Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Alvin Lucier

Alvin Lucier was born on 14 May, in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1931. Alvin Lucier is an American composer of experimental music and sound installations that explore acoustic phenomena and auditory perception. Alvin Lucier was a member of the influential Sonic Arts Union, which included Robert Ashley, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma. Much of his work is influenced by science and explores the physical properties of sound itself: resonance of spaces, phase interference between closely-tuned pitches, and the transmission of sound through physical media.

Alvin Lucier educated in Nashua public and parochial schools and the Portsmouth Abbey School, Yale University and Brandeis University. In 1958 and 1959, Alvin Lucier studied with Lukas Foss and Aaron Copland at the Tanglewood Center. In 1960, Alvin Lucier left for Rome on a Fulbright Fellowship, where he befriended American expatriate composer Frederic Rzewski and witnessed performances by John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and David Tudor that provided compelling alternatives to his classical training. Alvin Lucier returned from Rome in 1962 to take up a position at Brandeis as director of the University Chamber Chorus, which presented classical vocal works alongside modern compositions and new commissions. At a 1963 Chamber Chorus concert at New York’s Town Hall, Alvin Lucier met Gordon Mumma and Robert Ashley, experimental composers who were also directors of the ONCE Festival, an annual multi-media event in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A year later, Mumma and Ashley invited the Chamber Chorus to the ONCE Festival; and, in 1966, Alvin Lucier reciprocated by inviting Mumma, Ashley, and mutual friend David Behrman to Brandeis for a concert of works by the 4 composers. Based on the success of that concert, Alvin Lucier, Mumma, Ashley, and Behrman embarked on a tour of the United States and Europe under the name the Sonic Arts Group (at Ashley’s suggestion, the name was later changed to the Sonic Arts Union). More a musical collective than a proper quartet, the Sonic Arts Union presented works by each of its members, sharing equipment and assisting when necessary. Performing and touring together for a decade, the Sonic Arts Union became inactive in 1976. In 1970, Alvin Lucier left Brandeis for Wesleyan University. In 1972, Alvin Lucier became a musical director of the Viola Farber Dance Company, a position he held until 1979.

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Tom Harrell

Tom Harrell was born on 16 June, 1946 in Urbana, Illinois, USA. Tom Harrell is a renowned American post bop jazz trumpeter and composer. Tom Harrell suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Tom Harrell began playing the trumpet at the age of 8. Tom Harrell soon moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and was gigging with local bands by the age of 13. In 1969 he graduated from Stanford University with a music composition degree and joined Stan Kenton’s orchestra, touring and recording with them throughout 1969. After leaving Stan Kenton’s orchestra, Tom Harrell played with Woody Herman’s big band (1970-1971), Azteca (1972), the Horace Silver Quintet (1973-1977), the Sam Jones big band, the Lee Konitz Nonet (1979-1981), George Russell, the Mel Lewis Orchestra (1981), and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra. In addition, he recorded albums with Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Ronnie Cuber, Bob Brookmeyer, Lionel Hampton, Bob Berg, Bobby Shew, among others. From 1983-1989 he was a pivotal member of the Phil Woods Quintet, with whom he toured the world and made many recordings.

Since 1989 Tom Harrell has led his own groups; usually quintets but occasionally big bands. Tom Harrell has appeared at virtually every major jazz club and festival, and recorded under his own name for such record labels as Pinnacle, Blackhawk, Criss Cross, SteepleChase, Contemporary Records, Chesky, and RCA.

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Club Feet or Foot Series-Disabled Legend David Lynch

David Keith Lynch was born on 20 January, 1946 in Missoula, Montana. David Lynch is an American director, screenwriter, producer, painter, cartoonist, composer, video and performance artist. David Lynch has received 3 Academy Award nominations for Best Director, for The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Drive (2001). David Lynch has won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. David Lynch is probably best recalled as the director of The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr. and as the creator of the Twin Peaks television series.

Over a lengthy career, David Lynch has employed a distinctive and unorthodox approach to narrative film making (dubbed Lynchian), which has become instantly recognisable to many audiences and critics worldwide. David Lynch’s films are known for surreal, nightmarish and dreamlike images and meticulously crafted sound design. David Lynch’s work often explores the seedy underside of “Small Town U.S.” (particularly Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks), or sprawling California metropolises (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and his latest release, Inland Empire). Beginning with his experimental film school feature Eraserhead (1977), he has maintained a strong cult following despite inconsistent commercial success.

David Lynch’s father, Donald, was a U.S. Department of Agriculture research scientist and his mother, Sunny Lynch, was an English language tutor. David Lynch was raised throughout the Pacific Northwest and Durham, North Carolina. David Lynch attained the rank of Eagle Scout and, on his 15th birthday, served as an usher at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration. David Lynch is a Presbyterian. David Lynch’s mother’s father, whose last name was Sandholm, moved to the United States from Finland in the 19th century, and David Lynch is one of the most well-known Finnish Americans.

Intending to become an artist, David Lynch attended classes at Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. while finishing high school in Alexandria, Virginia. David Lynch enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for 1 year (where he was a roommate of Peter Wolf) before leaving for Europe with his friend and fellow artist Jack Fisk, planning to study with Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka. Although he had planned to stay for 3 years, David Lynch returned to the US after only 15 days.

In 1966, David Lynch relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and made a series of complex mosaics in geometric shapes which he called Industrial Symphonies. David Lynch’s receipt for his 1st camera, purchased in Philadelphia on 25 April, 1967 at Fotorama, lists his residency as 2429 Aspen Street. This house is located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, also known as the Art Museum neighborhood. The receipt can be viewed on The Short Films of David Lynch. At this time, he also began working in film. David Lynch’s 1st short film 6 Men Getting Sick (1966), which he described as “57 seconds of growth and fire, and 3 seconds of vomit”, was played on a loop at an art exhibit. It won the Academy’s annual film contest. This led to a commission from H. Barton Wasserman to do a film installation in his home. After a disastrous 1st attempt that resulted in a completely blurred, frameless print, Barton Wasserman allowed David Lynch to keep the remaining portion of the commission. Using this, he created The Alphabet.

In 1970, David Lynch turned his attention away from fine art and focused primarily on film. David Lynch won a $5,000 grant from the American Film Institute to produce The Grandmother, about a neglected boy who “grows” a grandmother from a seed. The 30minute film exhibited many elements that would become David Lynch trademarks, including unsettling sound and disturbingly surrealistic imagery and a focus on unconscious desires instead of traditional narration.

In 1971, David Lynch moved to Los Angeles to attend the M.F.A. studies at the AFI Conservatory. At the Conservatory, David Lynch began working on his 1st feature-length film, Eraserhead, using a $10,000 grant from the AFI. The grant did not provide enough money to complete the film and, due to lack of a sufficient budget, Eraserhead was filmed intermittently until 1977. David Lynch used money from friends and family, including boyhood friend Jack Fisk, a production designer and the husband of actress Sissy Spacek, and even took a paper route to finish it.

A stark and enigmatic film, Eraserhead tells the story of a quiet young man (Jack Nance) living in an industrial wasteland, whose girlfriend gives birth to a constantly crying mutant baby. David Lynch has referred to Eraserhead as “my Philadelphia story”, meaning it reflects all of the dangerous and fearful elements he encountered while studying and living in Philadelphia. David Lynch said “this feeling left its traces deep down inside me. And when it came out again, it became Eraserhead”.

The final film was initially judged to be almost unreleasable, but thanks to the efforts of The Elgin Theatre distributor Ben Barenholtz, it became an instant cult classic and was a staple of midnight movie showings for the next decade. It was also a critical success, launching David Lynch to the forefront of avant-garde filmmaking. Stanley Kubrick said that it was one of his all-time favorite films. It cemented the team of actors and technicians who would continue to define the texture of his work for years to come, including cinematographer Frederick Elmes, sound designer Alan Splet, and actor Jack Nance.

Eraserhead brought David Lynch to the attention of producer Mel Brooks, who hired him to direct 1980’s The Elephant Man, a biopic of deformed Victorian era figure Joseph Merrick. The film was a huge commercial success, and earned 8 Academy Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay nods for David Lynch. It also established his place as a commercially viable, if somewhat dark and unconventional, Hollywood director. George Lucas, a fan of Eraserhead, offered David Lynch the opportunity to direct Return of the Jedi, which he refused, feeling that it would be more Lucas’s vision than his own.

Afterwards, David Lynch agreed to direct a big budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune for Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis’s De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, on the condition that the company release a second David Lynch project, over which the director would have complete creative control. Although Dino De Laurentiis hoped it would be the next Star Wars, David Lynch’s Dune (1984) was a critical and commercial dud, costing $45,000,000 to make, and grossing a mere $27.4,000,000 domestically. The studio released an “extended cut” of the film for syndicated television in which some footage was reinstated; however, certain shots from elsewhere in the film were repeated throughout the story to give the impression that other footage had been added. Whatever the case, this was not representative of David Lynch’s intended cut, but rather a cut that the studio felt was more comprehensible than the original theatrical version. David Lynch objected to these changes and disowned the extended cut, which has “Alan Smithee” credited as the director. This version has since been released on video worldwide.

