Did You Know: Week of December 12, 2016

Texarkana USA: 
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Speaking of Second to None...


That Texarkana’s rich musical heritage goes far beyond Ragtime pioneer and Pulitzer-Prize winner Scott Joplin?  

 Texarkana native Conlon Nancarrow was called “The Father of Electronic Music” by Frank Zappa.

His compositions were of such complexity that he accommodated by writing primary for reproducing piano for one period, eliminating the need for any human hands to require their accomplishment.

Recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, Nancarrow’s music has been called “...perhaps some of the most significant of the century. What kind of music would prompt [music critic] Ligeti to rave: “This music is the greatest discovery since Webern and Ives... something great and important for all music history! His music is so utterly original, enjoyable, perfectly constructed but at the same time emotional...for me it’s the best of any composer living today.” It is clear that Nancarrow’s music remains profound.

Nancarrow, whose father was a mayor of Texarkana, AR, was born in Texarkana in 1912; following world-wide musical and political adventures, he lived out the latter part of his life in Mexico City.  

On his death in 1997, the global impact of Nancarrow’s life and work was signaled by the obituary printed by the London Times which covered fully one quarter page of that world capitol.

Who knew?   




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