FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 114 BEATLES (Breaking down the psychedelic song BECAUSE, The composition of the song) (Featured artist is John Baldessari )

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The Beatles are featured in this episode below by Francis Schaeffer:

The Beatles were looking for lasting satisfaction in their lives and their journey took them down many of the same paths that other young people of the 1960’s were taking INCLUDING THE PATH OF PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC AND FRAGMENTATION. No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” 

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Francis Schaeffer correctly noted:

In this flow there was also the period of psychedelic rock, an attempt to find this experience without drugs, by the use of a certain type of music. This was the period of the Beatles’ Revolver (1966) and Strawberry Fields Forever (1967). In the same period and in the same direction was Blonde on Blond (1966) by Bob Dylan….No great illustration could be found of the way these concepts were carried to the masses than “pop” music and especially the work of the BEATLES. The Beatles moved through several stages, including the concept of the drug and psychedelic approach. The psychedelic began with their records REVOLVER, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, AND PENNY LANE. This was developed with great expertness in their record SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND in which psychedelic music, with open statements concerning drug-taking, was knowingly presented as a religious answer. 

Top 30 Psychedelic Beatles Songs

Because (Beatles song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Because”
Song by the Beatles from the album Abbey Road
Released 26 September 1969
Recorded 1–5 August 1969,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic rock, progressive rock
Length 2:45
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
Music sample
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Because” is a song written by John Lennon[1] (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and recorded by the Beatles in 1969. It features a prominent three-part vocal harmony by Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, overdubbed twice to make nine voices in all. It first appeared on Abbey Road (1969), immediately preceding the extended medley on side two of the record.

Composition[edit]

An electric harpsichord similar to the one used for “Because”

The song begins with a distinctive electric harpsichord intro played by producer George Martin. The harpsichord is joined by Lennon’s guitar (mimicking the harpsichord line) played through a Leslie speaker. Then vocals and bass guitar enter.

“Because” was one of few Beatles recordings to feature a Moog synthesiser, played by George Harrison. It appears in what Alan Pollack refers to as the “mini-bridge”,[2] and then again at the end of the song.

According to Lennon, the song’s close musical resemblance to the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Moonlight Sonata was no coincidence: “Yoko was playing Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ on the piano … I said, ‘Can you play those chords backwards?’, and wrote ‘Because’ around them. The lyrics speak for themselves … No imagery, no obscure references.”[1][3]

Musical structure[edit]

With regard to the controversy Lennon initiated by citing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” as an inspiration, musicologist Walter Everett notes that “both arpeggiate triads and seventh chords in C♯ minorin the baritone range of a keyboard instrument at a slow tempo, move through the submediant to ♭II and approach vii dim7/IV via a common tone.”[4] But while acknowledging the unusual shared harmonies, Dominic Pedler notes that the relationship is not the result of reversing the order of the chords as Lennon suggested.[5]

“Because” concludes with a vocal fade-out on D dim, which keeps listeners in suspense as they wait for the return to the home key of C♯ minor. Mellers states that: “causality is released and there is no before and no after: because that flat supertonic is a moment of revelation, it needs no resolution.”[6] The D dim chord (and its accompanying melodic F♮) lingers until they resolve into the opening Am7 chord of “You Never Give Me Your Money“.

Recording[edit]

George Martin on “Because”:[7]

Between us, we also created a backing track with John playing a riff on guitar, me duplicating every note on an electronic harpsichord, and Paul playing bass. Each note between the guitar and harpsichord had to be exactly together, and as I’m not the world’s greatest player in terms of timing, I would make more mistakes than John did, so we had Ringo playing a regular beat on hi-hat to us through our headphones.

The main recording session for “Because” was on 1 August 1969, with vocal overdubs on 4 August, and a double-tracked Moog synthesiser overdub by Harrison on 5 August.[8] As a result, this was the last song on the album to be committed to tape, although there were still overdubs for other incomplete songs. This approach took extensive rehearsal, and more than five hours of extremely focused recording, to capture correctly. McCartney and Harrison both said it was their favourite track on Abbey Road. “They knew they were doing something special,” said engineer Geoff Emerick, “and they were determined to get it right.” [9] Versions of the song without instrumentation can be found on 1996’s Anthology 3 and 2006’s Love. Both versions highlight the three-part harmony by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, though the Love version is lengthened and includes overdubbed birdsong from “Across the Universe“.

