Saturday, December 22, 2007

The most unwanted song

Michael sent me this article in Design Observer that has a link to and a description of what they call "the most unwanted song," made of elements that I guess people in a survey group said they didn't like in songs (atonality, bagpipes, accordion, banjo, etc). It's 22 minutes long, and is a kind of "rhapsody" of stitched-together elements, a musical collage, if you will. It certainly is annoying at times, but I did enjoy the the atonal parts, especially the singer's voice.

You can read more about it here. I guess I am one of the 200 people in the world's population (mentioned in the above link) who would like this: I'm partial to the accordion and the banjo (which my son practices all the time, and distracts me from my work because I really love listening to him play), I enjoy well-performed and well-written atonal pieces, and I don't have a problem with music that lasts more than 25 minutes.



Anonymous said...

Kumar and Melamid did something similar with pictures first. The "most wanted picture" (US--there were striking differences in other countries) showed a family, outdoors, by a lake, with some deer and George Washington, and was about 2 feet by 3. I've got the CD of the "most wanted" (Kenny G-like alto sax, male-female duet singing of love, guitars, about 4 minutes) along with the "most unwanted" which contains the immortal lyric "Ramadan! Ramadan! Lots of praying and no breakfast! Buy all your presents at... Wal-Mart!" and a coloratura singing "Wahoo!" over hoofbeats clippity-clopping. Great stuff.

Elaine Fine said...

That makes two of us who like it. Only 198 to go!

Stan Haskins said...

Goodness gracious, thank you so much for pointing to this - it made my holiday season!

The atonal section with the nonsense lyrics is actually pretty nice, and the instrumentation in general doesn't bother me much. Where it gets really unbearable, however, is during the part at the end when the woman is shouting random "political" slogans into a bullhorn. Oh, and that children's chorus randomly bursting in with a new holiday each time was pretty unsettling, too.

"Hey everyone! It's Veteran's day!"

Anonymous said...

I've had this CD since 2000. I am a musician as well, and the absurdity of this "composition" is something I knew I would eat up, being also a comedy- and strange-music sort of person. I was bedridden with a leg operation when the disc came in, and I darn near blew out all my stitches from laughing convulsively at almost had me OUT of stitches! The harpist doing a most-unharpish TWONNNNNNGGGGGGGGG during the 2nd atonal section was the final breaker for me....nearly popped an eye bloodvessel!!!!

The "Most Wanted Song" is also notable for having the phenom Vernon Reid (Living Colour) on lead guitar, as well as lyrics such as "As she filled the ketchup jars", "Maybe she likes reading Wittgenstein", and "Country living in our own RV"!!

I've also seen Dave Soldier on a Discovery special or something, about making music with elephants...Gotta love it!