Sunday, December 30, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

December 23, 2012
Plaint - Sylvius Leopold Weiss - Lutz Kirchhof
Symphony in E-flat #103 - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer


December 27, 2012
Te Deum HOB XXIIIc:2 - Haydn - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner

A tight knot of rhythmthink, for which the text is mere platform.

Fontella Bass
People Get Ready - The Impressions [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Rescue Me - Fontella Bass [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Shake - Sam Cook [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Shakin' All Over - The Guess Who [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
She's About A Mover - the Sir Douglas Quintet [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Since I Lost My Baby - The Temptations [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Stay In My Corner - The Dells [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]


A clot of 1965 came up in my listening Thursday evening, but I was unaware that Fontella Bass had passed away just the day before. Among these songs I would point out the exquisite patterning with which the vocal parts share the vocal lines in People Get Ready; how petty and ill-tempered Dylan sounds in this company; the fiery rhythm section behind Fontella, Sam Cooke's message from the pulpit paired with The Guess Who's report from the floor; and moving from delight to delight to the Dells' deeply composed arrangement of the final repetitions of Stay . . . Stay . . . Stay.


Upcoming

Saturday May 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Music for solo piano:
Eisenbrey: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace.
Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

December 16, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 587 (recording by Keith Eisenbrey) - (October 2000 - Peter Comley, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Isabel Kosály-Meyer, Neal Meyer)

(we have retreated to our den)
dormant dubious sub-wharf flotsam

December 17, 2012
Chaconne - Keith Eisenbrey - Sean Osborn
Sean Osborn

On the evening of December 13, 2007, at the Chapel Performance Space in Seattle, Sean Osborn proved beyond doubt that he is superhuman. The uncut version of Chaconne is frankly impossible for one clarinetist to play - by the time the end is reached, 20 minutes in, there would not be enough lip left to remember what a high note is, much less to nail them pianissimo. But even with the cuts Sean and I had settled on, with the risk of disaster being nearly total, he negotiated the score with both a technical brilliance and a musical understanding that had my jaw hanging loose. And at the end, 15 minutes in, he laid those last long high quiet notes out sweet as slumber. This performance was among the three or four most gratifying performance experiences of my compositional life.

My intent was to write a solo clarinet piece that would have a similar heft and gravitas as Bach's solo violin chaconne. It may not be exactly that, but I'm still pretty pleased with it. The particular chaconnity of my Chaconne is twisted. I doubt I could untangle it myself anymore. I believe it involved progressively complete iterations of rotational arrays of a six or seven note row within a mod-17 pitch class system. Now if only there were two Sean Osborns to play as a tag team perhaps a performance of the uncut version could be staged!

Banned Rehearsal 778 (August 2010, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)

gently sleepily driftly revolving

December 18, 2012
Gradus 180 - Neal Meyer (August 2010)

Gradus provides ample time to parse listening practice. There is a temptation to dissect each tone, to slice it into horizontally thin specimens for microscopic examination, the presumption being that in order to hear what is actually there we must hear each tone as the concatenation of its partials. Is resistance futile? Or, when careful application of dampers reveal a new sound from within the old, could we hear it not as parts of the old now revealed but rather as a new episode of the old, relating the old and new more as we would the respective incoming and outgoing sounds of a dopplered automobile, or perhaps as the trajectory of a diphthong? Or as both at once?

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 51 - JS Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling
L'Esprit italien - Sylvius Leopold Weiss - Lutz Kirchhof

Upcoming

Saturday May 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Music for solo piano
Eisenbrey: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace.
Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Playlist

Live

December 12, 2012
Washington Composers Forum Composer's Spotlight: Neal Meyer - Gradus for Fux, Tesla, and Milo the Wrestler
Jack Straw Productions, Seattle

I was proud of Neal for the clarity of this presentation, placing his mega project within some of the broader aesthetic conversations in which it takes its part - with Cage, with Dempster, with Boretz, with Randall, with Taylor - and also within that more intimate familial conversation it has with aspects of my own work. And though Gradus for Fux, Tesla, and Milo the Wrestler is without question sui generis, and could even serve as an index point for what counts as sui generis, its nature is conversational. It is without progenitors, but it is not without interlocutors, and in the nitty gritty of the doing of it it is not without its own internal interloculations. It is the harmonics conversing with each other, it is the strings conversing with the soundboard, it is the sound of the piano conversing with the sound of ambience, it is all of that conversing with his, and with our, sense of music, of composition, of listening, and of thinking.

During the Q&A at the end a question came about how Neal manages to reconcile his love and admiration for this deeply odd and largely very quiet music with his equal L&A for Rock-n-Roll and its associated cloud of genres of not so quiet music. Although I thought this question was essentially like asking Neal "How are you Neal?" in another sense it was directly on point - How can an integral personality converse both within and among itself and also with others?


December 14, 2012
Art Up Phinneywood: Improvisations - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer, Steve Scribner
A-1 Pianos, Seattle

It is salutary on occasion to step into uncontrollable situations, partly because it forces assumptive questions. I am as aware as anyone that my deep rut default notion of a social situation conducive to music, or at least to my music, is one of quiet attention. At its worst of course this can be as coercive as "shut up and listen", but my hope is always that I have something to say that is as worth listening to as are those things that I have heard and been moved by.

And so to find myself in the assigned role of 'co-improviser' at a lively party, full of kids and folks chatting amiably, in a room full of pianos, was alternately frustrating and rewarding for me on several levels. First, it was difficult to hear even what I was doing, and more so what my colleagues were up to. So I spent quite a bit of time trying to discover what could be done that would be audible, that would be a valid part of the experience for myself and others, and that would, perhaps, actually engage with some outside our trio. This is not an easy compositional task, and success at it is difficult to judge - to the point where I still don't know whether it did or not.

Recorded

Jill Borner and Roger, Barrytown, New York 1983
December 11, 2012
Sound, Body - Benjamin Boretz, Jill Borner [from InterPlay]

It is interesting that both of the pieces that came up for listening this week set up fields of stark dualities, and work out their interactions. In this improvisation Ben and Jill each take a channel and a small lexicon of words and instrumental sounds. Left, right. Ben, Jill. Voiced, unvoiced. Monochord, fingercymbal. Hiss, breath. Drum, mouth.

December 13, 2012
Music for Two - John Cage - Stephen Drury 

Bowed, struck. Undulous constellations in near statis osmosing through the possibilities of their mutual membranes.
 
