobleman executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered.

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1849 – American author Edgar Allan Poe was found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances; it was the last time he is seen in public before his death.

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1896 – William Morris died.  English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. He founded a design firm in partnership with the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti which profoundly influenced the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century.

As an author, illustrator and medievalist, he is considered an important writer of the British Romantic movement, helping to establish the modern fantasy genre; and a direct influence on postwar authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien.

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1936 – Steve Reich born. American composer who is one of the pioneering composers of minimal music along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass.
His innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns  and the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts .These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially in the US.

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1938 – Eddie Cochran born. American rock and roll pioneer who, in his brief career, had a small but lasting influence on rock music through his guitar playing. Cochran’s rockabilly songs, such as “C’mon Everybody,” “Somethin’ Else,” and “Summertime Blues,” captured teenage frustration and desire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He experimented with multitrack recording and overdubbing even on his earliest singles, and was also able to play piano, bass and drums. His image as a sharply dressed, rugged but good-looking young man with a rebellious attitude epitomized the stance of the Fifties rocker, and in death he achieved an iconic status.

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1942 – The first successful launch of a V-2 /A4-rocket from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde, Germany. It was the first man-made object to reach space.

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1949 – WERD, the first black-owned radio station in the United States, opened in Atlanta, Georgia.

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1957 – Allen Ginsberg‘s  Howl and Other Poems was ruled not obscene.

On the basis of one line in particular – “who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy” – customs officials had seized 520 copies of the poem on March 25, 1957, whilst being imported from the printer in London.

A subsequent obscenity trial was brought against Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who ran City Lights Bookstore, the poem’s new domestic publisher. Nine literary experts testified on the poem’s behalf. Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, Ferlinghetti won the case when Judge Clayton Horn decided that the poem was of “redeeming social importance”.

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1967 – Woody Guthrie died. American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children’s songs, ballads and improvised works.

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Guthrie on songwriting“I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling.

I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built.

I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.”

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