David Lynch’s 2nd Dino De Laurentiis financed project was 1986’s Blue Velvet, the story of a college student (Kyle MacLachlan) who discovers his small, idealistic hometown hides a dark side after investigating a severed ear he found in a field. The film featured memorable performances from Isabella Rossellini as a tormented lounge singer, and Dennis Hopper as a crude, psychopathic criminal, and the leader of a small gang of backwater hoodlums.

Although David Lynch had found success previously with The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet’s controversy with audiences and critics introduced him into the mainstream, and became a huge critical and commercial success. Thus, the film earned David Lynch his 2nd Academy Award nomination for Best Director. The content of the film and its artistic merit drew much controversy from audiences and critics alike in 1986 and onwards. Blue Velvet introduced several common elements of his work, including abused women, the dark underbelly of small towns, and unconventional uses of vintage songs. Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” and Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” are both featured in disturbing ways. It was also the 1st time David Lynch worked with composer Angelo Badalamenti, who would contribute to all of his future full-length films except INLAND EMPIRE.

Woody Allen, whose film Hannah and Her Sisters was nominated for Best Picture, said that Blue Velvet was his favourite film of the year. The film is consistently ranked as one of the greatest American films ever made, and has become a hugely influential motion picture, the impact of which is still being felt in Hollywood and popular culture.

After failing to secure funding for several completed scripts in the late 1980s, David Lynch collaborated with television producer Mark Frost on the show Twin Peaks, which was about a small Washington town that is the location of several bizarre occurrences. The show centered around the investigation by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the death of popular high school student Laura Palmer, an investigation that unearthed the secrets of many town residents, something that stemmed from Blue Velvet. David Lynch directed 6 episodes of the series, including the feature-length pilot, wrote or co-wrote several more and even acted in some episodes.

The show debuted on the ABC Network on 8 April, 1990 and gradually rose from cult hit to cultural phenomenon, and because of its originality and success remains one of the most well-known television series of the decade. Catch phrases from the show entered the culture and parodies of it were seen on Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons. David Lynch appeared on the cover of Time magazine largely because of the success of the series. David Lynch, who has seldom acted in his career, also appeared on the show as the partially-deaf FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, who shouted his every word.

However, David Lynch clashed with the ABC Network on several matters, particularly whether or not to reveal Laura Palmer’s killer. The network insisted that the revelation be made during the 2nd season but David Lynch wanted the mystery to last as long as the series. David Lynch soon became disenchanted with the series, and, as a result, many cast members complained of feeling abandoned. Later, in a roundtable discussion with cast members included in the 2007 DVD release of the series, he stated that he and Mark Frost never intended to ever reveal the identity of Laura’s killer, that ABC forced him to reveal the culprit prematurely, and that agreeing to do so is one of his biggest professional regrets.

It was at this time that David Lynch began to work with editor/producer/domestic partner Mary Sweeney who had been one of his assistant editors on Blue Velvet. This was a collaboration that would last some 11 projects. During this period, Mary Sweeney also gave birth to their son.

Adapted from the novel by Barry Gifford, Wild at Heart was an almost hallucinatory crime/road movie starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. It won the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival but was met with a muted response from American critics and viewers. Reportedly, several people walked out of test screenings.

The missing link between Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart, however, is Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted. It was originally presented on-stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City on 10 November, 1989 as a part of the New Music America Festival. Industrial Symphony No. 1 is another collaboration between composer Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch. It features 5 songs by Julee Cruise and stars several members of the Twin Peaks cast as well as Nic Cage, Laura Dern and Julee Cruise. David Lynch described this musical spectacle as the “sound effects and music and … happening on the stage. And, it has something to do with, uh, a relationship ending.” David Lynch produced a 50 minute video of the performance in 1990.

Twin Peaks suffered a severe ratings drop and was cancelled in 1991. Still, David Lynch scripted a prequel to the series about the last 7 days in the life of Laura Palmer. The resulting film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), flopped at the box office.

As a quick blip during this time period, he and Mark Frost wrote and directed several episodes of the short lived comedy series On the Air for ABC, which followed the zany antics at a 1950s TV studio. In the US, only 3 episodes were aired, although 7 were filmed. In the Netherlands, all 7 were aired by VPRO. BBC2 in the UK also aired all 7 episodes. David Lynch also produced (with Mark Frost) and directed the documentary television series American Chronicles.

David Lynch’s next project was much more low-key: he directed 2 episodes of a 3-episode HBO mini-series called Hotel Room about events that happened in the same hotel room in a span of decades.

David Lynch also had a comic strip – The Angriest Dog in the World – which featured unchanging graphics (various panels showing the angular, angry dog chained up in a yard full of bones) and cryptic philosophical references. It ran from 1983 until 1992in the Village Voice, Creative Loafing and other tabloid and alternative publications.

In 1997, David Lynch returned with the non-linear, noir-like film Lost Highway, co-written by Barry Gifford and starring Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette. The film failed commercially and received a mixed response from critics. However, thanks in part to a soundtrack featuring David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins, it helped gain Lynch a new audience of Generation X viewers.

In 1999, David Lynch surprised fans and critics with the G-rated, Disney-produced The Straight Story, written and edited by Mary Sweeney, which was, on the surface, a simple and humble movie telling the true story of Iowan Alvin Straight, played by Richard Farnsworth, who rides a lawnmower to Wisconsin to make peace with his ailing brother, played by Harry Dean Stanton. The film garnered positive reviews and reached a new audience for its director.

The same year, David Lynch approached ABC once again with an idea for a television drama. The network gave David Lynch the go-ahead to shoot a 2 hour pilot for the series Mulholland Drive, but disputes over content and running time led to the project being shelved indefinitely.

With $7,000,000 from the French production company Studio Canal, David Lynch completed the pilot as a film. Mulholland Drive is an enigmatic tale of the dark side of Hollywood and stars Naomi Watts, Laura Harring and Justin Theroux. The film performed relatively well at the box office worldwide and was a critical success earning David Lynch a Best Director prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival (shared with Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn’t There) and a Best Director award from the New York Film Critics Association.

In 2002, David Lynch created a series of online shorts entitled Dumbland. Intentionally crude both in content and execution, the 8 episode series was later released on DVD. The same year, David Lynch treated his fans to his own version of a sitcom via his website – Rabbits, 8 episodes of surrealism in a rabbit suit. Later, he showed his experiments with Digital Video (DV) in the form of the Japanese style horror short Darkened Room.

At the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, David Lynch announced that he had spent over a year shooting his new project digitally in Poland. The feature, titled Inland Empire, included David Lynch regulars such as Laura Dern, Harry Dean Stanton, and Mulholland Drive star Justin Theroux, with cameos by Naomi Watts and Laura Harring (actors in the rabbit suits), and a performance by Jeremy Irons. David Lynch described the piece as “a mystery about a woman in trouble”. It was released in December 2006. In an effort to promote the film, David Lynch made appearances with a cow and a placard bearing the slogan “Without cheese there would be no Inland Empire”.

Despite his almost exclusive focus on America, David Lynch, like Woody Allen, has found a large audience in France; Inland Empire, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway and Fire Walk With Me were all funded through French production companies.

The most recent work that David Lynch has directed is a fragrance short film/commercial for Gucci. It features 3 prominent models, dancing in what appear to be their own luxurious homes, to the soundtrack of Blondie. A video of the commercial plus a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the commercial is available online at the Gucci website.

In May 2008, David Lynch announced that he was working on a road documentary “about his dialogues with regular folk on the meaning of life, with the likes of 60’s troubadour Donovan and John Hagelin, the physicist, as traveling companions”.

Awards and honours

David Lynch has twice won France’s César Award for Best Foreign Film and served as President of the jury at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, where he had previously won the Palme d’Or in 1990. On 6 September, 2006 David Lynch received a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival. David Lynch also premiered his latest work, Inland Empire, at the festival.

David Lynch has received 4 Academy Award nominations: Best Director for The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001), as well as Best Adapted Screenplay for The Elephant Man (1980).

David Lynch was also honoured by the French government with the Legion of Honour, the country’s top civilian honour, as Chevalier in 2002 then Officier in 2007.

David Lynch is also widely noted for his collaborations with various production artists and composers on his films and multiple different productions. David Lynch frequently uses Angelo Badalamenti to compose music for his productions, former wife Mary Sweeney as a film editor, casting director Johanna Ray, and cast members Harry Dean Stanton, Jack Nance, Kyle MacLachlan, Naomi Watts, Isabella Rossellini and Laura Dern.

Though interpretations do vary, those who study David Lynch’s work generally do find such images to represent consistent or semi-consistent themes throughout his body of work. Also, David Lynch often includes either small town United States in his films as a setting or location, for example Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, or sprawling metropolis, for example Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, where Los Angeles, California becomes the primary location. Beaten or abused women are also a common theme or subject in his productions, as are intimations or explicit mention of sexual abuse and incest (Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Twin Peaks, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and some would pick up references in Mulholland Dr, The Alphabet and The Grandmother).

