An Eclectic Gastronomy of Sound
Let’s start with Portsmouth Sinfonia, to set the proper tone for the blog: a mix of the serious…and the not so serious. Portsmouth Sinfonia was founded by a group of students at the Portsmouth School of Art in England in 1970. As the wikipedia entry states: “The Sinfonia had an unusual entrance requirement, in that players had to either be non-musicians, or if a musician, play an instrument that was entirely new to them.” So, you basically had half the orchestra not knowing anything about music and the other half knowing a lot about music, but not necessarily about the instrument they were playing. It was a mix of trained musicians and non-trained “musicians” playing what were considered great works of art such as “The William Tell Overture”, “The Blue Danube Waltz” and “Also Sprach Zarathrustra”. Famed musician/producer Brain Eno became so enamored of the group that he produced their first two albums (yes, they recorded) and played clarinet with them.
But, enough explanations, let’s listen to Portsmouth Sinfonia’s rendition of “Also Sprach Zarathrustra” (also known as the opening theme from the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”):