Saturday, December 28, 2013

Playlist

Recorded

December 23, 2013
Banned Section 16 KEE NWM - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer - October 1985

Once again, Wild Thing appears just about the time we give up on our collective imagination, sealing the fate of the session.

December 26, 2013
You Can See The Bottom - Triptet
It was the hat that did it.

Karen and I won this CD (and many more!) for best costume at the release party at Egans.

(phases into and from):
 
1 landing arrival stops
2 uh oh nervous helicopters - hide!
3 on that other planet (the plumbing leaks)
4 straight up no apology
5 keening homophony slower than
6 tune in alien airwaves - jazznoir slinky number ends in back alley knife to throat
7 thrashjazz striving to be becoming conscious of self
8 weeks later same session self fully formed looking back

Sonata in E-flat K.282 - Mozart - Mitsuko Uchida

Such sensitive touch! Now I want to try playing this on my clavichord.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 23, 2013
Mitchell 1312230
Keith Eisenbrey

While Karen and Neal were rehearsing YMSK I tried out the freshly batteried pickup of the guitar that walked over the other day, in four track glory. This may be my best route to learning to play the thing.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Playlist

Live

December 14, 2013
Gradus: for Fux, Tesla and Milo the Wrestler
Neal Kosaly-Meyer
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle






Imagine your quest is to learn our solar system and everything in it one particle at a time. The number of particles, or in this case of combinations of the 88 keys of the piano, is the quantity expressed in base 2 by a sequence of 88 ones. A very large quantity indeed. It is so large, in fact, that this piece, this quest, in its entirety, can't be heard. It is, as an entirety, or even as a significant enough portion to grasp as a portion, completely and essentially inaudible - as absolute a silence as can be imagined.

 
Recorded
 
December 17, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 53 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer - October 1985
 
We start with some rhythm modules that ease into sudden songs: Under the Stars, and Can't Play th'Trumpet. But by the end, between Neal's blown-out speaker (dubbed 'the speaker of the house') and craziness with the microphones, the session sounds like the machinery of civilization recording itself being chewed to pieces by a planet sized troll.
 
Banned Rehearsal 781 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer - October 2010
 
25 years later, subtle shifts of flora map a forest floor.
 
December 19, 2013
Keyboard Sonata (Divertimento) in D Hob.XVI:4 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim
 
I was put in mind of J.K. Randall's bias against "Perfunctory Propulsion". These phrases don't interleave in graceful subversion of meter (like Bach), or balance in delightful conversation (like Mozart). They whip like pennants in a stiff breeze. Until suddenly they don't and they are fountains frozen solid. Until suddenly they are filigree or crickets or calculus.
 
Children's Choir Christmas Pageant - Bellevue First United Methodist Church 1965
 
I was six, so I must have been in one of these choirs.
 
In Session at the Tintinabulary November 25, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 849 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Playlist

Live

Triptet unplugged

December 12, 2013
Triptet
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle








sequence theater
simultaneity complexes
of textures with or without
vector sequences
of note-isms or textures
of simultaneities or quasi-simultaneities
offset not simultaneous quite
but not because not vertically aligned
or not because not possibly
vertically aligned
but arising
with in
or with from
distinctions
of persons
 
encrusted
colonized
imagined inaudible
layers beneath
remove process
remove power
beneath that
what


Recorded

December 8, 2013
Banned Sectional 15 KEE NWM - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer, October 1985

Workhorse
This tape ended up being a distillation and summary of several strategies that had been worked out in previous sessions. We started with sudden songs, notably Neal's first cover of Aaron Keyt's This Bus Won't Stop For Me, immediately preceded by the instructions "Enthusiasm, idealism, and a forthright approach". After we did that for a while we found ourselves in channel separation mode, Neal in the left speaker making tiny sounds and me in the right speaker with a guiro. Moving then to spoken word play (" . . .  think  slowly  stop  between  each   word  . . . "), high birdlike feedback intrudes, at first masquerading as whistling then boldly chirping. We take a high banking trajectory into a crazy, off place. Neal ends in self-referential mode, softly repeating "this is what I call a quiet tape" over and over to the cut. It certainly has some lame moments, but is mostly quite listenable.

December 10, 2013
Snohomish Piece 2 Remix - Keith Eisenbrey, S. Eric Scribner, Neal Meyer

In the battle for cognitive awareness, order trumps chaos. We latch on with biological fierceness to what we can make sense of, leaving the rest to be understood in terms of that what that we can make sense of. Or: why steady beats are so poisonous to free improvisation,

Keyboard Sonata (Partita) in C Hob. XVI:3 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

Performed on what I believe is a small harpsichord: not one of those orchestral multi-manual behemoths, but a private, residential sized instrument.

The Messiah (Christmas Portion) - Handel - Bellevue First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Betty Eisenbrey, conducting (1965)

For many, it just isn't Christmas without The Messiah. O what a difference italics make! The theological thrust of the work is focused on Christ the King, as one would expect when royal hierarchies were the only show in town. At our historical remove this comes across as far more flattering to kings than illuminative of Christ.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 9, 2013
Your Mother Should Know
Demo for an upcoming album project.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Playlist

Recorded

December 3, 2013
Banned Sectional 14 KEE NWM - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer, October 1985

The sectionals, especially those that Neal and I did during this period, were not so much sessions of free-improvisation as they were freely-improvised workings out of ideas of things to do with which to fill up sides of tape. On the plate for this was a continuation of the sudden song project. Texts used include a Heine poem and coin-toss-chosen phonemes from John Rahn's Lines Of And About Music. In the middle Neal launches into a spirited acoustic rendition of Wild Thing, which gesture in subsequent sessions became a reflex go-to subject changer. In this case I can't say that the subject changed from was all that spectacular - we were once again driving lameness firmly into the dirt - but it was never about being spectacular, and working steadfastly at sticking points often leads to amazing places otherwise unreachable. Changing the subject comes across as a defense mechanism for avoiding discomfort, and veering into a groove, specifically, approaches social manipulation. You can join the fun or you can be a grump. But if neither fun nor grump is where you're at you're stuck. There is no room to maneuver into elsewhere. You just have to wait it out.

December 5, 2013
Snohomish Piece 1 Remix - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer, S. Eric Scribner
Sonata (Partita) in B-flat Hob.XVI:2 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim, clavichord

Haydn is so gracious with the what of where he is, and with the spaces between. He does not move along to satisfy moving, but to provide a vantage of a new what, at a precise remove.

