Saturday, April 27, 2013


Coming Up This Week

Friday May 3, 2013
Seattle Composers Salon at The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Composers: Brad Anderson, Phillip Arnautoff, Keith Eisenbrey, David M. Shere

I will be presenting my setting of the Beatitudes from Luke. Karen Eisenbrey, and Glynn Olive will sing.

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.
Cage - Solo for Piano

Long-time collaborators Neal Meyer and Keith Eisenbrey share a piano concert of epic stillness. Neal Meyer continues his exploratory celebration of the silence of John Cage with a performance of the seminal graphic-score Solo for Piano from Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1958). Keith Eisenbrey presents his recent contemplative pitch stereoscope: Welcome to my planet. I come in peace. Two frameworks, joined at the source, phased (in specious increments), cogs and gears, mutually warped and warping, rounding space.


April 23, 2013
Washington Composers Forum presents Denise Fillion, piano; Christopher Graham, percussion
The Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Attractors - Bruce Hamilton
Red Arc/Blue Veil - John Luther Adams
The Third Eye - Adam Haws
Kontakte - Karlheinz Stockhausen

During the summer of 1979 I spent hours in the library at the UW listening under headphones to a multi-part radio broadcast reviewing the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen. Aside from working wonders on my social life this served as my introduction to post-war European music of a more modernist stance. Kontakte struck me even then as a remarkably strong and clearly constructed work. Although the electronic sounds in Kontakte have a certain flatness to them in comparison with those of the more recent works on the program the piece more than makes up for it in the sheer audacity of its variety, and in the subtlety with which the loudspeaker sounds co-habit the sound and time space with the live instruments.

It is now so far from unusual to hear electronic sounds in joint performance with live instruments that, in certain circles, it is fast approaching if not recklessly overshooting standard practice. Of the three pieces on the first half I was most taken by Attractors, whose bubblous froths were flung playfully into gooey space to hang frozen for a moment before dissipating in guises various. Red Arc/Blue Veil teased a giant virtual tamtam into massive utterance, but I wasn't convinced the live sounds added that much. The Third Eye was a motoric study in slow transformation of meter. If anything its trajectory was too obvious, but the more I think about it the more I'd like to give it another go.

I was formerly on the board of the WCF, and so I am particularly pleased to be able to congratulate them for producing this superb concert. More like that!


April 21, 2013

A hard-drive crash put my music data-base out of reach for a week, so I spent Sunday afternoon listening to these three sessions from June of 1985.

Banned Sectional 2 KEE AK - (June 1985, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)

Another of those many sessions in which we improvise against improvisatorially chosen pre-recorded sounds. In this case those pre-recordings include not just tape and vinyl and radio sounds but also printed words (I Ching) read out into the room.

Banned Sectional 3 KEE AK - (June 1985, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt)

As I recall the idea was to sit in separate rooms, close our eyes, and describe what we saw. As with any free-association trace it can be taken any number of ways - an outing of obsessions or anxieties, prophecy, or banal nonsense. As a session it is kind of dull, but I'm not sorry we tried it, and that we kept at it for 45 minutes.

Bickleton, Washington - 1986
Banned Rehearsal 35 - (June 1985, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer)

A mix of two "Telepaths". Aaron and I made a tape in Seattle and a day later Anna and Neal made a tape in Bickleton while taking a walk. A piling on of fragmentation and dislocation: of temporality, of source, and of granularity.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

April 22, 2013
Gradus 224 - Neal Meyer

Saturday, April 20, 2013



April 13, 2013
John Cage: 90 Stories / Empty Words Part III
Roger Nelson, Neal Meyer
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

The man on the left told stories or didn't.
The man on the right spoke or didn't.
They each did the same.
They didn't, or they did.

In one of the stories Cage discusses a problem that arose in performances of an orchestral work. Some of players responded to his score unprofessionally. He expresses a desire to discover a way of allowing or guiding the performers to respond to liberation nobly, rather than foolishly. I hope he realized that this would require a deeper fix than any compositional process, however ideologically pure of ego, is capable of delivering.

April 19, 2013
Roots of Fire
featuring Morten Lauridsen's Madrigali Six Fire Songs and the 16th Century Madrigals that inspired them
Canzonetta, Roger Nelson conducting
Prospect Congregational Church, Seattle

Ov'é lass, il bel viso? - Henricus Schaffen
Ov'é lass, il bel viso? - Morten Lauridsen
Quando so più lontano - Morten Lauridsen
Quando so più lontano - Yvo Barry
Amore, io sento l'alma - Jhan Gero
Amore, io sento l'alma - Morten Lauridsen
Io piango - Morten Lauridsen
Io piango - Vincenzo Ruffo
Luci serene e chiare - Claudio Monteverdi
Luci serene e chiare - Morten Lauridsen
Luci serene e chiare - Carlo Gesualdo
Se per havervi, oimé - Claudio Monteverdi
Se per havervi, oimé - Morten Lauridsen

Any overbearing musicological or educational intent that might be impugned to this concert was vastly overpowered by the strength of the music.

April 17, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 594 - (December 2000, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Isabel Kosály-Meyer, Neal Meyer)

A muttering neighborhood of sounds.

April 18, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 691 - (October 2005, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Meyer)

Kora provides a constant, as the weather might: an index, a ground, a basis. Cornet comments and guitar eloborates. We move into a more percussive territory of xylophone and toy piano. We grub in the dirt.

