Saturday, February 22, 2014


February 16, 2014
Canals of Venice
Hoax Foot
Skylark Café, Seattle
Oh what a difference an excellent sound system and engineer can make! The last time we heard Pouch the vocals were completely buried. Liberated by the transparent balance at Skylark, it is especially gratifying to at last be able to hear how strong Sean's vocals have become (or always were for all I know). The sine qua non is still a shredding scream, but a whole range of more moderate techniques now anchor that in supple perspective.
Hoax Foot was playing their first show, and they were properly stoked. Excellent stage chemistry and rousing Ramones-y drive. Eager to hear more from these two.
This time around Canals of Venice, due to their odd-ball instrumental mix (no drums, viola, cello, upright bass, guitar, and a guest trumpet), struck me as a kind of chamber music or theater pit version of Fairport Convention - but hailing from some backwater European province that is somehow exactly like here. The lead singer, with his huge tenor voice and superb technique is a Seattle gem.
Thanks for the cupcakes!
February 21, 2014
21st Century Cello!
Seattle Modern Orchestra, with Séverine Ballon, cello; Julia Tai, conductor
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Chant for solo cello - Jonathan Harvey
Musique pour Séverine - Jeremy Jolley
Petals for solo cello - Kaija Saariaho
Ricercare una melodia for solo cello and electronics - Jonathan Harvey
IRE, concerto for cello, strings and percussion - Rebecca Saunders
The cult of virtuosity values what is difficult. Progress values what is new. At their intersection within musical culture they amplify each other, giving rise to a music emphatically un-doable-ourselves and narrowly explorative of so-called extended techniques. Now I admit to digging the music on this show - in IRE  I heard the wild highways of an alien future, gizmos and contraptions whizzing by at speeds unimaginably various, every moment a new propellant - but I can't help wondering if the newness of it is a veneer over concert music tried and true, and if the performers take too much of the difficulty of it upon themselves, leaving us with little to do but drop our jaws and envy.
February 15, 2014
Banned Rehearsal 58  - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Meyer - December 1985
We were preparing for a concert in January of 1986, and this was a run-through of the 'Sudden Song' portion. That's right. This was one of the few BR sessions that was an actual rehearsal.
Gradus 185 - Neal Meyer - December 2010
The first part (A-naturals 2, 4, 6, and 8) has a built-in constraint: without contortions it isn't possible to play more than two notes at the same time. The second part (A-naturals 2, 4, 7, and 8) emphasizes the big gap between 2-4 and 7-8.
February 17, 2014
Banned Rehearsal 59 - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Karen Meyer, Neal Meyer - December 22, 1985
We meet Aaron at the airport and drive to Lake City. Later Karen and I admit to having fallen for each other.
Extracts 10 - Keith Eisenbrey
February 20, 2014
Banned Sectional 4 AKNWM - Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer - December 1985
No matter how much noise is made, the system noise rules.
Extracts 11 - Keith Eisenbrey
A common trope of musical analysis is to draw circles around groups of notes. "These go together in the same way that these others go together." One can then trace the path of whatever has been selected through the passage in question. This project started with just the sort of analytical idea that might have spawned such an activity. I opined that Scriabin's Prelude op. 74 #4 might be profitably considered as based on the (0,3,4,7) type tetrachord. But I wondered what it would sound like if, first of all, only a specific transposition of that tetrachord were audible. In other words, instead of drawing circles around groups of notes I simply eliminated all the notes that weren't part of that tetrachord and played all the notes that were. Since there are twelve unique transpositions this could be done twelve times. Then I wondered what two such tetrachordal extractions would sound like conjoined. Midi made this possible without much fuss. There are twelve Extracts altogether - one for each transpositional relation of two tetrachords.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
February 17, 2014
Banned Rehearsal 853 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Meyer
March 7, 2014 - 8 PM
Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
I will be performing Aaron Keyt's Sonata (2012) for solo piano.
April 12, 2014 - 8 PM 
A Cat's Life Returns Again - a recital by Keith Eisenbrey, piano, with special guest Olivia Sterne, narrator
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Attitude - Doug Palmer
Greek Nickel 2 - J. K. Randall
Sonata (2012) - Aaron Keyt
A Cat's Life, a little opera for solo piano (1990) - Keith Eisenbrey
June 27, 2014 - 8 PM
Banned Rehearsal Celebrates 30 Years of Noise
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle


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