On a similar note, he has also developed a tendency during the 2nd half of his career to feature his leading female actors in multiple or “split” roles, thus many of his characters have multiple, fractured identities in his films. Starting with the choice to cast Sheryl Lee both as Laura Palmer and as twin cousin Maddy Ferguson on Twin Peaks it continues to be a primary theme in his later works. In Lost Highway, Patricia Arquette has the dual role of Renee Madison/Alice Wakefield. In Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts was cast as Diane Selwyn/Betty Elms and Laura Harring as Camilla Rhodes/Rita. The theme is even further carried out by Laura Dern’s performance in his latest production Inland Empire. Though there are instances in these films of men taking on multiple roles, it seems more common for David Lynch to create multi-character roles for his female actors.

Film critic Roger Ebert has been notoriously unfavourable towards David Lynch, even accusing him of misogyny in his reviews of Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. In early days, Roger Ebert was one of few major critics to dislike Blue Velvet. Roger Ebert seems to have had a change of heart in recent years, as he has written enthusiastic reviews of recent David Lynch films such as The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive.

Unique visuals, often a lot of smoke, saturated and strong colours (especially red), the mix of decaying and rotting environments with aesthetic beauty, minimalist decoration, claustraphobic hallways and staircases, atmospheric lighting, electricity, flickering lights, dark rooms, coffee, lamps, fluorescent lights (especially flickering or damaged), traumatic head injuries and deformities (Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, “Wild at Heart”, “Lost Highway”, “Mulholland Dr.”), highways or open roads at night (Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr.), telephones (“Fire Walk with Me”, “Lost Highway”, “Mulholland Dr.”), dogs, diners (all films with the exception of Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Inland Empire and The Straight Story feature diners), factories (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), red curtains (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., Inland Empire), cigarettes, the binding or crippling of hands or arms, various uses of the color blue and red, angelic or heavenly female figures, and extreme close ups.
Often sets his films in small town USA (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, The Straight Story), and on the contrary, large, sprawling cities (often Los Angeles) in some of his films.

Often casts a musician in a supporting role. Sting in Dune, Chris Isaak, David Bowie and Julee Cruise in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Marilyn Manson, Twiggy Ramirez, and Henry Rollins in Lost Highway, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rebekah Del Rio and Angelo Badalamenti in Mulholland Dr..

Uses many references to France, the French language, culture, people, and names.
Constant references to dreams as a way of connecting the plot and twists in his films, and dreams intertwining with reality.

Frequent use of Roy Orbison songs in his films (In Dreams in Blue Velvet and a Spanish version of Crying in Mulholland Dr.)

Features somewhat obscure and/or lesser-known pop recordings from the middle of America’s 20th century, including “Sixteen Reasons” by Connie Stevens, “Every Little Star” by Linda Scott in “Mulholland Dr.”, and “Honky-Tonk” by Bill Doggett in “Blue Velvet”.

Industrial – atmospheric, dark, brooding, and meticulously timed soundtrack
Interpersonal dialogues and conversations which might often seem, by turns, laconic, aimless, pointless, cryptic, dreamlike, ambiguous. Certainly Lynchian dialogues are polysemous.

Frequent implied thematic discourse revolving around the questions, “What is ‘onstage’?” “What is ‘offstage’?” “What is ‘real life’?” “What is ‘show-biz’?” “What is ‘natural human behavior’?” “What is ‘acting’?”

David Lynch has expressed his admiration for filmmakers Jacques Tati, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini, writer Franz Kafka (stating “the only artist I felt could be my brother was Kafka”), and artist Francis Bacon. Franz Kafka states that the majority of Stanley Kubrick films are in his top 10, that he really loves Franz Kafka, and that Francis Bacon paints images that are both visually stunning, and emotionally touching. Francis Bacon has also cited the Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka as an inspiration for his works. David Lynch has a love for the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz and frequently makes reference to it in his films, most overtly in Wild at Heart.

An early influence on David Lynch was the book The Art Spirit by American turn-of-the-century artist and teacher Robert Henri. When he was in high school, Bushnell Keeler, an artist who was the stepfather of one of his friends, introduced David Lynch to Robert Henri’s book, which became his bible. As David Lynch said in Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch, “it helped me decide my course for painting — 100 percent right there.” David Lynch, like Robert Henri, moved from rural America to an urban environment to pursue an artistic career. Robert Henri was an urban realist painter, legitimizing every day city life as the subject of his work, much in the same way that David Lynch first drew street scenes. Robert Henri’s work also bridged changing centuries, from America’s agricultural 19th century into the industrial 20th century, much in the same fashion as David Lynch’s films blend the nostalgic happiness of the 50s to the twisted weirdness of the 80s and 90s.

David Lynch’s influences have also included Luis Buñuel, Werner Herzog, Roman Polanski, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Ernst Lubitsch. Some of them have cited David Lynch as an influence themselves, most notably Stanley Kubrick, who stated that he modeled his vision of The Shining (1980) upon that of Eraserhead and who, according to David Lynch’s book Catching the Big Fish, once commented while screening Eraserhead for a small group that it was his favourite film. Mario Bava, the prolific Italian horror filmmaker, has frequently been cited as an influence on David Lynch.

Gardenback: After the success he had enjoyed with “The Grandmother”, David Lynch moved to Beverly Hills to participate in the AFI’s Center for Advanced Film. David Lynch began working on a script for a short film called “Gardenback” in 1970. David Lynch spent the whole year working on a 45-page script. The film was to explore the physical materialisation of what grows inside a man’s head when he desires a woman that he sees. This manifestation metamorphoses into a monster.

Cinematographer/director Caleb Deschanel, who was also at the AFI at the time and wanted to shoot the film, introduced David Lynch to a producer at 20th Century Fox. The studio was interested in making a series of low-budget horror films and wanted to expand “Gardenback” into a feature film. The studio was willing to give David Lynch $50,000 to make it but wanted the 45-page script to be expanded. This involved writing dialogue — something David Lynch had never tried before. David Lynch said in Lynch on Lynch, “What I wrote was pretty much worthless, but something happened inside me about structure, about scenes. And I don’t even know what it was, but it sort of percolated down and became part of me. But the script was pretty much worthless. I knew I’d just watered it down.” Consequently, David Lynch became disenchanted with the project. Some of the elements in “Gardenback” would later surface in Eraserhead, such as its main characters Henry and Mary X.

Dune Messiah: David Lynch was in the process of writing the sequel to film Dune(which was partially adapted from the book), but the box office failure of the 1st film killed the project. From the Inner Views David Lynch interview, “…I was really getting into Dune II. I wrote about half the script, maybe more, and I was really getting excited about it. It was much tighter, a better story.” From a Prevue article from 1984: “Lynch has written two sequel screenplays to Dune – Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, based on Herbert’s succeeding novels – which currently await the author’s approval. Back-to-back lensing is expected if the first film is a success. Although Kyle MacLachlan will portray Paul Atreides in the three Dune spectacles, Lynch promises a different cast each time.”

Untitled animated short, 1969 or 1970: Though David Lynch doesn’t remember what the film itself was about, he distinctly recalls that he was paid to produce a short film and the negatives came back from the lab messed up.

Red Dragon: Before making Blue Velvet, the film’s producer, Richard Roth, approached David Lynch with another project — an adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel, Red Dragon. David Lynch was turned off by the content of the book and Roth subsequently took the project to Michael Mann who went on to direct the film as Manhunter (1986).
The Lemurians: This was a TV show that David Lynch was going to do with Mark Frost based on the continent of Lemuria. Their premise for the show was that Lemurian essence was leaking from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and becomes a threat to the world. It was intended to be a comedy but when David Lynch and Mark Frost tried to pitch this show to NBC, the network rejected it.

Goddess: When David Lynch and Mark Frost first met, they began working on a project about Marilyn Monroe. David Lynch had been fascinated by the actress’ life and met with Anthony Summers who wrote a biography of the same name. The more they worked on it, the more they became embroiled in conspiracy theories involving Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys which turned David Lynch off the project. Twin Peaks was created soon after, which has similarities with the story of Marilyn Monroe.

One Saliva Bubble: This was a comedy that David Lynch co-wrote with Mark Frost and intended to direct with Steve Martin and Martin Short starring. It was set in Kansas. Robert Engels describes the premise of the film in Lynch on Lynch: “It’s about an electric bubble from a computer that bursts over this town and changes people’s personalities – like these 5 cattlemen, who suddenly think they’re Chinese gymnasts. It’s insane!”

The White Hotel: David Lynch was attached to Dennis Potter’s adaptation of D.M. Thomas’ novel during the late 1980s.

I’ll Test My Log With Every Branch of Knowledge: Around the time that David Lynch and Catherine Coulson made “The Amputee”, he had an idea for a TV show. David Lynch told Chris Rodley in Lynch on Lynch, “It’s a half-hour television show starring Catherine as the lady with the log. Her husband has been killed in a forest fire and his ashes are on the mantelpiece, with his pipes and his sock hat. He was a woodsman. But the fireplace is completely boarded up. Because she now is very afraid of fire.” This project never got off the ground, but when it came time to film the pilot for Twin Peaks, Lynch remembered this idea and called Coulson up to appear as the Log Lady.

