Sunday, September 8, 2013

Post 1980 canon #4: Postmodern zapping: John Zorn's Cat O' Nine Tails

Post 1980 canon #4: John Zorn's Cat O' Nine Tails (1988)

No one were more eclectic and embodying postmodernism than John Zorn, and no "classical" work were more postmodern than Zorn's string quartet Cat O' Nine Tails, written for the Kronos Quartet in 1988. Hearing the piece is like zapping on the TV, jumping from one thing to the other with no apparent connection between the parts. The piece is full of katzenjammer, jokes, film music snippets, cliches, contemporary music cliches, eerie beauty and poking fun. But the cat in the title is no fun at all - it's a nine tailed whip. So '90s! But mainly this piece is all about having fun with music.

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