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[10]

Cover versions[edit]

Year Artist Release Notes
1969 Gary McFarland Today
1971 John Williams Changes
1976 Lynsey De Paul All This and World War II
1977 Devo The Truth About De-Evolution (soundtrack) The song is performed (and distorted highly) during the film’s closing credits.
1978 Alice Cooper & The Bee Gees Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack)
1981 Shampoo In Naples 1980–81 Lyrics rewritten in Neapolitan.
1982 Pedro Aznar Pedro Aznar
1987 Mike Marshall Gator Strut
1994 The Nylons The Nylons
1998 Vanessa-Mae George Martin‘s In My Life She performed the song on a solo violin with a background choir singing the lyrics.
1999 Elliott Smith American Beauty (soundtrack)
2004 Alejandro Dolina Tangos del Bar del Infierno Also used as the opening theme for his radio show La Venganza Será Terrible.
2005 George Clinton How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent?
2005 Negativland No Business A complete deconstruction of the song on “Old is New” and “New is Old”, adding voice effects and additional track overlaying
2005 Ná Ozzetti & André Mehmari Piano e Voz
2007 Solveig Slettahjell Domestic Songs
2007 Various artists Across the Universe The six main characters and three minor characters in the film combined to perform the nine vocal parts.
2009 Nyoy Volante
2009 Martin John Henry Abbey Road Now!
2009 Gerry Rafferty Life Goes On
2013 Al Di Meola All Your Life
2013 Rachel Zeffira

External links[edit]

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Previously unseen footage of The Beatles shot during the making of a documentary about the Fab Four’s Magical Mystery Tour film has been made available .

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Magical Mystery Tour beatles on bus

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Today’s featured artist is John Baldessari

Happy Birthday John Baldessari

John Baldessari, b. 1931 "Beethoven's Trumpet (with Ear) Opus #132", 2007 Foam, resin, aluminum, cold bronze, and electronics

John Baldessari, b. 1931
“Beethoven’s Trumpet (with Ear) Opus #132”, 2007
Foam, resin, aluminum, cold bronze, and electronics

John Baldessari’s Beethoven’s Trumpet (with Ear) Opus #132, 2007 is currently on view in Crystal Bridges’ 1940s to Now gallery. A popular artwork with children, the sculpture plays Beethoven when you clap or speak into the large ear-trumpet.  Baldessari has created a huge body of work in many media over his career.

Today is Baldessari’s birthday; he was born June 17, 1931.  I could write a pithy post about John Baldessari’s work and career, but I just don’t think there’s any better overview than the short video below, narrated by the inimitable Tom Waits.

Watch carefully and you’ll see Beethoven’s Trumpet (with Ear) Opus #132 in this video, as well as Baldessari’s cool Still Life app, which we are currently using in our interactive gallery adjacent to the American Encounters: The Simple Pleasures of Still Life exhibition.

John Baldessari

American Collagist, Painter and Photographer

Movements: Conceptual Art, The Pictures Generation

Born: June 17, 1931 – National City, California

QUOTES

1 of 8
“If I saw the art around me that I liked, then I wouldn’t do art.”
John Baldessari

“I guess a lot of it’s just lashing out, because I didn’t know how to be an artist, and all this time spent alone in the dark in these studios and importing my culture and constant questions. I’d say, ‘Well, why is this art? Why isn’t that art?'”

Synopsis

John Baldessari is renowned as a leading Californian Conceptual artist. Painting was important to his early work: when he emerged, in the early 1960s, he was working in a gestural style. But by the end of the decade he had begun to introduce text and pre-existing images, often doing so to create riddles that highlighted some of the unspoken assumptions of contemporary painting – as he once said, “I think when I’m doing art, I’m questioning how to do it.” And in the 1970s he abandoned painting altogether and made in a diverse range of media, though his interests generally centered on the photographic image. Conceptual art has shaped his interest in exploring how photographic images communicate, yet his work has little of the austerity usually associated with that style; instead he works with light humor, and with materials and motifs that also reflect the influence of Pop art. Baldessari has also been a famously influential teacher. His ideas, and his relaxed and innovative approach to teaching, have made an important impact on many, most notably the so-called Pictures Generation, whose blend of Pop and Conceptual art was prominent in the 1980s.

