Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Frank: Outrage at Valdez; with Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt, 1992

Posted for obvious reasons--*sigh*--with sadness, anger, and no small sense of When will we ever learn?, this melancholy piece features a multitude of different instruments, the classical and unusual alike. Zappa originally wrote Outrage for the Cousteau Society's documentary Alaska: Outrage at Valdez, which appeared on TBS in 1990 (currently only available on VHS tape). It was later included in Zappa's last recorded album, The Yellow Shark, a collection of his neoclassical compositions with Ensemble Modern.

I've been trying decide which Zappa piece would serve as a theme for the tragic and epic disaster at the Deepwater Horizon oil well, which, as I write, still vomits its dark bile, untold thousands of gallons of it, into the Gulf of Mexico every day, and in so doing, continues to kill vast numbers of sea creatures and birds. Which, as I write, is unrelenting in its delivery of Earth's vengeance, across the once-vibrant waves and onto our increasingly devastated shores.

FZ is no longer here to provide us with searing musical commentary, so I search through the archives of Internet and memory for another Outrage. And the one composition that keeps playing in my head is this--entitled, appropriately, Sleep Dirt:

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