Grande Piece Symphonique - Franck - David Di Fiore
our humble abode
 
A sprawling mansion
too big to inhabit
our host uncanny
shows us around
each time
sunken more

Chorale from Seven Last Words - Dubois - Bellevue First United Methodist Church, Betty Eisenbrey, cond. - April 1965
Go Girl Crazy - The Dictators

They'd fit in quite well here in Seattle. Surf-rock self-parody. You'd almost think Kurt Bloch was involved. I have to say their cover of I Got You Babe made my jaw drop.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 2, 2013
Gradus 238 - Neal Meyer

In anticipation of the impending 2-hour public performance of Gradus on December 14th, (Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle, 8pm) Gavin Borchert came over to hear a 1:3 scale model preview. Of the three rungs to be performed, the first two differ sharply in the quantity of pitches present. I was struck, hearing them in such close proximity, by how perversely bereft the more pitch loaded rung was in timbral richness, as though the sharp point of palpable sound was obscured by a haystack of figuration, however attenuated that figuration might be. It made me wonder to what extent we compose in order to hide the actual in favor of the conceptual.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Playlist

Live

November 27, 2013
Dead Bars
Swearin'
Waxahatchee
Chop-Suey, Seattle

If each band's set were successive acts of a chamber opera the evening's dramatic arc would be distinctly Schumannesque, Florestan to Eusebius, centering focus to a single point, to a single low thwung on guitar, to a single attitude of neck, to a single sung note carrying all.

Or, as root context trajectory: From (Dead Bars) street music doo wop girl group deep ground punk, similar ur-milieu to the Ramones, but from longer back now and un-admixed with keep-your-distance up-yours attitude, all joy and hopping, the sheer noise a naked mask to bare confession behind; through (Swearin') a mid-ground to brake the tempo down, twisting chromatic bass lines (you know, for us music nerds), filling the dragon with fire of ride and crash, as though Velvet Underground were jamming with Red Ribbon; to (Waxahatchee) where it all boils in the end, blues at its most minimal, somewhere far out near Star Anna's constellation, in the nebulae of Whitney Ballen and Jonathan Richman, at the edge of, as we leap.

Recorded

November 24, 2013
Sonata (Partita) in C, Hob. XVI:1 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

The spirit of the age is scholarly and impatient of the performance practices of our Romantic forbears. For better or worse, it is no longer the time to blithely play old music on modern instruments in the assumption that, the new instruments being improvements upon the old, all the music played upon them is improved thereby. I'm not a baby-and-bathwater idealist in this regard - I will cling to Milstein playing the Sonatas & Partitas and Richter's WTC and much beside - but there is plenty to be said for the clarifying decrustification possible on replica instruments, and for the imaginative delights unleashed by impromptu embellishment. Ms. Schornsheim plays this early Sonata on a harpsichord, taking every repeat as an opportunity for gloriously transformational ornament.

Me, ca. 1965
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor - Bellevue First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Betty Eisenbrey, conducting - ca. 1965

November 26, 2013
Rapper's Delight: The Best of the Sugarhill Gang

Old tracks: power retrieval by nostalgia engine
Affirmative self-promotion: Not I hope you love me or even You will love me if you buy me, but You do love me and you are beautiful therefore and you are here therefore and you exist therefore
 
The only possibility is this party

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 25, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 848 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

November 30, 2013
Interview 131130 BGE CRE KEE KEE - Betty Eisenbrey, Dick Eisenbrey, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Playlist

Live

November 22, 2013
Seattle Modern Orchestra, Julia Tai and Jeremy Jolley, conductors; Bonnie Whiting, percussion
Open Form
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Coeur pour Batteur - Sylvano Bussotti
Zyklus No. 9 - Karlheinz Stockhausen
Event: Synergy II - Earl Brown
Shendos No. 12 for Nine Instruments - Tom Baker
Event: Synergy II (reprise) - Earl Brown

Disclaimer notice: I was the lucky raffle winner of two tickets to their next concert, and Karen's name was picked for a second set of tickets, which we declined. Heads up to concert makers: bribing me in this manner is completely unnecessary, as is loading the concert with works written in my birth year. To the modest extent that what I'm doing here constitutes a concert review I'm usually pretty kind, and, I hope, mostly constructive. But thanks for the tickets. I'm looking forward to it.

Bussotti and Baker and Brown. O My! The patterner in me wondered how Stockhausen was included in this set of B names. Tom opined that perhaps there is an invisible B in front and we ought properly to say "B'stockhausen".

According to Ben Boretz, a score is a stimulus. It can also be a reproducible, portable, marketable artifact, culturally coded to stimulate, in a prescribed practice, a certain acceptable range of event outcomes. The musical work, then, is a complex set containing the score, the cultural coding, the practice, the desired event outcome of the score maker, the actual and postulated score-stimulated event outcomes, and the various webs of discourse, public and private, proto- and post-, pertaining. What is (or was) overtly new in these (mostly) historically significant open form works is a concern with the mechanics of scores as such and with the specific content of the individual score maker's desired event outcomes, but the resulting discursive churn focuses much more uncomfortably on cultural coding and practice. As musical works they function as questions about us, about what we do when we do music.

And what of the event-outcomes themselves? Bussotti, performed in Bonnie's riveting stage dialect, was a sharply delineated universe, vigorously explored, bravely lit. Stockhausen, splayed out and pinned down carefully across an 18 minute or so span came across as surprisingly rational and thorough. Interestingly though, there was nothing particularly unusual about the gestural or figurational content in either work that seemed to be tied specifically to their relative open-ness of form. I could imagine those gestures and figurations arising in through-composed percussion music with no loss of eloquence. This may stem from the fact that, at least in this performance, all that is open about their form was worked out by the performer in advance. She had many substantive choices to make, but they were all made by the time she began.

Not so with Synergy II. It is a box of parts and a set of instructions allowing multiple results. No two performances are likely to be the same (and these two were quite wonderfully distinct), and none of the perpetrators really know what exactly is going to happen until it does. This is by design, and Mr. Brown took a great deal of care crafting his material so that no part or set of parts could be complete in itself beyond the bare minimum individuation necessary to be considered as a part of this piece only and not as some interloper from music as usual. The care taken shows.

Tom Baker (on the right) with Stu Dempster (on the left)
 in traditional Seattle costume
Tom's (beautiful) piece struck me as much more like the Stockhausen, in the sense of being a thorough and careful exploration of something, but with a sense of lyrical wonder replacing the rational display. Where Stockhausen indicates salient points as though wearing a lab coat and expecting us to take notes, Tom's gaze pans slowly across a landscape, which would be blinding to see all at once, and which must be constructed in memory over time to be seen as the whole that it was conceived to be. It is shown little by little in a band tall and narrow. Once again the locally produced holds up quite well next to the more broadly established brands, thank you very much.

