Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Wizard of Ives

Yesterday,  I mentioned finding inspiration for some trivial verse creations in the Facebook post of a former student. Today I'm presenting another social media creation inspired by the Twitter posting of another former student. Thus wrote Wesley J. Newcomb, a talented composer, singer, etc-er.
"I have decided that composers are the closest things to wizards in real life."
Reproducing this elegant statement, perfectly suited to the form and function of Twitter, is reason enough for this blog post, as I suspect there are many of us for whom the transformation of sounds into mysteriously meaningful experiences is nothing short of sorcery. (See, I just used way too many words to say what Wesley said perfectly. Twitter wins.) Coincidentally, I was sitting and watching Sunday afternoon football when I read Wesley's post and had recently seen Grantland's NFL wizard Bill Barnwell post the following insightful analysis of an amazingly well-designed fake punt return (in which a Rams' punt returner used Obi-wan-like mind control to get the entire Seahawks' coverage team to chase him to one side of the field while another Ram fielded the punt on the other side and ran it back for a touchdown):
"Rams then use sorcery to return a punt for a touchdown."
But back to composers-as-wizards. Since I was sitting around fairly idly, I started imagining which composers sported the most wizardly look. I knew that Charles Ives is one of Wesley's heroes, and though Ives' tough-guy, New-Englander demeanor didn't exactly scream swords and sorcery, he did have a beard. So, a little faux-photoshopping later and I had produced the following (using this as starting point):

Sadly, I've missed Ives' 140th birthday by one day, but I'd say there's plenty of wizardry here and elsewhere in his work:

No comments: