I promise that this will be my last blog on what I will call ‘Beach Music’. We’ll see????
Yesterday was President’s Day, a big day in Puerto Rico. The beach in front of my condo, usually calm, with a few sun-tanners stretched out on it getting skin cancer, looked and sounded like Coney Island on the Fourth of July. We were treated to non-stop noise coming from one magnificent ghetto blaster on the beach from mid-morning until dark. One was all it took for whatever was emerging from this infernal machine to be heard in Cuba. The young people standing near the Blaster merely stood. All Day!
No one danced. No one could possibly talk. They just stood, going deaf, no doubt.
In case anyone wants to compose a work for this medium (Jerry and Joseph take notice) I have found the secret. Here is the recipe.
1. Volume is of the utmost importance
2. There must be no trace of a melody
3. The rhythmic pattern must be ‘boom gada boom, gada boom, boom, boom’, ad infinitum.
4. The composition must be absolutely stultifying.
5. There must be no more than two harmonic chords used, preferably the Tonic and the Sub-Dominant.
6. The words, if any, must be unintelligible.
7. When nothing else is happening there must be an electronic drum beat that is loud, relentless and annoying.
8. The composition must offend as many innocent people as possible; anyone within earshot: which includes all of the Lesser Antilles.
9. This is not ‘Rap’, but it rhymes with that word and begins with a ‘c’ and an ‘r’.
Nine Lessons in Beach Music Composition from Professor Burtis: my next book. Available soon at Amazon.com.
As I write this, Electronic Munchkins are now involved in the singing(?) . At least they are small- but amazingly loud.
There you have it! Composers!! Go to work!!!
As Ralph Vaughn Williams once said to a young composer who had written a piece using many of the techniques mentioned above:
‘Young man, should a melody ever occur to you, I shouldn’t hesitate to write it down.’