Saturday, April 22, 2017

Playlist

Live

April 18, 2017
Strange Like Us, Your Mother Should Know, Mud On My Bra

Sunset Tavern, Seattle

Strange Like Us consists of: Kyle Sturner, vocals, guitar; Sadie Alley, vocals, keys; and Arna Garcia, drums, vocals. Darling synth sounds and solid playing all around provide a potent platform for Kyle's weaponized trans girl baritone. Add Sadie in parallel octaves for the KO.

Your Mother Should Know is, of course, Neal Kosály-Meyer and his sister (and my spouse) Karen Eisenbrey. This was their first electric show in quite a while. There were some shaky spots here and there, but they pushed through them. Karen got to try out her new headset microphone, and this may have been the first time I remember being able to really hear her vocals clearly.

We have heard Mud On My Bra (Myla and Aria Mud) before, and were eager to do so again. Aside from their stunningly tight ensemble (at the service of some fancy rhythmic games, I might add) I was able this time to attend more to the songs themselves, and to Aria's voice, within the ping of which I noted a hint of Jad Fair.

All that and our parking karma could hardly have been better: practically right outside the door, and free. Thank you so much to the woman who saw us trying to disgorge drums from the car and let us have her space when she left. And we got home before 11!

Recorded

April 15, 2017
A Matter of Trust - Billy Joel [from The Essential Billy Joel]

BJ has great control, just no range, or sense of timing. Even the count-off is performed, tamed.

Banned Rehearsal 244 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, January 1991


Consisting largely of a reading of A Cat's Life, accompanied by violin scribbles and quiet ocarinal hootings. Aaron provides extensive, if eccentric, marginal commentary. As much as I enjoy listening to my own music, and I do, inserting such a constructed form into an improvisation is an error. It remains, especially in my ear, separate from the on-progressing activity of making it up as we go along. It is persistently deaf to the other people in the room. When I get done Aaron takes over on the piano (or joins me for a 4-hands improv - recollection fails), and a truly awfully awesome sound ensues. Far superior as a part of the activity than my composition could ever hope to be.

Sunset's Wall
April 18, 2017
Taste Test - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Rotating pitch collections.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [from Jack Straw recording session May of 2005, take 1]

Each assay of the tune finds a new place within the harmonic-contrapuntal thicket.

10 Penny - Repeat Offenders [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

Attention is paid to the hollow moment just ahead of the downbeat.

Isaiah 60:1-5 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [recorded in September, 2013]

This piece demands a more reverberant space to live in than is given here. It needs stone walls and a dome.

Musica Ficta - Sascia Pellegrini - Sascia Pellegrini

It is unclear from the program notes who is playing piano, but I presume Sascia is on the vibraphone. It is striking how 'on stage' the characters are, as they mimic and join, hide and seek, meld and face off.

April 19, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus 8 - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

a broad gentle downward slope
another
a grand mansion overlooking

Symphony in G (#94) - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer

Cracks in the façade, but not endangering. Rising waters, but not alarming. Yet.

String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 - Beethoven - Quartetto Italiano
Sunset's Floor

If a quartet is both a unified thing and a suite of several differing things, then disparities of style, affect, and key can participate in a unified thing, and the same techniques with which the participants of a suite of several things can be said to become unified can be said to unify other orders of disparate parts, and each individual participant of a suite can be made of deeply disparate parts. How far can the parts be sundered and yet remain parts of a thing, not alien to it?

Katya Kabanova Act 3 - Janácek - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackeras, Gabriela Benacková, Dagmar Pecková, Erika Bauerová, Dana Buresová, Eva Randová, Miroslav Kopp, Jozef Kundlák, Peter Straka, Zdenek Harvánek; Czech Philharmonic; Prague National Theatre Chorus;

Ritualized sacrifice, as demanded.

April 20, 2017
Got The Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

Among many other things, the blues are a medium by which life advice is passed, and the forms and texts are entwined with the society of their arising.

Brown Baby - Eddie Edinborough, Bobby Leecan [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

It's difficult for me to hear what exactly those instruments are. Guitar? If so then it really loves those lower strings. Kazoo? If so, then just possibly the most magnificent kazoo playing ever.

