sabato 26 settembre 2015

That's All Folks: The music by Carl Stalling second part

In this period Stalling invented the "Tick System," or the pre-registered audio track, better known as "click", which gives to the musicians fitted with headphones the exact rhythm of the composition that they are going to perform. Stalling has been remembered as perfectionist and this invention is a statement of his intents. After he left Disney and Mickey in 1930, he joined Ub Iwerks who oredered him to write the final chapter of the Flip the Frog cartoon. When this work ended in 1933 the director - composer of Missouri found himself in possession of excellent references but without a regular job until 1936 when it arrived at Warner Bros where he remained for the next 22 years, until his retirement. For this company, under the guide of the producer Leon Schlessinger, he will realize musics for over 600 cartoons, almost one song a week for over 2 decades! A prolific work able to compete with the major classical composers of the past!
The music that we heard for years without realizing it playing in the background of the masterpieces of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and other leaders of the Warner Bros, presents musical elements and concepts that are staggering for the years in which it was composed. For example there are already a lot of concrete noises (a clear anticipation of what will be the concrete music in the future) like the verses of some animals used not only as a narrative element but as real elements to highlight some particular atmospheres and give more freedom to the musical structure. As John Zorn said, who just graduated with a thesis on Stalling, the 30's and 40's were a crucial decades for the American musical history: jazz, swing, hillibilly, the first ethnomusicological discoveries and a handful of American composers who was looking for new ways in opposition to the solutions adopted by the European colleagues: Partch, Antheil, Nancarrow, Cage and Varese.

Stalling is charaterized by a particular style that tries to include all types of music, one at a time or all at once, wherever necessary, giving him an opened and not a hierarchical musical point of view, typical of the younger composers of today, but a really rare thing in the mid 60s. All musical genres have equal importance, no one is better than the others and all are embraced and mixed by Stalling in a way similar to Burrough’s ideas or Godard films of the 60s, rather than to any other event occurred during the'40s. Stalling produced shocking results, especially if we think about the fact that the visual medium of cartoons in some ways sweetened the musical content of the work of the composer (not to mention the bad consideration of the critics for this kind of art). The wizard of sound effects with co-responsible of soundtracks with Stalling was Treg Brown, winner of an Oscar in 1965 for the effects of the film "The Great Race." Human filtered voices, animals shouts, exotic percussion, metallic crashes, raspberry and thuds along with Stalling’s orchestral scores, played by Milt Franklin, and the crazy voices of Mel Blank created a disruptive cinetic and cinematic effect.

First part
Third part

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