Modern art music but not bad music
December 20, 2010 12:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm making a video about modern art. Especially about the Centre Pompidou in Paris. As I've stated in other AskMe's, I'm completely music illiterate. Help me find songs or classical pieces that scream: modernism, modern art, modern things, for the soundtrack of my 6 minute video.
posted by uauage to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The Centre Pompidou opened in 1977.

This is the same year that Kraftwerk released 'Trans-Europe Express.'

Or, if you want something Frenchier from that same year, how about Space?
posted by box at 12:18 PM on December 20, 2010

box's Kraftwerk suggestion is a great idea, but I'd go with Franz Schubert / Endless Endless off the same record -- three decades and it still sounds like floating around in a glorious utopian future.
posted by theodolite at 12:21 PM on December 20, 2010

French Modernism? Well, can't get much better than Boulez: Repons?
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:24 PM on December 20, 2010

Find something by Messiaen, either piano works or organ pieces.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 12:34 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could rip off Ferris Bueller's Day Off and use The Dream Academy's cover of The Smith's 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want'

Or, one of Christopher O'Reilley's covers of Radiohead songs. Let Down is a good one.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:43 PM on December 20, 2010

Something by Fran├žois Bayle, perhaps.
posted by misteraitch at 12:44 PM on December 20, 2010

sorry, O'Riley
posted by jimmythefish at 12:46 PM on December 20, 2010

posted by fire&wings at 12:48 PM on December 20, 2010

Are you talking classic "modernism", i.e. Bauhaus, Mondrian, etc? Or are you looking for music from the period that the Centre Pompidou opened?

A good guideline (gleaned from the Wikipedia article about the Musee National d'Art Moderne!) is that "modern art" refers to art made from 1905-1960, whereas "contemporary art" refers to art made since 1960.

If you want Modernist music to match your Modern Art, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Satie, or maybe Ravel would be great. There's also John Cale, Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, and Miles Davis (Though Cale and Davis edge into the "contemporary" period). For me, one of the pieces of music that calls to mind "modernity" and the changes in art between the 19th and 20th centuries is Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Though it's not European at all. If you wanted to stay Europe-focused (and even Paris focused) yet get outside the classical realm, you could also look at Django Reinhardt.
posted by Sara C. at 1:00 PM on December 20, 2010

How about some Laurie Anderson?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:33 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Try John Adams. Here's "Short Ride in a Fast Machine."
posted by Iridic at 1:53 PM on December 20, 2010

Morton Feldman composed pieces for several modern artists, including Rothko Chapel and For Phillip Guston.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:36 PM on December 20, 2010

(and it appears the Pompidou has a nice collection of Rothkos...)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:37 PM on December 20, 2010

Astor Piazzola is timeless, and works for many things.
posted by ovvl at 3:45 PM on December 20, 2010

Centre Pompidou was one of the first major public buildings conceived of as a joyous machine, so perhaps Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Numbers 1-4?
posted by vers at 4:22 PM on December 20, 2010

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