In Session at The Tintinabulary

December 10, 2012
Gradus 218 - Neal Meyer

Upcoming

Saturday May 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Music for solo piano
Eisenbrey: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace.
Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Playlist

Live

December 1, 2012
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Ask The Ages and Triptet

Ask The Ages ( Steven Bell, Greg Campbell, Brian Seamus Heaney, John Seman):

jellyfish liquidly undulous
flagpole rope dangling clangling
packpredatorprowl accumulant

extra-terrestro-temporal
migration of minerals through thunderous forest 
expanse of engine

Triptet (Tom Baker, Greg Campbell, Michael Monhart):

communique from
mirrored strand
twisted taut
sinuous encrusted waves
on up upon
mountain heaved seaward
heavy fog lading hills flat
molecularized gastronomy


Recorded

December 3, 2012
Sonata in F Major, Op. 24 - Beethoven - Henryk Szeryng, Ingrid Haebler

December 4, 2012
Vater unser - Christian Heinrich Rinck [from Rassegna Internazionale di Capelle Musicali Loreto 15-19 Aprile 1998]
Till Eulenspiegel's Lustige Streiche - Strauss - Staatskapelle Dresden, Rudolf Kempe

What Strauss does when Strauss is really doing what Strauss does is to cobble together parts that do not fit together exactly quite so that they just manage to stay put long enough to get to the next set of ill-fitting parts narrowly avoiding collapse. Rarely does he manage to keep this going for a whole piece, but there are sections of Till that delight.

Sow Good Seeds - Lil McClintock [from Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon]

I really want to see this guy play guitar. It sounds like he has extra bass strings - or even an extra soundbox - for the low ringing strums, while the upper intricacies flit by like tiny bats.

This Song of Love - the Middle Georgia Singing Convention No. 1 [from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music]

These guys blend like a woodwind quintet - with tuba added.

Memphis Flu - Elder Curry and Congregation [from Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon]
Sweethearts on Parade - Louis Armstrong and his Sebastian New Cotton Club [from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]
Cloudy Skies - Chocolate Dandies [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

December 6, 2012
Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - James Brown [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

JB's vocal is not the biggest sound in the mix, but the horn hits are so sparely used that any more would be engineering overkill.

In Session at The Tintinabulary

December 3, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 826 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt



Upcoming

Saturday May 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Music for solo piano
Eisenbrey: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace.
Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

November 25, 2012
Gradus 179 - Neal Meyer

Sequence of incident serves dynamic configuration
how it goes by is only to get at how it hangs in space

Paradise, Mt Rainier National Park - October 2005
Suscipe quaeso Domino - Thomas Tallis - BBC Singers, Bo Holton

Lifting solid sound into thin air

Caligaverunt - de Victoria - [from Rassegna Internazionale di Capelle Musicali Loreto 15-19 Aprile 1998]

Short phrases make intimate conversation

Salve Regina - Lodovico Grossi da Viadana - [from Rassegna Internazionale di Capelle Musicali Loreto 15-19 Aprile 1998]

Clarity of encounter phrase to phrase voice to voice chant to canon

Violinkonzert in E Major BWV 1042 - Bach - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane, Hilary Hahn
Violinkonzert in A minor BWV 1041 - Bach - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane, Hilary Hahn

An interesting thing is that in the movements of these concerti the play of balanced answering phrases is not the default method of unification. Here, often, subsequent phrases echo or amplify, veer or renew. When they do answer and balance, they do so with a vengeance.

Florida - 1983
Also hat Gott der Welt geliebt BWV 68 - Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling

The headphrase provides a handle to which all else attaches, a hub, a stable configuration. The text for glossing.

Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild BWV 79 - Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling

There is some intensely complex music here, especially the opening chorus.

Süsser Trost, mein Jesus Kommt BWV 151 - Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling

Expressive, but not dramatic.

November 26, 2012
Weichet nur, betrübten Schatten BWV 202 - Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling

The introduction to this set of bucolic dance-y songs is devastatingly beautiful.

November 27, 2012
L'Amant malheureux - Sylvius Leopold Weiss - Lutz Kirchhof

It may have something to do with how a late baroque sense of what can count as music fits itself onto the exigencies of the lute, but there is something about how the melodies hang within the figuration that reminds me of much older music, Machaut perhaps.

Symphony in D Major Hob. I:104 - Haydn - Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, Nikolaus Harnoncourt

November 29, 2012
Symphony in E-flat Major Hob. I:103 - Haydn - Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, Nikolaus Harnoncourt

In number 104 the slow introduction is a way of setting up goal posts and corners on the field within which the tonality is then to play. Once the movement proper begins the introduction vanishes. In 103 the introduction becomes part of a much crazier, Romantic idea, turning the entire movement, and thereby the symphony inside out. For some reason I wrote in my notebook that "2nd movement is like breakfast" but I can't remember why.

Piano Concerto in C minor Op. 37 - Beethoven - Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, Rudolf Serkin

Serkin is generous with clarity, almost to a fault.


Upcoming

Saturday May 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Music for solo piano
Eisenbrey: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace.
Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Playlist

Live

November 17, 2012
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Any Ensemble (Greg Campbell, Jacob Zimmerman, John Teske, Natalie Mai Hall, Neil Welch, Paul Kikuchi)

get up
pre-be-bop saxes
jungle high
def slow
scan texture up
down texture back
forth texture in
out at
precisely bare
limb limned

Recorded

November 20, 2012
Birdbrain - Ginsberg - The Gluons
Ginsberg

Casting aspersions widely, hoping something will stick. A list of random social atrocities all attributed to a stand-in bad guy, a them. Not among his strongest work.










Witold Lutoslawski
Chain 2- Lutoslawski - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Witold Lutoslawski, Anne-Sophie-Mutter

So what is wrong with putting on a good show? Easy to follow, completely entertaining, brightly colored. Here: no new ground is broken, nothing explored that wasn't known. The given task was fulfilled, music was made, business was duly transacted, we depart unmoved.




Banned Rehearsal 242 - (December 1990, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)

Smallish sounds closely regarded. Room roar present. Becoming slow and sleepy to the breathing harmony of harmonica breathing sleepy slow. (PP - drumroll!). A study in singularities. Snare buzz roll interrupted by funmaker percussion. Big Crescendo up to A Big Moment: Grand Pause: Loud! Radio sound smeared with slathered sonic paint.

Banned Rehearsal 587 (recording by Pete Comley) - (October 2000, Peter Comley, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Isabel Kosály-Meyer, Neal Meyer)

Slow bell noodles glued with sax. Tub bass in particular.

November 21, 2012
Gradus 84 - Neal Meyer

An airplane dopplers over between events.

BF Vocals and Percussion Chorus - Eisenbrey

The density of the percussion chorus begins to produce a hint of an image of a choral sound, so that the ear is beguiled into thinking there is a touch of the vocal in the mix even when there isn't.