Recorded

November 17, 2013
Sonata (Partita) in C Hob.XVI:1 - Haydn - Keith Eisenbrey

Confirming - still needs some work.

Selections from Wizard of Oz - Bellevue First United Methodist Church Ensemble (?) ca. 1965

Another selection from the trove of tapes my mom shared with me.

Banned Sectional 13 KEE NWM - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer - October 1985

Neal reads from Genesis, then skips ahead to Revelations. I read from Brecht.

Gradus 89 - Neal Meyer - December 2005

Among the more pianissimo of sessions, its patient attenuation expressing an impatience with music as usually expressed.

November 21, 2013
Gradus 182 - Neal Meyer - October 2010

Each widely separated (in register) pitch is its own theater, and each of their jointures also. Memory and regret.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 19, 2013
Gradus 237 - Neal Meyer

Lots of Gradus this week.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Playlist

Live

November 10, 2013
Octava Chamber Orchestra, Johan Louwersheimer, cond.
Maple Park Church, Lynnwood

Divertissement for Double Woodwind Quintet Op. 36 - J.E.A. Bernard - (Dan Schmidt, cond.)

Domestic activity contained within the possibility of its own unhinging - like a picnic.

Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun - Debussy

There is nothing impressionist about it. Corporeal, warm with pulse, glowing with stench.

Concerto for Clarinet and Strings - Gavin Borchert - Sean Osborn, clarinet
Gavin Borchert

As music it begins, or always begins :: from music it veers, or always veers :: subsiding slowly into autonomous alt-conscious selves :: selves of each other's self each autonomously alt-veering :: beginning again to veer again so as to glimpse again, over the shoulder.

Selections from the Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 - J.S. Bach

The clunky mal-shaped peasant core inextricably embraced within the ornate regularizing societal gloss.

Recorded

November 10, 2013
Christmas Carol Service (1969) - Bellevue First United Methodist Church combined choirs, Betty Eisenbrey, cond.

A tape recently copied from my mom's collection. She directed the choral activities at BFUMC for most of my childhood. This is one of the earliest recordings I have in which I play a part (a 10 year-old in one of the children's choirs). It ends with an arrangement for combined choirs of the over-wrought quasi-hymn O Holy Night. Ben Boretz often asks us to recall those moments in our musical lives that sent us, willy-nilly, into music as a calling, those moments to which nothing outside of music can compare. Being a part of this performance was unquestionably such a moment for me. I suppose I was naïve for having my buttons pushed by this, but hey, I was only 10.  And to be honest it still gives me a thrill - always a sucker for a great entrance.

Piano Music - Aaron Keyt

Improvising on solo piano, an essay on phrase length/shape/balance/note-count. The effect is part Satie, part Broadway, part antique dance. Pitch is so not the point.

November 12, 2013
Assembly Rechoired 48 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy - December 2005

Getting somewhere, but not by our own effort - more as though being ballooned.

Snohomish Concert (Steve's Mix) - S. Eric Scribner

In October of 2010 Steve Scribner produced this concert at a little theater in Snohomish. The event itself was pretty informal, with lots of banter between the audience and performers. The music was a hodge-podge of compositions (by Scribner, Neal Meyer, Wayne Lovecraft, and me) and various collaborative improvisations, making a low-key evening out of some pretty far-out music (far-out per se and far-out from its accustomed locale). But what Steve did, through judicious cuts and inspired overdubbing, is utterly transforming. All the low-key has been expunged, and all the sprawl has been made thrumming taut. What was informal and chatty has become sharply focused, a model of formal balance and precise contrast.

Sonata in B-flat K. 281 - Mozart - Mitsuko Uchida

Now we know what was inside that opening trill.

Little Liza - Men's Quartet from Bellevue First United Methodist Church (?), ca. 1965 (?)
Always a bit off-kilter

As I child I knew this song (mistakenly) as "Little Eyes". It was one of my favorites when I was 6 or so, and I had no idea my mom still had a tape.

November 14, 2013
Banned Sectional 12 KEE NWM - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer - September 1985

In the left channel is an attempt (surprisingly successful) to duplicate the right channel (recorded earlier that day) without being able to hear it. Some sudden songs, including I Want a Girl From Venice California, (twice of course, once on the right and once on the left) - and the audio guest list from our first concert (the previous January) - including cameo appearances by Neal's family of origin and the Chez Sleaze Reserve Section.

Banned Rehearsal 693 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Meyer - December 2005

Xylophone provides context while we attempt to squeeze radio noise out of a balloon. One of the major arguments of which Banned Rehearsal consists is that between "making a tape" and "recording an improvisation". In practice this often comes down to how cognizant we are of the microphone in our midst, or of the other mechanical aspects of recording sound, or of the mere fact that a sound we make now will be a recorded trace later (See BS 12 KEE NWM, above). Here we come down decidedly on the side of "recording an improvisation", working out a soundscape communally until each constituent is precise and distinct.

November 15, 2013
Reflektionen mit Christine Schornsheim und Clemens Goldberg

My German is only good enough to gather the topic of conversation (the various keyboards used in Ms Schornsheim's omnibus recording of Haydn keyboard works), and the patina of articulate consideration, but not the gist of it.

In Session at the TintinabularyNovember 11, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 847 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt

November 12, 2013
Silvertone 131112 - Keith Eisenbrey

An experiment - overdubbing a Silvertone hollow-body directly through a Fostex MR8.

November 14, 2013
Mitchell 131114 - Keith Eisenbrey

Last weekend an acoustic guitar walked itself over to my house. I think it has a bad pickup, so my attempt to record directly to the MR8 resulted in some heavily distorted noises that I rather liked. The link will take you to one of three quick riffs I made with them.

Sonata in C (Partita) Hob.XVI:1 - Haydn - Keith Eisenbrey

I still have some work to do.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Playlist

Live

November 2, 2013
La fille du regiment - Donizetti
Seattle Opera
McCaw Hall, Seattle

i.e. Gang of Four I Love a Man in Uniform

Recorded

November 5, 2013
Sonata in C, K. 279 - Mozart - Mitsuko Uchida

The Lisztian virtuosic image is of a performer so completely in command of technique as to transcend the possibilities of production. The Mozartean equivalent is a virtuosity of imagination, quick and precise as swallows in chase.

Banned Sectional 11 KEE NWM - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer - September 1985

When I returned to the Seattle area from Barrytown in 1984 I didn't want to lose contact with all my east coast friends, so I decided to write at least one letter every day. If someone wrote back they were moved to the top of the list. When Neal's sister Karen was up from Tacoma visiting early in September of 1985 she noticed I was writing a letter. I told her that if she gave me her address she would get on the list. And so I wrote her a letter, while simultaneously reading what I was writing out loud, unperturbed by Neal's magnificently perturberant puttering. A few years later I published this first letter to my future wife - a riff on the time of writing, the time of reading, the time of recording, the time of playback, and the interlocking scopes of time-contingent truth statements - in News of Music, as Keith's First Epistle to the Tacoman. It starts "This is not a test."

