November 15, 2014
Seattle Modern Orchestra
Julia Tai, conductor
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Dérive / for six instruments - Boulez
Zeremonie for computer-realized sound - Huck Hodge
Treize couleurs du soleil couchant for five instruments - Tristan Murail
Alêtheia for ensemble - Huck Hodge
I don't like being grumpy about local music, but in spite of magnificent performances all around, and the very welcome opportunity to hear Huck's music again (easily the highlight of the evening), I found myself troubled, oppressed by what I admit is my longstanding and increasing prejudice against certain social modes that cling to concert music in general, and which, as larger performance organizations attempt to juice their image for the hipper set, increasingly pervade our thinking about what counts as worthwhile in new music. For want of a better label these are the modes of professionalism - music as career rather than adventure. Here's the thing: professionalism in musical performance practice demands music with professional qualities. It must be difficult to play. It must be significant. It must be explainable. The risks that such music is allowed are limited. Most importantly it can't risk its own subversion. And so it cranks up the volume of its own pretense until we, and it, are deafened.
November 18, 2014
Sun Ra Tribute Band
Jones Playhouse, Seattle
The music seeps in from above and behind. It sets up shop for us, with us, as much a social entity in action as a music. When the visitation is over it seeps back out, into the surroundings among us.
November 17, 2014
Then He Kissed Me - Moe Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Sonny Vincent, Don Fleming, John Cale
The best part of this is the intensely weird hollow-in-the-gut left-in-the-lurch emptiness that lingers after the last sound.
The Sentient Insect Variations - Island of Lost Plants - Pete Comley and Dave Fuglewicz
A film from which the visual has been leached away. The plants, or their alien chemistry, are responsible.
November 20, 2014
Namu-Amida-Butsu - Artur Avanesov - Paul Taub and Artur Avanesov
The piano, as a tam-tam, is not, at first, an accompaniment, but a geography in which flute lives.
Talking To A Wall - The Gropers - [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]
Just under two minutes long, it is absolutely magnificent for the first minute-and-a-half, then, unfortunately, deflates.
Eco Slab Gong - S. Eric Scribner
A horde of land barnacles on the move. Be very afraid.
|Inside the Stinger|
November 16, 2014
Silvertone 141116 - Keith Eisenbrey
Improvisation on hollow-body electric guitar, through an amp with spring reverb.