Saturday, March 12, 2011



Suite in d BWV 811 - JS Bach - Colin Tilney

Waltz in A-flat op. 34 #1 - Chopin - Peter Katin

A little family group of waltzes: Papa Waltz, Mama Waltz, Handsome Bro' Waltz, and Giddy Little Sister Waltz - all introduced with great fanfare.

That Lovin' Rag - Sophie Tucker
Cataract Love - Hitch's Happy Harmonists
Symphony of Psalms - Stravinsky - CBC SO/Stravinsky

The material: a complex of infra-referential sounds that carry an image of coherence. They are parts of a thought and we recognize the parts of it as being the parts of that thought. How? Parametric set identity certainly plays a part, but also, I think, a plastic sense of parametric set proximity, or set similarity, as grasped and measured on the fly. Part of our psycho-acoustic apparatus is the bundling of raw sounds into the sounds of some thing in particular - the sound of that note, that violin, that choral voice, that phrase. Stravinsky's compositional ear loves to twist our habits of bundling into paths that astound us: "How did I make that connection?"

Xango - Villa-Lobos - New York Chamber Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz/Robert Bonfiglio
Variations for Orchestra op. 30 - Webern - London SO/Boulez

See above, re: Symphony of Psalms.

Ebony Concerto - Stravinsky - Netherlands Wind Ensemble/Edo de Waart/George Pieterson

Probably the most interesting conversation that Stravinsky and Ellington never had. Wish I'd been there.

Solitaire - Stan Kenton

Hearts of Stone (recorded live) - Elvis Presley
Wind Quintet #2 - George Perle
Mikrophonie II - Stockhausen - Studio-Chores fur Neue Musik Koln/Herbert Schemus/Alfons Kontarsky

The heavy ring-modulation throughout leaves me with a sense of oppression, or suppression.

Psalm 23 Dominus pascit me - Ivan Hrusovsky - Tirnavia/Andrej Rapant/Stanislav Surin
Quit Kickin' My Dog Around  - Delbert Spray, Art Rosenbaum
Tattoo You - The Rolling Stones

The antiseptic engineering gives the stripped-down arrangements on this album an interesting edge.


Christopher DeLaurenti at the Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Christopher improvised two sets on his laptop, each of which ended with an extended exploration of his recent recordings of local singers rendering the torch song You're My Thrill. In the first set we heard untreated field recordings as well as sounds from at least one earlier work that I recognized. In the second the source sounds were heavily treated before being allowed into the loudspeakers.

Sounds simple enough, but as usual with Christopher's shows I was left with more topics of thought than there is space here to discuss: The experienced relations between textual fragments and a presumed underlying song form, the relations among live sounds from out- and in-side the performance space and sounds brought in from the outside and then broadcast to the inside, time past and time present, multiple times past and multiple times present, what counts as treated and what registers as treated, the relation between the experience of registering a sound as being treated and the experience of the particular treatedness of the sound, the peculiarities of hearing the "same thing" twice in two different settings (does it make the same thing sound more the same or less the same, and does it make the two different settings sound more different or less different - or is it a fascinating shading among the various possibilities?), etc.

All this and it was often quite ravishingly lovely too. An extended segment in the middle of the second set in which two pitched sounds were imperceptibly perceived to shift downward was breathtaking, and the concatenate performance of Thrill, chopped into phrase segments and shuffled tenderly together, was both sexy and poignant, occupying a personal space not quite so distanced as to prevent a blush, and just near enough to tempt the feeling of an intrusion on an intimacy not our own.

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