Newsletter ~ Online Edition
Issue:1 - September 2010
I am happy to present you with this new form of my newsletter. During the past years some of you were receiving my newsletters in a simple email format and I thank you for your ongoing support of my artistic activities.
Creating a renewed and reinforced presence on the web has been the focal point of my work during this summer.
I refreshed my Website: okonsar.com with more content and I made all my output available online. Now my CD's, compositions and writings are all available for listening, discovering and reading. I believe making them freely available will not be prejudicial to the artist's output but on the contrary. Actually this is one point of this edition: the "Free Music" ideology.
With this newly formatted newsletters, about once a month and throughout the year, I will present you with some music, videos and readings from things I recorded, composed and wrote.
The letters have the three main sections: Listen, Watch and Read, plus biographical informations and links. I hope you will enjoy them and I thank you for supporting my activities by sharing anything which pleases you in this message with your friends. You are more than welcome to forward that email to your friends.
Now at the end of the summer, I suggest you listen my recording of the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach and watching a sample video recording of a "dance-piano" recital.
"Dance-Piano" recital is a concept I created while working on my Astor Piazzolla Tango CD.
|The idea is to have a
complete recital of Astor
Piazzolla with an original choreography on stage. My friend Korhan
Basaran, actor, dancer and choreographer created a bewildering
modern-dance choreography and we performed this event many times
throughout Turkey. Here is a recording of our
performance in Istanbul.
Jewish Music, A Concise Study is an extended article I wrote and it constitutes the Reading section of this edition.
Thank you for your time and I hope you will enjoy reading this and even share this with your friends.
Variations are often displayed as an unsurpassed model for contrapuntal
composition. While the perfection of the canons are often emphasized by
music theorists, the most important aspect of the work, in my mind, is
the instrumental extravaganza.
Those variations are the Études d'Éxecution Transcendantale of their time. They expand and raise the harpsichord virtuosity to levels never heard before. In this work, J.S. Bach has written the most fantastic and outrageous keyboard idioms of his time and he has pushed existing ones to their limits.
|Visionary hand choreographies (Var.5, 20, 26), double thirds and sixths (Var.23) double trills (Var. 28), alternating chords (Var.29) and many other keyboard acrobatics make this work one of the greatest instrumental achievements of musical history together with the above-mentioned studies by F. Liszt, the Gaspard de la Nuit or the Three Movements from Petrouchka.|
The contrapuntal music writing styles (fugues and canons)
|have acquired an aura of seriousness
religiousness during the
romantic epoch. After having been forgotten for a century or so, when
J. S. Bach was "discovered" by Mendelssohn, he was seen as the musician
par-excellence for the "salvation of romantically tormented souls".
The prominence of J.S. Bach's church-commissioned works overshadowed his profane and purely instrumental works. In all his compositions, there was a "tradition" to seek the Divine Signs and connections to the Scriptures. This so called tradition led to such insanities as the "research" of divine numerology in his fugues, the "discovery" of the Holy Trinity when a voice jumps a step of third and other ridiculous things.
|Listen all tracks here...|
|Dance and Piano
Best Tangos by Astor Piazzolla
transcribed for the piano solo
and performed by Mehmet Okonsar
Choreography by Korhan Basaran
|The Tangos by
Piazzolla are not really for dancing. The composer created here an
unique genre by mixing the essence of "tragedy" typical and omnipresent
in the Tango with his own classical music background. This background
has deeply tonal classical roots "stretched" with the jazz idioms of
the forties. Even before getting into the class of Nadia Boulanger at
the Paris National Conservatory, Piazzolla had a solid classical music
background but this basic layer of classical music would have been
remained somehow sterile and pedantic (as it is often the case with
Boulanger's students) if not interweaved in a very interesting fashion
with Jazz and "street-Tango".
He was always "open" to a new musical language and grasp interesting ideas from the avant-garde experiments and provocative musical events-concerts-manifestos popular during his student years at Paris.
He is like most innovative composers in the sense that he escapes any rigid categorization. He is not regarded as a "true Tango" composer by tango composers, not a "real" serious composer by "serious composers", he is not a jazz composer by jazz composers.
That is exactly what it makes him interesting to me...
||The TANGO CD available in Turkey only. You can listen all tracks here...||Dance-Piano
A Concise Study
The very wide subject of Jewish music will be examined in this study for the contemporary composer.