Metamorphosis: This was intended to be an adaptation of the story written by Franz Kafka. David Lynch has expressed on several accounts his desire to film the story of Metamorphosis. David Lynch has even written a script. The main reason that David Lynch has not filmed it is a matter of money and technology involving the transformation of a man into a beetle.

The Dream of the Bovine: David Lynch and Robert Engels wrote the screenplay for this film after Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. According to Engels in Lynch on Lynch, the film was about “three guys, who used to be cows, living in Van Nuys and trying to assimilate their lives.”

David Lynch speaking in Washington D.C., 23 January, 2007 David Lynch tends to keep his personal life private and rarely comments on his films. However, he does attend public events and film festivals when he or his films are nominated/awarded. Despite this belief, the DVD release of Inland Empire is divided into chapters, with David Lynch explaining why in the “Stories” feature. In addition, on his 2 DVD collections of short films, David Lynch provides short introductions to each film.

In the 1980s, David Lynch expressed that he liked Ronald Reagan and at one point he had dinner with the Reagans at the White House, though he sees himself as a Libertarian or Democrat.

In the “Stories” feature on the Eraserhead DVD, David Lynch mentions that he ate French fries and grilled cheese almost every day while on the set. Despite his professional accomplishments, David Lynch once characterised himself simply as “Eagle Scout, Missoula, Montana”.

In 1967, David Lynch married Peggy Lentz in Chicago, Illinois. They had 1 child, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, born in 1968, who currently works as a film director. They filed for divorce in 1974. On 21 June, 1977, David Lynch married Mary Fisk, and the couple had 1 child, Austin Jack Lynch, born in 1982. They divorced in 1987, and David Lynch began dating Isabella Rossellini, after filming Blue Velvet.

David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini broke up in 1991, and David Lynch developed a relationship with Mary Sweeney, with whom he had 1 son, Riley Lynch, in 1992.

Mary Sweeney also worked as long-time film editor/producer to David Lynch and co-wrote and produced The Straight Story. The 2 married in May 2006, but divorced later in July.

In 2 December, 2005, David Lynch told the Washington Post that he had been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day, for 20 minutes each time, for 32 years. David Lynch was initiated into TM on 1 July, 1973, at 11:00 a.m., in a TM Center at Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles by a teacher he thought “looked like Doris Day”. Since then he never missed a programme. David Lynch advocates its use in bringing peace to the world. In July 2005, he launched the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and Peace to fund research about TM’s positive effects, and he promotes the technique and his vision by an ongoing tour of college campuses that began in September 2005. A streaming video of one of David Lynch’s public performances is available at his foundation’s website.

David Lynch is working for the establishment of 7 “peace palaces”, each with 8000 salaried people practicing advanced techniques of TM, “pumping peace for the world.” David Lynch estimates the cost at $7,000,000,000. As of December 2005, he had spent $400,000 of his own money and raised $1,000,000 in donations from a handful of wealthy individuals and organisations. In December 2006, the New York Times reported that he continued to have that goal.

David Lynch has written a book, Catching the Big Fish (Tarcher/Penguin 2006), which discusses the impact of TM on his creative process. David Lynch is donating all author’s royalties to the David Lynch Foundation.

David Lynch maintains an interest in other art forms. David Lynch described the 20th century artist Francis Bacon as “to me, the main guy, the number 1 kinda hero painter”. David Lynch continues to present art installations and stage designs. In his spare time, he also designs and builds furniture. David Lynch started building furniture from his own designs as far back as his art school days. David Lynch built sheds during the making of Eraserhead, and many of the sets and furniture used in that movie are made by David Lynch. David Lynch also made some of the furniture for Fred Madison’s house in Lost Highway.

David Lynch was the subject of a major art retrospective at the Fondation Cartier, Paris from March 03-27 May 2007. The show was entitled The Air is on Fire and included numerous paintings, photographs, drawings, alternative films and sound work. New site-specific art installations were created specially for the exhibition. A series of events accompanied the exhibition including live performances and concerts. Some of David Lynch’s art include photographs of dissected chickens and other animals as a “Build your own Chicken” toy ad.

Between 1983 and 1992, David Lynch wrote and drew a weekly comic strip called The Angriest Dog in the World for the L.A. Reader. The drawings in the panels never change — just the captions. The comic strip originated from a time in David Lynch’s life when he was filled with anger.

David Lynch has also been involved in a number of musical projects, many of them related to his films. Most notably he produced and wrote lyrics for Julee Cruise’s 1st 2 albums, Floating into the Night (1989) and The Voice of Love (1993), in collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti who composed the music and also produced. David Lynch has also worked on the 1998 Jocelyn Montgomery album Lux Vivens. David Lynch has also composed bits of music for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Mulholland Drive, and Rabbits. In 2001 he released BlueBob, a rock album performed by David Lynch and John Neff. The album is notable for David Lynch’s unusual guitar playing style: he plays “upside down and backwards, like a lap guitar”, and relies heavily on effects pedals. Most recently David Lynch has composed several pieces for Inland Empire, including 2 songs, “Ghost of Love” and “Walkin’ on the Sky” in which he makes his public debut as a singer.

David Lynch designed his personal website, a site exclusive to paying members, where he posts short videos and his absurdist series Dumbland, plus interviews and other items. The site also features a daily weather report, where David Lynch gives a brief description of the weather in Los Angeles, where he resides. An absurd ringtone (“I like to kill deer”) from the website was a common sound bite on The Howard Stern Show in early 2006.

David Lynch is an avid coffee drinker and even has his own line of special organic blends available for purchase on his website. Called “David Lynch Signature Cup”, the coffee has been advertised via flyers included with several recent Lynch-related DVD releases, including Inland Empire and the Gold Box edition of Twin Peaks. The self-mocking tag-line for the brand is “It’s all in the beans … and I’m just full of beans.”

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend Jason Becker

Jason Becker, was born on 22 July, 1969. Jason is an American neo-classical metal guitarist and composer. At the age of 16, he became part of the Mike Varney-produced duo Cacophony with his friend Marty Friedman. They released Speed Metal Symphony in 1987 and Go Off! in 1988.

Jason Becker studied the works of violinist Niccolò Paganini and was a playing partner with Marty Friedman. Jason later composed a rendition of Paganini’s 5th Caprice, performing it during an instructional guitar video. Jason Becker’s compositions often include high speed scalar and arpeggio passages, both of which are trademarks of his ‘shred’ style of guitar playing. The song “Serrana”, appearing in the album Perspective, is an example of his sweep-picking skills. Jason demonstrated the arpeggio sequence during a clinic at the Atlanta Institute of Music. A video of this performance first appeared on his Hot Licks guitar instructional video and can now be viewed on YouTube.

Jason Becker started out playing alongside Marty Friedman in the Mike Varney produced duo, Cacophony. Jason Becker and Marty Friedman toured together with Cacophony in Japan and across the United States. In 1989 Jason Becker left to pursue a solo career, releasing his 1st solo album titled ‘Perpetual Burn’ in 1988, and has since released ‘Perspective’, as well as 2 albums of demos, entitled ‘The Raspberry Jams’ and The Blackberry Jams.

At the age of 20, he joined David Lee Roth’s band, replacing Steve Vai, who went on to join Whitesnake. While recording the A Little Ain’t Enough album and preparing for the subsequent tour in 1990, Jason Becker began to feel what he called a “lazy limp” on his left leg. Jason was soon diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and given 3 years to live. Jason could barely finish the recording, using low-gauge (thin) guitar strings and other techniques, which would make it easier to play with his weakening hands. Although he managed to finish the album he did not join the supporting tour due to his inability to perform on stage; former Lizzy Borden guitarist Joe Holmes took Jason Becker’s place on tour.

Jason eventually lost the ability to speak and now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father. Although his ALS gradually robbed him of his ability to play guitar, to walk, and eventually even to speak, he still remains mentally sharp and, with the aid of a computer, continues composing. In the back of the Perspective CD case, Jason Becker states “I have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It has crippled my body and speech, but not my mind.” Now in his 30s, his medical condition has remained stable since 1997. No recent updates pertaining to Jason’s condition has been heard of aside from him stating that he has felt a little better and gained some weight, but this was in 2003.

In 1996 Jason Becker released an album entitled Perspective, an instrumental album composed by him (with the exception of Bob Dylan’s song “Meet Me in the Morning”). The writing of the music had been started before ALS completely crippled his abilities. By using guitar and later, when he was unable to use both hands, a keyboard, he continued to compose while his disease worsened. However, when Jason Becker could no longer physically play even a keyboard, his friend and music producer Mike Bemesderfer helped him with a music-composing computer program which could read the movements of his head and eyes enabling Json Becker to continue to compose after he lost control of his entire body.

Several years later Jason Becker released Raspberry Jams (1999) and Blackberry Jams (2003), the first contained various unreleased demo-tracks and the latter contained demo-tracks and alternate versions of songs that were later reworked and published into other albums.