In Session at The Tintinabulary

November 19, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 825 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt


Upcoming

Saturday May 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Music for solo piano
Eisenbrey: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace.
Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

Rachmanoniff
November 11, 2012
Leola - Joplin - William Albright
Prelude in G Major op. 32#5 - Rachmaninoff - Horowitz
Prelude in g-sharp minor op. 32#12 - Rachmaninoff - Horowitz
Stoptime Rag - Joplin - William Albright












Symphony #9 - Mahler - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan - [live at Berlin Festival 1982]

1. In its building up or in its stripping down, as it begins to put itself back together out of collapse, as it turns aside from its final ends, leading always to histrionic shattering failure.
2. A curious clock unfolding into grotesquery remembers a densely febrile desparation.
3. Furious activity, salvation by fugato, attention arrested again and again by what can not be forgotten, but from which it slips away distracted.
4. Fully invested in wish-fulfillment. Would that death be so reassuringly, lavishly personal!

Comrades of the Legion - Sousa - Philip Jones Ensemble, Elgar Howarth
Panathenäenzug - Strauss - Staatskapelle Dresden, Rudolf Kempe, Peter Rosel
Parergon zur Symphonia Domestica - Strauss - Staatskapelle Dresden, Rudolf Kempe, Peter Rosel

Richard writes his own meta-music.

Ben Tobier
November 12, 2012
Hot and Heavy - Ben Tobier [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Violin Concerto - Berg - Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, Itzhak Perlman

The voices do not move in sync. They lag, as though dragged around by a magnetic field, or like a swarm of lugubrious bees around their roving queen.
William Walton





November 13, 2012
Symphony #2 - William Walton - BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins

Tenuous, urban, nervous. Uncertain as to how one might go about being lyrical.

November 15, 2012
Ooo Baby Baby - The Miracles [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
I Love Music - The O'Jays [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

An upside down mix: drums up front, everything else homogenized into the midground.

Linda Let Me Be The One - Bruce Springsteen [from Tracks]
Tell It Like It Is - Heart [from Greatest Hits]

I imagine in front of this song a film montage as the idiotagonist sees the error of his ways. Then she goes all Aretha.

Wire - Benjamin, Boretz, Jeff Presslaff, J. K. Randall [from Inter/Play]

First things first: invent a language. Monochord, Crumar, piano.

Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies - Smokey Joe Miller, Norman Young [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording volume 1]

In Session at The Tintinabulary

November 12, 2012
Gradus 217 - Neal Meyer

Upcoming

Saturday May 4, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Music for solo piano
Eisenbrey: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace.
Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

November 4, 2012
3 Liebesträume - Liszt - Michael Rudy

Exuberant metrical flexibility
careful registral husbandry

Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli - Liszt - Stephen Hough
Lieder und Gesänge op. 32 - Brahms - Thomas Quasthoff, Justus Zeyen
Liturgy - Pavel Tchesnokov - [from Rassegna Internazionale di Capelle Musicali Loreto 15-19 Aprile 1998]
Piano Concerto #4 in C minor - Saint-Saëns - Philharmonia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, Pascal Roge

As though it never starts, just picks up in the middle. There is something almost Brucknerian in the dynamic between the square phrasing and the never knowing where a thing will get to.

Burleske - Strauss - Staatskapelle Dresden, Rudolf Kempe, Malcolm Frager

The parts slide off from each other as though lubricated, and tipped.

November 6, 2012
The Corcorans Cadet March - Sousa - Philip Jones Ensemble, Elgar Howarth
El Capitan - Sousa - Philip Jones Ensemble, Elgar Howarth

Several decades ago I came up with a system of choosing what to listen to out of my collection. Without going into great detail, and certainly without revisiting the Object PAL code that does the choosing, selections are made in chronological order of composition or production, in 5 year increments, i.e. something from 1800, then from 1805, then 1810, etc. Recently my uncle Jim Meyer gave me a bunch of his CDs, which is why this blog is suddenly awash in older music again.

All this to assert that it was entirely by happy chance that Sousa marches came up on election night.

November 8, 2012
King Cotton - Sousa - Philip Jones Ensemble, Elgar Howarth
Etincelles op. 36#6 - Moritz Moszkowski - Vladimir Horowitz
Hail to the Spirit of Liberty - Sousa - Philip Jones Ensemble, Elgar Howarth
Eugenia - Joplin - William Albright
J.S.

S.J.
Another happy chance placed Sousa and Joplin side by side. Each is a cartoon, a well-drawn caricature, one of self-satisfied triumphalism, the other of aspiration to sophistication. Between them is an American friction, poles of a national identity. Structurally, a typical Sousa march and a typical Joplin Rag could be peas in a pod, throwing their disparate personalities into greater relief.

La Mer - Debussy - BRT Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels, Alexander Rahbari

In Session at The Tintinabulary

November 5, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 824 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Playlist

Live

October 27, 2012
Fidelio - Beethoven
Seattle Opera - McCaw Hall, Seattle

In his greatest operas Mozart crafted the acts into effortless and graceful key sequences. Beethoven worked hard at it and wants you to know in your bowels that he did. Graceful they are not, but they stick.

November 2, 2012
John Olson and David Abel
Open Books, Seattle

First, an apology to Seattle Composers Salon for my absence, but I was just down the street at Open Books to hear my Portland friend David Abel read.
John Olson

Seattle-based writer John Olson is new to me. Poems of plangent lists veering wildly. Hold tight to the headrhymes, pa'dner, or you'll be cogbrain splatter. One poem was about beans, or it was by the ending.

David and I met 30 years ago in the Barrytown area of New York state. His recent work explores possibilities of textual collage and systematic progression in ways that are alarmingly similar to how I find myself thinking about pattern confluence in my own composition. Was it something in the water? I look forward to the possibility of a collaboration soon.
David Abel - a few years ago

Recorded

October 28, 2012
12 Poems, op. 35 - Schumann - Ian Partridge, Jennifer Partridge

The first songs are square, almost ordinary. But the progression sinks more quickly and more deeply even than Die Winterreise, and into a far more personally anguished place.

O Lieb, so lang du lieben kannst - Liszt - Thomas Quasthoff, Justus Zeyen

In Session at The Tintinabulary

October 29, 2012
Gradus 216 - Neal Meyer

Tone blossoms: the gradual focusing of a pitch event into its resonant location, operating as a virtual crescendo.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Playlist

Live

October 26, 2012
Sound Effects Coffee House, Seattle

Beast of the Sky
The Hunting Club
Black Plastic Clouds
Your Mother Should Know

The band names increased in length by letter count and layout, but were arranged symmetrically by word count 4 3 3 4. Sorry, it's the sort of thing I notice.

