Author: Charles Farrell

Charles Farrell

Charles Farrell has had a lengthy and strangely divided career, moving between music and professional boxing, and recently adding writing to the equation. 

Farrell has played and/or recorded with Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, and Muddy Waters.  He has managed hip hop icon G Love (who appears on Farrell’s CD “Addicted”). 

In September, 2011, Farrell completed a series of concerts and recordings with saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Jim Schapperoew.  “Cats & Dogs” is the first of the series to be released. 

In 2007, Farrell won a Hillsborough County Composers Grant for “Cass Street Bridge, Tampa, Florida 2007.”  As a boxing manager, he  represented five world champions, including Leon Spinks and Freddie Norwood, as well as heavyweight title contender Mitch “Blood” Green. 

Since turning a portion of his attention to writing, he has been a Boxing Writers Association of America winner and a keynote speaker at Trinity College Dublin’s “Cultures of Boxing” July, 2011 conference.  He is currently working on a
new music/sampling project (“Amusement”) and a memoir (“Lowlife: True Stories of a Fortunate Motherfucker”).

April issue of Deadspin

 

Charles Farrell

Charles Farrell has had a lengthy and strangely divided career, moving between music and professional boxing, and recently adding writing to the equation. 

Farrell has played and/or recorded with Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, and Muddy Waters.  He has managed hip hop icon G Love (who appears on Farrell’s CD “Addicted”). 

In September, 2011, Farrell completed a series of concerts and recordings with saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Jim Schapperoew.  “Cats & Dogs” is the first of the series to be released. 

In 2007, Farrell won a Hillsborough County Composers Grant for “Cass Street Bridge, Tampa, Florida 2007.”  As a boxing manager, he  represented five world champions, including Leon Spinks and Freddie Norwood, as well as heavyweight title contender Mitch “Blood” Green. 

Since turning a portion of his attention to writing, he has been a Boxing Writers Association of America winner and a keynote speaker at Trinity College Dublin’s “Cultures of Boxing” July, 2011 conference.  He is currently working on a
new music/sampling project (“Amusement”) and a memoir (“Lowlife: True Stories of a Fortunate Motherfucker”).

April issue of Deadspin

 

Charles Farrell

When I try to imagine ‘Music of the Future,’ all I can come up with is parodic music of the past—some space age weirdness that would show up on the 60s cartoon “The Jetsons,” or Raymond Scott’s “Manhattan Research, Inc.,” that throws a bunch of “futuristic” effects onto short promotional pieces advertising Autolite Sparkplugs or 7-Up.

No serious musician creates Music of the Future; no serious musician thinks of himself or herself  as ahead of their time.  If you have a language that you’re ready to speak, you are of your time.  It’s impossible for a well prepared musician to be ahead of his or her time.

How listeners perceive new music is another matter.  Although it would be inaccurate to call music, no matter how challenging, Music of the Future (since no one can know what music of the future will sound like), it’s probably fair for listeners to think of music as being ahead of its time if it contains elements that have yet to become standard language.

Here are three of my pieces, all written within the last decade.  None were conceived to be futuristic; I felt entirely in control of all of their compositional and improvisatory elements, and was working comfortably with language that I’d fully absorbed.  So I think the pieces “make sense.”

That doesn’t mean that, listening to them, you will automatically be able to decode their logic.  I know that I wouldn’t immediately be able to, hearing them for the first time as music developed by someone else.

But I think the information that you need in order to feel comfortable with these pieces is embedded in them.  Once that information emerges as musical language for you, these pieces can be heard as music of their time, which is the furthest that any music can go.

The Killers

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You Can’t Blame Us

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Problems for Freddie

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