2 tribute albums to Jason Becker have been issued. Respectively entitled Warmth in the Wilderness I and Warmth in the Wilderness II, they feature guitarists such as Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Joe Becker, Rusty Cooley, and Mattias Eklundh. The album profits were sent to Jason Becker to help him with his medical finances.

Shrapnel Records will be releasing a Best of Jason Becker album. The album, is scheduled for release in October and will feature three new songs for the album which will feature Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Vai, and Steve Hunter. The album will also feature older, never-heard songs/recordings.

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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus was born on 22 April 1922 in Nogales, Arizona and died on 5 January 1979 at the age of 56 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he had traveled for treatment and convalescence. Charles’ ashes were scattered in the Ganges River.

At the time of his death, Charles Mingus had been recording an album with singer Joni Mitchell, which included vocal versions of some of his songs (including “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”) among Mitchell originals and short, spoken word duets and home recordings of Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus. The album also featured Jaco Pastorius, another massively influential bassist and composer.

Charles was an American jazz bassist, composer, bandleader, and occasional pianist. Charles was also known for his activism against racial injustice.

Charles is highly ranked among the composers and performers of jazz, and he recorded many highly regarded albums. Dozens of musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. Charles’ tunes—though melodic and distinctive—are not often re-recorded, in part because of their unconventional nature. Charles was also influential and creative as a band leader, recruiting talented and sometimes little-known artists whom he assembled into unconventional and revealing configurations.

Nearly as well known as his ambitious music was Charles’ often fearsome temperament, which earned him the nickname “The Angry Man of Jazz.” Charles’ refusal to compromise his musical integrity led to many on-stage eruptions, though it has been argued that his temper also grew from a need to vent frustration.

Charles was prone to depression. Charles tended to have brief periods of extreme creative activity, intermixed with fairly long periods of greatly decreased output.

Most of Charles’ music retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop and drew heavily from black gospel music while sometimes drawing on elements of Third Stream, free jazz and even classical music. Yet Charles avoided categorisation, forging his own brand of music that fused tradition with unique and unexplored realms of jazz. Charles focused on collective improvisation, similar to the old New Orleans Jazz parades, paying particular attention to how each band member interacted with the group as a whole. In creating his bands, Charles looked not only at the skills of the available musicians, but also their personalities. Charles strove to create unique music to be played by unique musicians.

Due to his brilliant writing for mid-size ensembles—and his catering to and emphasizing the strengths of the musicians in his groups—Charles is often considered the heir apparent to Duke Ellington, for whom he expressed unqualified admiration. Indeed, Dizzy Gillespie had once claimed Charles reminded him “of a young Duke”, citing their shared “organisational genius.”

Charles was raised largely in the Watts area of Los Angeles, California. Charles’ mother’s paternal heritage was Chinese and English, while historical records indicate that his father was the illegitimate offspring of a black farmhand and his Swedish employer’s white granddaughter.

Charles’ mother allowed only church-related music in their home, but Charles developed an early love for jazz, especially the music of Duke Ellington. Charles studied trombone, and later cello. Much of the cello technique he learned was applicable to double bass when he took up the instrument in high school.

Beginning in his teen years, Charles was writing quite advanced pieces; many are similar to Third Stream Jazz. A number of them were recorded in 1960 with conductor Gunther Schuller, and released as Pre-Bird, referring to Charlie “Bird” Parker.

Charles gained a reputation as something of a bass prodigy. Charles toured with Louis Armstrong in 1943, then played with Lionel Hampton’s band in the late 1940s; Louis performed and recorded several of Charles’ pieces. A popular trio of Charles Mingus, Red Norvo and Tal Farlow in 1950 and 1951 received considerable acclaim, but Charles’ mixed origin caused problems with club owners and he left the group. Charles was briefly a member of Ellington’s band in the early 1950s, and notorious temper reportedly led to his being the only musician personally fired by Ellington (although there are reports that Sidney Bechet in 1925 was another), after an on-stage fight between Charles and Juan Tizol.

Also in the early 1950s, before attaining commercial recognition as a bandleader, Charles played gigs with Charlie Parker, whose compositions and improvisations greatly inspired and influenced him. Charles considered Charlie Parker the greatest genius and innovator in jazz history, but he had a love-hate relationship with Charlie Parker’s legacy. Charles Mingus blamed the Parker mythology for a derivative crop of pretenders to Charlie Parker’s throne. Charles was also conflicted and sometimes disgusted by Charlie Parker’s self-destructive habits and the romanticised lure of drug addiction they offered to other jazz musicians. In response to the many sax players who imitated Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus titled a song, “If Charlie Parker were a Gunslinger, There’d be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats” (released on Mingus Dynasty as “Gunslinging Bird”).

In 1952 Charles co-founded Debut Records with Max Roach, in order to conduct his recording career as he saw fit; the name originated with a desire to document unrecorded young musicians. Despite this, the best known recording the company issued was of the most prominent figures in bebop. On 15 May, 1953, Charles joined Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Max Roach for a concert at Massey Hall in Toronto, which is the last recorded documentation of the two lead instrumentalists playing together. After the event, Charles chose to overdub his barely-audible bass part back in New York; the original version was issued later. The 2 10″ albums of the Massey Hall concert (one featured the trio of Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach) were among Debut Records’ earliest releases. Charles may have objected to the way the major record companies treated musicians, but Gillespie once commented that he did not receive any royalties “for years and years” for his Massey Hall appearance. The records though, are often regarded as among the finest live jazz recordings.

In 1955, Charles was involved in a notorious incident while playing a club date billed as a “reunion” with Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Max Roach. Bud Powell, who had suffered from alcoholism and mental illness for years (potentially exacerbated by a severe police beating and electroshock treatments), had to be helped from the stage, unable to play or speak coherently. As Bud Powell’s incapacitation became apparent, Charlie Parker stood in one spot at a microphone, chanting “Bud Powell…Bud Powell…” as if beseeching Bud Powell’s return. Allegedly, Charlie Parker continued this incantation for several minutes after Bud Powell’s departure, to his own amusement and Charles Mingus’ exasperation. Charles Mingus took another microphone and announced to the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t associate me with any of this. This is not jazz. These are sick people.” This was Charlie Parker’s last public performance, about a week later Charlie Parker died after years of alcohol and drug abuse.

Charles Mingus often worked with a mid-sized ensemble (around 8–10 members) of rotating musicians known as the Jazz Workshop. Charles Mingus broke new ground, constantly demanding that his musicians be able to explore and develop their perceptions on the spot. Those who joined the Workshop (or Sweatshops as they were colorfully dubbed by the musicians) included Pepper Adams, Jaki Byard, Booker Ervin, John Handy, Jimmy Knepper, Charles McPherson and Horace Parlan. Charles Mingus shaped these promising novices into a cohesive improvisational machine that in many ways anticipated free jazz. Some musicians dubbed the workshop a “university” for jazz.

The decade which followed is generally regarded as Charles Mingus’s most productive and fertile period. Impressive new compositions and albums appeared at an astonishing rate: some 30 records in 10 years, for a number of record labels (Atlantic Records, Candid, Columbia Records, Impulse! Records and others), a pace perhaps unmatched by any other musician except Ellington.

Charles Mingus had already recorded around 10 albums as a bandleader, but 1956 was a breakthrough year for him, with the release of Pithecanthropus Erectus, arguably his first major work as both a bandleader and composer. Like Ellington, Charles Mingus wrote songs with specific musicians in mind, and his band for Erectus included adventurous, though distinctly blues-oriented musicians, piano player Mal Waldron, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and the Sonny Rollins-influenced tenor of J. R. Monterose. The title song is a 10 minute tone poem, depicting the rise of man from his hominid roots (Pithecanthropus erectus) to an eventual downfall. A section of the piece was improvised free of structure or theme.

Another album from this period, The Clown (1957 also on Atlantic Records), with an improvised story on the title track by humorist Jean Shepherd, was the first to feature drummer Dannie Richmond. Dannie Richmond would be his preferred drummer until Charles Mingus’s death in 1979. The two men formed one of the most impressive and versatile rhythm sections in jazz. Both were accomplished performers seeking to stretch the boundaries of their music while staying true to its roots. When joined by pianist Jaki Byard, they were dubbed “The Almighty Three”.

Though he initially expressed rather mixed feelings for Coleman’s innovative music: “…if the free-form guys could play the same tune twice, then I would say they were playing something…Most of the time they use their fingers on the saxophone and they don’t even know what’s going to come out. They’re experimenting.” Charles Mingus was in fact a prime influence of the early free jazz era. Charles Mingus formed a quartet with Dannie Richmond, trumpeter Ted Curson and saxophonist Eric Dolphy. This ensemble featured the same instruments as Coleman’s quartet, and is often regarded as Charles Mingus rising to the challenging new standard established by Coleman. Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus, the quartet’s sole album, is frequently included among the finest in Charles Mingus’s catalogue.

In 1963, Charles Mingus released The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, a sprawling, multi-section masterpiece, described as “one of the greatest achievements in orchestration by any composer in jazz history.” The album was also unique in that Charles Mingus asked his psychotherapist to provide notes for the record.