Sound Effects Coffee House Stage
Sound Effects is a barely reconfigured commercial/light industrial space in Lower Queen Anne, used for rehearsal space upstairs, and for coffee shop and music venue downstairs. It is unfinished in fact as well as, or if, by design. But the music sounds pretty good, the stage is big and there is a lot of room to move around, sit around, hang around. Intimate in a friendly way, like Gallery 1412, but more open ended.

This was Beast of the Sky's first outing. They played a short energetic set dominated by their drummer, who seemed equal parts Moon, Animal, and Ramone. The Roar-core vocalist was not unappealing, though not exactly my cup of tea, either. A little goes a long way here, and it would be interesting if he were to wander more widely among the possibilities.

The Hunting Club participates fully in the mix-and-match of the local scene: the drummer is also the drummer with Peterman, and the bass player is the drummer with Red Ribbon and Charms. And that's just my limited connectional knowledge. They have a lot going for them instrumentally, the rhythm section is solid, and between the duo vocals, the keyboards, and the old-fashioned song-writing I kept getting earwhiffs from all over - from Paul Revere and the Raiders or Buddy Holly or ? and the Mysterians, to The True Bugs or The Humidiflyers.

No Cats Were Harmed
Black Plastic Clouds - what can one say? Horns on wheels, Paul Bunyan vocals and Blue Ox drums. I look forward to hearing them again.

The DIY sound committee did a tremendous job and Your Mother Should Know sounded 100% better and more balanced than they have anywhere else. Their set has been whittled and honed and tightened. They played well and I was proud of them. Good time to take a break and learn some new material.

Recorded

October 21, 2012
Concerto No. 5 in E-flat - Beethoven - Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, Rudolf Serkin

All the ways a single force can morph into multiples. This is at least a triple concerto.

12 Waltzes - Schubert - Vladimir Ashkenzay

October 23, 2012
Sonata No. 30 in E - Beethoven - Rudolf Serkin

Never has this piece sounded so fragmented, so partial, so unfinished. Quite stunning.

October 25, 2012
Symphonie Fantastique - Berlioz - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Davis

A live recording : an oxymoron : the quintessential oxymoron of concert music in the recorded era : the artifice, the contraptual nature of music : page turns and podium creaks lovingly recorded and reproduced by the electo-magnetic manipulation of concerted diaphragms : The historical birth of not just the modern orchestra, but of the symphony orchestra as a theater of itself.

Liederkreis Op. 39 - Schumann - Ian Partridge, Jennifer Partridge

The song-ness intrudes as rudely into the piano solo-ness as the piano solo-ness intimates itself subtly into the song-ness.


In Session at The Tintinabulary

October 22, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 823 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

Hey guys, this is starting to sound remarkably good.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Playlist

Live

October 20, 2012
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Preludes in Seattle Part 4
Keith Eisenbrey, piano

Here is the program from my recital last night:

24 Preludes op. 50 - 1938-1966            Lockrem Johnson
    XIII - F-sharp Major
    XIV - E-flat minor
    XV - D-flat Major    Andantino sostenuto but flowing, gently syncopated, sleekly like a cat stretching after a nap
    XVI - B-flat minor    Poco allegro, rumbling

Patti’s Parlour Pieces  - 2000            Ken Benshoof
    13. Largo
    14. Waltz Time
    15. Freely, expressive
    16. Heavy

24 Preludes for piano  - 2003            Ken Benshoof
    13. F-sharp Major    wide, still
    14. E-flat minor        slow dance
    15. D-flat Major    jocular, teasing
    16. B-flat minor        deep, wide

24 Tonal Preludes  - 1965-1966            Greg Short
    XIII - F-sharp Major    Andante cantabile - (after R. Schumann’s F# Romance)
    XIV - E-flat minor    “Dialogue”
    XV - D-flat Major    Allegro molto - “Alberti Bass”
    XVI - B-flat minor    Andante con moto - “Himalayan Chant”

24 Preludes for piano - 2009-2011        Keith Eisenbrey
    I    C Major        Shiny
    II     A minor        Goth
    III     G Major        Pubescent
    IV     E minor        Claret
    V     D Major        Trilbied
    VI     B minor        Noir
    VII     A Major        Straight
    VIII     F-sharp minor        Brusque
    IX     E Major        Curvy
    X     C-sharp minor        Rapt
    XI     B Major        Buoyant
    XII     G-sharp minor        Turbulent
    XIII     F-sharp Major        Glow
    XIV     E-flat minor        Dark
    XV     D-flat Major        Bubbly
    XVI     B-flat minor        Quixosis
    XVII    A-flat Major         Lacustrine
    XVIII    F minor        Mirrored
    XIX    E-flat Major        Occluded
    XX    C minor        Amber
    XXI    B-flat Major        Abstract
    XXII    G minor        Ripping
    XXIII    F Major        Fungal
    XXIV    D minor        Solid

Information

So what are preludes, and what do they precede? After considerable thought I have come to the tentative conclusion that a Prelude is a distinct creative thought about the idea of a key, and of the myriad ways in which a key can establish itself in the ear of a listener. It is, quite directly, about its own tonality. Considered this way, a cycle through the 24 keys becomes an essay upon the whole system, the particulars of how each prelude develops and evokes its key affecting how we hear the particulars of each of the others. The joy is that each composer brings a fresh quirky way of thinking to the issue. What do they precede? They precede the completed idea of themselves, their own particular lingering sense of their own ever-so-particular key - it may be C Major, but it is an emphatically unique C Major, unmistakable.

Ken Benshoof has been a familiar presence in the Seattle music world for so long that he hardly needs an introduction from me. I honestly can’t think of anyone who has met him who doesn’t smile when they think about him. But burning behind his easy just-folks manner lurks a deeply speculative and incisive musical mind. I remember composition lessons with him being as much about how one might think about music as about how one might compose it.
Patti's Parlour Pieces, though there are 24 of them, don’t follow the key scheme of the preludes. They are nevertheless in many other ways the same kind of animal. Ken writes:

“Dedicated to Patti McCall
In celebration of wonderful times with friends
After dinner with coffee, dessert and good conversation,
The warm embrace of the parlour, the fireplace,
The grand piano displaying the usual collections of small salon pieces. . .
Among which I hope this volume of little sentiments
Will find a place.”

Of the 24 Preludes, Ken writes: “These pieces were composed without interruption over several months. As a consequence they exhibit a fairly narrow range in style and expressive intent, rather like a collection of short stories that take place in restricted time and location. I chose to call the set “Preludes” partly because of the joy I still derive from sets with the same title, most notably those from Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninoff. I have not intentionally borrowed material from those composers but I did steal the key relations from Chopin - his way of going through the 24 major and minor keys. Mark David Taylor is the engraver of this edition. His passion for piano music, for odd little pieces, and for sets written through the keys served as a constant inspiration and so I dedicate these preludes to him.”

