Saturday, November 12, 2011

Boulez, Le Marteau sans Maitre

It's something like the nephew of Pierrot Lunaire. I've only just started listening to it, so what I say about it won't make much sense yet. But it's a setting of poetry (by René Char) and it's a chamber piece. And it has Sprechstimme, which Schoenberg devised for Pierrot Lunaire.

The red caravan on the edge of the nail
And corpse in the basket
And plowhorses in the horseshoe
I dream my head on the point of my knife is Peru.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alex Robbins, 195 Lead Masks

Our first offering. An auspicious occasion indeed. More of Robbins's work can be seen here: ONE, TWO, THREE.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Despair of Pierrot

By James Ensor (1892). What a stunning image. Ensor has some other Pierrot and related paintings, which I shall post here.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I'm sitting here in this Viennese Café in south Davis, drinking a cup of coffee, writing various things. It seems right to acknowledge this fact here, in the Carnival Tent, since I am also listening to Berg's Passacaglia. It's a very nice Konditorei. I am a huge fan of Berg's opera Lulu, which also has a circus theme, and I'm looking for good online adaptations of it to embed here.

A poster here reads Scharzenbergplatz Mai-Okt / Kuntschau, Wien 1908. Klimt showed some extraordinary things there.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Call for Offerings

Roll up, roll up! The carnival tent is open for performers of all kinds. Graham Harman and I would like to extend to you an invitation to submit work to the Tent. But who is you anyway?

You are a composer or a musician; you are a playwright; you are a sound artist; you are a visual artist; you do design; you make movies; you do philosophy, you are a poet or a storyteller or a novelist; you are an architect; you do dance;  you do experimental media; you create games; you write software. And so on and so on.

We shall be inviting some people we know too, in person. But we wanted to extend a friendly, slightly leering, clownlike invitation to you, yes you.

Your offerings need not be original or unique to this site. Of course, we would welcome that. But if you simply want to post a link to something, that would also be good.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pierrot Lunaire on Video

I just got hold of Oliver Herrmann's movie of Boulez and Schäfer's Pierrot Lunaire on DVD. You can find a Vimeo version of this in “Pierrot Lumiere.” It's an incredibly fresh production. In particular I like very much how nonhumans come into the picture constantly: a plastic dinosaur, a corridor, a gigantic video display.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lisette Model and Expressionism

Otto Dix

The Bruce Silverstein Gallery in Chelsea, New York City, has a marvelous series of online spaces where you can listen to Pierrot Lunaire and look at the work of Lisette Model, a student of Schoenberg. HT Prudence Whittlesey.

Lisette Model

Graham Harman on Pierrot Lunaire

Graham weighs in from his blog:

2012 will mark the centennial of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire,” an atonal song cycle using German translations of Albert Giraud’s grisly French expressionist poems about the old commedia dell’arte clown, Pierrot. (By “French” I mean the language. Giraud was a Belgian, from Leuven.)
The occasion cannot go unmarked, and since Tim Morton and I share a passion for this piece of music (as well as for Henri Rousseau’s “Carnival Evening [Philadelphia], a painting often associated with the music) we wanted to do something to commemorate it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roll Up, Roll Up

For many reasons Graham Harman and I love Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, which premiered in Berlin in 1912.

To celebrate the centenary of  Pierrot Lunaire in 2012, Graham and I have started this, the Pierrot Lunaire Centenary Carnival Tent. It's a bit spooky and empty right now. Henri Rousseau's Carnival Evening hangs mysteriously in the background. What is this carnival tent doing, in the middle of nowhere, just outside Blogopolis? All shall be revealed...