I will try here to spotlight some key musical elements like modes, rhythms, maqams, timbre etc., show their usage in actual compositions by Jewish and non-Jewish composers like in Prokofieff's Overture sur des Themes Juifs (Overture on Hebrew Themes, for Clarinet, Piano and String Quartet, Op 34. Composed in 1919) or in the 13th. Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich Babi Yar.
prosody, timbre and other aspects of the traditional Jewish religious
music types Piyyut, Zemirot, Nigun, Pizmonim, Baqashot will be shortly
examined from a composer's point of view because the author believes
they possess a high inspirational potential.
This essay will first briefly present known archaeological information about the Jewish music in pre-Biblical and Biblical times. It will attempt to collect the most reliable information on the music as it was performed in the Temple of Solomon.
Medieval Judaic musical practices will be searched in the Michna and the Talmud, those together with the musical score data collected by various researchers like Idelsohn (Abraham Zebi Idelsohn, Jewish Music: Its Historical Development) or the Russian Society for Jewish Music and presently available in ethno-musicological archives in Israel (The Hebrew University in Jerusalem) and elsewhere will be used in an attempt to describe a generic Jewish music vocabulary with its most characteristic rhythms, modes and musical timbres.Some contemporary Jewish composers and their music, musical language and backgrounds will be presented.
It is hoped that this material can be of interest to composers, presenting them with resources crystallized from joy, sorrow, despair, horror, dream and faith.
|if you need a non-watermarked copy please email me||read more...|
For 20 Solo Strings, Piano and Marimba
Dedicated to Mr. Hakan Şensoy
World Premiere May 11th., 2009.
Istanbul, CRR Concert Hall,
Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, dir. Hakan Şensoy
three compositions (Number 1 for Piano Solo, Number 2 [this one] and
Number 3 for Viola and Piano) in the series Kaleidoscopes
are based on the tone-row by Alban Berg as used by him in his own
Violin Concerto to the memory of an
Angel. The pitches are: G, b flat, D, f sharp, A, C, E, g sharp,
B, c sharp, d sharp, F sharp.
This particular tone-row, as created and used by Alban Berg, is unique in many ways. This row has all the named chords like mjor, minor, dominant all 5ths. and 7ths. It alsa has the starting three tones of a whole-tone scale at his end.
I used this particularity as having "tonal" chords in "non-tonal" environments and I liberally applied serial composing techniques.
As for the tone-colors, each of the 20 bowed string instruments (6-6-4-3-1) are notated as individual parts and in some places, polyphonies of up to 20 voices can be heard. Those extremely dense polyphonic passages are not intended to be perceived as distinct voices as it was the case in the traditional polyphonic music. But I rather aimed for extremely dense textures, perceived as a whole with a rich tonal animation within them.
Furthermore, the possibilities of the bowed strings to modify a sustained sound in many ways are employed as "electronic sound effects" to enliven sustained sounds spectrally. The Marimba and piano, in contrast, were used for their short and percussive sound characteristics.
|Get bio in .pdf
Okonsar on Wikipedia
Compositions and Writings
Free Music Philosophy
|[quoted from: http://www.ram.org/ramblings/philosophy/fmp/fmp_gnu_article.html]
The Free Music Philosophy is an idea, inspired by the efforts and successes of the Free Software Foundation, that encourages free copying, use, and modification of music. Like in the case of free software, the word "free" refers to freedom, not price. The basic philosophy is that abridging the freedom of use (copying, distributing, modifying) of music is destructive to society as a whole.
||As written, the Free Music philosophy refers only to noncommercial uses of music.|
exists a follow-up "progress and prospects" article which describes the
scheme I use to market my music which refers to commercial uses also.
Even though the Free Music Philosophy does not concern itself with commercial uses of music, the removal of restrictions on noncommercial use will go a long way towards making music more free than it is already. Given the nature of the expression, and the current laws governing it, I argue this philosophy is adequate for now. [ ... ]
|Man as Verb
The truth about the Tanya
By Tzvi Freeman
|I'll let you in on a little surprise: Who says that yourself is the real you? Maybe the real you is not a subject, not an object, but a verb? Maybe the real you is to be found not in who you are but in those things you need to do?||Read more
|until next time ...
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