Fw: [Marxism] "Headless": Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

John A Imani johnaimani2 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Aug 10 12:33:06 MDT 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: John A Imani 
To: wrobert at uci.edu 
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] "Headless": Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

As I assume you are in Riverside, you will, perhaps, be interested to know that here in LA resides a 'headless' chamber orchestra, the "Mladi" (see below).   I have some small interest in the 'finer arts' but am blessed with a friend who insists upon it.  It was thus that I was able to see, at the 'Watercourt' on Grand Ave downtown outdoors for free this model for human endeavor, standing in direct counterpoint to:

"On the one hand, all labour in which many individuals co-operate necessarily requires a commanding will to co-ordinate and unify the process, and functions which apply not to partial operations but to the total activity of the workshop, much as that of an orchestra conductor. This is a productive job, which must be performed in every combined mode of production."[1]


"The Socialist, in the brilliant simile of Karl Marx, sees that a lone fiddler in his room needs no director; he can rap himself to order, with his fiddle to his shoulder, and start his dancing tune, and stop whenever he likes. But just as soon as you have an orchestra, you must also have an orchestra director -- a central directing authority. If you don't, you may have a Salvation Army powwow, you may have a Louisiana Negro breakdown; you may have an orthodox Jewish synagogue, where every man sings in whatever key he likes, but you won't have harmony - impossible."[2] 


[1] Karl Marx.  "Capital". Vol 3.  Chap XXIII.  p 383.  International Publishers.  New York.  1967.  To be found at Marxist Internet Archives @ www.marxists.org\archive\marx\works\1894-c3\ch23.htm


[2] Daniel DeLeon.  "Reform or Revolution" @  www.marxists.org\archive\deleon\works\960126.htm

>From their website at http://www.mladichamberorchestra.org/05_06/about/about_mladi.html


Mládí was formed by friendship, mutual respect and a love of music. Mládí endeavors to provide intimate, educational performances of exceptional, rarely performed and new works.

Upon their first "living room rehearsal," the musicians who form the core group of Mládí were stunned by the union of a beautiful piece of music. Performing in the auspices of old Hollywood in the Los Altos Apartment lobby, Mládí proved the integrity of ensemble collaboration to an enthusiastic audience.

The vibrant talent of Mládí is harvested from Los Angeles' eclectic and prolific musicians who perform regularly with ensembles such as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and the Calico Winds.

This self-governing, conductorless orchestra acts on the principle that all members are mutual artistic leaders and collaborators. Mládí is guided by the virtue that its musicians control the music. Mládí's Core Group members are mutual artistic leaders who are involved in every aspect of each performance. Mládí is united by the desire to produce an eclectic, yet satisfying, innovative and elegant collaboration of music. From the moment you step through the courtyard of Los Altos Apartments, until you raise your glass to toast another exquisite display of musicianship. Mládí is not just a concert, it's an experience.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: wrobert at uci.edu 
  To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
  Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2006 1:10 PM
  Subject: Re: [Marxism] "Headless": Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

  If I remember correctly, there were some similar experiments in the Soviet
  Union before the joyful period of socialist realism.

                                 robert wood

  > "This part is always screwed up with a conductor, but we've played it
  > perfectly twice," concludes Leon Fleisher during a recent Orpheus Chamber
  > Orchestra rehearsal of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto. "This is proof that
  > conductors should just sit down."

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