November 7, 2013
The Abyss - Keith Eisenbrey
Here and There - Wayne Lovegrove - Wayne Lovegrove, Steve Scribner
Sonata in F, K. 280 - Mozart - Mitsuko Uchida

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 4, 2013
Gradus 236 - Neal Meyer

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Playlist

Live

November 1, 2013
Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

The Rubaiyat Waltzes - Hope Wechkin

argument :: prolongation :: extension
argument:prolongation:extension
argumentprolongationextension
epitaph

-------- (sic) Amnesia - Kevin Williams

Extended technique as a way to move the sound in space - as though the dancer from Hope's piece had transubstantiated into tone.

-- I missed the first part of the title. If anyone picked that up please comment and I'll edit this post. Thanks!

Variation 16 - Phillip Arnautoff
Rainy Pass, Washington, 1984

An idea worked out to its gnarly it-ness. Like nothing so much as a century old storm-shrubbed fir crabbed onto rock at alpine's limn.

Great Expectations Suite - Kam Morrill

Strangely fitting that this was composed for a theatrical production that was never actualized.

Recorded

October 27, 2013
Spring Concert 1970 - Lake Washington Singers, Betty Eisenbrey, JoAnne Deacon

I have been archiving some of my mom's old tapes. She conducted this amateur women's chorus from 1958 or '59 through the early '70s. The sound of this ensemble is among my earliest musical memories. This concert had an Americana theme, moving from old hymns, through Randall Thompson, to Woody Guthrie and beyond. The selection becomes it's own time-capsule. It was long enough ago that Christian hymns could be included without irony in a secular setting, and hip enough to include an arrangement of Blowin' In The Wind when it was essentially a new song.

October 29, 2013
Banned Sectional 10 KEE NWM - (Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer, September 1985)

Throw at wall
see what sticks
 
Oboe Roi
cornet
Sedia Response
playback time
extremists 1984
when I was in the 5th grade
mr. boom boom
 
If your order never arrives and the company to which you sent your money answers the phone they will intervene on your behalf and put you in touch with the proper agent

The Abyss (draft) - Keith Eisenbrey (November 29, 2005)

Establishes touch-points for near, middle, and far. Proceeds to narrow the focus of space as the textual content both expands (as to point of view) and contracts (as to theme).

Snohomish Piece 4 - Keith Eisenbrey, S. Eric Scribner, Neal Meyer

October 31, 2013
Mexico City - Keith Eisenbrey (September 1985)

I improvised this on my newly-completed but not yet brought-up-to-pitch clavichord as a response to the earthquake and a prayer for its victims. I have uploaded this to SoundCloud. The link above will take you there.

The Abyss (draft) - Keith Eisenbrey (November 29, 2005)

Another copy of what I believe is the same (nearly finished) draft. I wonder now if the text is too heavily encumbered by my setting.

Chamber - Wayne Lovecraft

Figures articulated by figures.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 28, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 846 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Playlist

Live

October 24, 2013
Much Ado About Nothing - Seattle Shakespeare Company
Center Theatre at Seattle Center

Not just a fine production, but also some excellently integrated music. Credit to the composer Michael Brockman for a pitch-perfect 1953 Vegas pastiche, and to actor Justin Huertas's serial channeling of Frank and Dean. Hey Nonny Nonny!

October 26, 2013
Anything Goes - Cole Porter - Roundabout Theatre Company
The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle

A running gag has the woostersome Brit Lord Evelyn Oakleigh collecting American expressions in a book and consistently failing, in practice, either to get them straight or to apply them appropriately. This becomes an especially pointed barb because Cole Porter plays so adeptly at both the linguistic slang - twisting, punning, over-reaching for rhymes with joyous abandon - and at what might be a form of musical slang - a bubbly smooch of vaudeville, swing, latin, and more, integrated into a single unmistakable voice. Sorry, ALW, you haven't got a chance. Lord Evelyn opts for the genuine article.

Recorded

October 20, 2013
Sitting By My Window - The Five Tinos - [from Sun Records Definitive Hits]

Doo Wop hooks into all the good feelings generated when people sing together. The fun they're having is more than half the pleasure of listening.

Abendslied - Aaron Keyt

spiraling down slow
to land at bottom
unjarring as possible
peering up
or out

The Abyss (draft) - Keith Eisenbrey (November 25, 2005)
Preconcert Spherics - S. Eric Scribner

The chatter preceding a concert in Snohomish in October of 2010, beneath which a subtle rumbly specter churns.

Lonely Weekends - Charlie Rich - [from Sun Records Definitive Hits]

The backup singers are tricked out with massive reverb.

Dan Sedia, ca. 1984
Response - Dan Sedia et al - (September 1985)

I had completely forgotten, but it seems I had a part in this "pass along a tape" project. Dan recorded a solo guitar improvisation. This was followed by a piano solo by a collaborator whose name got lost somewhere, and then I added a short session on bug-guitar and ocarina. I must have then sent the original back to Dan.

The Abyss (draft) - Keith Eisenbrey (November 27, 2005)

I was working hard on getting the transition from the first to the second movement just right. This one was just about there.

Snohomish Piece 2 - Keith Eisenbrey, S. Eric Scribner, Neal Meyer

October 22, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 52 - (September 1985, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer)

Heavy downstrum, then we pluck at each other. Culture Shock in America. Species of steady beats going each their own awry. Taped interloputions distract. Speck of voice. If not disciplined amplification becomes competitive.

October 23, 2013
Gradus 88 - Neal Meyer - (November 2005)

Homely - in the next room of the imaged sound tea is made. The kettle whistle, the clunk of cap on stove top, the disboarding of cups, the hissing pours.

Oceanic Music - S. Eric Scribner

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 21, 2013
Gradus 235 - Neal Meyer

illumination
reflection
creation
revalation
of a composing ear
 
illumination of reflection
creation of revelation
reflection of creation
revelation of illumination
 
in particular their particulars
the silence is Sabbath

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Playlist

Recorded

October 17, 2013
Nostalgia: Memories Happy and Sad - Gregg Smith Singers - [from The Great Sentimental Age]
Red Hot - Bill "The Kid" Emerson  - [from Sun Records Definitive Hits]
Spring Concert April 30, 1965 - Lake Washington Singers; Betty Eisenbrey, cond.; JoAnne Deacon, acc.

