random notes

     From: István Fekete (IFekete@daten-kontor.hu) - Re: Sonora 4/94

Sonora is a monthly (?) magazine, the 4/94 issue was a FZ special issue (in english/italian) with CD supplement.

      From: Materiali Sonori website (http://www.matson.it/)
Sonora 4/94 cd+rivista (F.Zappa)

An issue mainly dedicated to the genius Frank Zappa. Articles by Guido Harari, Ernesto De Pascale, Riccardo Giagni, Francesco Paladino and Paolo Russo.  An interview with Zappa by Fabio Massari. Other articles by Marco Melani (cinema) and Giampiero Bigazzi (Elogio del frammento).
Photo box by Lucia Baldini.

     From: Fast Frank:  o{- (fastfrank@ipns.com)
Hey Patrick! I've this one, brother! I found it at a Tower Record Store in Portland, Oooooreeegon.  It's a magazine that's written half Italian-half English and it had this CD with it...some pretty cool stuff on it, especially a version of King Kong that has to be heard to be believed!

     From: Patrick Neve (splat@darkwing.uoregon.edu)
I found it too, Frank!  Right from the publishers.  I reccomend checking the Materiali Sonori website (http://www.matson.it/) and asking about its' availability.  This is a gem of a release that any serious Zappa collector deserves to own.

The book is about 9"x10", cardboard bound, approx. 100 pages, with a nice big photo of Frank tipping his hat invitingly to you on the cover.  It's printed in both Italian and English, and serves as both a printed counterpart to the music as well as a stand-alone arts journal.  It includes interviews with Frank (of course), full credits and information on artists on the CD, essays by some of those artists, essays by non-musical artists, poetry, scores, and a 16-page glossy black-and-white photo gallery in the middle featuring portraits and poses inspired by Frank.   This is truly a multi-media release, covering archival document, tribute, and purely original creations in the forms of music, text, scores and pictures.

The CD itself is as eclectic as the book.  Right off, the packaging was the only thing left to be desired.  The disc came in one of those scratchy carboard sleeves, which happens to be one of my pet peeves.  But no matter; just put it immediately into a jewel case and you'll be good to go. The music is divided roughly into three sections: "Archives", which is the Zappa interview material.  "The Nephews Of Invention", which is cover material and original works which are derivative, and "Other Inventions", which are wholly original works, yet inspired by Frank, if not in music then in attitude.

1. Frank Zappa speaks- Serious Music Lecture            2:35

FZ: "Let me explain to you about serious music.  What most people regard as serious music is not really that serious at all.  See, there's been a lot of propaganda about classical music since it was first invented.  Let's examine the history of classical music briefly, and you'll see what I'm talking about.  All the music that people regard as great masterpieces today were written for the amusement of kings, churches, or dictators.  That's who was paying the rent.  If the man who wrote the music happened to be working in a style that was appealing to the person who was paying for it at that time,  he had a "hit".  He had a "job".  And he stayed alive.  If he didn't,... that's right, he could lose his fingers, he could lose his head, he could be exiled, or he'd starve to death.  But there was very little inbetween. 
All you have to do is look at a book called "Grove's Dictionary Of Music and Musicians", and you can see that throughout the ages there have been guys who had hits, and guys who didn't have hits.  And it's not necessarily connected to the quality of what they wrote.  It's connected to how well they pleased the patron that was paying the freight.  It's kind of the same thing today.  So, all the norms, the acceptable norms of classical music, are really the "taste norms" of the church, the king, or the dictator, that has been paying for it down through the ages.  It's not- it was not the taste of the people.  People never got to decide.  So, when you say I have more of an interest in serious music, I take my work seriously, but I percieve it as entertainment.  And it's entertainment for those people who like that sort of entertainment.  I don't write for a king.  I don't write for a church.  And I don't write for a government.  I write for my friends. And that's the way that the material should be percieved.  It's entertainment for them.  Even if it's written for an orchestra, or if it's written for a rock & roll band, it makes no difference.  It's the same people who would listen to the music.  I have several orchestral albums, OK? Those are not purchased by people who go out and buy Dvorak's New World Symphony.  They're bought by rock & roll consumers.  A special type of rock & roll consumer."