Saturday, September 17, 2011



September 12, 2011
Gulliver's Eight Wonderful Resonant Pipes - Banned Rehearsal

A short session from 1985 with Aaron, Neal, Anna, and myself, indulgent with obliviously parallel play. Early on, and less so continuing to the present, we have experimented (under some protest) with the idea that if X-quantity of people make noise in the same room for a timespan without paying any particular attention to what the others are doing then the resultant tape will have some special quality of ineffable otherness worth striving for. For me this has seemed a mis-placed act of faith resulting, usually, in a desperate filling up of the void where we might, to our benefit, have risked actual communication.

A Cat's Life Act III (take 1) - Keith Eisenbrey

From 1992, first of three takes.

Humoresque - Keith Eisenbrey - Rosario Sounds

Rosario Sounds was an amateur string quintet based on Whidbey Island. My mom played 2nd violin. This is a recording of their live performance at a Good Friday service at a church in Oak Harbor back in aught aught. It was, to my amusement, programmed as a contemplation of the crucifixion. Of course I had no such image in mind when I wrote it, and they re-titled the work for the program (Quintet, I think). Kind of a grim joke on me, I think. Being played late in the service, after several hundred worshipers received communion in the least efficient way imaginable, I think I can confidently state that never have so many suffered so long just to hear my music.

Sounds of the Underbrush 2/28/2005 Track 5 - Keith Eisenbrey, Mike Marlin & Others

Not the most successful bit from this concert, veering toward the idea that there is some specific sense that music makes that we have to make this particular music make. It opens out right at the end.

BF Gong/Kora/Organ Pipe/Shell Shaker - Keith Eisenbrey

More sound collecting for Blood and Fire Hallelujah. The gong take is quite lovely on its own.

September 13, 2011
Jimmie's Blues - Jimmy Blythe
When They Get Lovin' They's Gone - Billie Young, Jelly Roll Morton

Yodeling cross-dressing as scat jazz - or the other way around. Weird.

Coal Cart Blues  - Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bernard Addison, Wellman Braud

Would I had been a fly on the wall for this. Jeepers!

Wee Wee Hours - Chuck Berry

Chuck's make-out song.

Django - Modern Jazz Quartet

Limpid and articulate, but a little spooky too.

Volo Solo - Cornelius Cardew - John Tilbury

A ferociously difficult piece brilliantly played. Single-note tremolos skewer through the timemeat.

Who Killed Poor Robin? - Ollie Gilbert

weren't me.

September 15, 2011
Breathe - J.K. Randall, Marjorie Tichenor

I sit as usual breathing quiet and slow to find myself hearing sound of breathing distinct and slow and sound of flutepipe breathing fibrous and distinct and slow and sound of fibre timbre wiggle distinct and slow plucked. And at every moment a newly created sense of having just gotten somewhere.

Prelude op. 1 Revisited - Keith Eisenbrey

The first piece I ever wrote (back in 74 or 75) was an e-minor string quartet movement. In early 1985 I made this version by recording each part separately on a Wurlitzer Funmaker Sprite that I had purchased in Greenwood for $200. The result is pretty hoary. The Funmaker went on to feature prominently in many a Banned Rehearsal session, and was even carted to a couple of live shows. It is currently being refitted by Steve Kennedy into what I hope to be a remarkable bizarre contraption.

A Cat's Life Act III (take 2) - Keith Eisenbrey

see above - take 2.


September 14, 2011
Monktail Creative Music Concern at Composer's Spotlight - Jack Straw Productions, Seattle
Stephen Fandrich, Mark Ostrowski, John Seman

John, Mark, and Stephen spoke about their personal musical history together, and Stephen performed three solo piano pieces. The first was his set of variations on John's theme LG, the second a Nocturne by Mark, and lastly a gamelan-informed Ballade by Stephen. In each case I was quite taken by the starting points, but was disappointed by the end result. John's jazzy little two-part theme would seem to make quite fine fodder for improvisation, and such shenanigans are apparently a big part of its back-story. The inside-the-piano strummy bits that start and finish Mark's Nocturne are lovely and clear. And finally, the delicate rhythmic counterpoint with which Stephen's Ballade opens are among the most exquisite episodes of piano figuration it has been my privilege to hear. But in each case the insidiously persistent phantomic memes of pianistic virtuosity take over and we are beset by the sterile ghosts of Scriabin and Sorabji, Liszt and Busoni. What for those guys were means to their various aesthetic ends becomes here a default end of its own - a kind of hollow shell, all two-fisted sound and fury, signifying (to me), what sound and fury always signify. There is lovely stuff here, I wish it had not been drowned out.

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