1963 also saw the release of an unaccompanied album Mingus Plays Piano. Charles’ piano technique, though capable and expressive, was somewhat unrefined when compared to Herbie Hancock or other contemporary jazz pianists, but the album is still generally well regarded. A few pieces were entirely improvised and drew on classical music as much as jazz, preceding Keith Jarrett’s landmark The Köln Concert in those respects by some 12 years.

In 1964 Charles Mingus put together one of his best-known groups, a sextet including Dannie Richmond, Jaki Byard, Eric Dolphy, trumpeter Johnny Coles, and tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan. The group was recorded frequently during its short existence; Johnny Coles fell ill during a European tour. On 28 June, 1964 Eric Dolphy died while in Berlin, and Charles Mingus was evicted from his New York home in 1966.

Charles Mingus’s pace slowed somewhat in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1974 he formed a quintet with Dannie Richmond, pianist Don Pullen, trumpeter Jack Walrath and saxophonist George Adams. They recorded 2 well-received albums, Changes 1 and Changes 2. Charles also played with Charles McPherson in many of his groups during this time.

Cumbia and Jazz Fusion in 1976 sought to blend Colombian music (the “Cumbia” of the title) with more traditional jazz forms.

In 1971, Charles Mingus taught for a semester at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York as the Slee Professor of Music.

By the mid-1970s, Charles Mingus was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), a wastage of the musculature. Charles Mingus once formidable bass technique suffered, until he could no longer play the instrument. Charles continued composing, however, and supervised a number of recordings before his death.

The music of Charles Mingus is currently being performed and reinterpreted by the Mingus Big Band, which plays every Tuesday at Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, and often tours the rest of the U.S. and Europe. Elvis Costello has written lyrics for a few Mingus pieces. Charles Mingus had once sung lyrics for one piece, “Invisible Lady”, being backed by the Mingus Big Band on the album, Tonight at Noon: Three of Four Shades of Love.

In addition to the Mingus Big Band, there is the Mingus Orchestra and the Mingus Dynasty, each of which are managed by Jazz Workshop, Inc., and run by Charles’s widow Sue Graham Mingus. Other tribute bands are also active all around the US and the world, including Mingus Amungus in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Swedish Mingus Band Siegmund Freud’s Mothers in Stockholm.

Epitaph is considered by many to be the masterwork of Charles Mingus. It is a composition which is more than 4,000 measures long, requires 2 hours to perform and was only completely discovered during the cataloging process after his death by musicologist Andrew Homzy. With the help of a grant from the Ford Foundation, the score and instrumental parts were copied, and the piece itself was premiered by a 30-piece orchestra, conducted by Gunther Schuller. This concert was produced by Charles Mingus’s widow, Sue Graham Mingus, at Alice Tully Hall on 3 June, 1989, 10 years after his death. Epitaph is one of the longest jazz pieces ever written.

Considering the number of compositions that Charles Mingus has written, his works have not been recorded as often as comparable jazz composers. Of all his works, his elegant elegy for Lester Young, “Goodbye Porkpie Hat” (from Mingus Ah Um) has probably had the most recordings. Besides recordings from the expected jazz artists, the song has also been recorded by musicians as disparate as Jeff Beck, Andy Summers, Eugene Chadbourne, and Bert Jansch and John Renbourn with and without Pentangle. Joni Mitchell sang a version with lyrics that she wrote for the song. Elvis Costello has recorded “Hora Decubitus” (from Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus) on My Flame Burns Blue (2006). “Better Git It in Your Soul” was covered by Davey Graham on his album “Folk, Blues, and Beyond.” Trumpeter Ron Miles performs a version of “Pithecanthropus Erectus” on his EP “Witness.” New York Ska Jazz Ensemble has done a cover of Charles Mingus’s “Haitian Fight Song”, as have Pentangle and others. Hal Willner’s 1992 tribute album Weird Nightmare: Meditations on Mingus (Columbia Records) contains idiosyncratic renditions of Charles Mingus’s works involving numerous popular musicians including Chuck D, Keith Richards, Henry Rollins and Dr. John. The italian band Quintorigo recorded an entire album devoted to Charles Mingus’ music, titled Play Mingus.

As respected as Charles Mingus was for his musical talents, he was often feared for his sometimes violent onstage temper, which was at times directed at members of his band, and other times aimed at the audience. Charles Mingus was physically large, prone to obesity (especially in his later years), and was by all accounts often intimidating and frightening when expressing anger or displeasure.

When confronted with a nightclub audience talking and clinking ice in their glasses while he performed, Charles Mingus stopped his band and loudly chastised the audience, stating “Isaac Stern doesn’t have to put up with this shit.” Charles once played a prank on a similar group of nightclub chatterers by silencing his band for several seconds, allowing the loud audience members to be clearly heard, then continuing as the rest of the audience snickered at the oblivious “soloists”.

Guitarist and singer Jackie Paris was a first-hand witness to Charles Mingus’s irascibility. Paris recalls his time in the Jazz Workshop: “He chased everybody off the stand except [drummer] Paul Motian and me… The three of us just wailed on the blues for about an hour and a half before he called the other cats back.”

While onstage at a memorial concert in Philadelphia, he reportedly attempted to crush his pianist’s hands with the instrument’s keyboard cover, then punched trombonist Jimmy Knepper in the mouth.[On 12 October, 1962, Charles Mingus slapped Jimmy Knepper in the mouth while the 2 men were working together at Charles Mingus’s apartment on a score for his upcoming concert at New York Town Hall and Jimmy Knepper refused to take on more work. The blow broke a cap and its tooth stub. According to Jimmy Knepper, this ruined his embouchure and resulted in the permanent loss of the top octave of his range on the trombone. This attack ended their working relationship and Jimmy Knepper was unable to perform at the concert. Charged with assault, Charles Mingus appeared in court in January, 1963 and was given a suspended sentence. In another incident, saxophonist Jackie McLean, fearing the bassist was about to kill him, nearly stabbed Charles Mingus after Charles Mingus punched him.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Gabriel Faure

Gabriel Urbain Fauré was born on 12 May 1845 in Pamiers Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées and died on 4 November 1924 in Paris, France from pneumonia. Gabriel Faure was given a state funeral at the Église de la Madeleine and is buried in the Cimetière de Passy in Paris.

Gabriel Faure was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. Gabriel Faure was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. Gabriel Faure’s harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.

Gabriel Fauré was born to, Toussaint-Honoré Fauré and Marie-Antoinette-Hélène Lalène-Laprade. Gabriel Faure was sent to live with a foster-nurse for 4 years. At the age of 9 he was sent to study at the École Niedermeyer, a school which prepared church organists and choir directors in Paris, and continued there for 11 years. Gabriel Faure studied with several prominent French musicians, including Camille Saint-Saëns, who introduced him to the music of several contemporary composers, including Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt.

In 1870, Gabriel Fauré enlisted in the army and took part in the action to raise the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. During the Paris Commune he stayed at Rambouillet and in Switzerland, where he taught at the transported École Niedermeyer. When he returned to Paris in October 1871, he was appointed assistant organist at Saint-Sulpice as accompanist to the choir, and became a regular at Saint-Saëns’ salon. Here he met many prominent Parisian musicians and with those he met there and at the salon of Pauline Garcia-Viardot he formed the Société Nationale de Musique.

In 1874, Gabriel Fauré stopped working at Saint-Sulpice and began to fill in at the Église de la Madeleine for Saint-Saëns during his many absences. When Saint-Saëns retired in 1877, Gabriel Fauré became choirmaster. In the same year he became engaged to Marianne Viardot, daughter of Pauline, but the engagement was later broken off by Marianne. Following this disappointment he travelled to Weimar, where he met Liszt, and Cologne in order to see productions of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Gabriel Fauré admired Richard Wagner, but was one of very few composers of his generation not to come under his influence.

In 1883, Gabriel Fauré married Marie Fremiet, with whom he had 2 sons. In order to support his family Gabriel Fauré spent most of his time in organising daily services at the Église de la Madeleine and teaching piano and harmony lessons. Gabriel Faure only had time to compose during the summers. Gabriel Faure earned almost no money from his compositions because his publisher bought them, copyright and all, for 50 francs each. During this period Gabriel Fauré wrote several large scale works, in addition to many piano pieces and songs, but he destroyed many of them after a few performances, only retaining a few movements in order to re-use motives.

During his youth Gabriel Fauré was very cheerful, but his broken engagement combined with his perceived lack of musical success led to bouts of depression which he described as “spleen”. In the 1890s, however, his fortunes reversed somewhat. Gabriel Faure had a successful trip to Venice where he met with friends and wrote several works. In 1892, he became the inspector of the music conservatories in the French provinces, which meant he no longer had to teach amateur students. In 1896, he finally became chief organist at the Église de la Madeleine, and also succeeded Jules Massenet as composition instructor at the Conservatoire de Paris. At this particular post he taught many important French composers, including Maurice Ravel and Nadia Boulanger.

