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Articles by Sam Markson

January 7, 2009
As I write this, I have yet to form a solid opinion of the Providence-based punk / showtunes / experimental outfit The Viennagram. At once the group is pretentious and unpolished. Its wisdoms are coal on the verge of becoming pearls, sometimes hitting, but often missing. It’s a spaghetti-on-the-wall philosophy, one that, for all but the most virtuosic, is better left for the rehearsal room than for the concert hall.
November 4, 2008
We all love to be wordly. Shuffle through your friends’ facebook pages, and you’ll no doubt find a slew of open-minded comrades summarizing their musical preferences as “everything.” That is, everything by the Shins. Or, alternatively, Shostakovich.
November 4, 2008
The trailblazer of egoism in Jazz might be Miles Davis, or perhaps Charlie Mingus; each declared jazz to be art, not just entertainment. They didn’t smile. They didn’t laugh. If you screwed around with them, they punched you in the face (in Mingus’ case).
October 24, 2008
Saturday night. Full house. Glasses clink and lapels straighten.
October 17, 2008
Modern classical performance is often a rigid form — a study of strict tempos, pitches, and moods. The performers take it upon themselves to recreate the vision of the original artist, and as that artist is usually dead, that recreation can become a study in accuracy rather than exploration — what not to play, rather than what to play.
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