I Don't Want to Make History - Stuff Smith, Johan Jones [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

It isn't just that the singers have been listening to the instrumentalists and vice versa, but they each have also been watching the dancers, and translating the dance into the sung parts of song, and the instrumental parts of song, as well.

Embraceable You - Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers

Lights down low. Something more comfortable.

China Boy - Frankie Trumbauer [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

This one is for the dance floor.

Godchild - Red Norvo [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Ken Benshoof had a theory about jazz harmony treatises. The puzzlement was that you could read what a practitioner wrote about what they were doing, but it never quite lined up with what they seemed to actually be doing. His theory was that jazz players always played "off" of something: "off" a beat, "off" a chord, "off" a tune. The treatises can only describe beats, chords, and tunes, not the nature of the "off". This is a prime example of the importance of "off" precisely calibrated.

Peggy Lee
I've Got You Under My Skin - Peggy Lee [from Black Coffee]

Skates on the thin ice of a sensibility. The rhythm of her vocals is almost just simply saying the words. There's that ever so precise "off" again. Peggy Lee genius.

Bewildered - James Brown [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart Of Rock & Soul]

A parody of teen crooner delivery taken so far over the top as to enter a new land. Those breaks toward the end are composed just to hear the reverb the engineer let loose around it.

Pledging My Time - Bob Dylan [from Blonde on Blonde]

Another parody of sorts, this time of delta blues. Of sorts because also a pastiche of sorts. Of sorts because also a submission, a sacrifice. The long-held harmonica notes toward the end are straight out of Louis Armstrong's toolshed. Then he does his best to conjure a synthesizer with it.

American Pie - Don MacLean [from American Pie]

This was the first record I owned, a gift from my brothers. Having ripped this from my own vinyl copy, it still has all the familiar pops on it. I find it curious, after all these years, that the first popular music song I took to independently of my parents, and that wasn't by Simon & Garfunkle, concerned itself with the past. The music of my time was the music of a past time.

Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie [from Changes One]

And of course, DB presents nostalgia as a point of view, in order to invent a fictional past.

One Of These Days - Pink Floyd [from a collection of great dance songs]

There is, or was, a class of youth, and I imagine they are, or were, mostly boys, for whom these crazy long spacy tracks were "so much better than that pop crap all my friends listen to" that they truly longed to infiltrate the dance mix at the sock hop with one of these behemoths. To that class of youth, these were indeed "great dance songs", and Pink Floyd was by far the best of their purveyors. In that sense this otherwise incomprehensibly titled Best Of Collection could be considered as perhaps their most archly meta of concept albums.

Banned Rehearsal 62A - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Kosály-Meyer [January 1986]


We are being vewy qwiet. Cassette machines sound like ammo lock and load. Gradations of multiple media transference terroir. Literally, mediations. A chorus awakens beneath waters. A cranky slide viewer. How quick the generations to the alien? One? None? The darkly glass. The layered hollows of wind. Crackly undulations. Flames of the fiery furnace. Gloriously spacious, the underlying is revealed. Remove masks. Pluck tendrils. We breathe and allow discussion.

This was side one of a two sided session as we prepared for our third Brechemin outing the next evening. My recollection is that Aaron might have been around, but didn't participate in the concert because he felt that in his absence in Berkeley he hadn't had a chance to properly rehearse. Karen was still living in Tacoma at the time, and wasn't able to come up either. Our second Brechemin show was called "A Short and Simple Concert", and the first part of this new show was essentially a repeat of that one, re-titled as "3 Compositions No Breaks". And that is what you hear on this rehearsal. First, Neal's Hunting and Gathering, then my Trance Butchered Knight for Wurlitzer Funmaker Sprite and tape, finishing with some plucking and singing.

feast on my car - Infamous Menagerie

I'm pretty sure that's the title of the song, but what is sung is clearly "feast on my heart". A manual? A labeled diagram? Every time I hear something by IM they become my absolute favorite band of the 90's.

