March 9, 2013
La Bohème - Giacomo Puccini
Seattle Opera, McCaw Hall, Seattle
Puccini is hit or miss for me. La Bohème is one of the winners. As in Madama Butterfly, the story is human sized and the characters are as believable as those of late Mozart. But even more, I love the mix and trajectory of the different voices, from comic male quartet to intimate duet to raucus café and back again to the voices of Act 1 transmuted in sorrow. Act 3 (called Act 2 in the Seattle performance) is about as nice a dramatic composition as one could ask for.
March 10, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 690 - (October 2005, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)
A dog-whistle-high piercing pianissimo-to-mezzo forte feedback whine persists obstinately, flirting with discomfort. A percussion layer continues imperturbably, shifting color matter of factly, but otherwise immovably doing. A third layer interrupts or intercedes with radio scratch or guitar. Oddly it is the intercession that comes across as the context, the eventscape, within which the more continuous beings abide.
Banned Rehearsal 780 - (September 2010, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)
Five years later, starting in combo mode of piano, drum, and cornet, I hear much the same character mix as in #690. It even ends with a high long-held harmonica, still and quiet, serendipitously reminiscent of the start of the earlier session just heard.
March 11, 2013
Blood/Candy - The Posies
The entire album could be heard as a set of loving recompositions of Savoy Truffle and Bohemian Rhapsody. The quicksilver arrangements hint at a Tatumesque sense that numerous songs lurk just below the surface and pop in whenever a crack opens up.
March 12, 2013
Suite in B flat Major - Sylvius Leopold Weiss - Lutz Kirchhof
Canon on "To Alexis" - Schumann - Peter Frankl
Tango - Stravinsky - Columbia Jazz Band, Igor Stravinsky
On the surface this performance comes across flat-footed and inelegant. But the square approach to rhythm throws the intricate particularities of the orchestration design into high relief.
March 14, 2013
Ebony Concerto - Stravinsky - Columbia Jazz Band, Igor Stravinsky, Benny Goodman
The science of chord voicing, both vertical and horizontal, aided and abetted by the in-your-face presence engineered into the recording. The grain of the HiFi sound approaches the surreal quality of the too-deep-too-bright focus of Bambi. I am torn between not wanting to hear page turns that perfectly imaged, and digging it.
First Part at Ken Kesey's With Hell's Angels - Allen Ginsberg
A short poem that lives for its final lines. "And 4 police cars parked outside the painted / gate, red lights revolving in the leaves."
Jig Medley - John W. Summers [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording volume 1]
In Session At The Tintinabulary
March 11, 2013
Gradus 222 - Neal Meyer
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