We had a dumpling-making party last night and listened to The Most Unwanted Music, which you can listen to here (MP3). It’s the result of a purportedly “scientific” study on people’s musical likes and dislikes by the duo Komar & Melamid (its companion piece, The Most Wanted Song, is terrifically banal). The results are predictable: people like cheesy five-minute rock/R&B love songs much more than they like accordions and childrens’ choirs. (What’s funny is that people equally wanted and didn’t want “synthesizer” and “intellectual stimulation,” I suppose because both these things can take so many different guises.)
Anyway, The Most Unwanted Song is great party music. It covers a bewildering stylistic range, from rap-opera to advertizing jingle to faux-German Sprechstimme. The subject matter includes, as far as I can tell, How Awesome Being a Cowboy is, How Awesome Shopping at Walmart is, and Wittgenstein. The huge orchestra, which often indulges in Day in the Life-esque atonal freak-outs, includes a pipe organ, bagpipes, banjo, harp, and the most persistent woodblocks you’ve ever heard. For all its weirdness, it’s quite a happy, rousing piece of music, mostly because you’re rolling around on the floor after about three minutes (the whole thing is 25 minutes long, which really takes stamina).