Messiaen presentation

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Olivier Messiaen Composer, Ornithologist, Innovator

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  • 1. Olivier MessiaenComposer, Ornithologist, Innovator

2. Early BiographyDecember 10, 1908Olivier Messiaen born. (Avignon, France)1919/20OM begins studies at the Paris Conservatoire. OM receives awards in piano, harmony, organ,1922-30 composition, music historySeptember, 1931OM appointed titular organist of La Trinit.June 22, 1932OM and Claire Delbos marry. OM begins compulsory military service (completed summerFall 1933 1934).October 16, 1936 First American performance of OMs music France declares war on Germany; OM called up for militarySeptember, 1939 service.June 15, 1940OM captured by German forces in the fall of Verdun. OM moved to a prisoner camp in Silesia, Germany (nowJuly 1940 Poland). (released in 1941)August 25, 1944Paris liberated from German occupation. Source: 3. Later BiographyJuly-August 1949OM teaches a composition workshop at Tanglewood.OM studies with ornithologist Jacques Delamain in Gardpe,1952-58France.OM begins intensive birdsong research in the Frenchcountryside using tape recorders and transcriptions.1952-58Hereafter, he would travel the world, collecting andtranscribing birdsongsOM appointed Professor of Composition at the Paris1966Conservatoire.OM elected to the Acadmie des Beaux-Arts de lInstitut deDecember, 1966France.March 11, 1972OM, YL begin American tour.OM, YL visit Utah, including Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks andMay 1-10Zion Lodge.First performance of Des Canyons Aux Etoiles (From the1974Canyons to the Stars)Celebrations and performances in honor of OMs 70th1978birthday; OM retires from the faculty of the ParisConservatoire.June 1, 1978OMs health begins to visibly decline.April 27, 1992OM dies, age 83. 4. The Music of Messiaen Influences Debussy (whole-tone scale, OM mode 1) Stravinsky (rhythm, color) Compositional Characterics Color Heart of OM music. Synesthesia Notated colors in the score- not for the audience, but for the conductor to aid in interpretation 5. The Music of Messiaen Compositional Characteristics (cont.) Non-retrogradable rhythms (palindromic rhythms) Added value Lengthening of individual notes or adding notes in the music- no time signature/ barlines 6. The Music of Messiaen Birdsong Collected birdsongs from all over the world Transcribed into his music (first used- song of theblackbird in a flute audition piece for the ParisCoservatoire) Modes 7 modes used by OM Uses these modes to avoid traditional harmonicprogressions 7. Messians Musical Modes 8. Des Canyons Aux Etoiles From the Canyons to the Stars Multi-movement symphony Written on a 1971 commission by theAmerican Alice Tully for a work to celebratethe bicentenary of the United StatesDeclaration of Independence. First performed in 1974 9. Bryce Canyon