St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on May 2, 1967 · Page 41
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 41

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St. Louis, Missouri
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Tuesday, May 2, 1967
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Page 41
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Clarissa Start Kirkwood Church Fine Arts Festival 'WE KNEW WE HAD a lot of talented people to this church but we were surprised to find out just how many (here were." With this introduction, Mrs. Kenneth Edscorn began our tour of the Fine Arts Festival at Kirkwood Methodist Church, and it was indeed surprising to see all the talent exhibited here. The first such festival at this church was held a year ago, the Rev. 'William G. Irwin told us, and it may become an annual affair. Held on a Saturday and Sunday, it combined all the elements of a hobby display, talent show, church supper and a good idea for other church groups to emulate. Designed around a French theme, Le Petit Cafe, or dining area, was decorated with Air France posters. There was art of all kinds, oil paintings, watercolors, linoleum block prints, work Battle Sounds Graphed Into Music Yannis Xenakis Explains His Unusual Method of Composing Avant-Garde Work 1 mm aa,'.:--y--.ti-. Clarissa Start by men, women and children using subjects ranging from til life tomato and a Kirkwood Fire Department hat to religious themes and abstract designs. Entertainers, singers and musicians held forth in one area while in another puppeteer Nelly Mendham was enchanting the children. Upstairs, flower arrangements, Williamsburg to way-out, brought Kirkwood gardens indoors, and collectors had a chance to show their hobbies all kinds of them, butterflies, coins, tamps, even a collection of samples of Osage orange wood. AN OLD FRIEND, Miss Beulah Bedell, was in charge of the craft table and showed us some of the outstanding work. It included silver jewelry by Laura Triplet, cutwork by Anne Brockman, handbags made of yarn embroidered upholstery tape by Mrs. Cart Lindemeyer. There were beautiful handloomed rugs, feather hats, needlework of all kinds, hobbies of the young (a cute ceramic sleeping dog by Sharon Shaver) and the old (a basket made by Mrs. Lucy Krieger, age 97). Miss Bedell had her own hobby on a display, a chair which she had refinished and fitted with a hickory split seat. There were quilts, too, no surprise, because ever since this column carried an account of the quilting activities of the Maplewood Christian Church we're been receiving letters telling up that quilting is far from a lost art Another Maplewood church with quilters is Maplewood Congregational Church with a group which meets each Wednesday at 10 a.m. Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Florissant has a quilting and sewing circle which meets on Wednesday afternoons and provides many quilts for the anuual homecoming picnic booth. Its sister organization, the Mission Club, meets once a month and makes quilts for missions and clothing for the poor. ST. JAMES THE GREATER PARISH, Tamm and Wade avenues in St. Louis, believes it has one of the oldest quilting organizations in the city, making 62 quilts a year which are given away at a quilt social each August. Its members meet on Thursdays to work. A group of senior citizens meet at 3475 South Grand boulevard to quilt each Tuesday. And the members of St Paul of Fairview. Lutheran Church, East St Louis, believe they "out-quilt" all the other quilters. They meet at the home of Mrs. Oma Ferchow and make one or two quilts a week and have done as many as three in one week. They're not members of any organized group, our correspondent tells us, "just ladies who love to get together and swap the latest news." We hope this brings us up to date on the latest news on church arts, crafts and quilters but we'll be glad to hear from more. Ann Landers Cutesy Thank-You DEAR ANN LANDERS: I decided a few weeks ago that tf I received one more ridiculous thank-you note I would write to you. Today is the day. It arrived in this morning's mail. Here it is: "I am just a teeny-weeny baby, so of course I can't write yet, but my mommie is writing for me. She says the little dress you sent is tne prettiest one m my wardrobe. I think ft is, too. I just love pink. I hope you will come and see how nice I look in my pretty pink dress, But please call before you come because I sleep quite a lot and I want to be up from my nap when you come to see me. Love, Linda Sue." Why do mothers think they have Ann Landers Isn't that nauseating? to be so cute? Would you call this bad taste? Please com ment. HASTEN JASON BRING THE BASIN Dear Jason: Personally, I don't care for cutesy, precious thank-you notes but at least you received an expression of appreciation. Each week I get dozens of letters from people who wonder why their wedding gifts, graduation gifts, baby gifts, Christmas, Easter and birthday gifts are not even acknowledged. DEAR ANN: Frequently I read in your column complaints from pseudo-masculine husbands who think housework is for sissies. I boil when I think of the bums whose wives hold down Jobs, run homes and raise families, while they put in an eight-hour day and then hide behind the newspaper or TV. I am proud to say I share the household duties with my wife and do everything I can to help, including ironing. Nobody has ever called me a pantywaist, at least not to my face. Fathers should not worry about their sons being sissies if they do housework. They should be concerned with rearing young men who can help their wives without feeling that their masculinity is