Saturday, January 14, 2012



January 8, 2012
Transport presents Michael Partington, guitar - at the Wechkin Shainin House, Seattle
Michael Partington
24 Preludes - Bryan Johanson

Having just completed writing a set of 24 piano preludes myself it was with great interest that I attended to this lovely sequence for classical guitar. The usual reason for there to be 24 is to have one in each key, a nearly impossible task for guitar without the use of a capo or retuning. Either strategy would fundamentally change the relationship between the key and open strings. Bryan's solution was simpler: compose 24 but don't worry about keys.

Lurking behind sets of preludes is the model of theme and variations. As sequences of things they operate in much the same way. We delight in each new pleasure, eager to discover the next. The major difference is that the structural role of the theme in the latter is played by a literary idea in the former, i.e. preludes are related to each other nominally, rather than internally. In this sense one can think of them as liberated variations, and I think this helps illuminate what is so fun about them. Each can go its own way and build its own interior logic, yet proximity and commensurate scale allow easy comparison amongst themselves - a model of non-heirarchical diversity.

These 24 give ample play to the varieties of figuration and tone color specific to classical guitar, fluid and warm. Michael, as always, played with admirable clarity and lyricism. The intimate, informal setting suited perfectly. A joy from beginning to end.


January 10, 2012
Two Rose - Keith Eisenbrey - members of The Four Winds Woodwind Quartet (Sarah Bassingthwaighte, flute, Deborah Colyn, clarinet, and Ryan Hare, bassoon)

This was a recording of the one and only live performance at the Seattle Art Museum in June of 2000. When I wrote it I was experimenting with the composition of standard formats (such as prelude and fugue) in a synthetic tonal environment. Arbitrarily assigning 17 semi-tones as the modular interval (rather than 12) I reconstructed the notion of "key" along the same lines as Ben Boretz's construction of "key" in Meta-Variations. The results are variously successful, but probably more interesting as novelties than as particularly wonderful music. That is, they manage to outfit a caravan in order to get to the edge of the sidewalk.

January 13, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 683 - (April 2005 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)
the mute right channel of Lionel Marchetti's Train de Nuit - Christopher DeLaurenti

Long moments without signal are interrupted by pops, squeals, and raspberries, the material relics of the digital medium. The skirt of purity lifted. The pants of virtue dropped.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

January 9, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 805 - Pete Comley, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

A full house!

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