Sunday afternoon at the Southbank Centre

Last week on Saturday night, I – along with a bunch of bored humans throughout Europe – watched the Eurovision. It was not good, but let’s be honest that what we watch it for; nice dose of old-school kitsch.

After this remarkably low-brow Saturday night – I did watch the Hangover movie before, so it’s not the first one – I decided it would be a good idea to go to the Southbank Centre on Sunday afternoon for an event titled Ligeti and Electronics.

We got treated to a lecture on the beginning of electronic music and the original experimenters – with Ligeti at the centre – back in the 50s in Germany from Royal College of Music lecturer Michael Oliva.

So turns out, Ligeti is from Hungary – makes total sense when you see his first name, György. Once he escaped communist Hungary – back in the days, cool kids did not like communists – he went to Cologne in Germany. And there, with his new buddies – including Stockhausen – he tried his hand at electronic music.

Now, have you ever seen any film by Hayao Miyazaki? Yes – if not, do watch them, they’re great – well then imagine he made a horror movie. And this is what early experimental electronic music sounds like – which I discovered I am quite fond of; I say 12 points for Hungary with Ligeti.

I don’t usually go to not-course-related lectures, but I think I should and you should too. We’d learn lots of new things; and the best part is that you can find a bunch of those for free. Music and discovering new things for free – count me in!

If you want to get your ears acquainted with the wonders of 50s electronic and early surround technology, here’s the playlist of last week’s event.

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