From 1903 to 1921, Gabriel Fauré was a critic for Le Figaro. In 1905, he succeeded Théodore Dubois as director of the Paris Conservatory. Gabriel Faure made many changes at the Conservatoire, leading to the resignation of a number of faculty members. This position meant that he was better off in terms of income, and he also became much more widely known as a composer.

Gabriel Fauré was elected to the Institut de France in 1909, but at the same time he broke with the Société Nationale de Musique, and supported the rogue group which formed out of those ejected from the Société, mainly his own students. During this time Gabriel Fauré developed ear trouble and gradually lost his hearing. Sound not only became fainter, but it was also distorted, so that pitches on the low and high ends of his hearing sounded like other pitches. Gabriel Faure made efforts to conceal his difficulty, but was eventually forced to abandon his teaching position.

Gabriel Faure’s responsibilities at the Conservatoire, combined with his hearing loss, meant that Gabriel Fauré’s output was greatly reduced during this period. During World War I Gabriel Fauré remained in France. In 1920, at the age of 75, he retired from the Conservatoire mainly due to his increasing deafness. In this year he also received the Grand-Croix of the Légion d’Honneur, an honor rare for a musician. Gabriel Faure suffered from poor health, partially brought on by heavy smoking. Despite this, he remained available to young composers, including members of Les Six, who were devoted to him.

Gabriel Fauré is regarded as the master of the French art song, or mélodie. Gabriel Faure’s works ranged from an early romantic style, when in his early years he emulated the style of Mendelssohn and others, to late 19th century Romantic, and finally to a 20th century aesthetic. Gabriel Faure’s work was based on a strong understanding of harmonic structures which he received at the École Niedermeyer from his harmony teacher Gustave Lefèvre, who wrote the book Traité d’harmonie (Paris, 1889), in which Lefèvre sets forth a harmonic theory which differs significantly from the classical theory of Jean-Philippe Rameau in that 7th and 9th chords are no longer considered dissonant, and the mediant can be altered without changing the mode. In addition, Gabriel Fauré’s understanding of the church modes can be seen in various modal passages in his works, especially in his melodies.

In contrast with his harmonic and melodic style, which pushed the bounds for his time, Gabriel Fauré’s rhythmic motives tended to be subtle and repetitive, with little to break the flow of the line, although he did utilize subtle large scale syncopations, similar to those found in Brahms works. Aaron Copland referred to him as the ‘French Brahms’.

Gabriel Fauré’s piano works often use arpeggiated figures with the melody interspersed between the 2 hands, and include finger substitutions natural for organists. These aspects make them daunting for some pianists, but they are nonetheless central works.

Gabriel Fauré was a prolific composer, and among the most noteworthy of his works are his Requiem, the opera Pénélope, the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques (based on music for a dramatic entertainment, or divertissement comique), and music for Pelléas et Mélisande. Gabriel Faure also wrote chamber music; his 2 piano quartets are particularly well known. Other chamber music includes 2 piano quintets, 2 cello sonatas, 2 violin sonatas, and a number of piano pieces including the Nocturnes. Gabriel Faure is also known for his songs, such as Après un rêve, Les roses d’Ispahan, En prière, and several song cycles, including La Bonne Chanson with settings of poems by Verlaine, and L’horizon chimérique.

The Requiem, Op. 48, was not composed to the memory of a specific person but, in Gabriel Fauré’s words, “for the pleasure of it.” It was first performed in 1888. Gabriel Fauré is thought not to have had strong religious beliefs. It has been described as “a lullaby of death”. In setting his requiem, he left out the Dies irae, though the reference to the day of judgment appears in the Libera me, which, like Giuseppe Verdi, he added to the normal requiem mass. Several slightly different versions of the Requiem exist, and these have given rise to a number of different recordings. Personal grief may have influenced the composition as it was started after the death of his father, and before it was completed, his mother died as well. The Requiem can thus be seen as an expression of Gabriel Fauré’s personal tragedy written after the death of his parents. The Requiem is also acknowledged as a source of inspiration for the similar setting by Maurice Duruflé.

Gabriel Faure’s music is used in “Act I: Emeralds” of George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels (1967).

In the UK, the Berceuse from his Dolly Suite became known to several generations of children when it was used as the closing music for the radio programme Listen with Mother, which ran from 1950 to 1982.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Ludwig Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, was born on 16 December 1770 in Bonn, Electorate of Cologne(now in modern-day Germany) and died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56 due to Lead Poisoning.

Ludwig Van Beethoven was 1 Of the 7 children born to Johann Beethoven, himself the only survivor of 3, only second-born Ludwig and 2 younger brothers survived infancy. Beethoven was baptised on 17 December 1770. Although his birth date is not known for certain, his family celebrated his birthday on 16 December.

Beethoven moved to Vienna in his early 20s and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven’s hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his 20s, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf. Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.

Beethoven’s parents were Johann van Beethoven (1740 in Bonn–1792) and Maria Magdalena Keverich (1744 in Ehrenbreitstein–1787). Magdalena’s father Johann Heinrich Keverich had been Chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier at Festung Ehrenbreitstein fortress opposite to Koblenz. Beethoven was, like their first child Ludwig Maria, named after his grandfather Ludwig (1712–1773), a musician of Roman Catholic Flemish ancestry who was at one time Kapellmeister at the court of Clemens August of Bavaria, the Prince-Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, and who married Beethoven’s grandmother Maria Josepha Ball (1714–1775) in 1733.

Beethoven’s first music teacher was his father, who was a tenor in the service of the Electoral court at Bonn. Beethoven was reportedly a harsh instructor. Johann later engaged a friend, Tobias Pfeiffer, to preside over his son’s musical training, and it is said Johann and his friend would at times come home late from a night of drinking to pull young Beethoven out of bed to practice until morning. Beethoven’s talent was recognized at a very early age, and by 1778 he was studying the organ and viola in addition to the piano. Beethoven’s most important teacher in Bonn was Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was the Court’s Organist. Neefe helped Beethoven publish his first composition: a set of keyboard variations.

A portrait of the 13 year old Beethoven by an unknown Bonn master The young Beethoven’s talent was spotted in Bonn by Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein, who became one of his early patrons and, in 1787, enabled him to travel to Vienna for the first time, in hopes of studying with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is not clear whether he succeeded in meeting Mozart, or if he did whether Mozart was willing to accept him as a pupil; see Mozart and Beethoven. In any event, the declining health of Beethoven’s mother, dying of tuberculosis, forced him to return home after only about 2 weeks in Vienna. Beethoven’s mother died on 17 July 1787, when Beethoven was 16.

Due to his father’s worsening alcohol addiction, Beethoven became responsible for raising his 2 younger brothers.

In 1792, Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he studied for a time with Joseph Haydn: his hopes of studying with Mozart had been shattered by Mozart’s death the previous year. Beethoven received additional instruction from Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (Vienna’s pre-eminent counterpoint instructor) and Antonio Salieri. By 1793, Beethoven established a reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso. Beethhoven’s first works with opus numbers, a set of 3 piano trios, appeared in 1795. Beethoven settled into the career pattern he would follow for the remainder of his life: rather than working for the church or a noble court (as most composers before him had done), he supported himself through a combination of annual stipends or single gifts from members of the aristocracy; income from subscription concerts, concerts, and lessons; and proceeds from sales of his works.

Beethoven’s patrons loved his music but were not quick to support him. Beethoven eventually came to rely more on patrons such as Count Franz Joseph Kinsky, (d. 1811), Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz (1772–1816) and Karl Alois Johann-Nepomuk Vinzenz, Fürst Lichnowsky, and as these patrons died or reneged on their pledges, Beethoven fell into debt. In 1807, Prince Lobkowitz advised Beethoven to apply for the position of composer of the Imperial Theatres, but the nobility who had newly been placed in charge of the post did not respond. Beethoven considered leaving Vienna: in the fall of 1808, he was offered a position as chapel maestro at the court of Jerome Bonaparte, the king of Westphalia, which he accepted. To persuade him to stay in Vienna, the Archduke Rudolf, Count Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz, after receiving representations from the composer’s friends, pledged to pay Beethoven a pension of 4000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolf paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky, immediately called to duty as an officer, did not contribute and soon died after falling from his horse. Lobkowitz stopped paying in September 1811. No successors came forward to continue the patronage, and Beethoven relied mostly on selling composition rights and a smaller pension after 1815.

Beethoven in 1803 Around 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing. Beethoven suffered a severe form of tinnitus, a “ringing” in his ears that made it hard for him to perceive and appreciate music; he also avoided conversation. Beethoven lived for a time in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna. Here he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, which records his resolution to continue living for and through his art. Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he began to weep. Beethoven’s hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made concerts—lucrative sources of income—increasingly hard.

Beethoven used a special rod attached to the soundboard on a piano that he could bite—the vibrations would then transfer from the piano to his jaw to increase his perception of the sound. A large collection of his hearing aids such as special ear horns can be viewed at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite his obvious distress, however, Czerny remarked that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until 1812. By 1814 however, Beethoven was almost totally deaf, and when a group of visitors saw him play a loud arpeggio or thundering bass notes at his piano remarking, “Ist es nicht schön?” (Isn’t that beautiful?), they felt deep sympathy considering his courage and sense of humor.

