Month: July 2016

And the Bowie Prom….

Bowie prom. Reminded me of the bad old days when I tried to record a song and people tried to stick bits in, not on the basis of what worked but what they wanted to do.

I get the Berlin abstract music thing but not when the song entirely vanishes (eg rebel rebel; what??) but Cage’s version of Space Oddity just sounded like Cage couldn’t do all the chords so he just played two or three. Non.

Bowie used very straightforward chords (probably because he played 12-string) but what’s interesting about his songs is the arrangements: he does a typical chord structure (e.g. A maj, F# minor, D maj, E major esp on Ziggy) and then goes off on a short but interesting diversion (often with a bass note variant/slash chord) before landing on something straightforward again. All that was lost.

Plus pop music/r&b relies on a strong beat/bass drum. Without it the rhythm goes awol because r&b/pop is highly syncopated, particularly in the instrumentation. This is something classicists tend not to learn at music school. I learnt classics then r&b on the American bases in Germany. Pop is beat. Classics and abstract classics isn’t.

Black star was ok, and fame sort of worked (I’m sure Laura is relieved at that) but otherwise…..