October 18, 2013
Nighttime Howl - Aaron Keyt - (September 1985)

woody-tough fibrous stem
formants spun to overtones
wound to rope
 
noir piano
nasal flange vocal
Stimmung with clodded roots
 
pushing back

The Abyss (draft) - Keith Eisenbrey
Ashby and Shattuck / Mother (the ex) - The Street Eaters

When Karen and I were at the Skylark Café last week I bought a couple of seven-inch vinyl records. This was one. Though loud, it does not come across as un-friendly. I wonder if the loud, as such, operates more like an entry ticket than like an essential aesthetic part. No decibels, no admission.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 17, 2013
Your Mother Should Know

I recorded their rehearsal as they ran through the new set, and then demos of two new songs. Feeling quite hopeful that the new equipment will allow successful all-at-once recording.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Playlist

Live

October 5, 2013
Macefield Music Festival
Macefield hold-out house

Seattle, Washington

Sage - at Conor Byrne

Redolent of Pink Floyd (early).

Kara Hesse - at Conor Byrne

Soul straight up Boulder proud.

Young Fresh Fellows - at The Tractor

One Tad Down and topsy turvy, or The Three Fellows Three, tres bien ensemble.

Princess - at The Tractor

Not the sort of preaching I cotton to much.

The Learning Team - at Conor Byrne

Old school by the new school.

Lures - at Conor Byrne

Kid's got some nice ping in the lower pipes.

Courtney Marie Andrews - at Conor Byrne

Can sophistication simply served survive the venue?

October 11, 2013
Dead Bars, Bigfoot Wallace and his Wicked Sons, Charms
Skylark Cafe, Seattle, Washington

For our anniversary we hied ourselves down to this little café in the Delridge Hole of highway and pillars and river and bridges, and all these lovely young folks were hanging out collecting themselves at the bar just casual and chilling but you could tell there was a building of readiness for something and after a few hours of this building of readiness for something a bunch of them would wander onstage and be a band for a bit to release the readiness and then they'd stop and after another bit of readiness building another bunch of guys would up to the stage and be another band for a crackle and we were digging it. Thanks guys for the great party!

DB - We heard them a while back when they were little more than a lark and a pickup band, full of high energy and sloppy good feeling. They've been practicing. Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of the Shirelles is in the building. BWahWS - eminently danceable blues hardened grunge abraded song-smithing. C - must admit I'm beginning to catch their drift. Psychedelic wash to scrub the cobwebs.

The guy who ran the sound board is top notch. Perfectly balanced both bands to the room and parts to parts to the whole. Credit that guy with a major assist.

Recorded

October 6, 2013
Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits

Antiseptic engineering.

The Woods - Sleater-Kinney

October 8, 2013
Snohomish Piece 1 - Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Scribner
Campaign and Comedy Songs - The Gregg Smith Singers - (from The Great Sentimental Age)
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash - (from Sun Records Definitive Hits)

bare bones naked dust

Songs Summer '85 (first part) - Keith Eisenbrey

October 10, 2013
Songs Summer '85 (second part) - Keith Eisenbrey

It has been a while since I listened to all these songs as a set. For my own creative life they represent less a new avenue for possible development than a limit of stretch. However, I can also think of them as an attempt to get near an axis, jettisoning such skills as I have, all the trappings and comforts of the acceptable, to find the that about which creative impulse turns.

The Abyss (draft) - Keith Eisenbrey

I spent the latter part of the '90s working on a chamber cantata based on stanzas from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. The finished product, though interesting (to me) and useful as a thing (for me) to have done, is a lost-cause as to being performable. But I kept thinking about that particular selection of stanzas, and in 2005 I made a completely new computer produced setting. This draft was the first go at the first stanza. Here is the finished piece.

Zigzag - Wayne Lovegrove

Secured shipshape to the lower strings allows foamy sea splash trickery in the yardarms. This was a recording made in Snohomish at a concert produced by Steve Scribner.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 7, 2013
Gradus 234 - Neal Meyer
Just enough tonal abundance for simian leaps, brachial propagation.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Playlist - Third Anniversary of Now Music In New Albion

Live

October 4, 2013
Sound Scroll IX Concert
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Sound Scroll IX - S. Eric Scribner - S. Eric Scribner and Mike Sentkewitz
Six Seattle Pieces - S. Eric Scribner, Keith Eisenbrey, Mike Sentkewitz

Steve's music at its strongest nor makes concession nor gives quarter to the razzle dazzle, however high-toned, of professional showmanship. He develops an idea for a thing to do and he does it to the bitter end. As listener I am on my own, the presentation will not hold my hand and show me the pretty sights. In this regard, Sound Scroll IX, for vast stretches barely even a drifting shred of a sheer tissue of fabric of sound, not just permeable to the environment but hardly even scuffing it, is at the highest tier of heroically difficult music. For it to be, you must listen.

I was honored to be involved in the second part of the concert, which did involve six pieces rather than the four promised on the poster.

Recorded

September 29, 2013
The Who Sings My Generation - The Who

Unhinged poetics of the metrical.

Haiku West - Lake Washington Singers, Betty Eisenbrey conducting

For 15 years or so, from the late '50s to the early '70s, my mother conducted this amateur women's chorus. Lately I acquired the cassette tapes she had made in the 80's of the original reel-to-reel & phonograph recordings. The labeling of selections is often not clear. This short number sounded like a suite of settings. "West" might refer to the composer. Dunno.

October 1, 2013
Space Sounds (edited) - National Geographic Flexi Disc

Among the oddities on this rarity is an essay of scientific glorification that traces the history of life on the planet from bacteria to space exploration in about a minute. It takes your breath away!

Banned Rehearsal 51 - Karen Eisenbrey (then Meyer), Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer, September 1985

Maximum aesthetic disregard. As lame as possible in order to be as out-there as possible. Both too easy and too difficult. In hope of? :: in flailing to find a new thread, a new track to enter the forest at its thickest :: the lame may not be good, but it can serve as a placeholder for doing. Strangely enough, on occasion, this procedure manages to work.

October 3, 2013
Lorenz - David Dunn

Ranges of audio data can be like orders of magnitude. Thing to ThingsGoingOn to SequenceOfThingsGoingOn. A music designed to be, experimentally, about how we make sense of chaos. It freaked out the cat a bit.

Snohomish Piece 3 (my recording) - Keith Eisenbrey, S. Eric Scribner

From Steve's concert in Snohomish in October of 2010.

Listen to The Mockingbird - Alice Hawthorne - The New York Vocal Arts Ensemble
Peepin' Eyes - Charlie Feather -  (from Sun Records Definitive Hits)

In Session at the Tintinabulary September 30, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 845 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Playlist

Live

September 26, 2013
Broken Bow Ensemble
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Mer - John Teske

Beethoven's Symphony in D minor begins in this place, or near to it, and awakes from within the face of these waters an heroic cosmogony. Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen begins in this place, or near to it, and awakes from within the deeps of these waters a tragic mythogony. Mer abides in this place and recedes, here, from within us, here, revealing an image of our common us, together, here: a hope-glimmering sociogony.

