Did he write any good tunes?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s cleverly expanded word is banananas.

‘I don’t suppose you’ve heard of the 20th c. Russian composer Igor Vsnvonov.’
‘Er, no, I don’t think so, and you did very well pronouncing it, if you don’t mind my saying.’
‘Thank you, I’m not surprised that you haven’t heard of Igor V, people tend to keep rather quiet about him – and his music.’
‘Yes, indeed.’
‘It’s the cost.’
‘The cost of what?’
‘Why, the instruments of course.’
‘Did he demand very large orchestras?’
‘Oh, come on! You are being deliberately oblique today! Stop shilly-shallying, and tell me about… what’s his name?’
‘Well done!’
‘Thank you! He was pretty avant-garde for his day…’
‘Oh, I’ll say! Very spiky, jagged, and…’
‘Yes, yes, in great measure.’
‘So, why isn’t he famous, like Stravinsky… or…’
‘If you like.’
‘Well, he started off being quite traditional and melodic, but after laying off music for a couple of months due to a bout of the jitters…’
‘The jitters?’
‘Yes, he suddenly emerged a changed man, and a fully fledged contrapuntal quarter-tone rebel.’
‘Puntal… Not to mention his outlandish rhythms – they were not equalled in complexity until D Van Vliet’s time in the 1960s.’
‘Right… Now I don’t want to interrupt your flow, but I must just nip to the toilet, I won’t be a minute…’
‘No, no, wait, the best is yet to come! It’s all about the international conspiracy to keep his work unknown and unplayed.’
‘Look, I really must just…’
‘Hang on, stay a moment, let me tell you about the public performance of his first work, his piano concerto with orchestra and organ.’
‘Did it go well?’
‘Oh, the audience loved it, three standing ovations, and bunches of flowers all round!’
‘So, what was the problem?’
‘After the concert, it was found that the piano, and all the orchestral instruments were ruined, and couldn’t be brought into tune ever again.’
‘And the organ?’
‘Knackered! Had to be taken out of the hall and chopped up…’
‘Good god!’
‘Yes indeed!’
‘So, did he give up composing after that?’
‘No, he persevered, he had several performances of his work, but…’
‘Instruments ruined?’
‘Yes, every time… In desperation he took to writing special short pieces for smaller groups, trios, quartets, nothing bigger, but the organisers, being dreadfully upset by the sight of piles of ruined flutes, cellos, guitars, violins and mandolins, outside the back doors of concert halls, they eventually turned their musical backs on him.’
‘Their musical backs?’
‘So, I don’t suppose there are any of his pieces available on record or CD then?’
‘Well, some, but they are extremely rare. You see, after playing them, the record player, the CD player, the amplifier and speakers would be found useless and beyond repair.’
‘Oh dear, I don’t suppose he got much play on the radio then?’
‘You jest!’
‘Yes, I suppose I do – look I really, really, must visit the bathroom.’
‘The bathroom?’
‘Alright, and when you come back I’ll tell you about how recordings of his piano concerto were used to cut sheet metal in the factories during World War II… The workers had to be carefully shielded from the…’
‘Look, I’ll be right back, this is most interesting, I do like stories of sheet metal, don’t loose your thread…’
‘Right ho…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, conversation, creation, drama, history, humour, information, music, surrealism, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s