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Topics - More Celt Than Sassenach

Interzone / The Māori people
« on: January 27, 2010, 02:27:17 AM »
Having been inspired by the mentioning of the Maori people in the Metal as Iron Age Germanic music thread I decided to create a page specifically about the Maori people. Naturally I will only cover a very rough outline of who they were as a people.

At sometime around the moment when Christians were celebrating the one thousandth year since the birth of their Christ a Polynesian people were just arriving in what would be modern day New Zealand from the Cook Islands. New Zealand or Aoteraroa as they named it (and to which the land masses will now be referred) was far different to the islands of the north. It was large beyond anything they had known. It was bitterly cold with snow and ice in winter and often hot and humid in summer. There were no large wildlife for hunting asides from a few species of flightless bird which were quickly pushed to extinction by the Maori and the plant life could do little to support humans. The colours of the animals and forests were dull browns, greens and greys with but few exceptions. This was not a land of plenty but a cruel and often merciless land. As Aoteraroa filled with the Maori people and was no longer an infinite unending mass war became inevitable. They had no ranged weapons other than for hunting. Battles could have as few as twenty participants to one or two hundred. Between the harsh land and harsher people the Maori grew to be a strong, proud and ascetic people.

Their delving into the arts portrays a simple and hard way of life. Their music was microtonal. The instruments they made could only play a select few notes from the European scales but they found space between these notes. Their flutes, horns and percussion instruments are simple and their sound underlies how Spartan their needs were. The music was bitter like vinegar, what a people they must have been when such a bitter thing was considered like honey. Their songs either showed, like their instruments a strong and content spirit or they showed ferocity. With no metal ever being used by the Maori they instead became expert wood carvers making wooden counterparts to the awesome Greek statues and mosaics. They used whale bone and green stone in addition to wood to make jewelry, weapons and musical instruments. With no written language their spoken tradition is very strong and as such they have many poems.

The Europeans saw the Maori as attractive and there was much intermarriage. The Europeans idealised their way of life and likened them to the classical Greeks. Apparently being brown was the next best thing after being white.

This video gives an idea about what the Maori language sounds like

The Maori creation story:

Some mythological figures that may interst people here:
The god of war Tūmatauenga
The god of storms Tāwhirimātea
The hero Māui, similar in nature to Hercules and other such European equavilents

Example of a Maori welcoming song
Example of a Maori war song
Megaupload link which contains music from Maori instruments

Interzone / Heroic Men and the Composers who Stand for them
« on: November 06, 2008, 01:43:55 AM »
Among the many and varied reasons for music to exist and an equally large number of spirits to praise there has always been a special place in my heart for the music that exonerates the epitome of the Greek image of the hero. Not all great composer write music of the traditional ideals of the Greek hero. J.S. Bach in his closest parables of the St John and Mathew passions paints the picture of a man with the virtues that the music ascribes to him facing the weight of the world in a quite and peaceful acceptance of his death. But of the composers who do choose to explore what makes a man a revered hero each period of music gives its own zeitgeist to the properties of the hero. G.P. Telemann in his broad and dramatic strokes gives the image very much akin to the period's visual arts. Movement, dynamics and above all an idealized picture of a man while purging all that makes the man impure. The heroes that he describes are the same as the much more literal hero of Jacques-Louis David’s Leonidas At Thermopylae or Federico Barocci’s Aeneas flees burning Troy. The music of G.F. Handel being a contemporary of Telemann and also writing in a similar high Baroque style (but without the early Baroque tendencies of Telemann’s music) and sets the image of the same men and same traits but shows it through the lens of a somewhat darker and violent individual. Moving beyond the Baroque we find in Beethoven a man carrying on the legacy of Telemann and Handel. Schubert could also be added to this list of great hero composers. Of the romantic I am sure it will not take long for you to begin to imagine composers who can also be added and perhaps if we clear away the surrealists muck we may find some in the 20th century as well.

Interzone / Creationists
« on: September 09, 2008, 10:23:08 PM »
After reading through several creationism sites I have noted some of the main problems pervading them. First is they are almost always Christian, and they treat this as an absolute. So while science changes and renews itself becoming closer to truth they are always restrained by their belief on God, if anything rejects that belief they have no choice but to oppose it regardless of its validity. They often believe that because their is an inconsistency within a scientific theory that promotes atheism it somehow enforces their argument for God. An example in a very simplistic form would be "there is no empirical evidence for evolution, thus God exists."

This one they are especially guilty of, the sharpshooters fallacy. This involves making up your mind, then finding the evidence that supports it, while ignoring the evidence that contradicts it. This is done often because they make up their minds about God, then try to find evidence for his existence rather fairly interpreting the facts. This is often done with statics, which by themselves prove little. For (a fictional) example "Of the 100 highest IQ holders in the world 83 said they enjoyed alcohol, Thus alcohol improves cognitive power." The problem with this being is it is not made clear how much they drink, how often and if it was only for a certain period of their life if they have stopped. Add to this the empirical evidence of alcohol being harmful to the brain. They are also usually amateur scientists (if even scientists) which means the topics on which they criticize they do not understand very well or at all. This is mostly because they is so little credible evidence for science that supports a literal reading of the bible. The only people who belive this scientists are those who read the bible as a literal text of the universe. A prime example of their lack of knowledge on a subject being they belief that the Big Bang theory is the universe coming from nothing, when in fact it is believed today that the Big Bang theory originated from a small amount of super heated matter that has always been there.