Banned Rehearsal 421 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [April 1996]

The Funmaker 10 years later (we start in with what we have at hand and see what it makes) up to its old tricks again. Its cruddy reverb is lustworthy. And the Mighty Wurlitzer at its Wurlitzeriest. This sort of lava is hard on the feet. A near unanimity of purpose among some members is narrowly averted.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

April 17, 2017
Gradus 310 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Fog dark densely grown. (We may not have enough bread crumbs.)
At sea. Billows, birds, whales. Beacon. Stars. Moon. Phosphor.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Playlist

Recorded

April 9, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus 7 - J. S. Bach - Zoltan Kocsis
This is a plug

All about the fugal entrances, and how each one opens a new window.

Symphony in D (93) - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer

Dramatic pauses and uneasy balances. The fart joke falls flat because it only points out what was obvious throughout anyway: dramatic pauses are the subject matter.

Grosse Fuge in B-flat - Beethoven - Amadeus Quartet

A fugue we enter through a hall of inward facing windows.

April 11, 2017
Katya Kabanova Act II - Leoš Janáček - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackeras, Gabriela Benacková, Dagmar Pecková, Erika Bauerová, Dana Buresová, Eva Randová, Miroslav Kopp, Jozef Kundlák, Peter Straka, Zdenek Harvánek; Czech Philharmonic; Prague National Theatre Chorus

Listening to this music is like reading the expression of an open-book face.

Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

I kept wondering if, as has been suggested of the contemporaneous recordings of Robert Johnson, this was recorded at a slower rpm than we hear as playback. There is probably no way to know for sure, but the possibility of it might be determined by a comparison of other recordings. Did his voice always sound so weirdly high? If you bring it down a step or so does his voice sound more like it does in other recordings? Is it a likely guitar key? Can the probable tuning of the guitar be ascertained by figuring out which notes are on open strings? Are there other recordings of the period that we know were sped up, i.e., might it have been a common practice? Is the weirdness confined to this time period (ca 1926)?

Hard Times Stomp - Red Perkins [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Sheik of Araby - Milt Brown [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Lovely, fat, almost clarinet-like guitar sound.

Apollo Jump - Luck Millinder [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Children's Dances - Zoltán Kodály - Jenö Jandó

Classy teaching pieces. The lesson hidden under the fingerwork is about the deftly shifting attention's focus from one voice to another.

April 13, 2017
Just One Of Those Things - Charlie Parker [from The Cole Porter Songbook]

Breathless momentum, stripped down arrangement.
John Verrall

Autumn Sketches - John Verrall - Kimberly Davenport

The ground is solid rock, but neither level nor even. Up is on a different slant than Down. Any attempt at parallel is doomed from the get go.

Ain't No Use - Sarah Vaughan [from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

Precise placement of voice. She dances inside her instrument.

19th Nervous Breakdown - The Rolling Stones [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

An instrumental with a backing vocal for an excuse.

99 Lbs - Ann Peebles [from Original Funk Soul Sister The Best of Ann Peebles]

In the same sub-genre as 60 Minute Man. The song is so brief as to barely get started. Perfect at every moment.

Changes - David Bowie [from Changes One]

An assemblage in lieu of a song. Tactic: garble the narrative.

AKU (cassette version) - Keith Eisenbrey - Keith Eisenbrey, Christopher Mehrens

Realized on Synclavier, courtesy of the University of Washington Department of Systematic Musicology. Chris and I spent hours and hours laying down these tracks. The reel to reel master tape deteriorated into something else entirely, so this is the "safety" copy I kept on cassette tape. There was a certain amount of institutional grief involved trying to schedule a time to play this for the composition faculty at our weekly Friday department workshop. Looking back on it now, I have to wonder what I was thinking, to play this for exactly that group of people? Over 30 minutes long, it pretty much forgoes anything like regular musicality in favor it design. The synclavier could only play 8 sounds at the same time, so in a fit of maximization I decided to base the whole thing on a sequence of 8 numbers. This sequence (I've forgotten what it was) determined the relative amount of time each patch would be present in mix, the relative density of notes within each patch-track, various settings of complexity of wave form and envelope for each patch, and (my favorite) the relative amount of time from the end of each patch-track to the end of the piece. The notes were a hodgepodge of things, quotes of myself and others, "that'll do" doodles, and carefully stacked pitch piles. And then I had to arrange it so that there were never more than 8 sounds playing at once. I had charts all over the place.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
April 10, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 932 170410 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy

Steve brought over a little purple guitar and played it.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Playlist

Recorded

April 2, 2017
(I'm A) Road Runner - Junior Walker and The All Stars [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

A giant tambourine fronts a precisely on the beat rhythm bunch, around which JW slips.

10538 Overture - The Electric Light Orchestra [a Rescued Record]

Half trying to be artsy, half trying to be dancy. Pseudo-Prog-Pop. I may be wrong, but I imagine it was mostly the backing sound for some kind of stage spectacular.

Anarchy in the U.K. - The Sex Pistols [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

The best part of this is the huge massed sound of the band. As for the preening edge lord, he's best taken in small doses.

(I'm A) TV Savage - Bow Wow Wow [from Love, Peace & Harmony - The Best of Bow Wow Wow]

Begging for an MTV type video. Why else would it be at all?

Banned Sectional 6 KEE AK - Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [January 1986]


train whistle high rustling springiness moves to frontal attack pushing hard in magnificent rolling time spans
some Tibetans hang out next door
obo roi
we were never shy about pinning the needles
unrecoverable synth patches

a break :: they return (the Tibetans)

slower mood relaxed, intimate
tune accidentally extracted from music box innards (just the tones that happen to over-resonate)

the Tibetans utterly transformed into another species of other entirely
funmaker in top form

takes its time getting into any spot, but once there it is well and truly in that spot

another break :: for a moaningsoftly drone solo

we re-enter the regular world

Drunken Boat - Infamous Menagerie

Rubberband guitar sound matches the pots&pans drums. An effect akin to that of a toy symphony, but here without any sense of archness or spoof.

April 4, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 420 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [April 1996]

Image: tuning up, but nothing like actually tuning up.

Neal and Karen, Bickleton, WA 1996
Image: climbing a rocky snow-blown pitch at high-altitude, footing treacherous, air thin, inches gained in triumph. Each sound without tincture of technique. We hunker into camp while the storm rides us out. Something profoundly heavy about how we feel. The earth pulls in sodden gusts. Morning dawns oppressively, but struggle on we must with Mighty Wurlitzer Hero to pull us on and break us through. We feel lighter somehow, the atmosphere fresh and clear, the scene of troubles fades from beneath us.

April 6, 2017
Jeremiah 17:5-8 (midi) - Keith Eisenbrey

The keyboard part taken by midi harphsichord, the voice by midi flute. It is fascinating how midi de-mediates sounds. The layers are not softened by our mutual bodies' compassions.

Gradus 90 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

After a long wait, a few pokes poke. (twice). Quietly responded to, then conjoined. A hint now and then of presence in silence. 3 notes! Such a richness! Low notes fade into the upper partials echoing the quiet iteration of the higher. It doesn't fade into nothing. It is nothing. Then it is not.

Joys of the Trail - Brian Cobb [from Campfire Songs]

A Rhythm Fight Club. Ends with laughter but not happy. Into the future comrades!

Jesus Loves Me (Autoheterophony) - Keith Eisenbrey

Eight of me singing around an old hymn tune/text. I love the play of sibilance, undulating harmony, and the substrate of breath. Stacking the same voice over itself, here, allows the parts of the voice sound to precipitate - or operates like a centrifuge to separate factors.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

April 3, 2017
Gradus 309 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Bright lights (just a few) across the moggy gloom.
Rung 2 takes time to put things together, but by the end it is clear that it, time that is, was not together before it got put there.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Playlist

Live
There is no end to the tuning of guitars


March 28, 2017
Your Mother Should Know
Victory Lounge, Seattle

Neal and Karen are back in action! The set was stripped down instrumentally (that's Karen's entire kit underneath the mic stand - a bodhrán, a tambourine, and a glow-in-the dark skull shaker) but ramped up vocally. Lots of duet singing, and a strong set list with many new songs, including '68 Chevelle and Jerseyville Illinois. The only disappointments were that we couldn't stay to hear the other bands (it was a Monday night), and my recording didn't turn out well (input too hot). I'm looking forward to their next outing at the Sunset on April 18. That's a Tuesday, but I'm on vacation so I can sleep in. They'll be sharing the bill with Mud On My Bra and Strange Like Us.