Key Ideas

Baldessari first began to move away from gestural painting when he started to work with materials from billboard posters. It prompted him to analyze how these very popular, public means of communication functioned, and it could be argued that his work ever since has done the same. He invariably works with pre-existing images, often arranging them in such a way as to suggest a narrative, yet the various means he employs to distort them – from cropping the images, to collaging them with unrelated images, to blocking out faces and objects with colored dots – all force us to ask how and what the image is communicating.
A crucial development in Baldessari’s work was the introduction of text to his paintings. It marked, for him, the realization that images and texts behave in similar ways – both using codes to convey their messages. Text began to disappear from his work in the early 1970s, and since then he has generally relied on collage, but his work has continued to operate with the same understanding of the coded character of images. Typically, he collages together apparently unrelated categories of image or motif, yet the result is to force us to recognize that those images often communicate similar messages.
On a visit to the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1965, Baldessari was struck by the use of unpainted plaster to fill in missing shards of Greek vases. This prompted his interest in how images are effected by having portions removed or blotted out, and he has continued to explore this ever since. Often, the result of his alterations to photographs is to render them generic, suggesting to us that rather than capturing a special moment, or unusual event, photographs often communicate very standardized messages.

Most Important Art

I Am Making Art (1971)
In this video piece, Baldessari makes several arm movements, reciting the phrase, “I am making art,” after each gesture. Baldessari has always been conscious of the power of choice in artistic practice – like choosing to paint something red rather than blue, for example. Here, he carefully associates the choice of arm movements with the artistic choices that a painter or sculptor may make, concluding that choice is a form of art in itself. But he also confronts one of the fascinating problems that unpinned the work of many early Conceptual artists: how much can art be reduced and simplified before it stops being art at all? Baldessari offers no definitive answer, but he suggests that the gap between art and the ordinary, between art and life, may be imperceptible.
Performance video. © John Baldessari

More Art Works

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"Cutting Ribbon, Man In Wheelchair, Paintings (Version #2), 1988" shows John Baldessari's signature technique, faces covered with colorful circles. The practice had its genesis when the artist idly stuck a price sticker on the face of someone pictured in a newspaper clipping.

“Cutting Ribbon, Man In Wheelchair, Paintings (Version #2), 1988” shows John Baldessari’s signature technique, faces covered with colorful circles. The practice had its genesis when the artist idly stuck a price sticker on the face of someone pictured in a newspaper clipping.

Courtesy the artist/John Baldessari Studio

There are certain creations that have defined beauty for generations: Renoir’s pudgy, pink nude; Rothko’s brilliant blocks of color that seem to vibrate; Michelangelo’s naked young man in marble, with a slingshot on his shoulder.

In Venice, Calif., 81-year-old artist John Baldessari respects these definitions — and then turns them upside down. Baldessari is an icon in some art circles, especially in Southern California. Six-foot-seven, with long white hair and a beard, he’s been called “a towering figure.” Thoughtful and provocative, he has burned his own paintings, put colored dots over faces in photographs, and covered floors at the Los Angeles County Museum with a carpet of blue sky and puffy white clouds.

Lots of times, a Baldessari makes you smile, then go … “Huh?” In his sunny studio, the artist says he’s trying to slow us down, to look in new ways.

“You know, when you’re sitting in a dentist office or doctor’s office, and you look in a magazine and, and you go, ‘What was that?’ I would like people to have that feeling, you know, that, ‘Wait, what did I just see?’ ” Baldessari says with a laugh.

Like with the colored dots pasted onto photographs — they’re actually price stickers. Over the years he’d been collecting black-and-white news images — pictures of people at various civic occasions.

“I just got so tired of looking at these faces,” Baldessari says — faces of mayors shaking hands with firefighters, faces of local officials at ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

In 1985, in a fit of pique, Baldessari covered the faces with colored dots.

