Saturday, January 8, 2011



Banned Rehearsal #206

Patti's Parlour Pieces 5-8 - Benshoof - Keith Eisenbrey
Polestar - Francis Houle - Jesse Canterbury and William O. Smith
PCKE 100124 - Pete Comley & Keith Eisenbrey

Suite in a, BWV 807 - JS Bach - Colin Tilney
Von Gott will Ich nicht lassen, BWV 658 - JS Bach - Michael Chapuis

Bach draws the listener miles deep in a few notes. On any path within the intricate web one cannot step solidly down and be in a place. The ground will shift and fall you will.

Nocturne in D-flat, op. 72 #2 - Chopin - Claudio Arrau

Chopin accomplishes much the same result, but from behind a stagy curtain. His actor emerges suddenly hyper-ornate. Taken aback, the ear reels.

St. Louis Tickle - Pince's Orchestra

Symphony in D, (#9) - Mahler - Columbia SO/Bruno Walter

Manfred carefully eviscerating himself with his own reflection.

When You're a Long Way From Home - John Sawyer's Persia Garden Orchestra


Chamber Cybeline
Seattle Shakespeare Company - Center House Theater

I want those bells. Wow!

Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space at The Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

5 (of 6) Gemtian Songs - Christian Asplund - John Teske, Jesse Canterbury, Greg Campbell, Tom Baker, Stuart Wheeler

Prelude (title undetermined) - Michael Nicolella

Found Soundscape (excerpt) - Christopher DeLaurenti

Two (of 6) Graphic Scores - John Teske

Encore (title undetermined) - Scott Teske

I'm afraid I wasn't able to hear all of Christian's songs, as the effects of a long and exhausting week caught up with me. I was nodding off from the start of #3 to near the end. I'm sorry, and would like to apologize to the performers. It had nothing to do with them. My spouse informs me that I did not snore, for which I am glad.

Michael's intricate little prelude for classical guitar deserves more than one listen. Amid the pleasing ostinato lull sudden scrabblyquick figures drew sparks. I was like whoa dude, what just happened there? Devious.

There are just too many ways to think about what Christopher was up to in his presentation of an excerpt of an electro-acoustic project involving an historic recording of a well-known string quartet performing a mid-20th-century European avante-garde work of some renown, and so I will only mention the odd sense I had that the performance of it began precisely with his own spoken prelude to it, with his purported explanation of what he had done, and continued as much in the theater between his bemused face tilted in pallid macbookglow and the expansive shared space between him and us, as in the relation between the sounds of the example itself and the astonishingly un-present piece of repertoire music. So much to chew on!

After the break the floor to the right of us was filled with a huge orchestra - 20 players for John's piece, and 19 for Scott's (with a conductor): 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, 4 to 5 string basses (I kid you not!), flute, oboe, bassoon, two clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 trombones (one of which doubled on didgeridoo), and a trumpet. For Scott's piece one of the bass players conducted. We all turned our chairs to face the music.

This was my second time with John's Graphic Scores. In September, in this same space, two smaller ensembles performed the whole cycle. Due to the wide layout and the size of the orchestra the arc from which sound came to us was much wider this time, accentuating the dialogue these scores have with focus and diffusion, collectivity and individuality, coherence and sequentiality. I am pleased that these quick performances are still not pieces in any easy way. They are not demonstrations of solutions but problems for (and of!) sharing.

Scott's composition returned us to more comfortable musical ground, and struck me as being un-finished, which for the composer is a good way for a piece to be. The more work there is to do on a project the more fun there is still to be had. The sound of the band, with all those heavy low strings and brass, was awesome. Go to!


  1. thanks for coming last night. the tenor for Asplund's piece was Stuart Wheeler.