February 23, 2023 : Wondercab Mini (36A)
SIC SEMPER NICOLAS!
Our brief flurry last week into the world of that dear centenarian Nicolas Slonimsky (1894-1996) has had me delving into YouTube and thrumming wry Slonimskyiana ever since, and I thought I might share a few of the found treasures with you here. For example, a typically antic lecture recital Nicolas gave at USC in 1985, at age 91, right around the time I was profiling the pioneering avant garde conductor and legendary late-life musical lexicographer for the New Yorker (a profile you can still find in my Wanderer in the Perfect City collection); or his own rendition of one of the madcap jingles he fashioned in the 1920s, documenting his first encounters with actual American print advertising from that era (“Children Cry for Castoria”); or the time in 1977 when Frank Zappa featured Nicolas himself pounding away on the piano in one of his Mother of Inventions concerts at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium; or finally the utterly inspired piece his friend Charles Amirkhanian managed to collage—rap avant la lettre—out of audio snippets from a typically free-ranging Slonimskyian monolog, “Heavy Aspirations,” which in turn draws on passages from the Maestro’s own epic Lexicon of Musical Invective, which if it doesn’t already hold pride of place in your own reference library, really, seriously, how can it not?
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BY WAY OF COMING ATTRACTIONS:
Those of you in the Greater Washington DC area may want to drop in on one of my two free lectures next week, to wit:
THURSDAY MARCH 2, 7:30 PM
“FORM AND FREEDOM IN NARRATIVE NONFICTION”
Fenwick Library Reading Room #2001
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY,
FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 6:00 PM
EVERYTHING THAT RISES:
TOWARDS A TAXONOMY OF CONVERGENCES
Shore Lit at the Academy Art Museum