"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Avantgarde Hummings

A lot has been written about popular composers over the years but very little has been written about the worlds least popular composer, Avantgarde Hummings, from Salzburg.

You know more of the works of Herr Hummings than you think you do. His work is performed daily across the globe by an army of devoted followers despite most of the rest us disliking his music intensely.

Avantgarde Hummings has rejected conventional methods of both composition and instrumentation in favour of a more industrial method. He also insists that his work is not performed in the more traditional concert halls or music venues or indeed at the more regular time of early evening. Instead, the maestro is adamant that his works are performed outside in the streets of residential areas, most often in the early hours of the morning or late at night.

His preferred instruments are pneumatic drills, cement mixers, steam-rollers, skips, lorries and most vehicles from the JCB range. As well as his “works for road gangs and builders” he also composes more intimate pieces; I am sure you will be familiar with his various chamber works for lawn mower, hedge trimmer and leaf blower. He has also written some solo pieces like “Man With Hammer” and “Man With Drill”. You may also have heard extracts from what are regarded as his two masterpieces “Concerto for Black and Decker Workmate” and the massive “opera for road movers” called the “Ring Road Cycle”. However, two of his most performed works would have to be “Erecting and Dismantling of Scaffolding at Dawn” and “Bin Men In The Morning”.

Some of his more experimental works from his “after dark” period include “Car Doors Slamming at Midnight”, “Argument for Couple at 3am”, “Dog Barking Incessantly” and the ever unpopular “Car Alarm”.

So next time you are woken by an unexpected clamour just lie back and enjoy one of the many works of this most prolific and unpopular composer, Avantgarde Hummings, from Salzburg.

Suggested listening: Extracts from “The Complete Works of Avantgarde Hummings” outside your home shortly.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard many pieces by this composer. Indeed, in our part of the world an obvious fan of his plays "Dog Barking Incessantly" rather too frequently for our liking.

    Good article Gary. Great to see you back on here again. You've been missed. x x