Saturday, January 28, 2012

Playlist

Live

January 22, 2012
Triptet
Lucid Jazz Lounge in Seattle

Triptet 

Tom Baker, Greg Campbell, and Michael Monhart crammed the tiny Lucid stage with electronics. Tom used a theremin to control the mix between his guitar straight and his guitar modulated, and Michael shifted the bell of his sax between two microphones to mix the sound with laptop-morphed versions of itself. All that intense technology combined over Greg's melodic and ever-shifting-never-coming-to-a-downbeat-that-isn't-five-other-things-at-the-same-time drumming form a deeply rich and lyrical sonic surface for what, in the end, is a supremely simple and elegiac music. Free jazz for the spirit entire.

Recorded

January 24, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 231 - (August 1990 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)

Lots of empty space. This session tries hard, but is stuck.

Wild Thing 1 - Banned Rehearsal (July 2000 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer)

In sillier moments over the years Banned Rehearsal has indulged in impromptu arrangements of this garage classic. This was the first of two more amplified versions that were separate from the regular improv session.

Gradus 78 - Neal Meyer (May 2005)
Keyboard Shortcuts - Richard Johnson - Keith Eisenbrey (studio recording June 2010)
Richard Johnson, missed in Seattle


Pieces of pieceness glued onto the page. A gloriously cobbled music, and lots of fun to play too!

January 26, 2012
Gut Bucket Blues - Louis Armstrong - [from Hot Fives And Sevens]

Here the exhortations one musician to another become an integral melodic strand in the piece as a whole.

Jesus Is My Air-O-Plane - Mother McCollum [from Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon]

On top of the bizarre titular sentiment and the fine performance, a sensuous hiss rolling through the sound adds a guilty pleasure.

Careless Love - Joe Turner [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Interesting segregation of vocal sound from the accompaniment. The fact of it is almost 80's preminiscent, but the sound of the actual tracks are clearly early 40's.

Howlin' Wolf - John Lee Hooker [from The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948 - 1954]

Guitar Toccata.

I'm A Man - Bo Diddley [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Money - Barrett Strong [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Both of these: harmonically colored percussion and voice.

Crying Time - Ray Charles [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

The backing vocals, especially at the very end, sound like they strayed in from a Disney movie.

Pressure Drop - Toots And The Maytals [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

The downbeat scoops up.

Shining Star - Earth Wind & Fire [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

A natural-born button pusher.

This Is England - The Clash [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Within the continuing cultural conversation a song is lobbed over the water. Pick a fight.


In Session At The Tintinabulary

January 23, 2012
Gradus 204 - Neal Meyer

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

January 16, 2012
Keep Your Temper - Gulf Coast 7 [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Barnacle Bill The Sailor - Hoagy Carmichael [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Moten Swing - Eddie Durham [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
All Around The World - Little Willie John [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Doggin' Around - Jackie Wilson [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Agent Double-O Soul - Edwin Starr [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Give Me Just A Little More Time - The Chairmen of the Board [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley and the Wailers [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Floats on the downbeat
How every little thing hangs 
On a horizontal gesture

Generals and Majors - XTC [collected from Nancy's Mix]
Small Town - John Cougar Mellencamp [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

January 17, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 230 (August 1990 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)
Banned Rehearsal 576 (July 2000 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer)

The specifics of sequence are indistinct. The specifics of any sensuous slice are rich in detail.

January 18, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 684 (April 2005 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)

Our first recording onto flash memory.

Sonata Liebeslied - Keith Eisenbrey

The recording of my performance at Seattle Composers Salon in September of 2010. I hope more of the sound of the piece got to the audience than got onto my DAT.

January 19, 2012
Sugar Babe - Lee Morse [from Allen Lowe's Really The Blues]
I Am In The Heavenly Way [from Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon]
Baby Dear - Mary Lou Williams [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Mary Lou Williams
Airborne.