being threatened. CHAMPAIGN, ILL. Dear Champ: Every working wife in the U.S.A. will love you for your stand. Thanks for writing. Ann Landers will be glad to help you with your problems. Send question to her in cm of the Post-Dispatch, inclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Try and Stop Me THE LATE financier, Bernard Baruch, once became convinced that his subconscious mind was producing sensational Ideas while he was sleeping, and set out to train himself to write them down on a pad he placed at his bedside. He awoke one morning in a pleasant glow, convinced that he had jotted down something interesting while he was in dreamland. He was right Scrawled across the page were these three inspiring words: "Ride 'em. cowboy!" BENNETT CERF By Frank Peters Of the Post-Dispatch Staff YANNIS XENAKIS is probably the only survivor of the Greek Resistance who remembers it for its acoustical properties. He is certainly the only one to incorporate it in a theory of musical composition, Xenakis is unique in several other ways and recently he was brought to Washington University to explain himself in a two-hour lecture. "There were lots of people in the square and their voices rose up here, there, in clusters: "Oh! Ooh!" Xenakis said in describing a 1943 hunger protest. "The voices rose and fell, all around. Then the Germans began firing machine-guns into the crowd and thera were the voices swelling in another way, from front to back, loud, strong, and on top of it the guns. It was tremendous, tremendous." Xenakis came out of the Resistance with a glass eye and a scar on the left side of his face, and anti-totalitarian feelings so emphatic that he fled uostwar monarchical Greece and was followed to the border by a death sentence in absentia. . . He was a Platonic Marxist, a suspicious character, an exile at age 24. Besides, he admired Debussy and Ravel, who were pretty avant-garde items themselves in the Greek cultural spectrum of that time. Xenakis came up for air in Paris. He studied mathematics and physics and encountered the kinetic theory of gases. This theory assumes, in the simplest sort of description, that the particles of a gas move in straight lines at high average velocity, continually encountering one another and hence . changing their individual velocities and directions, and that the pressure of the gas is due to the impact of the particles against the walls of the containing vessel. THE SOUNDS of street battle, the kinetic theory of gases and a belief in human equality are widely separated in most people's minds but Xenakis wove them into one idea. He had been prepared for intellectual quick-stepping by the kind of dismal, suppressed childhood that fate usually prefixes to a life of creative genius. His father was a rich Greek widower living in Romania and Xenakis was raised by a succession of indifferent governesses. The German occupation weighed heavily on Athens and Xenakis had a lot of mileage on him by the time he lost his eye. "First we saw cats vanish, then men," he said, recalling the starvation. Xenakis kept listening to Debussy and wondering why it reminded him of the battle in Constitution Square. He began looking for a new musical language, a tonal Esperanto, that should cross all borders and be justifiable to all people like mathematics itself, or like, to cite a Xenakis favorite, the last movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. The St. Louis Symphony audience that heard Xenakis's "Strategie" two years ago had the disadvantage of not knowing all this. The conductor, Eleazar De Carvalho, is a IT :r; i ..... - -1 f timOsmMmumtmammumJ MX w k $ Tit . XZprC S5jg5 aft o sjl 1 a W La fSLm ,WyAr', v f rf " H , lm t: t 1 jTij l&- -r... V t WllMMl - rrn r-riiiL. --.iiiiiL.in ... n.i " ' ' wiMWMwnwswrtirr-IBr By Scott C. Dint, Post-Dlipateh Photogrtphtr friend of Xenakis and knew what was going on, but soma of the musicians were as skeptical as the audience, even indignant Friendly listeners recall "Strategie" as "the basketball ' piece," because there was a scoreboard and the orchestra was divided in a kind of competition that was meant to exploit tonal encounters like the encounters of the gas molecules. The novelty of it was so brash, and the violinists so outspoken, that national magazines as well as local newspapers reported the event. At the recent campus lecture, Xenakis's English was still broken and so was his microphone, and the slides were dim, and every time the lights went on after a group of slides, the audience in the lecture hall was sparser. Even so the listeners had an uneasy feeling that the dignified little guy half-hidden by tape recorders was making sense, and they whispered to their neighbors for reassurance. "Commutative? Is that what he said?" "Yeah, that's like, well, interchangeable, like if you have three numbers to multiply and it doesn't matter which one you start with." XENAKIS COMPOSES on graph paper and the scores are in the form of convergent and divergent straight lines, or clusters of short lines "constellations" of sound, like the hundreds of voices when the Germans were shooting into the crowd. The long straight lines are glissandos, sliding notes that can be produced on instruments without fixed pitch, such as the violin. It was startling to see the graph of the first bars of "Metastasis" and then hear from the loudspeakers that it sounds just as the graph looks: an ascending chorus of orchestral voices that join by stages and converge mightily to a point of unison. "Metastasis" is 14 years old, and being Xenakis' first piece, a simple and easy-listening kind of avant-garde work, is In 53-54 time. Xenakis didn't smile when he said