Recorded

March 26, 2017
Katya Kabanova Act I - Leoš Janáček - Czeck Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackeras, Gabriela Benacková, Dagmar Pecková, Erika Bauerová, Dana Buresová, Eva Randová, Miroslav Kopp, Jozef Kundlák, Peter Straka, Zdenek Harvánek; Czech Philharmonic; Prague National Theatre Chorus

Register and voice, within the orchestration, model a consciousness from the inside, as its sensibilities and attentions shift. The structural image is like a cranky, but multiply interfolded, or perhaps like a multiply interfolded Möbius Cranky. Had I one, that would be my bardic name.

March 30, 2017
Deep Henderson - King Oliver [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

What's deep is the metric patterning at play.

Blue Rhythm - Mills Blue Rhythm Band [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Quick boom chick beat. The multiples pile up differentially on the off and on the on beats.

Hesitation Blues - Milt Brown [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Both the electric guitar and the fiddle find ways of playing each note out in the yard. The beat stays in the house.
Chu Berry

Blowin' Up A Breeze- Chu Berry [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

A terrain to slalom, skis made of clips of hockety fragments.

Junkman Rag - Luckey Roberts [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Something artesian, or nancarrowish, about the way this spews out, under pressure.

I Get A Kick Out Of You - Charlie Parker [from The Cole Porter Songbook]

CP starts out playing it straight, only falling into bebop midway through. The piano player has to dive in to pull him out and hold him up til they can get to shore.

A Choral Flourish - Vaughan-Williams - UPS Chorale, Thomas Goleeke

Somewhere in the soprano section of this is my spouse, before we were an item. It isn't really possible, given the size of the choir and the quality of the recording, but I could swear I was picking out Karen's particular ping.

A Sermon, A Narrative, and a Prayer - Stravinsky - CBC Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, Loren Driscoll, John Horton, Shirley Verrett

I was getting a peculiar notion of those disjointed tunes, as though they were really just a few notes, straightforward and stepwise, but that each note's pitch qualia was unstable, flipping between quantum states. Observing it, it moves.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 26, 2017
Maple Leaf 170326 - Keith Eisenbrey

Spring is leaking into Seattle slowly, so I set out a device in the backyard early in the morning and listened to the tall tales the tall kale told. And crows. And a jet. And other birds. And midway through, someone singing in the distance.






Saturday, March 25, 2017

Playlist

Live

March 24, 2017

Floating in the high cold air - Lori Goldston (with friend)
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

LG

feedback of the box :: an additional hyperbow with which to pull each string's particulars into relief. Geologic. Ample. Generous as a long prairie drive.

LG wFriend


silent harleys flocked wheeling :: floating west to the foggy gray sea
roadless road trackless track pathless path
the deep pressed feel of pressed deep

smeared cyclic rhythm abstract :: surface of an ad hoc medium
elicits out of nowhere a baritone saxophone solid as amber
mind body spirit pull away

shore side
an anthem

Recorded

March 21, 2017
Taking Me Home - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Delivery on the flat line, punk nouveau.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [recorded live at University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle, on November 6, 2004]
Mt. Rainier National Park - ca. 1975

I'm perhaps inordinately pleased with how delicate and transparent a thing this turned out to be.

Cell Block 21 - The Hollow Points [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

A cinematic chorus from a punk rock musical. Our hero lands in prison. Video unnecessary, it's all there in the music - though perhaps if Busby Berkeley tried it . . .