Beethoven in 1823; copy of a destroyed portrait by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller as a result of Beethoven’s hearing loss, a unique historical record has been preserved: his conversation books. Beethoven’s friends wrote in the book so that he could know what they were saying, and he then responded either verbally or in the book. The books contain discussions about music and other issues, and give insights into his thinking; they are a source for investigation into how he felt his music should be performed, and also his perception of his relationship to art. Unfortunately, 264 out of a total of 400 conversation books were destroyed (and others were altered) after Beethoven’s death by Anton Schindler, in his attempt to paint an idealized picture of the composer.

Beethoven’s personal life was troubled. Beethhoven encroaching deafness led him to contemplate suicide (documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament). Beethoven was often irascible and may have suffered from bipolar disorder and irritability brought on by chronic abdominal pain beginning in his 20s that has been attributed to his lead poisoning. Beethoven, nevertheless, had a close and devoted circle of friends all his life, thought to have been attracted by his reputed strength of personality. Towards the end of his life, Beethoven’s friends competed in their efforts to help him cope with his incapacities.

Sources show Beethoven’s disdain for authority, and for social rank. Beethoven stopped performing at the piano if the audience chatted among themselves, or afforded him less than their full attention. At soirées, he refused to perform if suddenly called upon to do so. Eventually, after many confrontations, the Archduke Rudolph decreed that the usual rules of court etiquette did not apply to Beethoven.

The women who attracted Beethoven were unattainable because they were either married or aristocratic. Beethoven never married, although he was engaged to Giulietta Guiccardi. Giulietta father was the main obstacle to their marriage. Giulietta’s marriage to a nobleman was unhappy, and when it ended in 1822, she attempted unsuccessfully to return to Beethoven. Beethoven’s only other documented love affair with an identified woman began in 1805 with Josephine von Brunswick, young widow of the Graf von Deym. It is believed the relationship ended by 1807 because of Beethoven’s indecisiveness and the disapproval of Josephine’s aristocratic family.

In 1812, Beethoven wrote a long love letter to a woman he identified only as “Immortal Beloved”. Several candidates have been suggested, including Antonie Brentano, but the identity of the woman to whom the letter was written has never been proven.

Beethoven in 1818 by August Klöber On 15 November 1815 Beethoven’s brother Karl van Beethoven died of tuberculosis leaving a son Karl, Beethoven’s nephew. Although Beethoven had shown little interest in the boy up to this point, he now became totally obsessed with the possession of this nine year old child. The fight for custody of his nephew brought out the very worst aspects of Beethoven’s character. In the lengthy court cases Beethoven stopped at nothing to ensure that he achieved this goal. At this time Beethoven stopped composing for long periods.

The Austrian court system had one court for the nobility, The R&I Landrechte, and another for commoners, The Civil Court of the Magistrate. Beethoven disguised the fact that the Dutch “van” in his name did not denote nobility as does the Germanic “von”, and his case was tried in the Landrechte. Due to his influence with the court, he felt assured of a favorable outcome. Beethoven was awarded sole guardianship. Karl’s mother, Johanna, a commoner and a widow with little money, was not only refused access to her son, except under exceptional circumstances, but Beethoven insisted that she pay for her son’s education out of her inadequate pension. While giving evidence to the Landrechte, however, Beethoven inadvertently admitted that he was not nobly born. The case was transferred to the Magistracy on 18 December 1818, where he lost sole guardianship.

Beethoven appealed, and regained custody of Karl. Johanna’s appeal for justice and human rights to the Emperor was not successful: the Emperor “washed his hands of the matter”. Beethoven stopped at nothing to blacken both their characters, as can be read in surviving court papers. When Karl could stand his tyrannical uncle no longer, he attempted suicide on 31 July 1826 by shooting himself in the head. Beethoven survived, and later asked to be taken to his mother’s house. This desperate action finally freed Karl from the bonds of Beethoven.

After Beethoven lost custody of his nephew, he went into a decline that led to his death on Monday 26 March 1827 during a thunderstorm.

This was Romain Rolland’s description of Beethoven’s final day:

“That day was tragic. There were heavy clouds in the sky… around 4 or 5 in the afternoon the murky clouds cast darkness in the entire room. Suddenly a terrible storm started, with blizzard and snow… thunder made the room shudder, illuminating it with the cursed reflection of lightning on snow. Beethoven opened his eyes and with a threatening gesture raised his right arm towards the sky with his fist clenched. The expression of his face was horrifying. His hand fell to the ground. His eyes closed. Beethoven was no more.”

Beethoven grave, Vienna ZentralfriedhofA Viennese pathologist and forensic expert Christian Reiter (head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Vienna Medical University) claimed that Beethoven’s physician, Andreas Wawruch, inadvertently hastened Beethoven’s death. According to Reiter, Wawruch worsened Beethoven’s already lead poisoned condition with lead poultices applied after repeated surgical draining of his bloated abdomen. Various theories attempt to explain how Beethoven’s lead poisoning first developed, and he was very sick for years. Reiter’s hypothesis however is at odds with Wawruch’s written instruction “that the wound was kept dry all the time”. Furthermore human hair is a very bad biomarker for lead contamination and Reiter’s hypothesis must be considered dubious, because of the lack of proper scholarly documentation in his article.

Ludwig van Beethoven: detail of an 1804 portrait by W.J. MählerBeethoven was attracted to the ideals of the Enlightenment and by the growing Romanticism in Europe. Beethoven initially dedicated his third symphony, the Eroica (Italian for “heroic”), to Napoleon, believing that the general intended to sustain the democratic and republican ideals of the French Revolution. But in 1804, when Napoleon’s imperial ambitions became clear, Beethoven took hold of the title-page and scratched the name Bonaparte out so violently that he made a hole in the paper. Beethhoven later changed the work’s title to “Sinfonia Eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d’un grand’uom” (“Heroic Symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”), and he rededicated it to his patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz, at whose palace it was first performed.

Beethoven gave, Vienna Zentralfriedof The fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony features an elaborate choral setting of Schiller’s Ode An die Freude (“Ode to Joy”), an optimistic hymn championing the brotherhood of humanity. Since 1972, an orchestral version of this part of the fourth movement, arranged by the conductor Herbert von Karajan, has been the European anthem as announced by the Council of Europe.

In 1985 it was adopted as the anthem of the European Community / European Union.

Scholars disagree about Beethoven’s religious beliefs, and about the role they played in his work: It has been asserted, but not proven, that Beethoven was a Freemason.

Like the earlier composer Handel, Beethoven worked freelance—arranging subscription concerts, selling his compositions to publishers, and gaining financial support from a number of wealthy patrons—rather than seeking out permanent employment by the church or by an aristocratic court.

Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of Western classical music; occasionally he is referred to as one of the “three Bs” (along with Bach and Brahms) who epitomize that tradition. Beethoven was also a pivotal figure in the transition from 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound.

Beethoven was one of the first composers of the post-Renaissance era to use, systematically, interlocking thematic devices, or “germ-motifs”, to achieve inter-movement unity in long compositions. Equally remarkable was his use of “source-motifs”, which recurred in many different compositions. Beethoven brought innovations to most of the genres in which he worked; for example, he introduced an elasticity to the previously well-crystallized form of the rondo, drawing it closer to sonata form.

Beethoven composed in various genres, including symphonies, concerti, piano sonatas, other sonatas (including for violin), string quartets and other chamber music, masses, an opera, and lieder. Beethoven is viewed as one of the most important transitional figures between the Classical and Romantic eras of musical history.

Working with the traditions of the classical sonata forms, he continued the work of Haydn and Mozart in expanding and loosening the structures and becoming increasingly reliant on motivic development.

Beethoven’s compositional career is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Late periods. In this scheme, his early period is taken to last until about 1802, the middle period from about 1803 to about 1814, and the late period from about 1815.

In his Early (Classical) period, while starting out under the influence of his great predecessors Haydn and Mozart, he explored new directions and gradually expanded the scope and ambition of his work. Some important pieces from the Early period are the first and second symphonies, the first 6 string quartets, the first 3 piano concertos, and the first 20 piano sonatas, including the famous “Pathétique” and “Moonlight” sonatas.

Beethoven’s Middle (Heroic) period began shortly after Beethoven’s personal crisis brought on by his recognition of encroaching deafness. It is noted for large-scale works that express heroism and struggle, many of which have become very famous. Middle-period works include 6 symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the 4th and 5th piano concertos, the triple concerto and violin concerto, 5 string quartets (Nos. 7–11), the next 7 piano sonatas (including the “Waldstein” and the “Appassionata”), the “Kreutzer” Violin Sonata and Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio.

Beethoven’s Late (Romantic) period began around 1815. Works from this period are characterized by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations, and their intense, highly personal expression. For example, the String Quartet, Op. 131 has seven linked movements, and the 9th Symphony adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement. Other compositions from this period include the “Missa Solemnis”, the last 5 string quartets (including the massive “Grosse Fuge”) and the last 5 piano sonatas, of which the “Hammerklavier” Sonata is the best known.

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