Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Pioneer of Future Music

Frank Zappa – ‘A pioneer of future music’ A Documentary

I can’t find any short clips from this documentary but I did find the whole video on YouTube.

Frank Zappa was an American music composer, singer, guitarist, song-writer, recording engineer, music producer and film director. He is probably one of the best examples of postmodernism influences on the music industry.

His debut album in 1966 was released under the band ‘Mothers of Invention’ and was called ‘Freak Out!’. It was the first of it’s kind in the way that Frank Zappa combined conventional Rock and Roll with studio recorded (unconventional at the time) sounds to make a music collage.

Frank Zappa continued this boundary-breaking way of creating music all throughout his life until his death in 1993. He was creating all sorts of new ways to create sounds and compose them into a listenable song even in his later years. We see this in the Frank Zappa Interview on the Today Show 1993. In this interview they show just some of the extraordinary methods in which Zappa uses to create his music. This includes playing a bicycle as an instrument and even the sound of his nephew burping which he has recorded and put onto an electric keyboard to play as music. 

“Sounds are for listening to and composition is the act of organising sounds.” – Frank Zappa when asked ‘What’s behind all the different use of sound’.

Although it is more developed and has mutated, a lot of mid 20th century and present day music has taken direct or indirect influence from Frank Zappa's work. System of a Down and Black Sabbath and the Beatles are just a few.

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The word ‘post’ in postmodernism suggests that it comes after modernism, however both postmodernism and modernism both exist together at the same time. Modernism seeks to give meaning and solid definitions to what things are while postmodernism denies the rules laid by modernism.
Postmodernism denies the existance of scientifc, philosophical or religious truths to explain everything for everybody, while modernism seeks to give meaning and solid definitions to what things are while postmodernism denies the rules laid by modernism. It allows for personal interpretation, with personal experience being placed above abstract principles which paradoxically means that postmodernism can not truly be defined.
Postmodernism spans various different disciplines including art, culture, architecture, literature, entertainment, technology ect, and focuses on de-structered humanity meaning that disorder and fragmentation are acceptable represention of reality for postmodernists. Modernists viewed this view of fragmented humanity as bad while postmodernists seems to celebrate this, accepting ambiguity.
There are no final truths or definitions in postmodernism, it is an attempt to give new meanings and interpretations to everything.
Throughout the coming weeks we are going to explore how postmodernism is evident in various different aspects in our society in an attempt to better understand what postmodernism is and how it affects our lives. We will be looking at examples of postmodernism in pop-culture and entertainment, feminism, architecture, and art and design movements.