Recorded

September 19, 2013
Group Variations (video) -  Russell Craig Richardson (vid), Benjamin Boretz (aud)  (from Open Space DVD 1)

I waited a week to write about this, and I'm still not sure what to say. Perhaps puzzlement is close to being a correct assessment. I have been familiar with Group Variations for decades, but a firm grasp of it persistently eludes. Richardson's video makes no particular attempt to track or mimic the music a la Fantasia, (thank you), but perhaps rather imagines a visual shifting in one's chair and a cocking of one's ears. We don't see the music, but the listener.

September 24, 2013
The Day I Heard Shelby Sing - Neal Meyer

A song can be just what one would say.

Three Noels - Jean-Francois Dandrieu - Marie-Claire Alain

My teacher Ken Benshoof once suggested that jazz musicians don't habitually play in keys so much as from them. Something like that is going on here, but the operative notion might be described as a nested metrical/phraseological norm, teasingly suggested precisely in order not to quite comfortably settle into.

Suite in G minor - Sylvius Leopold Weiss - Lutz Kirchhof

I kept thinking of how this music would come across played on a keyboard rather than a lute. The primary distinction would be the relative loss of presence of the body of the performer. The modern keyboard, be it harpsichord, fortepiano, or piano, is designed in part to be transparent, to vanish with its operator as an object in the room, so as to allow an unmediated musical experience. In that sense it is designed with a systemic lack of candor. Of course it mostly fails at this, and often it is the dynamic subtleties of failure that provide the human scale with which we can wrestle with the musical experience. But the lute is a much older animal and these intricate contrapuntal musics don't set upon it with quite the same hard-wired ease. Here the performer is an inescapable bodily presence, tooth and claw.

Mass in G Major - Schubert - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Choruses, Robert Shaw

Transcends by expanding within.

September 25, 2013
Love Songs and Ballads of Stephen Foster - The New York Vocal Arts Ensemble
The Chicken - Rosco Gordon (from Sun Records Definitive Hits)

A salacious come-on so baldly disguised as to be more blatant than if it were straight out.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

September 22, 2013
Isaiah 60:1-5 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, soprano, Keith Eisenbrey, piano

Enjoy! Link above to my soundcloud site.

September 23, 2013
Fox Spit 2 - Keith Eisenbrey

Neal was busy so I improvised on my brother Paul's handmade guitar.

Upcoming

Friday, October 4, 2013, 8pm
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle
SoundScroll IX Concert - Steven Eric Scribner

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Playlist

Live

September 14, 2013
Siri Bardarson & Steve Trembley
Ott & Murphy's Cabaret Stage, Langley

By way of full disclosure, Siri is a cousin of mine. We share great-grandparents on our respective mother's sides. Karen and I were on Whidbey to visit my folks and took the opportunity to catch Siri and Steve's act at a cozy winery in Langley.

Technically I suppose they are a cover band that throws some original material in occasionally. But they are up to more than simply playing familiar songs, from The 59th Street Bridge Song to Summertime and back again by way of Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, and more than simply performing them quite ably (though they certainly do). Using the familiar as a springboard they are working out the sound of an oddly nice instrumental duo: amplified cello and electric guitar - four low strings tuned in fifths, and six treble strings tuned (mostly) in fourths. The mix of open sonorities was quite fine, their colors allowing ample aural space for rhythms to slip across the horizontal, delightfully askew but always clear. Their balance was impeccable, and what lovely guitars Steve has!

Recorded

September 18, 2013
This Bus Won't Stop For Me - Aaron Keyt
Clara With the Feet of Snow - Aaron Keyt

Using whatever happened to be on the radio or TV as an accompaniment, Aaron knocks two sudden songs out of the park. This Bus Won't Stop For Me gets picked up in later sessions by Neal, who gives it a more aggressive feel than Aaron's original insinuance, which gains a particular discord with the British laugh-track comedy in the background. Clara With the Feet of Snow is simply lovely, and probably impossible to duplicate. The backing was some late-night smooth jazz station. That sax player never had it so good.

Road - Keith Eisenbrey

This was the last of my solo sudden songs. I was exploring the possibilities of clear metrical feel within an expansively flexible beat. It features what is probably the most psychedelic of my lyrics.

Banned Rehearsal 50 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer, August 1985

I don't remember exactly how we were arranging the electronics, but we had turned the next room into some sort of reverb chamber. It hovers just underneath feedback most of the time.

September 19, 2013
A Cat's Life (recording of April 16, 2013) - Keith Eisenbrey

I finished this 'little opera for solo piano' in 1990, thinking that surely some better pianist than I would see how much fun it is and go out to make it and them famous. It's been 23 years and no takers so far. The score is available on my website here. It's worth a look just for Karen's illuminations. I've always felt it is just a bit over my pianistic abilities, but learning it and re-learning it has pushed me to get better. This is the edited version of a long recording session made during my vacation last April.

I was interested in the mechanics of how music can be made to tell a particular story, but I could not imagine enduring the hassle of realizing a full operatic production with stage and singers. My solution was to include within a solo score all the trappings of Wagnerian narrative, and make the story explicit by means of a narrator - somewhat like Peter and the Wolf, or Oedipus Rex. It has been performed in that version twice, and now that I have learned it again I hope to find a suitable narrator and do it again very soon.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
September 16, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 844 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Meyer

September 17, 2013
Scrap Film 1 - Keith Eisenbrey

September 18, 2013
Scrap Film 2 - Keith Eisenbrey

Two Audiofilms made for use at Steve Scribner's upcoming concert.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Playlist

Recorded

Holmes Harbor, Washington 1985
September 8, 2013
Banned Telepath 4 Berkeley - Aaron Keyt, August 1985
 
lullaby lullaby
the ghost's at the window
the wolf's at the door
lullaby lullaby
 
that spook is a US standard
tablespoon teaspoon
half teaspoon
quarter teaspoon

a tour of the living space
 
National Geographic: Magyar Mirth and Melancholy 1938 (scary times)
 
 
 
his calendar: interesting dates on it like . . .
December 22, 1985

dead cockatoos don't wear plaid
 
there's music tonight
in Antarctica
 
KQED
sound the alarm first
ask questions later
Lederkranz cheese recall
it's eleven nineteen and Henry Purcell wrote  . . .