Keith Eisenbrey brings to his pianism a composer's imaginative musical understanding, and to his composition a mysterious and majestical whimsy. Cerebral and sensuous, remorselessly speculative, his music seeks to illuminate those most intimate of our personal spaces: the silences across which, in which, and out from which music, thought, and utterance unfold. A native of the Puget Sound area, he studied composition with Dell Wade, Ken Benshoof, John Rahn, and Benjamin Boretz, and piano with Victor Smiley, Joan Purswell, and Neal O'Doan. He is a charter member of The Barrytown Orchestra, an interactive music-making ensemble based in Barrytown, New York, and is a co-founder of Banned Rehearsal, an ongoing argument in creative musical expression, now in its 29th year. His critical and theoretical work has appeared in Perspectives of New Music, News of Music, and Open Space, and he assisted in the editing of Boretz’s Meta-Variations: Studies in the Foundations of Musical Thought for its republication. His oeuvres includes solo pieces for various keyboards, songs, and chamber works. He opines weekly at http://nowmusicinnewalbion.blogspot.com. He lives in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of Seattle with his wife Karen and their two boys, John and Isaac.

I wrote 24 Preludes for piano largely out of curiosity. Having worked so closely with the prelude cycles of Lockrem Johnson, Greg Short, and Ken Benshoof, as well as with the more well-known works of Chopin and Scriabin, I wondered what a set by me would sound like. Also, having largely abandoned tonal practice as a teenager I wondered what it would be like to compose systematically in keys. Over the course of 2 weeks in April of 2009 I sketched out a quick idea for each key, then spent the next two and a half years alternately fleshing them out and whacking them back. The descriptive titles were added last, not so much as titles or tempo indications, but rather as suggested attitudes.

Lockrem Johnson was born March 15, 1924, in Davenport, Iowa. He studied music at the Cornish School of Music and the University of Washington. He taught there 1947-49, was pianist with the Seattle Symphony 1948-51, music director of the Eleanor King Dance Company 1947-50, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1952. He lived in New York for several years where he worked in the music publishing business. He was head of the Cornish School of Music 1962-69. He died March 5, 1977, in Seattle. His works include the chamber opera A Letter to Emily (1955), the ballet She, a symphony (1966), numerous chamber and vocal works, 6 piano sonatas, and a multitude of other solo piano works. In Seattle he was a well-known teacher and active supporter of local musicians. The 24 Preludes, op. 50, are arranged in circle-of-fifths order, emulating the cycles of Chopin and Scriabin. However, these are not so much concert works as teaching pieces for fairly advanced students. Variously witty, poetic, droll, and flashy, each prelude shines with a distinct and unmistakable image.

Greg Short  was born in Toppenish on August 14, 1938. He studied piano with Lonnie Epstien at Juilliard, and composition with William O. Smith at the University of Washington, and with Homer Keller, Monte Tubb, and Harold Owen at the University of Oregon. He taught music in Eugene and in the Puget Sound area from 1959 until his death on April 1, 1999. His colleague Anthony Spain writes: “Greg Short grew up in Washington State and was heavily influenced in his music by themes of the Northwest. He once stated, that by growing up in the shadow of the ‘great white one’ (Mount Rainier), that his music was heavily influenced by the themes and history of the Northwest. Because of this he composed a large number of pieces based on Native American themes and on the themes of mountains in the Northwest. Largely regarded as one of the most accomplished composers in the Northwest, he is a past recipient of the Washington State composer of the year award.” Greg’s music has been part of my repertoire since I was in elementary school, when I performed some of his short teaching pieces at a recital somewhere in North Seattle. The score of 24 Tonal Preludes appeared on my doorstep one day in 1986, with a note asking me (along with 5 other pianists) to play four of them at a concert at the Seattle Art Museum. They are big, splashy showpieces, in a forthright two-fisted style. There was nothing half-hearted about Greg, ever.

Recorded

October 13, 2012
Symphony No. 43 in E-flat - Haydn - Academy of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, Neville Marriner
Concerto in D - Haydn - Moscow Virtuosi, Vladimir Spivakov, Evgeny Kissin

October 14, 2012
Klavier Trio No. 27 in C - Haydn - Beaux Arts Trio

October 15, 2012
Symphony No. 104 in D - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer

A sluggish reading, as though it were a ponderous work by Schumann.

October 16, 2012
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C - Beethoven - Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, Rudolf Serkin

October 17, 2012
Sonata No. 9 "Kreutzer" in A - Henryk Szeryng, Ingrid Haebler

I only knew this work by repute. Very strong.

In Session at The Tintinabulary

October 15, 2012
Gradus 214 - Neal Meyer

Careful readers of this blog will notice that the last Gradus session was listed as number 215. Is time going backwards? Sort of. Due to scheduling issues we had not had a session in many months. Awhile back I had been expecting Neal so I made a notation in my logbook. He was unable to make it that night but the log entry remained. When we finally got together on the first of this month I erroneously presumed that the log entry was correct, not discovering the error until I was copying the sound file onto my hard drive. This session worked through the set of A-naturals that should have been used earlier but weren't.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Playlist

A recent picture by Allen Welsch
Coming Up This Week

Preludes in Seattle Part 4
A considerably less recent picture
Keith Eisenbrey, piano
Saturday, October 20, 2012, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle
$5 - $15 sliding scale


Seattle composer/pianist (and your blogger) Keith Eisenbrey will present a recital on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at 8pm, in the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle. Keith continues his tour through the Prelude cycles of Seattle composers Ken Benshoof, Greg Short, and Lockrem Johnson. In addition he will perform the entirety of his own set of 24 Preludes for Piano (2009 - 2011).



Live

October 6, 2012
Reverb Festival, Seattle

At New York Fashion Academy, Seattle
Perpetual Ritual

A boy and his gear. I can't help wondering what exactly the point is behind all this knob twiddling. It flattens out pretty quickly for me. Passionless and bland.

At Tractor Tavern, Seattle
The Foghorns

A quick walk up Ballard Ave brings us to this local crew, complete with three dude backup singers introduced as the "Bucket O' Bourbon Choir" or something to that effect. A bass-clarinet provided an unusual focus at the low end. Musically they are in the solidly familiar rootsy territory scoped out by The Band or by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Easy to take in, nothing fancy. Comfort food.

At The Sunset Tavern, Seattle
Chastity Belt

An all-girl four-piece band from Walla Walla playing in-your-face whiny teen punk. I suppose I'm just old, but I'll be more interested in this outfit when they discover it isn't all about them.

