Sunday, September 4, 2011



August 27, 2011
Chili Pepper - Gred Longshaw [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

fallen ragtime.

Goodbye, Babylon part 1 - Rev. T. T. Rose and Singers [from Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon]
I Surrender Dear - Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

I love the ambiguity in the title. A mid-evening tempo.

Maybellene - Chuck Berry [from The Best of Chuck Berry]
Down The Road Apiece - Chuck Berry [from The Best of Chuck Berry]

That must be where he put the piano player.

August 28, 2011
Steppin' Out - Paul Revere and the Raiders - [from The Legend of Paul Revere]
Plastic Ono Band - Yoko Ono

Studies in the use of voice as an instrument rather than a medium for text. What she is doing is not singing (and I don't mean that in any snarky sense), it is playing. John plays guitar, Yoko plays voice. The last cut, a bonus on the CD version, is a nicely intimate acoustic session with no underlying rhythmic groove.

Five to My Five - Rev. Howard Finster [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording volume 1]
Trance Butchered Knight 1 - Keith Eisenbrey

This recording from early 1985 is the first salvo in a project that eventually became my piano piece Lacrymosa. My memory is hazy as to what exactly I thought I was doing, and as to how exactly I accomplished it. But I think I was using the "overdubbing" button on my tape deck. I had my cousin install a switch that turns off the erase head, so that I could get a kind of double exposure. Aesthetic results vary, and the sound quality is about what you would expect.

August 31, 2011
A Cat's Life Act II - Keith Eisenbrey

A draft recording from March of 1992.

Humoresque - Keith Eisenbrey

The midi version of a string quintet movement I wrote for my Mom's amateur ensemble.

Sounds of the Underbrush 2/28/2005 Track 4 - Keith Eisenbrey, Mike Marlin

A long session that is remarkable in how carefully and lingeringly it protracts that moment when it finally starts to sound like music. The picture is from that session. You can listen to it on Sound Cloud.

BF Autoharp/Barang/Clay Drum/Frame Drum - Keith Eisenbrey

Collected sounds for what became the canned bit of Blood and Fire, Halleluja.

September 1, 2011
Hersal Blues - Thomas Hersal [from Allen Lowe's Really The Blues]

Starts plain, sneaks fancy in.

Goodbye, Babylon part 2 - Rev. T. T. Rose and Singers [from Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon]
2:19 Blues - Louis Armstrong,  Claude Jones,Sidney Bechet, Luis Russell, Bernard Addison, Wellman Braud, Zutty Singleton [from Jazz Heritage Series Vol. 7 on MCA records]
Thirty Days - Chuck Berry [from The Best of Chuck Berry]

As solid a single as you could ask for.

The Way You Look Tonight - Art Pepper, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb [from The Way It Was]
Variations IV vol. 2 - John Cage - John Cage, David Tudor

"In the grooves of this record is the sound of John Cage." John Cage is his own least reliable commentator, which is another way of saying that I dig his music but I don't buy his talk. Variations IV, or at least this recording of a portion of it, has nothing to do with sound as sound, and precious little to do with chance. Instead we are offered snippets of variously recognizable recordings (mostly instantly recognizable classical pieces) mixed with street sounds, bar sounds, and others, arranged using a system that involves a chance procedure somewhere, but carefully chosen for iconic quality and carefully trimmed for comprehension. This is a craftily composed commentary on music, not an invitation to hear sounds as simply sounds breathing free. Gird your loins for some heavy duty mind warp action.

Stony Point - John W. Summers, Art Rosenbaum [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording volume 1]

In Session

August 29, 2011
Train Case - recording Gramma's In The Cellar at the Tintinabulary, Seattle

Train Case is Neal Meyer and my lovely spouse Karen singing old folk tunes. This is a song that their mother taught them as children. We suspect she picked it up at Girl Scout Camp. They kindly allowed me to lay down a spoon track. We should have this available for download soon on ReverbNation.


September 2, 2011
Seattle Composers Salon - Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Three Student Pieces - Sean Osborn - Sean Osborn, clarinet
Quasi Improvisando - Ryan Hare - Ruth Boden, cello
Three of Five Dovetailed Pieces - John Teske - John Teske, bass
Eight Preludes from 24 Preludes - Keith Eisenbrey - Keith Eisenbrey, piano
Three Movements from Woodwind Quintet - Paul Gillespie - Cliff Dunn, flute; Janet Putnam, **; Judy **, **; David **, **; Jenny **, **

A remarkably strong Salon, with nary a clunker in the mix (yours truly perhaps excepted). Of Sean's pieces I really dug the second, a lovely and clearly thought poem using various extended techniques - like an easy starter drug. Ryan's four-movement cello solo deftly shifted the focus from the composer persona behind the notes to the performer persona behind the sound, with an immediate spike in the social-intimacy index. I could listen all day to John Teske bowing his open D-tuned low string. The sensual hit of the bass sound is forever in danger of overpowering other aspects of utterance, but as Doc Holliday said in Tombstone, "That's my game." I look forward to hearing the whole thing.

I'm sorry I didn't get all the performer's names lined up with their instruments in Paul's number. Wind Quintet is an attractive ensemble as to both timbral variety and dynamic range. But there are daunting challenges as well. Each instrument has a unique matrix of registral color and technical limitations that can easily confound an unwary composer. If this attractive neo-classical essay is truly Paul's inaugural effort then I am stunned, and look forward to much more.

As for my preludes, I hope to have a final enough edit of the score available on my website within the next few weeks. I was just about thinking I was done when I had a better idea about the E-Major one, and I think I can tighten it up considerably. If I can get over some of my pianistic problems I hope to perform the whole set sometime. At the very least I'll record them soon.

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