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Thread: Is Anna Meredith the first post-prog musician/composer?

  1. #1

    Is Anna Meredith the first post-prog musician/composer?

    A provocative question, inasmuch as I am not sure what it means to be post-prog. But here is why I asked:

    I have not found much music that absolutely enthralls me over the past few years. But in the last month, I first found the astonishing young contralto singer Diana Ankudinova, and then rediscovered Anna Meredith. I have been binging her compositions, notably Nautilus (which is really about as prog as you can get, though in some ways more complicated) and Paramour (which originally had its own thread here, but has one of the greatest single-shot videos you can ever imagine). I found this interview with her, and it is very interesting and worth watching:



    Interesting quintet she has: cello, tuba, electric guitar, drums and herself on keyboards, clarinet and percussion and much of it all processed.

    Nautilus:

    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  2. #2
    Seen them 2-3 times live and they are fabulous. Not sure I can or would answer your question...I just like her stuff, regardless of categorization.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: https://ephemeralsun.bandcamp.com

  3. #3
    why?
    Sleeping at home is killing the hotel business!

  4. #4
    Why what? Not following.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  5. #5
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    I guess Wilcox's question is why you would call her "post-prog".

    What she's doing has some parallels to prog, but it's more straightforwardly describable as the work of a trained classical composer (Minimalist variety) working in the pop-music field. Of course, her band is a composer's outlet as well - like the Philip Glass Ensemble, or the original Mothers - but all of her material for them works in some way as pop music, and is presented as such. Mostly, though, other composers who do something similar separate their work more clearly: Bryce Dessner, for example, whose classical training gives The National's fairly straightforward indie rock an every-note-in-its-place precision, whose pop-rock experience gives his best classical work a tautness and clarity of intention, but who keeps each of his musical careers pretty much in its own yard.

    (If you're interested, here's Bryce Dessner's Concerto for Two Pianos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZhftdRId6I.
    Prog connection: Katia Lebeque was once married to John McLaughlin, and both sisters played in a band of his.)
    Last edited by Baribrotzer; 01-19-2022 at 01:22 AM.

  6. #6
    Bari, thanks. I have not heard Dessner, so this will be new for me. And I do know that Katia Lebeque was once married to JML.

    What I think I was getting at in my question- in which I admit I have no idea even what post-prog is- is to say that she seems to be moving music in new directions. That is a bit of a rarity these days. She does classical work, avante work, and electronic work, and her repertory group of 5 is simply superb- all actually classically trained. I am pretty much enthralled. by it, for a change. And in general, I am not someone who wishes to atomize categories to classify people. I always say, like what you like, y'know?
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  7. #7
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    From the framing of the question I assumed it meant prog mixed with post-rock? And there's always been some overlap there; I usually think of post-rock as prog for the Pitchfork crowd who don't want to admit they like prog (though I do like a lot of post-rock).

    Hadn't heard Anna Meredith before and I do like the song you embedded; it has a pretty unique texture and it has that quality where something starts annoying and becomes intriguing. If the point of the question was to get us to check her out then credit there

  8. #8
    EBEs, to a degree, yes, I do want people to check her out, so there is that. :-) But I also want to see how people feel she is advancing concepts, when so often we get rehash and influence.

    Of course, in this clip, Paramour, one can clearly hear some Phillip Glass influence, notably from his composition "Flow." But boy do I like this- joyfully propulsive:



    I understand her sister does all of her set design. This one is exceedingly cool and incredibly frantic:

    Last edited by Dana5140; 01-19-2022 at 03:04 AM.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  9. #9
    First of all, I don't even know what to call music where composers write stuff for orchestras and chamber groups so I'm using "classical".

    This sounds to me like someone from the classical world adopting rock music into their work. I don't even know what "post-prog" means. Maybe this "post-classical" or some kind of fusion.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  10. #10
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I dont know or care what to call it.

    I just think Anna Meredith is great.

    I had two times tickets to see her live the past two years. Both times cancelled.

  11. #11
    Oh, man, sorry to hear that! Covid sucks eggs!

    Here are a couple of her classical pieces:



    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    EBEs, to a degree, yes, I do want people to check her out, so there is that. :-) But I also want to see how people feel she is advancing concepts, when so often we get rehash and influence.

    Of course, in this clip, Paramour, one can clearly hear some Phillip Glass influence, notably from his composition "Flow." But boy do I like this- joyfully propulsive:

    Man, this was just incredibly great! So cool.

    Really impressive how they pulled that off in a live setting. Intense and fun!
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
    - Sturgeon's Lawyer, 2021

  13. #13
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    She deserves to be much more successful - rather than her+band driving themselves around in a rental van, moving their own gear and selling their own merch, sleeping on loyal fans' floors, and doing the usual indie-rock gavotte. But in two months (cross fingers that The Sick gets no worse), I'm set to catch her at a medium-sized venue, the sort of place where you can shoot the bull with the musicians afterwards and buy them a beer. So that's good for me, though for them it could be way better.

    And this song should have been a hit, even when sung by Anna's small, squeaky voice:


  14. #14
    Baribrotzer- where will you see her? I know she is sadly not coming to the Dallas area, or I would have heard. But if sheis less than a day's drive away, I might consider.

    Sawbones is also cool:

    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    Baribrotzer- where will you see her?
    In Portland, OR.

    Maybe Seattle, too. Maybe not. I think she's making up some Covid cancellations from a couple years ago.

  16. #16
    Okay, that opens up some possibilities. My step-son and his family live in Seattle (in the Wedgewood area), while my step-daughter is in Portland (on 18th Avenue near Fremont- you can walk to the Whole Foods a few blocks away). Might need to check the dates...
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  17. #17
    Mmmm.

    You know, I think someone should try commissioning her to do soundtrack work for a suspense movie. Or maybe a science fiction/thriller.
    If a bird can speak, who once was a dinosaur,
    and a dog can dream
    should it be impossible
    that a man might supervise the construction of light?

  18. #18
    She has done movies. She did the soundtrack for Eight Grade and for Living With Yourself. But not yet suspense or SF.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  19. #19
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    I had one of those senior moments reading this thread. "Where have I seen that name before?" We saw her at Big Ears Festival in '17 where she was one of the highlights.

    I really need to pick up Varmints & Fibs.
    Ian

    Gordon Haskell - "You've got to keep the groove in your head and play a load of bollocks instead"
    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  20. #20
    Fibs is super good.
    "what's better, peanut butter or g-sharp minor?"
    - Sturgeon's Lawyer, 2021

  21. #21
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I slightly prefer Fibs over Varmints. I think it is the more consistent record of the two.

    Varmints has a few 'poppy' ones that I do not care much about. The highlights of the album are very very good though.

    I also quite enjoy her 'reconstruction' of Vivaldi's 4 seasons. (Purists will probably call it destruction)

    All available on the wonderful bandcamp.

  22. #22
    I'm waiting for my copy of Fibs to arrive.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  23. #23
    Member proggy_jazzer's Avatar
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    Post-prog, whatever - for me it's just interesting, fun, and groovy music!

    [Slight thread detour] This seems a good opportunity to give thanks to PE and the good folks herein for turning me on to yet another artist making music that reaches me in a big way. Between this place and following Steve Davis' Interesting Alternative Show (currently on indefinite hiatus evidently), I have more new (or new-to-me) stuff to check out than I have time for. Not a bad problem.
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  24. #24
    Check out Diana Ankudinova. So many good songs to start, but here she is singing Human:

    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

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