Floating Point - Gray Scale
1. Xaphoon - Jungle, Down below something molten is oozing.
2. Pastoral Detoon - Liquid.
3. (Re)Bound - Static, as in not said to the boss.
4. Elephantine - Moving fast in tight lanes.
5. Bowed Clarinet - Dis-earthed. Un-embodied. Distantly ex-orbital.
6. Dronehead - Hardcore robotics ascending into abstraction.
7. Purvis Bearing - Back in the wilds, back in orbit, getting a grasp of what this is where I am at. Cave close.
8. Topsy's Hawser - Processes of manufacture invaded by cheery goblinesques.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

April 15, 2013
Assembly Rechoired 55
Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy

April 16, 2013
A Cat's Life
Keith Eisenbrey

It took 90 minutes but I think I got a fairly clear read on the whole thing. I should be able to edit it down into a usable recording. That is, if I didn't lose the whole thing when my main computer failed.


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.

Toward the contemplation of a pitch stereoscope: two frameworks, joined at the source, phased (in specious increments), mutually warped, rounding space.

Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, April 13, 2013



April 6, 2013
The Holy
Red Ribbon
Acapulco Lips
No Rey
The Josephine, Seattle

The recorded literature that is rock & roll now stretches back many decades, and encompasses a huge variety of styles and attitudes. There are, consequently, myriad paths by which current celebrants can trace their self-inventions, and many stylistic locales in which to set up shop. It's great to go to a show like this and hear four very different thoughts about what a worthy endeavor might be.  

The Holy is a stripped down trio of drums, bass, and guitar/vocal driving down the center of hard and fast. It's all about gut-punch and tight corners. Between them, as a collective, they convene a remarkable drummer.

Red Ribbon steadfastly declines to round-off their songs. When it is over it is over and it stops without a fuss. If the paint drips, so it does. This isn't the artful fragmentation of a Schumann song-cycle - it doesn't spin your head into the next song so much as it allows the interior of the song into conversation with the house.

Acapulco Lips, aside from having a great name, is a lively power-pop group that sounded to me like what a sock-hop would be like if we had those now.  Loads of fun.

No Rey is a polished ensemble with a set of intricately arranged, perfectly balanced songs. As befits their apparent maturity (they were the only band of whom I could be reasonably confident that the sum of any two of their ages would be greater than mine) they are finding their way into a larger world, reaching back a little further into their roots.

April 12, 2013
Save as . . . new electronic music by Tom Baker
Poncho Theater, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle

Tom Baker: theremin, fretless guitar, live-electronics
Corrie Befort: dancer and filmmaker
Julio Lopez: violin
William Smith: cello
Natalie Lerch: soprano
Gretchen Conrad: soprano
Michael Monhart: saxophone, electronics
Greg Campbell: percussion, french horn, electronics

Prelude Music
Imaginary Aphorisms
Traces: Nellie

Years ago Sarah Johnson wrote in News of Music, concerning Boretz's (" chart shines high where the blue milks upset..."), "not inside a bordered thing and not itself with borders, but the universe without suggestion of an outside". And it is exactly the senses in which there is an outside, an other, and where that outside, that other, is, that makes these musics so fascinating. It is tapped into, as one might find a realm of radio signals. It is extracted with painstaking care, as one might search for a particle in a bubble chamber. It is created from within itself, as though the inside's idea of the outside bore fruit. This music makes spaces. They invade, open up, slide in, descend upon, leak through, permeate.

This concert was too full of riches to call out each here, but special mention must be made of the costume Corrie wore in the second of the Imaginary Aphorisms. It was hilarious, obscene, terrifying, completely alien and absolutely human all at once - morbid self-consciousness embodied. Completely brilliant.

April 9, 2013
Banned Couple 9 - Banned Rehearsal

In Session At The Tintinabulary

April 8, 2013
Gradus 223 - Neal Meyer

April 11, 2013
Your Mother Should Know


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.

Toward the contemplation of a pitch stereoscope: two frameworks, joined at the source, phased (in specious increments), mutually warped, rounding space.

Meyer: Cage - Solo for Piano

Saturday, April 6, 2013



April 4, 2013
The Water Line is Rising
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Greg Campbell, Stuart Dempster, Lori Goldston, Kevin Patton, Dana Reason

Three long movements played with nuanced near-pauses between. Romantic in a Barzun sense: literary but not literal, evocative but not pictorial, lyrical but not sentimental.

In Movement One it is night and we witness a quiet tide cycle in an image of real time. In Movement Two we are under the ripples and witness the same quiet cycle from within the water's acoustic. In Movement Three the waters that rise are other waters. We are under underness, beneath our selves, beneath the face of the void.

Intimately attended - they gave out beautiful hand-printed posters.


April 2, 2013
Ebony Concerto - Stravinsky - Woody Herman & His Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, Woody Herman

As in Mozart, the movement from one thing to another is made in a sense of delight, but not as of a movement from balance to balance, or of conversational repartee, but of a reconfigured repeating, repeating reconfigurations within refigured frames repeated from skewed angles.

Banned Sectional 2 AKNWM -  (June 1985, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer

The same session recorded on two machines, and then remixed out of phase by a few seconds (to start with - the equipment all runs at different speeds, so there is a pleasant fluidity to the phase relationship). But the sense of an echo doesn't last long. Soon the sound separates itself into regions of registral textures. The sessions of this period are often concerned with questions of multiplicity - of sources, agendas, personalities, what have you - and cramming those back together to make a concord that does not flow necessarily from a hearing of anything, or from an intention of anything. In this case the session was pried apart from within itself, along a non-obvious seam, and then remelded. The scar should show, but the process illuminates other and more strongly evocative jointings.

In Session at The Tintinabulary

April 1, 2013
Banned Rehearsal 834 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, 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
Olympic National Park 1973