Tag: avant-garde

Antheil the Futurist

Liner Notes for Antheil the Futurist In 1920, a brash young composer from New Jersey named George Antheil decided to be the “most ultra” of the avant-garde, quarreled with his teachers, and transformed himself into a concert pianist. His cousin Robert Antheil remembered many years later: “At that time George was getting ready for his trip to Europe and was practicing all day long. The keys on the piano were worn through the ivory and down into the wood. He

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The Lost Sonatas of George Antheil

Sotto Voce with Fist: The Story of Antheil’s “Lost” Sonatas Just as John Cage was probably the most notorious American composer of the post-war twentieth century, George Antheil was the most notorious of the pre-war era. Antheil’s succés de scandale was astonishing, making him the rival of Stravinsky and Satie. As with Cage, Antheil’s eagerness to foment revolution came from his daring instrumentation, surprising pronouncements, and anti-establishment attitudes. Works like the Ballet mécanique–scored for 16 mechanical pianos, airplane propellers, percussion,

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Paris 1920s

Paris is a moveable feast Ernest Hemingway It is hard not to be intrigued by the period between the two wars, in which Paris flourished, and artists thrived. Montparnasse became legendary for its café life, as expats and locals fought their fights, argued over cubism, fashion, and politics, and lived their love affairs dramatically in the public eye. Key american figures were Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and George Antheil. From the French side, Kiki of Montparnasse, Erik Satie, and Jean

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Dada at the Movies

What is Dada? On July 8, 1923, the Parisian Dadaists organized the most famous Dada event ever. Everybody who was anybody was on the program that night: a play by Tristan Tzara, films by Man Ray and Hans Richter, live music by George Antheil, Erik Satie, and Darius Milhaud. During the show, a riot broke out amongst the rival Dada factions, and the poet Paul Eluard was thrown off the stage, breaking his arm. The gendarmes were summoned, and the

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