Archive | May 9, 2009

Raw Mozart

What I find fascinating about this piece – the overture to an opera that Mozart wrote when he was 14 – is that it sounds like the kind of thing you might get if you programmed a computer to generate “something that sounds like Mozart.” It’s the distinctively Mozartian sound, but by contrast with his later work he’s just not doing anything very interesting with it.

My point here isn’t to slam the piece – hell, it’s damn good for 14, and anyway in its day the Mozartian sound was already an innovation (I wouldn’t mistake this piece for, say, Haydn). But it’s just interesting to realise that there is such a thing as the pure Mozartian sound, apart from the cool things he would later learn to do with it. It’s a bit like encountering a genus not yet contracted to any particular species – or perhaps a kind of Mozartian prime matter.

Surveiller et Punir

security cameraTwo great quotations in Ken MacLeod’s latest post on Orwell and the surveillance state:

From Kirstie Ball: “the standard sociological definition of surveillance coincides with the standard organization theory definition of management.”

From Teresa Neilsen Hayden (about Photoshop): “The tools of dictators! In the hands of the people!”

Mumbo Mambo

Check out this musical number from the first Aladdin movie (1992):

And this one from the second Aladdin movie (1994):

Finally, check out this musical number from the Teen Titans episode “Bunny Raven” (2005):

I’m just sayin’.

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