Tag Archives: Food

A playlist for Japanese food

 

Since the late 1970s, when he was a founding member of the electronic-pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra, Ryuichi Sakamoto has composed and produced music for dance floors, concert halls, films, video games, ringtones, and acts of ecological awareness and political resistance. Many consider him exemplary not only for his music but also for his listening, and for his understanding of how music can be used and shared.

In 2017 Sakamoto assembled a gustatory soundtrack for Kajitsu, a Japanese restaurant in Murray Hill, Manhattan. In an interview, he compared Kajitsu’s cuisine to the beauty of Katsura Rikyu, a palatial villa in Kyoto, but said that the restaurant’s former musical backdrop was more akin to that of Trump Tower.

Sakamoto created at least five rough drafts before settling on the current version of the Kajitsu playlist, now available for public consumption on Spotify.

This according to “Annoyed by restaurant playlists, a master musician made his own” by Ben Ratliff (The New York times 23 July 2018, p. D1).

Above, a meal at Kajitsu; below, the Kajitsu playlist.

 

Course 3: All dishes by Laissez Fare is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

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Filed under Curiosities, Food

Musique concrète with grapefruit

grapefruit

Musique concrète has evolved a great deal since its beginnings in the late 1940s; experiments with musique concrète that are presently occurring within the world of electronic dance music (EDM) and other musical genres are quite different from Pierre Schaeffer’s original work.

In 2013 Brian Speise was composing credits music for a short zombie film and thought that the project would be perfect for experimenting with musique concrète. This was not a work of dance music at all, but it had elements of electronic music that producers of EDM can appreciate. Balloons and a grapefruit were brought into play.

This according to Mr. Speise’s “From grapefruit to plastic surgery: Experiments in contemporary musique concrete” (Dancecult VI/1 [2014]).

Above, the author records a grapefruit peel with a contact microphone; you can hear the sound here.

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music, Curiosities

Schoenberg’s birthday bash

Today, on Arnold Schoenberg’s birthday, let’s eavesdrop on his 60th birthday party in Los Angeles, as recalled by his student Dika Newlin:

“About an hour after we arrived, the eating and drinking began. There was coffee with whipped cream (lots), six or seven kinds of sandwiches made with cheese, liverwurst, and such good things: whole platefuls of rich little pastries, coffee cake, chocolate raisin cake, peach cake and orange cake.

“This, keep in mind, was just a little light afternoon tea. The real feast of the day, the birthday dinner, hadn’t arrived yet, nor had the birthday drinks, of which more anon. After eating all these good things, we drifted back into the yard.

“At this point, the strictly musical portion of the evening was interrupted by the advent of some more pastries, a bottle of Black and White whiskey (one of several bottles which had been most appropriately brought to the old man in honor of the great day) and some glasses. I tried a little—a very little—of the whiskey, in spite of Uncle Arnold’s merciless twitting. Then…supper was called!

“I waded through a platter of sweetened sauerkraut, frankfurters, baked potatoes, salami, shrimp salad, rye bread, anchovies, all washed down with plenty of red wine. Then the circlet of birthday candles was brought in and the old man miraculously blew them all out with a single puff. After Nuria had played Happy birthday on her violin, and Ronnie had sung slightly off key, one more round of wine was served…and a large Apfelstrudel made its triumphant appearance.”

This according to Newlin’s Schoenberg remembered: Diaries and recollections, 1938–76 (New York: Pendragon, 1980). Many thanks to Tina Frühauf for bringing this to our attention!

Above, the inventor of serialism playing ping-pong in L.A.; below, Dr. Newlin sings Lee Hazlewood’s These boots are made for walkin’.

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music, Food