Xtet: Last Dance for Milton - Elaine Barkin [from Milton Babbitt: A Composers' Memorial]

clear lines
clear abruptions
episodes of interruptions
stabilities flourish here and there
but persistence is not deemed necessitous

It makes perfect sense now that I think about it, remembering all those crazy pages of scrawl-doodled commentary {(Igor's goriest, etc.), how like precision scores they are, as in: play this tune exactly so, at an angle to the page, hand drawn, fanciful, from the idiolect} that Ars Antiqua and its "proprietary squiggles" would appeal so deeply.

Self-Righteous Fool - Denise Glover [from Pathways]

Curve balls so subtle you'd be past 3rd base before realizing you had struck out.

March 23, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus VII - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

Collisive. A time-scale shredder. Armor up before listening.

Symphony in G Hob. I:94 (Paukenschlag / Surprise) - Haydn - Academy of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, Neville Marriner

If the image of the music is the exploring of the most pleasing aspects of something, what is the something we are exploring the most pleasing aspects of? A discourse of the spaces between sets of tunes?

And herein we find that brilliantly square one fingered tune (Pa-Pa Hay-Dn's Dead And Gone) that lurks behind Beethoven's Eroica variation theme.

String Quartet in F Major op. 135 - Beethoven

A telescope extended and collapsed at once, in networked dimensions. And waddayaknow? There in the midst of all that "Es muss sein!" is PPHDDAG inverted, in three quarter profile!

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 20, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 931 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Yellowstone National Park, 1998



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Playlist

Live

March 11, 2017
Katya Kabanova - Leoš Janáček - Seattle Opera
McCaw Hall, Seattle

The plot and characters are strong, but it's the pitch work commands attention. Similar in approach to Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, but with sharper edges.

Recorded

March 12, 2017
Sweetheart O' Mine - Jelly Roll Morton [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

JRM plays a Lisztian trick with his pianism, in that it sounds like a transcription of music for a much larger ensemble.

Shout Sister Shout - Boswell Sisters [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Boswell Sisters - Hats!

They arrange their voices like a horn section.

Oh Baby Maybe Someday -  Ivy Anderson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Arrangement, orchestration, song-writing, and composition, are all identical activities. The only difference is social attitude.

Loose Lid Special -  Tommy Dorsey [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Big massed sound choirs. The instrumental soloists imitate singers.

This Subdues My Passion - Charles Mingus [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

I kept getting the feeling that the band was manipulating (lip-ipulating?) the sound of their instruments to imitate the sound of older recordings.

I've Got You Under My Skin - Charlie Parker [from The Cole Porter Songbook]

'On the beat' in the sense of there being a sheer dance floor between his sound and the beat he's on. Crazy break-dance too, and not even a shred of effort is heard.

Symphony - Stefan Wolpe - Orchestra of the 20th Century, Arthur Wesberg

Imagine a troop of jugglers performing multiple game-based jugglings simultaneously, each juggler juggling not just what whirls in the air but their specific interior gang of characters, one for each game.

Beginnings are beginnings. Endings are where what it is happens to get lopped off.

The Mountains High - Dick and DeeDee

The development of electronic amplification allowed live sound to begin to duplicate what was only possible in the studio before - and for live sound and studio sound to imitate each other, inventing themselves along the way. Pretty fancy singing back there too.

Cinque Variationi - Luciano Berio - David Burge

Ann Peebles
The piano writing reminds me of Art Tatum, in its melodic superabundance, and of Thelonius Monk, in its unblinking clarity. Melodic variations at heart, but standing in for a single melody is a thicket of tunes, and of sets of nuanced weights and subtle angles.

I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down - Ann Peebles [from Original Funk Soul Sister The Best of Ann Peebles]

A political knife attack from the past. Damn she's good!

Concerto - Walter PistonSeattle Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Quartet, Gerard Schwarz

I believe I recorded this off the radio some many years back. Its 'concerto-ness', that is, the sense of its contrasting sounds, is not a contrast of opposition, or of vying equals. Rather, the quartet provides a new sound region within the orchestral sound, now hidden, now revealed - and further in each quartet member reveals individual smaller regions within the quartet sound region within the whole sound. It's also got some lip smacking pizzicato passages.