September 10, 2013
Bann 2 - Aaron Keyt, August 1985

While listening to this I had a thought about notation: treble and bass clefs are separated from each other by a single ledger line. hypertreble and hypobass clefs could be done similarly. Hypertreble clef would be separated from treble clef by the ledger line A-natural. The lines would be (bottom to top) C E G B D, or Corner Every Gourmand Before Dawn. Hypobass clef would be separated from bass clef by the ledger line E-natural. The lines would be (bottom to top) B D F A C, or Boys Deliberately Fart After Class.


Nobody
Everybody - Keith Eisenbrey, August 1985

Continuing my solo sudden song project.

Banned Telepath 4 Greenwood - Keith Eisenbrey, August 1985

I was thinking about the nature of sung words, and of what singing does to the sounds of words. The working hypothesis was that to sing a word is to mis-pronounce it and by deliberately making it sound different than typically heard deflect our perception from its language-token existence toward its sound-token existence, allowing us to understand it as both a part of music and an act of language. So I was using my texts from Book of Windows and mispronouncing them toward music.

September 11, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 49 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer, August 1985

The four parts of Banned Telepath 4 mooshed together. I was interested to discover that my own contribution, so clearly focused on song and music in a somewhat ordinary sense, loses many of its salient particularities in conjunction with my collaborator's less clearly musical activities.

September 12, 2013
Med In Ord - J. K. Randall, August 1985 - (from InterPlay)

Discretion as a principle: each sound episode is as in its own room, so that their relatedness to each other is less emphatically sequential, is more cartographic or architectural. We go from sound to sound as though moving from space to space rather than as though moving along a timeline. With the ample space we have between classes, as it were, we could end up anywhere at all, and often do.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

September 8, 9, & 10, 2013
Isaiah 60:1-6 - Karen Eisenbrey, voice; Keith Eisenbrey, composer, piano

Trying out and learning to use the new recording equipment. Results are hopeful but not ready for public yet. It's too bad we didn't record our performance in church Sunday morning, it would be difficult to beat as a performance and the sound of the space is better than the living room is.

September 9, 2013
Gradus 233 - Neal Meyer

The second E-natural. As a single key is repeated the sound rolls in its string resonance, and that roll is attended and molded by our sense of what that roll is shaped like, to the extent that our recovery of the actuality of what it was shaped like lags a bit behind what we hear as we hear it.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Playlist

Live

September 5, 2013
Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Swale - Bickleton, Washington, 1986

Two Pieces for Guitar Orchestra - Mark Wilson

There is an affinity of effect between these intricate multi-stringed chamber compositions and the polyphonic vocal music from the centuries after Machaut, evident both in the play of color among (here) the varied strings and (there) the varied voices, and in the active movement of voices along a horizontal plane in space.

Giver - Peter Freeman

It is wonderful to hear such an ambitious and carefully heard work from such a young composer. It might be a bit too long, or it might simply need some more craftily applied pedal here and there to finesse the colors, but these are quibbles. I look forward to hearing more!

Song - Cole Bratcher

There is mortal danger in the siren's song. It is not just in myth - it also presents a compositional problem: once in it is heroically difficult to transgress. Just ask Tannhauser.

Solo Clarinet - Angelique Poteat

Another solid, challenging piece. Seattle is a veritable hotbed for creative clarinetists, and the Chapel loves that sound. I don't have much to say other than that I was digging it all the way. More!

Introduction to Nature (of) Sound - S. Eric Scribner

Good. Bad. Nature good. Machines bad. Nature sounds good. Machine sounds bad. Recording and playing back nature sounds on machines ? Turning nature sound into machine's sound ? Engaging with nature changes nature - good or bad ? Neither ? or both ? because inescapable ? A music of quietly seething disquiet.

Recorded

September 2, 2013
Bann 2 - Aaron Keyt, August 1985

circling closely in
near choate meta-axis
timing the same stone

Livin - Keith Eisenbrey, August 1985


Fence Post - Bickleton, Washington, 1986
September 3, 2013
Banned Telepath 4 I-5 - Neal Meyer, August 1985

Vibration roar Neal mouths low flange
 
recording on cruddy equipment on quality media the media holds the complex crudeness pristinely
 
the car's inhabitant's voice bumps back and fro in the mix
 
bobbing in vaguely agitated underpier backwater
 
Entering Pierce County Be A Good Citizen
 
City of Tacoma Traffic Information Radio WNAN 648
 
Entering Tacoma

September 4, 2013
Banned Telepath 4 Bickleton - Anna K, August 1985

This may be the first appearance of Karen's drums on a BR tape. Anna, in seclusion, converses with the future.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
September 2, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 843 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer

Probably our last porch session of the summer. Also, our first to be recorded on new equipment - a Zoom R24. Over the years we have recorded on a Sanyo cassette tape (still works), a Sony Professional Walkman (now bricked), a Sony DAT (still works), a Fostex MR8 (still works), and occasionally directly to laptop (still works). Microphones used have been: two Sony dynamic (still work), two Realistik PZM (we may still have one working), occasionally a small Sony stereo condenser (lost one channel), and most recently an Audio Technica stereo condenser.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Playlist

Live

August 24, 2013
David Dunn
Chapel Performance Space - Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

How might one converse with a non-human other on its own terms? Straight mimicry is unilateral and generally unsatisfying - as Benjamin Boretz put it once, "imitation is the sincerest form of contempt." In general, the other does not converse one-to-one. It converses one to all or one-from-within-the-all to all. The idea then, as David has spent his career exploring, is not to learn the other's language (if there is such a thing) but to discover the structure of the sonic environment with which the other interacts in its life as itself, to manipulate the sonic tokens of that environment, and to move the other to interact with that new environment - in short, to invent an other imprinted with us, with which to address that other other as a part of the all. To that end, and in the hope that this end will be a means to a more whole understanding, computers, hyper-chaotic systems of oscillators, ultra-sonic microphones, and a host of other tools are brought to play.

The fruits of the field are ripe with wonder.

Recorded

August 27, 2013
Hello Jim - Keith Eisenbrey
Banned Rehearsal 47 - August 1985 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer

Aaron, then in Berkeley, sent each of us one-third of a letter, split every-other-other word. Not to be out-done, we read it out loud, but in perverse sequence.

JB - Keith Eisenbrey
Sweet Possession - Keith Eisenbrey

August 28, 2013
Bann I - August 1985 - Aaron Keyt

Vocal productions in a pianissimo realm - singing in secret.

Oh Ben - Keith Eisenbrey
Someday - Keith Eisenbrey

I was both fighting with and really getting into the cruddiness of the sound quality of the tapes I was making as much as I was simply recording a song. The anti-competence stance of this series was soaking down into the production process. Results varied. I have linked them to my soundcloud site for your enjoyment.

