Saturday, November 19, 2011


Upcoming Show

Your Mother Should Know
Karen mugging at EMP
Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 1PM - FREE - 
Sky Church at EMP, Seattle

Neal at Full Tilt Ice Cream

Your Mother Should Know is Neal Meyer and my spouse Karen in Rock and Roll mode. It will be loads of fun, so come on out!


November 13, 2011
Gradus 76 - Neal Meyer
Fungus - White River Valley, Mt. Rainier National Park, September 24, 2011

Subtly melodicizing the dynamic gradations. Beyond loud and soft.

Old Habits (album) - Hot Bodies In Motion

I bought this CD at their live show a few weeks ago. Their funk beats lead from the hip, and they make fine use of nearly silent breaks and big fat instrumental sound. Every once in a while the ping in the singer's voice reminded me of The Humidiflyers, a now-dissolved but much missed local band from the early oughts. This may count as the first time I listened carefully to a track that uses what I presume is Auto-Tune (just once, as an effect). Oddly, it gave off strong whiffs of Charles Dodge's Speech Songs. I guess there is really nothing new under the sun.

The Wagon - Ben Harney [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
The Lone Star Trail - Ken Maynard [from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music]
In A Mellotone - Duke Ellington [from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]
When It Rains, It Really Pours - Elvis Presley [from Sunrise]
Stay - Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

This fabulous arrangement is too darned short!!

A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

November 15, 2011
Banned Rehearsal 26 - Banned Rehearsal

Participating were Aaron, Neal, and me. It was March of 1985. It barely moves. What enters first waits, waits, waits. Then enters. Not a perfect session, weakening toward the end as we succumb to the stupid, but for the most part patient and still.

November 17, 2011
Banned Rehearsal 224 - Banned Rehearsal

Anarchy endrummed.
Participating were Karen, Aaron, and me. It was June of 1990. There are some big drum beats in here that sound great! I thought of a possible strategy for improvisation: Avoid variety and eschew repetition.

Nothing As It Seems - Pearl Jam

I am new to Pearl Jam, but I am finding some deep listening in these songs by all concerned. The arrangements are full of "just so" sound, even though the sound that it is "just so" as is far from simple, and far from simply good.

Book of Windows (studio version of 3/20/2005) - Keith Eisenbrey
Me, Neal and Aaron with scores of Book Of Windows in 1982

I used to say that I didn't need to think about minimalism anymore, because I had already written music that was much more repetitious and much much uglier than anything anyone else had ever done. Possibly not true, but not particularly interesting even if it is. Book of Windows is a massive score that I made in 1982. It is composed of a long text (Ben called it a word-mare) containing (among other things) three interlocked acrostics, and hugely repetetive, repletely patterned musics for piano and saxophone. I was exploring the notion of score-making as opposed to musical composition, and the format of the score has as much or more to do with how it hangs as a book than with how the music might go. The immediate influences were, I suppose, Ben Boretz's (" chart shines high where the blue milks upset...") with its lines of music as carefully placed on the page as any poem, and Gertrude Stein's Lucy Church Amiably. The score is explicitly open to interpretation concerning how it might be performed, and it never has been done with a saxophone. Aaron, Neal, and my brother Paul recorded it in 1982 with piano and clarinet, with Aaron speaking the text. Later that summer it was performed and recorded in the common area at Bard College with Jill Borner speaking, Bruce Huber on electric guitar, and me on Crumar. Both of these performances are long slow affairs, clocking in at between 90 to 120 minutes, but they are not without their charms. I spent several years re-making all of my scores digitally, and when I got done with this one I realized I could use the score to make a midi performance. I used a marimba sound instead of piano, and stuck with electric guitar for the sax part. I recorded the text, amending the sound of my voice with various cheap digital effects, and sped the whole thing up so that it goes by in just over 30 minutes. The result is a lighter-weight performance, not so much of an endurance test as the earlier version.

BF Vocals Rough - Keith Eisenbrey

This is the first mix of the choir of me singing There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood, for eventual use in Blood and Fire Hallelujah.

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