At The 2 Bit Saloon, Seattle
Full Toilet

Nobody likes satire. Full Toilet's show is a masterful theater of misanthropy and world-loathing, clothed (or costumed) in the garb of a late '70s punk band set. For my part, this 30-minute show simultaneously rendered both the Dead Kennedys and Frank Zappa unnecessary. Can't fault them there!

At Conor Byrne Pub, Seattle:
Shannon Stephens
Whitney Ballen
Rachel Harrington
Shelby Earl

After supper (at my company party in Fremont) we felt like sitting chill for a while. We knew we wanted to hear Shelby, so we staked out seats near the stage at Conor Byrne and drenched ourselves happily in She-bards. They were running late so we were fortunate to hear 3 or 4 songs at the end of Shannon's set. She has a pleasantly straightforward mezzo voice, full of experience. Whitney, though certainly swimming in the same pool, has a distinctly colored soprano, with tangy notes of Appalachia and high-in-the-back-of-the-head Betty Boop. Quite an interesting sound. Rachel is completely at home in the deep end - really superb grown-up music. And of course Shelby and her shine-from-the-mountain-top anthems made the night her own. We were fortunate to hear the first performance of a new song, featuring poison-tipped swift arrows and rock solid leaps into the low dusky part of Shelby's range. Her back-up band was nigh perfect, with special kudos to Faustine Hudson on drums, incandescent in her own right.

October 11, 2012

Live at The Can Can, Seattle
Vince Mira

Vince Mira
It was our anniversary and we had just had a splendid dinner at Sitka and Spruce. Instead of catching the bus home we booked a room and wandered into the market in search of something interesting going on. We sat down in The Can Can not having a clue what would be in store. Vince has a big bass voice, just made to cover, or channel, Johnny Cash, which he proceeded to do, and then some. Cash, Muddy Waters, Lead Belly, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and probably a few other Memphis legends - I lost track - throwing in some fine original songs as well. His guitar playing is rich in detail, his right hand a study in weight and placement. All that, and he's a nice looking boy for the ladies too.

Recorded

October 9, 2012
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott BWV 80 - Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling
Capriccio in D - Sylvius Leopold Weiss - Lutz Kirchhof

October 11, 2012
Fantasia in C - Sylvius Leopold Weiss - Lutz Kirchhof

I picked up a box-full of CDs recently from my uncle Jim Meyer, which is why there is a bunch of older music showing up in the listening all of a sudden. The lutenist/composer S. L.Weiss is new to me, but I'm digging it. The Capriccio in D has a bizarre lengthy coda to it, coming out of the blue and turning the whole sense of D Major sideways.
 
Sonata in E K380 - Scarlatti - Vladimir Horowitz
Symphony in C (30) - Haydn - Cantilena, Adrian Shepherd

A study in lopsided themes.

Symphony in E-flat (43) - Haydn - Cantilena, Adrian Shepherd

In Session at The Tintinabulary

October 8, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 822 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt

Upcoming

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short.

Friday October 26, 2012
Your Mother Should Know, at The White Rabbit, Seattle

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Playlist

Live

October 4, 2012
Live at Blue Moon Tavern, Seattle
Andrew James Robison, Red Ribbon, Peterman, Your Mother Should Know


I have a soft-spot for throwbacks, and for all that Andrew is singing songs that are mostly pretty recent his delivery is straight ahead old-fashioned American bard - just a singer and his guitar. The effect is to highlight the old deep roots of the new. An able chanteuse joined him in a delightful cover of Chips Mormon and Dan Penn's The Dark End of the Street.

After Andrew's strong opening set Red Ribbon blew me away. I don't even know where to begin. The lead singer is a tiny woman with a big, world-weary, battle-rasped alto voice that drapes itself over the sound like a teen walrus on an armchair. The cognitive disconnects were palpable. To look at them you would think they were merely pretending to play their instruments, and in a grand Seattle tradition they don't fuss much about subtle transitions. It really shouldn't work, but it does, and in a big way. Sleater-Kinney meets Yoko Ono meets Velvet Underground meets Billie Holiday meets Jad Fair. A potent brew. Deep punk.

Peterman once again steered their rocking ship into the turbulent waters between punk and metal,  tightly wound and loosely jointed all to once. Great fun. Their cover of I Can't Help Falling In Love With You was to die for.

Your Mother Should Know is, of course, my wife's band, so I am completely biased. I thought they played well and sounded great. Neal's newly acquired white 12-string, "Daisy", looks superb and has a sweet fat sound.

Recorded

October 2, 2012
Konzert in C minor BWV 1060 - Bach - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane, Hilary Hahn, Allen Vogel

In Session at The Tintinabulary

October 1, 2012
Gradus 215 - Neal Meyer

Upcoming

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short

Editor's Note: I found this languishing in my "Draft" bucket. I'm pretty sure it had been posted at some point. Not sure how it landed back in my lap. - 10/19/2013

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Playlist

Coming Up This Week

, shouldn't she?
Your Mother Should Know
with Peterman, Red Ribbon, Andrew James Robison,
at Blue Moon, 712 N 45th Street, Seattle
Thursday October 4, 2012 9pm to Midnight

Neal and Karen share the bill with some exciting young bands. The show will feature the debut performance of Neal's freshly acquired 12-string, and a new tuning of Karen's venerable Ludwigs.




Live

September 29, 2012
broken bow ensemble - Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

murmur - John Teske

The stage was full of chairs, and later of young people dressed in black. Surely this mass of twenty one string players and a wind quintet is the largest ensemble gathered at the Chapel to date! Before even getting to the music, plaudits must be given to John for sheer organizational bravado.

The piece consists of 45 minutes of lusciously resonant hush - never rising much above pianissimo, rarely a single voice asserting. It was as though they were each playing out only enough for their nearest neighbor to hear. To the audience the sound was communal, but not blended into a singularity, richly detailed from top to bottom and from side to side and from then to now to hereafter - undulatory but not squishy, focused to the nth degree at all points possible.

Strangely, I kept thinking about hierarchical systems - wherein the smallest details are of least import, wherein the uncountable surface is mere accident, and wherein the crucial matters are the big changes of mass to mass, where the fewer times an aspect changes the more that aspect rules. Here all that is upended and shattered. Here the image is of a solid time-mass of surface.