Baby Let's Play House - Elvis Presley [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
He Will Break Your Heart - Jerry Butler [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Ain't That Peculiar - Marvin Gaye [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
I'll Be There - The Jackson 5 [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Opens with a toy-symphony vibe, sweet and uplifting. But buried deep is an undercurrent of creepy that just doesn't go away.

Shame Shame Shame - Shirley (And Company) [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Girls On Film - Duran Duran [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
The Payoff Mix - Double Dee and Steinske [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Playlist

Live

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.

Recorded

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!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Playlist

Recorded

January 3, 2012
Banned Rehearsal 682 - Banned Rehearsal

Participants were Karen, Neal, and me. April of 2005. As an experimental adjunct to Neal's Gradus project we devoted a dozen or so sessions to Midden, a systematic exploration of extremely limited instrument sets, their possible groupings, and who was playing them. Neal was in charge of keeping track of who was to play what, and I don't pretend to remember the protocol. This was the tenth session of that series. The effect is to focus the sound of the session and to force the issue of composition and inventiveness within a narrow range of options. It certainly did that, but I can't help thinking that the reason we abandoned the project may have been partly because the focus was only apparent, and too easily obtained.

Sonata Liebeslied - Keith Eisenbrey

le me
This was a home recording I made a few days after my recital of June 2010. You can listen or download here. The score is available here. The impetus of the piece was Ben's invitation to re-compose his unfinished Liebeslied, for a pianist alone. He had done much the same thing himself, crafting a re-configured version of the opening pitch-class set (more or less) and spinning it into the wholly remarkable ("...my chart shines high where the blue milks upset...") of 1977. My first go at it was essentially cosmetic, and you can see my score here. This time around I decided to try something more like what Ben had done, recomposing from the seed outward. My method was to take the re-configured seed (the first six dyads), and compose a set of series of versions in which each subsequent iteration within each set was derived from the last by various mod-17 functions. The functions were derived from dyadic relations within the seed. The sets were rhythmically differentiated, and then layered into a large-scale time-scheme that reflected the rhythm of the opening iteration of the seed. What a chore! But the result is a big strong piece, at the outer edge of my capabilities as a pianist.

January 4, 2012
Grandpa's Spells - Charles Creath [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Listening to these old recordings, 1925 for this, one can only wonder, from what little remains of the sound how much had been there, and yet how much remains to be heard through the little that is left. I wonder though how much our epicure's delight in the old-timey sound as new-timily produced obscures our hearing of what was there, and if it matters.

Expressman Blues - Sleepy John Estes and Yank Rachell [from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music]

As perfect a use of out-of-tune piano as could be got.

I Got To Cross The River Jordan - Blind Willie McTell [from Dust to Digital's Goodbye, Babylon]

This is an astounding performance in which the steel guitar plays some of the words, hocket-like. To explain what he does makes it a gimmick, but to hear it happen is breathtaking.

Only You (And You Alone) - The Platters [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Let Them Talk - Little Willie John [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Help (song) - The Beatles [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine, Part One - James Brown [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Master Race Rock - The Dictators [collected from Nancy's Mix]

A self-parody of self-parody. 

Funkytown - Lipps, Inc. [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Each of the songs, and all of them as a collection, are an essay on the ways in which the vocal and their accompaniments converse. Listen to McTell's intertwining magic act and to The Platters' and Little Willies John's understated perfection. In Help the accompaniment is a force unto itself, while for James Brown it is a cooperative endeavor, moving finally to Funkytown, where the vocal line has been dethroned and becomes the most equal among equals.

Psalm 121 - Gerald Kechley, UPS Chorale (1985), Thomas Goleeke
Banned Rehearsal 229 - Banned Rehearsal

Participants were Karen, Aaron, and me, in August of 1990. We used this session to announce our pregnancy to Aaron, but even amid the silly talk there are some fine percussion sounds.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

January 2, 2012
Train Case - recording The Quaker's Courtship
Your Mother Should Know - recording Rocks And Glass, unplugged, or as Karen quips: "Not Your Mother's Train Case".

I hope to have these on ReverbNation soon.