Saturday, March 8, 2014


March 1, 2014
Deeply Lodged: Three World Premieres by Seattle Composer Tom Baker
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Songs of Sleep and Dreams - Cherie Hughes, soprano; Brian Chin, trumpet; Ben Thomas, percussion
The gravity of the ensemble centers on the trumpet, with commenting accompaniment by song and percussion. That said, the center shifts easily, weightlessly, with exquisite care.
Invisible Cities (String Quartet No. 1) - Corigliano Quartet: Michael Lim & Elisa Barston, violins; Melia Watras, viola; Eric Gaenslen, cello
skittering smattering seeps chill, damp
lurks like crystal fungus shimmer
glimmer :: substance instance essence insistence endurance evanescence
Deeply Lodged - Cristina Valdés, piano; Jesse Canterbury, clarinet; Paul Taub, flute
Piano solo, winds on the far sides, silent until long forgotten. But there they have been, abiding long within resonance's decay, not prolonging the sound, but indexing the extent of its vanishing, caught on the sides of our precipice, centuries after disaster.
March 6, 2014
Empty Words / Song Books / Fontana Radif / Complete Human
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Compositions by John Cage and Jessika Kenney, performed by Jessika Kenney, voice and electronics; Neal Kosály-Meyer, voice; Jake Thompson, electronics.
By Part 4 of Empty Words we are reduced to phonemes, and our attention is centered on the mouth, its shapes and actions. The more typically complete linguistic mode of the Song Books, and of Kenney's original works, bears a similar relation to this attentional mode as does her final circumambulation of the space to the studied stillness pervading the remainder - and likewise, it in no way negates, and in no way is not permeated by, that stillness.
Cage: Language not elevated by song, but cast off, reduced, sliced away, partitioned.
The Whole:
Not proceeding at a glacial pace.
Not proceeding at all.
Rather, occurring.
The electronic manipulation minutely affixes our distance from the person sitting on the stage in front of us, as though voice were puppet, and apparatus a magic stage with a plastic relation to our skulls.
March 7, 2014
Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Sonata - Aaron Keyt - Keith Eisenbrey, piano
A hard-edged, unapologetic, neo-classical foray, modeled from movement to movement with various schemes on Haydn's Sonata in E, Hob.XVI:31. The most interesting aspect that shines through as a property of both is the peculiarity with which one phrase moves to the next - never exactly graceful or lyrical: more spidery, subtle, insurrectionary.
Northern Lights, and Three Stories - Clement Reid
Something about the pianistic writing reminded me of Greg Short - always solidly traditional in voice, but never shy about robust dissonance when called for. These pieces, like Greg at his best, were colorful neo-Romantic tone-poems, and probably, like Greg at his usual, wickedly difficult. I'm rather pleased to see that this thread of Seattle tradition is alive and well.
Left Hand Piano Piece and Did Everybody Get a Balloon? - Jay Hamilton
Leave it to Jay to blast pretense out of the room. Deeply cleansing after a long week. Thank you!
March 1, 2014
Symphony in B-flat, D. 485 - Schubert - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Böhm
Phrases begin multiply and end multiply, like books stacked in precise abandon. Underneath it all an unnamable coiled energy lurks, seething out just seldom enough to convince us it might not be there.
Sonata in A-flat, Op. 110 - Beethoven - Vladimir Feltsman
The patterns of shifting figurations, the moment to moment variation, the way scenes shift as though the ground is giving way, all conspire to articulate, in excruciating detail, a fractured underlying continuity. The surreal begins here.
Polonaise in B-flat minor - Chopin - Peter Katin
I probably shouldn't have tried to listen to anything immediately after late Beethoven, though this is lovely. Many years ago I was active in a music forum on CompuServe, as was the superb English pianist Peter Katin. At a time of temporary economic tightness on my end Maestro Katin was kind enough to give me a copy of his newly recorded CD of the complete Waltzes and Polonaises, for which I am ever so grateful.
March 3, 2014
Papillons, op. 2 - Schumann - Wilhelm Kempff
I once referred to Schumann's "dance-addled whimsy", of which I suppose this is the poster child. A set of variations on the theme of metrical fluidity.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
March 3, 2014
Figure Study 9 - Keith Eisenbrey
Gradus 240 - Neal Kosály-Meyer
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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