so. Music is easy to express mathematically and many com- Yannis Xenakis listens to his tape-recorded music in a lecture at Washington University, ill''' , nJ ' ' ! k&Zw)? Xenakis likes a "cloud of sound." posers in the last 30 years have been fascinated by the possibilities. Music has pitch, duration, rhythm and timbre, all of them precisely measurable. Such composers have turned to mathematics and computers In the feeling that esthetic inspiration is no longer adequate, here in the atomic and space age, to generate musical progress and that traditional polyphony has been driven to exhaustion by the serial composers like Bou'lez. In Xenakis's words, "What to do?" He is different from other innovative composers by the sheer boldness and sweep of his attack. Random of chance music "aleatory" music is one solution, serial or tone-row music to another. That was not enough for Xenakis. He wanted harmony with the universe. In this Xenakis resembles Buckminster Fuller, the mathematician - architect - engineer who borrowed the structure of molecules to build soaring geodesic domes, lighter and stronger than any other space enclosure. Geodesic domes are just one way that Fuller harmonizes with the universe, and he has left two generations of scholars shaking their heads, uneasy as Xenakis's. audience that the guy might be making sense after all. What Xenakis has not come up with so far is a geodesic dome a demon strable triumph, both beautiful and salable, of a very far-out idea. Xenakis's answer to his own question is an intellectually attractive one. Order is to be imposed on the new music by making it a direct translation of the physical behavior of the building blocks of the universe. "Metastasis," for example, is based on the molecular behaviour of xenon, one of the inert gases. Neon, hydrogen and he-luim elicit different music. The product should be natural constellations of sound, not random but obeying partly predictable rules, like the cries of the Greek patriots. Xenakis calls It "stochastic" music, referring to the harmonious goal toward which masses of sounds tend, as numbers tend to congregate under the laws of probability. "The bigger the cloud of sounds, the smaller the importance of each individual sound. It is themass that takes on a face." Xenakis prefers an orchestra to electronic sound generators because sound clouds are easier to build with 90 instruments. A triumph for Xenakis, a geodesic dome of music, would involve acceptance of this new musical democracy by millions of ordinary people in all parts of the world. So far ordinary people in the atomic and space age seem to be satisfied with, and even to demand, a musical diet far less complicated than the path of a xenon molecule. Sophisticated concertgoers do not mind complications but most of them are satisfied with the complications of Bach and Poulenc, evolved as they were without mathematical aid, created in a rare kind of brain and judged by the creator's ear. Xenakis admits that he modifies about 10 per cent of his compositions to correct what his ear tells him is wrong with them. He dislikes ugly music. TO JUDGE from the sound, frequently agreeable and occasionally powerful and moving, an inert gas is not as bad a composer as some people who have had their works performed in recent years. Xenakis has been graphing his scores for 15 years and has won respect in avant-garde circles for his earnest, amiable manner and music. "Metastasis" and "Pithoprakta" are a good sampler for the Xenakis beginner. "ST-10-1.080262" was done with the help of a computer and has a more capricious sound. The German conductor Hermann Scherchen, a Beethoven and Mozart specialist gava Xenakis powerful backing and conducted his "Terretektorh" at Royan, France, with tha orchestra playing in the middle of the audience. "It gets me here," Scherchen said, speaking of Xenakis's music and Laying a hand on his stomach. The French composer Olivier Messaien and conductor Maurice Le Roux are among Xenakis's admirers. Robert Wykes of Washington University says his compositions hava been influenced by Xenakis. He has become known as a composer-ajchitect or architect-composer for his retranslations, ; that is to say conversions from mathematics to music to freestanding shape. He worked with LeCorbusier in several such conversions, like the Philips pavilion at the 195S Brussels World Fair. He is erecting a musical - geometrical "visual spectacular" for the French pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal. , At Washington University, where he flew to lecture between chores at Montreal, someone asked Xenakis if ha had not taken on too much for one man, if it was possible to be an architect and a composer, a mathematician and philosopher all at once. But Xenakis is the old-fashioned, B.C. kind of Athenian, "Too much?" he repeated. "Hahl It's too little." 1 Your I Step Market tor Today BEST FOOD VALUES! 0D fen ncu s ALWAYS FIRST QUALITY 5 DAYS ONLY! BEGINS TUESDAY! i f , - ' - ql ,4.;, 11 ! r 1 v - ? 5 A f - f w U f " -t y i V, ' ttr ' ljt , if '? "js? : 1 yj, - . - Get A Beautiful 5x7" lflv lZ:Mfc Portrait Of Your V r'1; AGE limit 5 YEARS tt'i jf" . X 7TT""J One or two children ia g t A f - ony one family will be for OnlV f 4 " "k W photographed SINGLY at . ' V V Vt't:l 59c ch for tfc. first . 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SEE OFFICER DON MILLER AND THE KSD TRAFFIC-COPTER AND SEE MARTY BRONSON BROADCAST "LIVE" H A.M. TO 2 P.M. Co-Sponsored by the OLIVETTE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND KSD LPD 55 ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH 2. iw 3 D i

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