I considered Art one of my closest friends. We met in the late seventies. He performed on Independent Composers Association concerts. He was in music ensembles (EAR Unit, The Mope, Antenna Repairmen) which played my music. I was in an esemble (XTET) which played his music. He started a publishing company (Leisure Planet) which published my music. We both worked for Frank Zappa.
I didn't always understood what motivated Art. Nor did I always understand his music. A performance of a Jarvinen piece could leave you scratching your head. Sadly, our last few conversations left me scratching my head. There will always be things about Art which I will never understand.
Art kept a website, arthurjarvinen.com. There's a bio and lists of his compositions and recordings.
I'd like to point your attention to three projects which will tell you more about Art than I can. All of them are well worth your time.
First, The Invisible Guy. I'm listening as I write this post. I love the music to The Invisible Guy - although I often find it difficult to reconcile with Art Jarvinen the person. Art called it:
a real soundtrack for an imaginary spy filmThere are dozens of tunes you can listen to (you can also tap your foot or sing along) - while reading about the adventures of The Invisible Guy himself. You want to know about Art's musical influences? Try listening to The Invisible Guy.
Fifty episodes of music and written narrative,
inspired by the surf music/spy movie genres.
Second, an interview Art did in 2008 on Kalvos and Damian. (Look for show #539.) Kalvos and Damian are two guys who are not named Kalvos or Damian. However, in two hours they covered a lot of Things Jarvinen. This is the best overview of Arts career of which I'm aware
Third, Mister Composer Head. Mister Composer Head is a blog. Well, it was a blog briefly in 2007. An anonymous blog. Well, there's no point in keeping the secret now. Art Jarvinen was Mister Composerhead. Back then I wrote this bit to describe how the project started:
I also wrote text for the Mister Composer Head header:
- David asked Mister Composer Head to write some guest posts.
- Mister Composer Head did one.
- Mister Composer Head then did another. And another. Mister Composer Head REALLY got into it.
- David suggested that Mister Composer Head should have his own blog. But Mister Composer Head didn't want to do that.
- So David is doing it for him.
MISTER COMPOSER HEAD. Being the comments of Mister Composer Head, composer of music, thinker of thoughts, writer of words, player of instruments and teller of stories who says what he wants to say and doesn't care how you react as long as we keep his name out it.Art told me he really liked that paragraph. Damn it, Art, you should have written more.
Here is a previous MM post, Independently Celebrating Independence, about a 4th of July pig roast thrown by Art and his wife Lynn and by Robert Fernandez (a fine and friendly percussionist and Antenna Repairman who knows how to do many things, not just roasting a pig, like the Cubans do.) And here is another, Trixie - the Independence Day Pig, about an earlier similar event. (It includes video of Art playing a simantron.)
Here is a search of all MM articles which mention Art. There are a bunch.
Here are excellent tributes to Art by Kyle Gann and Jack Vees and on the CalArts Blog
and on Kill Ugly Radio (a really fine blog). The last is about Art's work for Frank Zappa and the infamous While You Were Art incident and it quotes from this fascinating interview Art did in 2007.
Mona Hostetler, whose composer son Randy passed away at a very young age and was a close friend of Art, wrote this remembrance of Art Jarvinen. I like the story of the performance with the toaster.
You can read about and listen to my performance of one of Art's compositions: Arthur Jarvinen - Carbon for Bass Clarinet Solo
Read about the memorial for Art held on October 30, 2010.
Leslie and I send our sincerest condolences to Art's wife, Lynn Angebranndt.
Art Jarvinen Tags: Arthur Jarvinen. . . Mister Composer Head. . . The Invisible Guy