Project 8: A Blues Primer


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These are the slides that went with a talk introducing my love of the Blues as music, culture, and dance see I've inserted YouTubes for the audio and video samples. I had to swap Ella Fitzgerald "Fever" for Lisa Hindmarsh

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Project 8: A Blues Primer

  1. 1. Chorus of ‘Sweat’ You started to sweat. Bullets from your soul. Sweat. Lost all means of self control. Sweat. Like a twenty dollar whore. Sweat. Lord, that's when she walked through the door. Balletic grace meets the unashamedly urban vernacular!
  2. 2. West Africans enslaved in Americas 1619-1860 Cleansed of African culture, such as drums Field work songs, church spirituals, trained black musicians, and stage minstrels Mississippi Delta 1890s + Blues emerges fusing elements of vernacular African and classical European music 1912 WC Handy publishes St Louis Blues
  3. 3. St Louis Blues First Verse I hate to see that evening sun go down I hate to see that evening sun go down 'Cause my baby, has left this town • Poly-Rhythmic v Poly-Temporal • Percussive use of instruments – mimics banned talking drums • Call & response, repetition and answer (moaning lyrics v mocking jazzy instruments) • Blues chord progression v minor and major chords (lights v darks) (tensions v release) –syncopated down beats • =A CONVERSATION
  4. 4. 1910+ Jazz (blues) 1930 Country/Western swing (folk + jazz) 1930s Big band swing (jazz + blues) 1940s-1950 Rhythm and Blues [R&B] (blues + Jazz) Rock & Roll (blues + gospel) Rockabilly (Country) Funk (Jazz) , Soul (R&B + gospel+ funk) 1950s Rock (blues, jazz, classical, R&B) 1960s Folk Rock, Pop Rock, Blues Rock 1970s Punk Rock, Heartland Rock, Grunge, Metal 1970s Rap/Hip-Hop (funk, soul & poetry) 1980s Pop-Disco (funk, soul) 1912 WC Handy publishes St Louis Blues
  5. 5. Too poor to die 1st verse Last night I had a dream I dream I died The undertaker came To take me for my last ride I couldn't afford a casket Embalmin‘ was high So I jumped off my death bed Too poor to die Affirmation Percussive incantation Fertility rituals Purification rituals
  6. 6. Blind Willie Johnson, Dark was the night, Cold was the day, 1927 Voyager 1, 1977, currently on the edge of the solar system over 18 billion km away THE BLUES IS UNIVERSAL
  7. 7. Earl Bostic Harlem Nocturne Lightnin’ Hopkins Shake that thing Tom Jones St James Infirmary Blues Tennessee Ernie Ford – 16 tons Henry Mancini Pink Panther theme Lisa Hindmarsh Fever