Monday 21 November 2011
On 17 November 2011, Dr Martin Glover, Senior Lecturer in Composition at the London College of Music, gave a workshop based on a paper he wrote on American composer Frank Zappa.
The title of the paper is 'Who Are The Brain Police?: Modernism, Comedy and Fear in early Frank Zappa' and is about the part that Frank Zappa and his group The Mothers of Invention played in 1960's American counter-culture.
Two early LP's, the debut album 'Freak Out' from 1966 and 'We're Only In It For The Money' from 1968 were the focus of the workshop.
'We Only It For The Money' was, in part, a parody of The Beatles' Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band' but also targeted San Francisco hippies and the American administration of the Vietnam war years.
Examples of Zappa’s lyrics were handed out, along with transcriptions of the music.
The influence of Edgard Varese and Zappa's affinity with musical modernism in general was also discussed.
After the workshop Dr. Glover commented:
'The students seemed fully engaged with this. It's gripping material both lyrically and musically and reflects times of political turbulence'.