Mostly Imaginary Landscapes

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

A painter can paint a landscape. Can a composer do the same with sound? Does an aural representation of geography exist, or does "landscape" take on a new meaning when applied to music? These are questions composers have tinkered with over the last century, with some varied and groovy results. Today the Brothers Balliett explore the music of these explorers.

John Cage is a great place to start, with his In a Landscape for scordatura harp. Simply beautiful! Harrison Birtwistle's fertile imagination came up with An Imaginary Landscape, a dynamic and jagged place. Does the name sound familiar?

John Cage also wrote An Imaginary Landscape, a searching piece for an ensemble which includes 2 variable speed turntables. Wrapping up the program will be Terrain of Brian Ferneyhough – more of a relief map than a landscape!

Hosted by:

Brad Balliett and Doug Balliett

Comments [1]

Joseph from Philly

Just thought you might like to know that three of us “classical” composers’ album ( is also included in a non-classical category (

Our album Sprung Rhythm represents three young diverse composers. Check it out! :)

One of my pieces happens to be titled: "imagined landscapes: six Lovecraftain elsewheres". Check it out :)

-Joseph Hallman,

Dec. 11 2013 10:52 AM

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