The Enigma Called Frank Zappa

Last week we had a film festival on our little rock in the Atlantic; The Las Palmas Film Festival 2019. My general appreciation of the program was lukewarm, but there was one documentary that stuck out. It wasn’t even part of the official section but was screened in the margin of the festival as a private initiative of a local movie theater; The Monopol Music Festival 

My wife picked a documentary about Frank Zappa. In the Eastern European countries, Frank Zappa used to have an almost god cult status. I never really understood, neither did I care. Till I saw this documentary and filled that cultural gap.

What were the most important things I learned?

  1. Zappa not only composed and played his music; he was also his own producer, stating that musicians could make more from owning their own businesses than from collecting royalties.
  2. Zappa composed and produced music for symphonic orchestras.
  3. Much of Zappa’s later work was influenced by his use of the Synclavier as a compositional and performance tool.
  4. All his work is part of an overarching project; unified by a conceptual continuity he termed “Project/Object”, with numerous musical phrases, ideas, and characters reappearing across his albums.
  5. He personally disapproved of narcotics but was in favor of their legalization.
  6. President Václav Havel was a lifelong fan of Zappa, who had great influence in the avant-garde and underground scene in Central Europe in the 1970s and 1980s (a Czech rock group that was imprisoned in 1976 took its name from Zappa’s 1968 song “Plastic People”).

To finish this post, I would like to refer you to;

EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS

SYNOPSIS (excerpt from the Monopol Music Festival program)

Frank Zappa’s complex and fascinating world is a barely impossible task to tell, lest we be quiet and let Zappa himself doing so. Using Zappa´s music, his unique thoughts and testimonies of some of the few privileged ones who could be part (and be up to scratch) of his musical vision, filmmaker Thorsten Schütte approaches us to some of the keys which made Zappa a leading and one-of-a-kind figure.

Trailer

7 Comments

  1. Always appreciated Zappa 🤓 this quote too ☺️ One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.
    Have a fun day Urban💫 smiles Hedy

    Like

    1. Most people instinctively “edit out” your irrefutable evidence if it clashes too much with patterns they already find useful in surviving. They don’t know at the conscious level that they’re doing it. Humans instinctively avoid facts in a number of different ways: ignoring is just one of them that I thought would make a good example in this case. Next time, before you start to try to change somebody’s mind, you first ask them to remember something that gave them a positive view of themselves, they’re more likely to be open to facts and to change their opinions. People who feel good about themselves are more likely to be open-minded! Give it a try. Urban.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t try people’s mind actually…in my experience humans who evolve and grow and learn along the way…I was remembering Zappa saying the quote 🤓 and for sure humans “who feel good about themselves are more likely to be open-minded”…because it more than facts that matters to me… thought provoking post Urban thank you 💫 smiles Hedy

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.