Recorded

September 23, 2012
O nata lux de lumine - Tallis - BBC Singers, Bo Holton
Alleluja, haec dies - Ignazio Donati [from Rassegna Internazionale di Capelle Musicali Loreto 15-19 Aprile 1998]

September 24, 2012
Ave verum corpus - Byrd - BBC Singers, Bo Holton

Heinrich Schütz
September 25, 2012
Musikalischen Exequien - Schütz - La Chapelle Royale, Philipe Herreweghe

It is tempting, while listening to musics at a significant cultural and historical remove, and especially while listening to them in more or less chronological order, to place them in a progression, so that their divergent and convergent styles tell a story. We started here, we added this, we got to here. In such a story, Schütz shines as a brilliant figure in whose music is embodied a struggle between the subtle choral homogeneity of the Renaissance masters and the robust dance rhythms of the late Baroque. From moment to moment the ground shifts beneath us, as unstable as Mahler but without the self-absorbed hyper-dramatic camera angles.


Plovate filii Israel - Giacomo Carissimi [from Rassegna Internazionale di Capelle Musicali Loreto 15-19 Aprile 1998]
Tota pulchra es Maria - Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki [from Rassegna Internazionale di Capelle Musicali Loreto 15-19 Aprile 1998]

September 26, 2012
Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn BWV 132 - JS Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling
Amore traditore BWV 203 - JS Bach - Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmut Rilling

September 27, 2012
Konzert de 2 Violinen, Streicher und Continuo BWV 1043 - JS Bach - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane, Hilary Hahn, Margaret Batjer
Am Abend aber dasselbigen Sabbats BWV 42 - JS Bach - La Chapelle Royale, Philipe Herreweghe

In Session at The Tintinabulary

September 24, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 821 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

Upcoming

Thursday October 4, 2012
Your Mother Should Know at Blue Moon, Seattle

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Playlist

Kelp Bed, Deception Pass, Washington 9/17/2012
Recorded
Horse Heaven Hills, Washington 9/22/2012

September 18, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 688 (October 2000, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)

September 19, 2012
BF Percussion Chorus - Keith Eisenbrey
Kyrie et Gloria dalla Missa Aeterna Christi Munera - Palestrina

September 20, 2012
O bone Jesu (a 6) - Palestrina - Chanticleer
In jejunio et fletu - Tallis - BBC Singers

Deep pitch-class hocketing.

Deception Pass, Washington 9/17/2012
Upcoming

Thursday October 4, 2012
Your Mother Should Know at Blue Moon, Seattle

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short.
Deception Pass, Washington 9/17/2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Playlist

Live

September 14, 2012
Back Burner
Back Burner
The Gypsy Trader Cafe, Seattle

I have sat in the tenor section of our church choir with Dave Campbell, the banjo/bass player and occasional vocalist with Back Burner, for more years than I care to acknowledge. His bluegrass/swing outfit doesn't get into town very often, but it is always a pleasure when they do. What struck me most on this lovely evening, the big doors open to a quietly humming Stone Way North, was how well balanced the blue-grass string band is as an ensemble. Guitar, dobro, upright bass, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle - or nearly any subset thereof - forms a mixed choir capable of remarkable subtleness and astonishing supplety. The prevailing performance practice valorizes the collective mix, rather than the strutting soloismus of many another popular idiom. The pleasure is in the playing with, and in the sharing with.

Recorded

September 11, 2012
Righteous
Righteous Blues - Blind Blake [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Kalvierstück VIII - Stockhausen - Kontarsky

Crystal sparks: each note from a different cognitive plane, only gradually, and partially, coalescing.

Free Jazz (excerpt) - Ornette Colman [from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

From this distance in time, after free jazz has developed itself for decades, it is hard to recognize this as much more than some really great players barely managing to poke their toes into the pool.


Nowhere to Run - Martha and the Vandellas [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Nail Soup - Benjamin Boretz, Doug Henderson [from Inter/Play]

Trying to keep it heaped. Knocking it together.

September 12, 2012
Three Chapters from the Book of Dreams - Richard Boulanger

String sound (live violin?) with heavy reverb & electrosound finds a trajectory moving from ordinary music, or like ordinary music, to space-age. It is finally taken up into the hold. B'bye!

Banned Rehearsal 241 (December 1990, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)

September 13, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 586 (October 2000, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)

In Session at The Tintinabulary

September 10, 2012
Assembly Rechoired 54 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy

Assembly Rechoired is any improvisation made by Karen and me that doesn't also involve one of the other founding members of Banned Rehearsal. A sizeable number of the sesssions were made in the late 80's when we were left holding down the fort in Seattle while Neal & Anna started their family in San Diego and Aaron was at school in Berkeley.

Upcoming

Thursday October 4, 2012
Your Mother Should Know at Blue Moon, Seattle

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Playlist

Live

September 1, 2012
Sidewinder 
Sidewinder - University Heights Farmer's Market, Seattle
James DeJoie: Reeds/flute, Jim Knodle: Trumpet, Everett Sarono: Guitar, Ryan Berg: Bass, Dylan Savage: Drums

On a perfect Saturday afternoon we sat on the grass in the shade sharing excellent El Salvadoran Pupusas and enjoyed this fine local souljazz outfit. I believe this is the first time I have heard an instrumental cover of the Lennon/McCartney song The Word, a song so precisely of its era that it sounded dated within a week. And yet, turned just a bit to the side and it became a Chicago-pop nod to Miles Davis. It got a bit warm for us, so we took a bus downtown to catch the last day of a gallery show only to find the door locked. So instead we stopped in at SAM to see the exhibit of Australian Aboriginal art. If you missed it, like we almost did, you missed the loudest music ever seen on Seattle walls. Ear purge jacked in through the eyes.

September 4, 2012
Empty Words/Indeterminacy - Jack Straw Studios, Seattle
Celebrating the One Hundredth Birthday of John Cage
in order of appearance: Stuart Dempster, Neal Meyer, Roger Nelson, William O. Smith, Doug Haire

This show ran from noon to midnight, and included performances of Solo for Sliding Trombone, Empty Words, Indeterminacy, Sonata for Clarinet, Writing for the Second Time Through Finnegans Wake IV, and In a Landscape, all by John Cage, and Seattle Environmental Recording by Doug Haire. We were able to attend from just past 7 to just past 9, hearing some of Neal's intonation of Empty Words, some of Roger's readings from Indeterminacy, and also his performance of In A Landscape. I scribbled two and a half pages of notes, consisting for the most part of an unsuccessful attempt to figure out how or why emptying a word would be a good idea. For my part, emptying a word of meaning is the same as emptying out my responsibility from my utterance - as though emptying myself of ego would render me innocent. I'm not buying it.

For all that, the event was an heroic effort and I heartily thank all those involved for this presentation of some of Cage's thorniest expressive artifacts.

September 7, 2012
Seattle Composer's Salon - Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Matthew Briggs had the first presentation, but since I was up next I'm afraid my brain was not fully engaged. His piece opened with canned crickets, into which big bass-y piano sonorities were ladled, with slow violin and cello. At the end the drums played a slow beat, as though descending into prog rock out of a thick fog.

