For this concert of music by Rued Langgaard , I made an electronic insect interlude.
here is the programme from the concert
Insects and the Abyss
Mike McInerney – Piano
Michael Neil – Electronic Extensions
An Homage to Rued Langgaard
To many people, the music of the twentieth century avant-garde (which I so love) only exists as a soundtrack – to the strangeness of space (2001, A Space Odyssey) or to scenes of disturbed criminality (the shower scene in Psycho). Elizabeth Lutyens, one of the greats of English modernism, earned much of her day money writing soundtracks for Hammer House of Horror.
Langgaard is at home in this b-movie horror scenario aspect of the avant-garde. His topics (insects, the abyss, the music of the spheres, the Antichrist) seem to relish the forbidden and perverse. His is no worked out system, in the vein of Scriabin; if a white-note chorale, which would not be out of place in the simplest of Victorian hymnals, suits his purposes, he will compose one; if an atonal melody of the most angular kind, then that is what he will use.
What is shockingly modern is his attitude to form, and to scale. Nothing ever develops in Langgaard’s music – ideas are either too short or, by the normative standards of the concert hall, continued too long without development. It is this combination – of an atmosphere of strangeness and spectacle with a sense of sound as continua of indeterminate length – which speaks to us at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is an aesthetic which begs the use of new technology.
Mike McInerney, Plymouth 2009.
1. Real and Imaginary Insects
Chrysalis (Michael Neil 2009)
Locust/May Bug/Daddy Longlegs (Langgaard 1917)
Death’s Head Beetle, Feeding (Duncan Chapman 2009)
Dragonfly/Death-watch Beetle/Housefly (Langgaard 1917)
Flying Predator (Richard Douglas-Green/Mike McInerney 2009)
2. Into the Abyss (Michael Neil 2009)
3. Afgrundsmusik (Music of the Abyss) (Rued Langgaard 1921/24)
4. Abyss Transfigured (with Insects)(Michael Neil/Mike McInerney 2009)
With thanks to Richard and Lucien Douglas-Green, of Green Studios, Plymouth, for endless technical support and advice.
Here are some of the things I made
millions of little critters !!