(“Ballet mécanique”) WRITING SUGGESTIONS:
Write your listener’s observations, interpretation; include any comparisons
and relevant cultural-context comments for George Antheil’s
“Ballet Mécanique” (1924, music with film by Cubist Fernand Léger).
-How is this film and music work experimental? How is it mechanical? Is it a ballet?
-Is the multi-player piano recorded version with film differ
significantly from the non-film concert version with instruments?
-Is this about conventional aesthetic “beauty”? What stands out the most in this work?
-What are your impressions of the versions played robotic devices (LEMUR performance).
-Which of these performance versions do you prefer and why?
What kinds of sounds, expressions are emphasized?
-How is this work radical, reflecting particular aspects of Dada, Cubism and
Futurism? Include your observations of the music, film images, ideas
displayed in two of the different performances.
LINKS below have RESEARCH information for your paper writing.
CUBISM: objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form.
Instead of depicting objects/subjects from a single viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject
from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject/object in a greater context.
This approach can distort the subject and its context, making it more abstract and
non-pictorial (a non-realistic looking representation). Instead, the subject becomes more
of a concept, an idea. Several art movements developed in response to Cubism.
Its ideas continue to be influential in our time.
some topics to pick from:
Are these used conventionally or unconventionally or mostly ignored?
-How is the work experimental, radical, breaking with tradition?
-What is the point of the particular creative work? What does it try to achieve?
-How do the accompaniment details, melody, rhythm, volume changes,
density (varying thinner or thicker sounding layers) enhance or augment the music’s narrative
and drama? How, what does it try to impress?
-What are other musical aspects/ingredients of the work that create its particular expression, message?
-How do the moving-image and music relate?
Can you describe the work’s structure/form? Which points in the music delineate the form of the work?
-Comparison: what are a few similarities and differences between some of these works?
-Which of the works appeals to you the most? Describe how. What makes the work unique?
– What is your interpretation of works individually and in comparison?
– What features stand out –by their presence or absence? Is there a narrative?
-With text or narrative, is there any “word painting” with sounds?(tone painting, text painting)
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