I performed Preludes 9 - 16, from my 24 Preludes for Piano. The score is here, and a recording of the entire set is here on my soundcloud site.

John's bass wagon
John Teske presented a short version of a long ensemble piece that will be performed whole in a few weeks. I was still post-occupied with my own performance (the real drawback to having a piece on the show) so I am eager to hear the whole thing with the full ensemble. It is interesting how, in working largely with textures and transformations of textures, this piece throws into relief an aspect of music that is otherwise often overlooked, and which is completely and pointedly absent here: any image of number and quantity. To steal a turn of phrase from J.K. Randall, it matters a great deal that counting things does not matter.

Recorded

September 3, 2012
Got The Farm Land Blues - The Carolina Tarheels [from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music]
Klavierstück VII - Stockhausen - Kontarsky
Gloria - Jan Novak
New York's A Lonely Town - The Tradewinds [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Alleuja Psallat - William Matthias
Sequence Symbols - James Dashow

An interesting disjuncture between the textural rhythm and the harmonic rhythm.

September 5, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 240 (December 1990, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)

Lots of big.


September 6, 2012
Confessions of a Polyphonist - Keith Eisenbrey - Neal Meyer

Neal reads my textsound score.

Gradus 83 - Neal Meyer
YMSK Drums - Neal Meyer

An early thought about how to record a Your Mother Should Know song, all parts to be performed by Neal. I think it got as far as these 60+ minutes of drum tracks.

Upcoming

Thursday October 4, 2012
Your Mother Should Know at Blue Moon, Seattle

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

August 28, 2012
Will You Love Me Tomorrow - Shirelles [from The Shirelles Anthology, Rhino Records]
J. K. Randall
Mystery Train - Elvis Presley [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Kiddierama - J. K. Randall, Linda Smukler [from Inter/Play]

sfloppydrum, tightdrum, thuddrum, twangngngngng

August 29, 2012
Roger Sessions: In Memoriam - William O. Smith

W.O. Smith
Huge hangtime allows a natural pseudo tape delay effect. Nobody makes the extended clarinet sound as poetic as W.O.S.









Over The Rise - Bruce Springsteen [from Tracks]
Confessions of a Polyphonist KEE - Keith Eisenbrey

Mad Trio - Mad Trio (Alan Lechusza, Carolyn Lechusza, Mark Weaver)

An earthquake turned sideways. As though attempting to conjure a Machaut motet as an exercise in free jazz.

Banned Rehearsal 777 (July 2010, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)

A study in the liquidity of steady states.

In Session at The Tintinabulary

August 27, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 820 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt

For the most part each sticking to a single station, if not a single instrument: Karen on drums, me on guitar/piano/percussion at hand, Aaron on trumpet.

Upcoming

Thursday October 4, 2012
Your Mother Should Know at Blue Moon, Seattle

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Playlist

Live

August 16, 2012
Turandot - Puccini
Seattle Opera - McCaw Hall, Seattle

Claudio Arrau
I know it's a fairy tale, but I can't help wondering about the morning after, when the confederated armies of the kings whose sons had been cruelly slain attack the city and slaughter all, including the happy couple. The set was colorful and brave, especially since all those hoops could be mistaken for all sorts of things: cheerios, pineapple slices, or even (given the configuration) a certain common household plumbing fixture, complete with a gong where the handle would be. The music was performed fabulously. I just have a hard time taking the enterprise seriously.

Recorded

August 21, 2012
Fantasie-Impromptu Op. 66 - Chopin - Arrau

Polychronality.

Hal Kemp
Them There Eyes - Hal Kemp [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Klavierstück VI - Stockhausen - Kontarsky

Karlheinz Stockhausen
Plates of stone stacked: imaged in terms of the relative persistence of pitch classes in registral space. The pacing of texture to texture gives it the affectual characteristics of a classical theme & variations.


Upcoming

Thursday October 4, 2012
Your Mother Should Know at Blue Moon, Seattle

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Playlist

Live

August 11, 2012
Neal Meyer - the memorizist
Writing For The Second Time Through Finnegans Wake - John Cage

Neal Meyer, voice; Jake Thompson, sound design
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Theater, poetry, hilarity, darkness, terror. Not only soggy with the greater, outer, sound-world, but also the time-theater of performance is interpermeate with the time-theater of solar-terrestrial interaction. Cosmic to the gut. Gesamtkunstwerk for real.

Recorded

August 12, 2012
Somebody Stole My Gal - Frankie Franko [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Klavierstück V - Stockhausen - Kontarsky

Every gesture pulls back. It would be interesting to re-listen to this in terms of just how far and in what way each gesture pulls back.

Boys - Shirelles [from The Shirelles Anthology, Rhino Records]

To the adolescent, the other is a commodity.

My Girl - The Temptations [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

To the adult, the other is a person.

Lenox - Tickanetley Primitive Baptist Church [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording volume 1]
Banned Rehearsal 31 (May 1985 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer)
When The Lights Go Out - Bruce Springsteen [from Tracks]

Advice from the next bar stool.

Banned Rehearsal 585 (September 2000 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer)

A short session, delicate with bells and drums.

August 14, 2012
Beware Of The Fox (album) - Antique Scream

Every inch a studio-sound album with fairly strong song-writing and detailed arrangements. It partakes of a wide range aural depth, from full bodied rock & roll to heard over a tinny radio acoustic demo. The vocal lines throughout seem to harp on a just-off-key lower neighbor note about which I was undecided as to whether it was a compositional trope that worked or a modest annoyance. I couldn't help thinking it sounded like as if Pink Floyd had sprung forth in late '90s Seattle, instead of late '60s London. The final, 13+ minute cut contains, in its center, a long long stretch of digital silence - a good 7 minutes at least. A gimmick to be sure, but kind of stunning in a way.

August 15-16, 2012
Wet With Sweat (album) - Antique Scream

 A few years later and up to some of the same shenanigans studio-wise. But the vocalist has expanded his repertoire, occasionally exuding a bit of Bowie from his Tin Machine days. The songs have also branched out a little, showing a psychedelic side of neo-vaudeville. These are both smart, capable albums, nicely arranged to be listenable as a thing. Neither is necessarily an obvious Concept Album, but they take from that ilk a sense of how songs can fit together, and a freedom to take all the time necessary.

In Session at The Tintinabulary

August 13, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 819 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer


Warm day, so we played on the porch crepuscular.


Upcoming

Saturday October 20, 2012 concert begins at 8:00 PM
Keith Eisenbrey - piano recital at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Preludes in Seattle Part 4: Preludes by Ken Benshoof, Keith Eisenbrey, Lockrem Johnson, and Greg Short