I took the week off from listening to recorded music in order to devote that time to work with Karen on a new song that Benjamin Boretz sent to us. We were under a deadline to get a recording to him by next week. This was a significant musical challenge for both of us, but I believe we were modestly successful. More concerning this project anon.
Composer Spotlight at Jack Straw Foundation, Seattle
The Nature (of) Sounds in the StormSound Cycle - S. Eric (Steve) Scribner
I have known Steve for a couple of years now and have grown to admire his tirelessness in getting people together to perpetrate music. He performs all over the area, but never grandstands. As present as he is in the Seattle new music scene, it's never about him, it's always about what he's up to.
To introduce himself, Steve sat with his back to the audience, faced an unassuming array of small percussion and, without speaking, spoke in music. After a few lovely minutes he stood and, speaking, demonstrated how difficult it is to explain what probably can not be, exactly, explained. Although I found myself quibbling with the concepts he propounded, I soon realized that what he is attempting to do in music is to mirror a view of the cosmos that has never yielded easily to verbal formulation: that particular view in which the clearest expression is the paradox, and in which there are no useful concepts that aren't bald oxymora - in short, the stance of faith. Despite my quibbles, that is a position I must and do most heartily support.
And of course this standpoint can no more easily be successfully mirrored in musical terms than in verbal. But the attempt is heroic, and at 9+ hours the scale upon which he is attempting it is monumental. The artifacts of Steve's musical quest are full with a broad and moving poignancy. In so fully striving, where success is categorically unobtainable, the particulars of failure form an aesthetic image of intimate clarity.