From The Desk Of Of Montreal: Charles Ives

of Montreal’s music is hard to define, given it changes more often than frontman Kevin Barnes’ sequined and feathered outfits during a live show. One album might be heavy on the drum machine and synthesizer, while another showcases Barnes’ best high-pitched Prince wail with more traditional strings and percussion. The Atlanta band boasts a prodigious body of work; in a decade and a half, Barnes and Co. have churned out 10 albums, eight collections and 29 singles and EPs, including their most recent effort, thecontrollersphere (Polyvinyl). Barnes and of Montreal’s two art directors—wife Nina Barnes (a.k.a. geminitactics) and brother David Barnes—will be guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Kevin: Charles Ives is another of my 20th-century musical heroes. Although fairly ignored during his lifetime as a composer (strangely enough, he later went on to become a wildly successful insurance man), his works were a great inspiration for composers/conductors of later generations, like Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Arnold Schoenberg, Bernard Herman and Henry Cowell, among others. Some of my favorite compositions of his are Central Park In The Dark and The Unanswered Question. There are many moments in Symphony No. 4 that fry my brain as well.

Videos after the jump.

One reply on “From The Desk Of Of Montreal: Charles Ives”

Very much enjoyed you writing about some of your influences while waiting for “Paralytic Stalks”. That the compositions are also so unique and complex is not surprising in the least.

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