About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (a bad wordplay on Orwell's "double plus good" and old machismo - I'm the realest after all) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear' or 'Unripe language'), the umbrella of several literary projects in Dutch.

This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Why is this in English why everything else in Dutch? Because I want to gun for a much wider audience here. Also, my literary English isn't good enough, otherwise I would always write in English.

Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Monday, October 09, 2017

20 people I admire (XIII): Max Richter

Who? British composer who was born in Germany.

Why? Richter is a ‘modern classical’ composer, which sort of sounds like an oxymoron. He combines very traditional Renaissance and early 20th century musical motifs with subtle electronic components. He remixed Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ to great acclaim and also staked out a place for himself in the film music landscape. I got to know him through his collaboration with pioneering electronic music duo Future Sound of London.

What resonates with me? Even the shortest of Richter’s compositions are full of emotion, like some fan that opens and reveals its brilliant drawings, or primeval visions like sunrises, rainfall or the simple melancholy of contemplating that everything is transient – what Japanese calls ‘mono no aware’. Richter’s brilliance never turns to bombast, however, and his penchant for minimalism never becomes cold or calculating. He is a master at balancing emotion and technology and uniting the cutting edge of music technology with a deep reverence for tradition.

Best bit? ‘Shadow Journal’ sounds like a big piece of pretentiousness on paper: lonely strings and a subdued, throbbing base, introduced by actress Tilda Swinton reciting Kafka. Yet, it works. This track manages to pull strings of pure emotion by its high-pitched, ambiguous strings and still gives a feeling of depth by its warm bassline. If anything was ever a pure love letter to art, this is it.

Next up: The Onion, an American satire medium