Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas, 1942


Summit, New Jersey, Christmas 1942: The "famous Raymond Scott Quintet, featuring Dorothy Collins," performs for a "Holiday Assembly" at the Masonic Hall. Article pasted in a scrapbook along with the original RSVP invitation and four photographs of the dance, in which one can barely discern a band in the distance. The dancers appear to be well-dressed, well-behaved teens; presumably this was a high school event, though no HS is identified. Two details worth noting: 1) The bottom paragraph references Scott's "Silent Music." This "unrecorded" work has long been part of Scott lore—a "composition" consisting of no notes, a silent performance in which the musicians go through the motions of playing without making any sounds. This was a decade before John Cage's legendary noteless work 4'33", which caused such a ruckus when it was introduced in concert by David Tudor in 1952. 2) The creepy photograph of Scott. Thanks to Dennis Kelly for the artifact.

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