Tag: Lev Sergeivich Termen aka Léon Theremin
It may appear that if creativity begins to evaporate like so many dew drops it falls on the alter egos Existential Nilhist and Obsessive Collector to rescue the oblivious through the power of Dadadadadadadadadada-is-em.
Who amongst the ordinary are thirsty enough to seek out examples of an art movement that flourished and withered in the first twenty years of the last century before splicing itself unto Surrealism a few years later. That apple, too, fell far from the tree and was devoured by ever-changing art tastes.
Art cannot die but it can be murdered
Dadaism never died but as the original “anti-art” forum of Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Jean Miro, et al, it would by its own definition spawn a makeover with Surreal. Underground comix of the late ’60s and early ’70s emerged as the new anti-art movement as they thumbed coke-sniffing nostrils at the Codes and Ethics placed down for mainstream comics DC and Marvel and presented a subversive world of hardcore violence, drug use, very rough sex and monsters only a Dadaist could love.
Destroy all the rationality that appears as a roadblock to the creativity of shock and aw, gee why is this imagery making me aroused? The art, the music, the motion pictures, the automatic writing. The hippie generation embraced elder Surrealists like Dada-converts Ernst and Dali, while M.C. Escher’s Persian Man-Bird and architectural designs gave people an excuse to drop acid as hallucinations merged with three dimensional woodcuts to transect expected literacy and reality.
takes us on a brief trip.
His Le ballet mecanique is Theremin influenced, wrapped in a 4-way hit of Window Pane and chased with Mescal then swallowing the worm whole. Somewhere in the cosmos Lev Sergeivich Termen, aka Léon Theremin, is smiling and waving his ethereal hands over his symphonie Dada.
Recorded at the Porgy and Bess Club in Vienna, September, 2007, New York’s psychedelic guitarist/composer performed this electronic solo guitar score on a commission from the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Very trippy indeed and an example of how a landmark of the avant-garde silent cinema can be scored today with the act of composing and arranging music a Dadaist treatise itself. After this brief version is Fernand Leger’s 1927 Le ballet mecanique shown entirely sans sound. Listen with your personal soundtrack and Dada succeeds again. If anything can be learned from this art movement it is that everywhere one looks they will find anti-art whether or not they are seeking it.
Leger’s 1924 avant-garde, Le ballet mecanique is perfect for different contemporary musical scores and when considering what constitutes cinematic Dada the mere act of adding music today to a 85 year old landmark short film is anti-art. In order to destroy any semblance of the rational and uniform acceptance of art one must first reject normalcy and complacency in established artistic morays.
Le ballet mecanique without score
Made in 1924, Viking Eggeling’s Symphonie Diagonale takes the abstract theme into the 21st Century with a 1994 restored version thanks to Gösta Werner collaborating with The Swedish Film institute and in 2006 adding music composed by Olga Neuwirth.
Hans Ritcher’s Vormittagsspuk (Ghosts Before Breakfast) 1927 fell into the hands of the Nazis who deemed it “degenerate art” (figures these degenerate mass murderers would consider themselves art experts) and as punishment, destroyed the soundtrack. “It shows that even objects evolt against regimentation” it proclaims just before the opening imagery.
As with any great Dada, wayward hats will be prominently displayed and it you have to ask what it means then Dada has taught you but you weren’t learning. Sans interpretation, art has less value. Each viewer of any art will bring to and take away something others may not experience. Dadaism is capable of making the viewers continue to look even if the imagery is confusing their expectatons.
Like British humor, Monty Python best exemplies cerebral, literally defying one to explain what is funny when one must see it for the full meaning.
Dada is similar in that it must be seen, or heard or experienced personally, It is a personal taste that cannot feed masses weened off challenges to intellectualism long ago.