In 1970, John Baldessari burned everything he had painted between 1953 and 1966. “I said … ‘I don’t really need them.’ So I decided I’ll just destroy them.” After that, Baldessari turned to photography and sculpture.

Hedi Slimane/Courtesy the artist

“If you can’t see their face, you’re going to look at how they’re dressed, maybe their stance, their surroundings,” he explains. “You really do see that handshake. You know, it’s not about those guys, it’s about that handshake. It’s about cutting that ribbon.”

But aren’t the human faces the most interesting part? Why leave a viewer with only mundane objects — scissors and a piece of ribbon?

“Why do I leave it? Because I — I think you really sort of dig beneath the surface and you can see what that photograph is really about, what’s going on,” says Baldessari.

Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), understands.

“If you obliterate the face, then you begin to see the hands and the ribbon as full of meaning,” Govan says, “because no two ribbons, no two hands, no two ceremonies are the same.”

In Govan’s mind, that specific device — the colored dots — speaks to Baldessari’s technique more generally: “Sometimes he takes away the thing that’s most obvious in the center of your vision, forces you to look at everything else, almost for the first time, to make new sense of what you’re seeing.”

Govan calls Baldessari “one of the most influential artists working today,” a pioneer of “conceptual art,” where it’s the idea that counts — the idea in the artist’s head that becomes art in the heads of viewers as they try to puzzle it out.

LACMA curator Leslie Jones says Baldessari chews up the familiar and spits it out into something else.

“I’ve often thought of Baldessari’s work as kind of a surrealism for the media age, if that makes sense,” Jones says, “because he’s taking pre-existing imagery and reconfiguring it and creating new realities, or surrealities … from them.”

In 1970, Baldessari was painting in San Diego and, he says, getting nowhere. He had no gallery, no audience and no buyers for his pictures.

“And so I said, ‘Well, I’m just going to stop. I have them in my head. I don’t really need them,’ ” he says. “So I decided I’ll just destroy them.”

He took everything he’d painted from 1953 to 1966, found a mortuary and cremated all of it. Burned his body of work. Nine-and-a-half boxes of ashes later, he still has no regrets about losing any of them. It was a ritual act of purification. A farewell to the tradition of painting. And a rebirth for him. He turned to photography as his main medium of expression and communication — the modern medium, Baldessari believes.

"Pure Beauty," shown here at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2010, is one of John Baldessari's many provocative "text paintings."

“Pure Beauty,” shown here at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2010, is one of John Baldessari’s many provocative “text paintings.”

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty

He did save some “text paintings,” though. He was experimenting with using words in his work, and “Pure Beauty” is one example. Those two words, in black capital letters, on a painted white canvas. Jones, who curated a Baldessari show called “Pure Beauty,” says he was, again, trying to get us to think.

“What is pure beauty? And ultimately, pure beauty is a very subjective experience,” says Jones. “You know, it could be a painting by Rothko. It could be about color, it could be about a beautiful landscape. But ultimately, everyone’s notion of pure beauty is different. So, for me, this work is conveying that very idea, is that pure beauty is whatever you want to envision in your head.”

Govan says that from childhood on, we’re taught certain standards of beauty.

“You know something’s beautiful because somebody’s told you it’s beautiful, and so you’ll use that as the definition,” he says. “John’s trying to unmake that simple reference, that it’s beautiful because somebody else says it’s beautiful, and wants you to think about it. What are the constructs of beauty?”

So, just two simple words on a canvas … that can be pure beauty. It’s funny, this stuff. Makes you laugh — at first.

“I would say that John’s work possesses something like deep humor,” Govan reflects. “It’s funny, but … it leads you somewhere. It’s never a one-liner that ends there. It’s always based on some deep philosophy, consideration, reconsideration, way of seeing. It’s never just funny for the sake of being funny.”

Baldessari finds humor — in his work and in this world. Awhile ago, one of his text paintings sold for $4.4 million.

“You just have to laugh,” he says. “It’s my life. It’s what I do. … I suspect it’s, you know, by keeping my mind active, it’s keeping me, you know, alive.”

A smile, a farewell handshake, and John Baldessari gets back to work.

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