Official Ngoma Avant Classical List

Last year on this day i made the following post on Facebook:

Deleting everything from Avant Classical collection which i don’t LOVE listening to. DON’T GIVE A FUCK how highly regarded it is. Sorry Luigi Nono; sorry Brian Ferneyhough, sorry Georg Friedrich Haas. Some to all of your material has got to GO.

And some people requested screenshots.

To clarify:  the kinds of Modern Composition i love ranges from the melancholic to the transcendent, from meditative to other worldly, from elegiac to uncompromising, but is always BOTH formally interesting AND beautiful.  My idea of beauty is both more expanded and removed from the bourgeois Modern Classical cannon:  I hate anything Phillip Glass did after the late 60s, for instance; and you won’t find much of the ECM ilk, such as the Arvo Paart kind of trite andderivative pseudo-depth in here (although a few of Paart’s pieces are nice).

A few all time favorite composers are Giacinto Scelsi, Toru Takemitsu, Spectralists like James Tenney and Tristan Murail, and maybe not quite fitting in the “composition” category of Just Intonation such as La Monte Young.

What is most definitely not here is head-up-arse unlistenable anti-human rubbish like 12-tone shit, as well as a lot of difficult-listening things i greatly admire, but simply have no more need to listen to, such as much of the work of people like Xenakis and Stockhausen.  So no frustrating exercises in impenetrability, and no overtly abrasive and disruptive things that will ruin a 30 minute train ride 🙂  A few snobs and musical edge-lords out there might be calling me chicken, to which i respond with both “you are wrong” and the immense cosmic ocean of fucks that i do not give.

So here they are, 2 large screen shots (download to see them in actual size):

1-4 – Overview of main folder: Blue means significant artist usually with gargantuan bodies of work.


the others – A few of the significant folders in there expanded: again Blue means major artist. (Everything in the “Flute Bag” is fucking brilliant)



4 thoughts on “Official Ngoma Avant Classical List

  1. The blue highlights are what you recommend, right? Because you can’t be deleting Ligeti… I only got Stockhausen when I saw a ‘performance’ of his about the United Nations. Was brilliant and oddly slap-stick humorous; a send-up of pompous conferences with lots of confused people spouting nonsense while trying to sound authoritative. He managed to convey that purely in melodies and rhythm, but it worked on a gut level as a live performed spectacle; I think I would have quickly flicked past a recorded version. Actually, however sublime, I respond best to ‘classical’ and all its derivatives in a live, perfectly acousticised concert hall setting – its ideal context perhaps (bar sound track/installation, etc…) Thanks for the list and hope to see you again soon. D

  2. Personally I dislike Ferneyhough’s (and many many other’s) pretentious unfounded alien-styled inhumane chaotic pseudo-random material, which exists only for it’s own sake and creates sensory responses that are not of the composer’s intention, but just happen to occur.
    Make no mistake: Ferneyhough is no real composer; and the fact that this has never been accordingly stated or criticized shows the times in which we live: Feed the people any rubbish, with just a hint of added intellectual superiority and they’ll believe it and worship you ‘message’.

    … Ferneyhough… the charlatan king of pretentious wishful implication

    • Great to see some comments critical of Brian Ferneyhough’s ummm… “output”.

      What I can also recommend, is the youtube channel called “fremsley001”, with great videos such as:
      – “Brian Ferneyhough … in his own words”
      – “The 2011 Ferney Award”

      fremsley001 has written this, about his youtube-channel:

      “Devoted to all music that stands up by itself without the use of pretentious titles, pseudo-intellectual posturing or technical complexity for its own sake.

      Objects of derision:
      Birtwistle, Emsley, Ferneyhough, Finnissy, Stockhausen.

      Exposing phonies.

      Riling pseuds, sycophants and the humourless.”

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