August 29, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 48 - August 1985 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer

A double-sided tape, the first of which consists of our writing and reading three letters to Aaron, switching papers every word. The second side is filled with sudden songs: I Wish I Were In Pakistan, Carolina, Such a Suspicious Thing To Do, It Hurts, The Serpents from the Mountains, You Make the Spaghetti (I'll Make the Sauce), What About String.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

August 26, 2013
Gradus 232 - Neal Meyer

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Playlist

Recorded

August 20, 2013
How to have a street named after your band
Sleater-Kinney - Sleater-Kinney

The back taunt of aggressively sexualized youth. As rude as what's coming at them.

August 21, 2013
All Hands On The Bad One - Sleater-Kinney

Five years later with a richer vocal palette. The short-burst poetics are now part of the instrumental arrangements as well (I loved #1 Must Have). In the early eighties I was amused once when an artist, with a straight face, said that a painting was an example of 'second-generation post-painterly abstractionism', as though that could possibly be a meaningful epithet. 'Painterly', I was told, refers to painters who let the drips show. The edges of these arrangements let the drips show.

August 22, 2013
Poppies - Russell Craig Richardson, Dorota Czerner, Benjamin Boretz, Michael Fowler (from Open Space DVD 1)

A multi-media collage work. The sound is framed by Benjamin Boretz's ("...my chart shines high where the blue milks upset...") in Michael Fowler's recording, into which is set an exploration of Dorota Czerner's poem Poppies, read by the poet and assembled (I think) by Ben. The visuals are emphatically limited in their elements - extreme close-ups of candle-lit lips, nose, eyes, and candles; - and in their color scheme - dim orange, dim green, and black, punctuated two or three times by the glow of candle flame directly. The conjunctions of image and sound proceed with method and grace. The video image is remarkably palpable, swarming and throbbing, pulsed with blood.

Snoho Piece 4 - Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Scribner

Steve's well-balanced mashup of two sound files. My half is one of the working tracks of Zither Film, short bursts of sound arranged in a temporally refracted decay that stretches over the entire 7 minutes. Steve's half is an improvisation with gongs and tam tams, repetitions of decays. They talk together.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

August 19, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 842 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Playlist

Live

August 10, 2013
Brian Capozzoli
Swamp Meat
Tyler Daniel Bean
Red Ribbon
Victory Lounge, Seattle
Red Ribbon

Swamp Meat
The most important music is your own - the music you invent and the music you make. The next most important music is that of your local peer community - the music your friends and colleagues make in the place you are. Everything else - including those musics which have so permeated the larger culture as to be inescapable, including those musics which have so permeated you as to be inextricable from your ear, including especially those musics which have been granted pantheonic status by the larger culture so that all the musics we make and share are held to their eternal standard - all these musics are of a distantly secondary importance. I am interested, as I wander now in my mid-adulthood into the realms of the local rock and roll scene, my 'music-in-law' so to speak, that the denizens of this community seem to be, by and large, more comfortable with this fact than, say, the classical music community is, and even (though to a somewhat less egregious extent) than the new music community is. It is refreshing to find a music that isn't performing for an invisible posterity, that is playing for us, here, now.

Thanks guys!

Recorded

August 11, 2013
Banned Sectional 4 KEE AK - July 1985 - Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt

What music can allow itself to be when there is no audience beyond the participants. Militantly not public, but finely drawn with limited elements.

August 13, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 45 - July 1985 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

Aaron's last session with us before heading off to Berkeley.

I Want (Everything You Want) - Keith Eisenbrey
Hey Hey Hey - Keith Eisenbrey
All These Days - Keith Eisenbrey
Don't Know - Keith Eisenbrey
I Drank - Keith Eisenbrey

August 14, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 46 - July 1985 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer

The first Sudden Song session. We take turns inventing a song on the spot and we all accompany.

August 15, 2013
One Two Three - Keith Eisenbrey
Bug Guitar - Keith Eisenbrey
Amazing Grace - Keith Eisenbrey
Oh Lady - Keith Eisenbrey
Come On - Keith Eisenbrey

Continuing with my own summer of 1985 private song-writing workshop. At the time I was chafing with those traditional aspects of musical creativity that can, too often, get in the way of more robust invention. Among these are the hallmarks of professionalism: intonation, steady beat, a nice tone - all the things that must be done in order to make it clear that we know what we are doing. Gatekeeping chores. And so the songs I was making (and which you can listen to should you like) are not simply unprofessional, out-of-tune, and incompetent, but are, rather, anti-professional, anti-in-tune (I like 'liberated intonation'), and anti-competence. I have since deepened my stance on this, but these songs are an index point for me, and I still think they hold their own.

Several years later I used these tracks to learn how to work with a multi-track application. The results are the Winter Mix versions which I will also put on my soundcloud site.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

August 12, 2013
Gradus 231 - Neal Meyer

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Playlist

Live

August 4, 5, 7, and 9, 2013
Der Ring des Nibelungen - Wagner - Seattle Opera
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle


Hoh Valley, Olympic National Park, 2010
Perhaps only the symphonies of Bruckner are more capable than the Ring of making it clear that hearing a recording, or seeing a film, is no substitute for the real thing, is a fundamentally different experience. As contingent and limiting as any production is (and this, though fine, was no exception) the relative scales of musical time, dramatic time, and real time, and the relative scales of tonal depth and musical dynamics to the dramatic space and to the real space, and of all the other relative scales of things to things to things to things one might posit, ignite together without precedent and without successor.

The world is once again safe for moss and lichen.
From the beginning we are set adrift without bound, illumined from within. the music billows with currents energized from nowhere, pouring from moment to moment and from scene to scene and from act to act and from evening to evening in river-like motions: rushing gliding slipping bending, pooling in lake and cranny, crashing through canyon and plunge  -  mighty and delicate, stagnant and torrent, in turns and at once. From the cartoon of Das Rheingold, painted in broad brush and bright colors, through the collapsing scaffold of Die Walküre and the dragon permeated forests of Siegfried, the leitmotifs and fragments of leitmotifs accumulate inflections and ramified associations to where, by the time we get to Gotterdammerung (sorry - I'm having a devil of a time getting umlauts to show up), where the musical fabric is stretched sheer and hollow, just a few notes sung in mid-dialogue can reverberate back across the entire cycle. Every most intimate tonal hint is a dialogue with the whole.

Recorded

August 8, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 44 - July 1985, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

Aaron and I started this session as a sectional, just the two of us watching slides and commenting. Neal was in the neighborhood canvassing for the Democrats and decided he was close enough to canvass me, so a knock on the door produced our third member. In order to get everybody involved he called Anna and she made her audio appearance over the phone.