Revereware - Keith Johnston, J. K. Randall - [from Inter/Play]

Reed and no reed. That old familiar Crumar sound slowly molding the bend. There is a sense of proximity play. Each sound source exists in specific relation to the listening mic. Hide and go seek. Each proximal node carefully nurtured for coexistence. Didjeridu makes the Seattle Stu connection, I presume. If one had a choice in all the world's musical history for who would be the best person to be in charge of your pitch-bend wheel, it would have to be Jim. Were pitches ever bent to so vivid a drapery of sound?

March 16, 2017
Graceland - Paul Simon [from Graceland]

Attributions jumbled and uncertain. Who says what when? The instrumental rhythm, oh so impeccable, appears to be solvable, but then one wonders.

Banned Rehearsal 243 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [January 1991]

Recorded hot, small instruments scraped banged and rummaged through. Clearly not great music, but just as clearly intently engaged, and in the clear intent of being only and purely intently engaged.  || the Jaymar before it fell apart!! Ah how we miss thee!! || Getting to a place where, in music, if it were speaking it was doing, would be speaking in tongues.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 13, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 930 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Steve constructs a tiny set of drums on top of the xylophone. Karen revisits the bug guitar. Keith roams about what catches his eye. Aaron provides treble trombone talking points. Neal cuts it up in pieces.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Playlist

Live

March 9, 2017

Honey Noble and Carbon Quartet

Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Carbon Quartet consists of Rulon Brown, soprano sax; Nick Torretta, alto sax; Kevin Nortness, tenor sax; and Chris Credit, baritone sax. They performed pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Jun Nagao, Eugene Bozza, and Nikolai Kapustin.

This concert was, to the best of my recollection, my first experience with a live saxophone quartet, and I found myself comparing the sonorous qualities of the ensemble with other instrument-choir groupings. It compares favorably with string quartet in many aspects, perhaps falling short in the subtleties that arise among the specific colors of each string. But the dynamic range is wide and supple, and the articulation palette is rich. The sound has focus and authority, each instrument clear in its timbre even while blending into an unmistakably choral unity.

They were obviously having a blast negotiating the quick, complex arrangements, to the point where my perverse imagination wondered whether a really slow tempo would be socially successful. I know slow notes are hard on wind players - especially in the upper registers. Would it simply not be fun enough to bother?

Honey Noble, a singer-songwriter project of Katie Jacobson, performing with a large crew of electrified musicians, dancers, actors, lighting, and projected video, presented The Monster, a play / song cycle / dance / light show that struck me as eminently worthy and crazily promising, but unfinished. What I was digging the most were the multiplicity of axes along which it extended itself, the relationships among the planes of its exhibiting. Onto the Big White Wall in the back a frenetic video was sometimes projected, a dancer in a beige body suit stood nose right up close to the said BWW. The various electrified musicians (I recognized Greg Sinibaldi with his electric wind instrument) draped in ugly hospital gowns, sat circled around the back of the stage. The short bits of acting took place stage front, as did most of the singing. The dancer and two supernumeraries (minions? acolytes?) invaded the audience space down the center aisle and around the back to either side. All in all an attractively active setup. Katie sang mostly from front and center, which, considering the dramatic themes (self-obsession, self-possession, self-destruction, self-integration) worked just fine.

What struck me as perhaps unfinished were the joints between things, which could, to my mind, go either way - toward accepting them as such, stepping out of character, setting each up like a new tableau, "thanks for your patience guys while we reset the stage how you doing tonight"; or finessing them so that each seam lives in its own gut wrench, choreographed, composed, inevitable.

Recorded

March 7, 2017
String Quartet in C-sharp minor op. 131 - Beethoven - Amadeus Quartet

In the land of sentient sequences, the fulcrum of movement and stability remains contingent on self-generating hair-triggers.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 6, 2017
Gradus 308 170306 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

The newest G-natural. A tool of pulling, a tool of hammering on the side of itself to loose the recalcitrant rod of itself plunged deep into the heart of itself.