They often intentionally of unintentional confuse terms to make accepted scientific theories seem weak. The word theory in common use means an unproven idea or a conjecture where in the scientific community it means an idea that is consistent with existing scientific knowledge that explains an event/phenomenon. In science nothing is certain nor will it ever be, with the only two things it can happen in being maths and logic. However because it cannot be proven for sure the creationists attack by saying that since it is not proven it should be taught alongside their theory. Strangely enough (especially in the U.S.A.) they try to call theories like evolution a religion to denounce it and to put it on the same plain as their beliefs. They claim it is dogmatic, requires faith and venerates people (like Darwin) as saints. The problem with this is that it is not dogmatic, as it has been revised many times leaving many of Darwin's theories obsolete (which also removes the idea of him as a patron saint). Couple this with the fact a religion is not so because it is dogmatic and requires faith.

Interzone / Beyond Beherit
« on: September 03, 2008, 03:32:18 AM »
I have after a long  period of isolation from anything metal have recently been enjoying a renaissance (of sorts) in regard to appreciation of it. I am finding now that, in particular New York death metal sounds to clinical, cold and emotionless and it reminds me to heavily of the second Viennese school of classical music thus rendering anything in this style as an intellectual exercise. Swedish death metal, even at the best of times seems to marred with either the Gothenburg style or the quasi-Gothenburg style (case and point being early Entombed). I could go on like this for all styles of death metal but I believe you understand what I am saying about the genre as a whole (with exceptions of course).

The renaissance I spoke of earlier mostly refers to my rediscovery of black metal. I consider myself fairly well versed in the genre and already had the albums I would need at my disposal but some of the later black metal albums from the dying genre have especially grabbed my attention. To this I refer to the industrial-esque albums of Neptune Towers and later Beherit (among others). However asides from these last gulps of air from a near dead genre I have nothing else that remotely sounds similar. Can anyone advise on artists whom have made music of this sort?

Interzone / Arvo Pärt
« on: August 01, 2008, 11:39:57 PM »
A man who looked back to see forward. A modern man and very much alive, he takes all that church music has ever had to offer whether baroque or renaissance and combines it with the musical freedoms granted in the 20th and 21st centuries. His music cuts aside the cancers of popular sentiment and emotion that arose as a reaction against Bach and Handel and takes a holistic approach to art by emulating the qualities shown by the baroque greats. We celebrate Burzum, Dead can Dance, we celebrate the modern artists that capture some sort of sense of vir as it were in the human character. We should make it a habit to praise this man whenever the possibility arises.

Interzone / New classical page
« on: March 18, 2008, 05:14:33 PM »
While rumbling through the contents of my computer I uncovered an attempt I made about midway through last year to update the ANUS classical section. Having thoroughly forgot of the matter until now I wish to continue the project. But I would like to ask for help. I would like overviews written by you about a specific composer to add to this index.

As can be seen now there is only three composers present. The new template I have made makes the distinction between the four main classical periods and makes a list of links to a page specifically about that composer. It would also be helpful if this did not take the form of a biography. I do not wish to make a wiki style view of the composer but would rather that the composers advancements, legacy and music style be noted.  And only act in a biographical manner when this helps to explain the music styling or legacy of the composer. Remember, unlike wiki we are not afraid to make value judgments and that will be what makes our classical section worth visiting. Look at the  part about Bach in the current classical section to see a good example of what would be useful.

While any composer you choose should be fine could we please state with the most prolific composers first before we start including obscure ones. Also it would be most helpful if people started with the romantic and 20th century periods because these eras have so many composers where the others only have a small handful of remembered composer.

Interzone / Gould on the Fugue
« on: February 05, 2008, 04:56:11 PM »
This is the end of a documentary entitled the anatomy of a fugue presented by Glen Gould.
So you want to write a fugue?

Metal / Symbols
« on: July 16, 2007, 07:32:21 PM »
People often state black metal is dead and I don't mean to start another "black metal is dead" thread but I think this is a half truth.

The problem with many of the imitation black metal bands is they act upon th symbols created from the originals but don't act upon the impulses and ideas that created that message. They take on the external facade without understanding the internal implications. So if bands acted upon the impulses that made black metal again rather then the products of that impulse could black metal "live again".  

Metal / Under the radar
« on: April 09, 2006, 01:30:52 AM »
ive herd alot of people talking about the really big metal names like emperor, burzum, darkthrone ect but i dont know any others asides from that.

im new to metal (ive only been here a year or so listen to good bands) and i want to know some less famouse bands that are still godd, and also i would like to ask about crimson moonlight (if yourve herd of them), i really like them but are they worth listen to?

Metal / Suffocation
« on: March 23, 2006, 11:23:35 PM »
ive herd good things about them but to me they sound the same as cannable corpse (who i dont like). so are they any good and worthy of the recongnition they have?