About This Show
Composers Datebook™ is a daily two-minute program designed to inform, engage, and entertain listeners with timely information about composers of the past and present. Each program notes significant or intriguing musical events involving composers of the past and present, with appropriate and accessible music related to each.
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Danny Elfman at Carnegie Hall
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The American composer Daniel Robert (Danny) Elfman is best known for writing the opening theme of the wildly popular "The Simpsons" animated TV series and for scoring movies directed by his friend Tim Burton and others.
But on today’s date in 2005, Elfman had, for him, a rather unusual experience—namely, hearing some of his music played live at Carnegie Hall when the American Composers Orchestra gave the premiere performance of “Serenada Schizophrana,” his first-ever foray into composing a symphonic concert work.
In notes for a subsequent recording of the piece, Elfman said:
“I’ve always had visuals to drive my orchestral music… As I’d never done anything like this before, figuring out how to begin was daunting. I began several dozen short improvisational compositions… Slowly, some of them began to develop themselves until finally I had six separate movements that, in some abstract, absurd way, felt connected… I more or less let the movements take themselves wherever they wanted to go in a kind of musical stream of consciousness (which, with the way my brain works, was not a very smooth stream).”
Hearing the work at Carnegie Hall, Elfman concluded, was “a thrilling and surreal experience.”
But, being a practical sort of fellow—or simply because stream of consciousness is such a “fluid” process of creation—Elfman retroactively re-purposed some of his “Serenada Schizophrana” as the soundtrack for 2006 IMAX film entitled “Deep Sea 3D.”
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Daily Classical Music Update
A couple minutes of daily knowledge about classical composers. Topical and timely. Always learning something new.
Date published: 2014-05-08