Saturday, April 26, 2014

Playlist

Upcoming This Week

Friday, May 2, 2014, 8pm
Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

I will be performing selections from my work in progress Études d'exécution imminente.

Live

April 25, 2014
Love Songs & other Fairy Tales
The Turtling Dithers (Maurice Colasurdo, Gordon Frazier, Jay Hamilton)
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
 
Part of what Jay gets so right so often is to eschew any aspect of professionalism that serves alienation. It is abundantly clear that we and they are in the same room together, and that the singing and the playing and the listening are all equally essential activities for the music to be at all. A remarkably healing evening.

Recorded

April 21, 2014
Sunset Medley - Gus Haenschen [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
 
Tapping or drumming? Either way it drives the sound of the piece. If it is tapping it is tapping intended as a drumming, and if a drumming it is intended to sound like tapping.
 
Marche Triomphale - Louis Vierne - David Di Fiore
 
A rather grim triumph. It is uncertain whether we share in it or whether we were triumphed o'er. It could have been in the back of John Williams's mind for the Imperial March.
 
Piano Sonata - Berthold Goldschmidt - Kolja Lessing
 
The neo-classical impulse walks a thin edge around a dire swamp - the already known, the academic, the explainable - and can subside toward a music designed with pre-approved, appreciable features. Tip, here's a theme! Tap, there's a counterpoint! Mind your boots going out.
 
String Quartet - Ruth Crawford Seeger - Composers Quartet
 
But here that neo-classical clarity is in pursuit of a remarkable and utterly original idea about multiplicities of times, and the payoff still astounds 80 years later.
Carbon Glacier - Mt. Rainier National Park - ca. 1973
 
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste - Bartok - Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Fritz Reiner
 
Schematic, but in a topsy-turvy world.
 
April 22, 2014
Stardust - Dave Appollone [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
 
The ghost of Paganini.
 
Prayer of St. Gregory - Alan Hovhaness - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, Charles Butler
I'm In The Mood - John Lee Hooker [from The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948 - 1954]
New England Triptych - William Schuman - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz
Runaround Sue - Dion [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Unintended Piano Music - Cornelius Cardew - John Tilbury
 
A single low tone is approached again and again by short groups of notes arranged in a non-linear, unpredictable sequence. It should be a stable anchor, but instead the twisted chorale that emerges in the upper register is unmoored.
 
Willis Wall - Mt. Rainier National Park - August 1976
7 Harmonies from "Apartment House 1776" - John Cage - Stefan Hussong
Songs from Walt Whitman - Malcolm Peyton - Bethany Beardsley, Malcolm Peyton, Linda Quan
Animal Boy - Ramones
 
A part of the Ramones wanted to be a girl group, and another part wanted to subsist on middle-school humor. One part allows growth, the other doesn't.
 
April 23, 2014
Toast/Spit - Infamous Menagerie
 
Absolute eloquence in a can. Wow.
 
music/consciousness/gender - Benjamin Boretz
 
The video component consists of photographs of individual human faces flashing for a second or less, interspersed with long periods blackness. When I started watching and listening I left the door cracked open, allowing a bit of light into the room. At some point the door was closed so that by the end of the piece each flashing face blinded me anew. We are what we have to work with.
 
April 25, 2014
Love Song - Stan Brakhage
 
11 minutes of a-prurient sensuality rendering everything else you have ever seen colorless and plodding.
 
Nine Strange Attractors - David Dunn
Duetude - Carlton Gamer - Paul Nagem, Sergei Vassiliev
Languisce al fin - Gesualdo - Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley
Konzert in F BWV 1047 - J.S. Bach - Fesitval Strings Lucerne - Rudolf Baumgartner
Sonata in E Wq. 48 - C.P.E. Bach - Bob van Asperen
Quartet in E flat Op. 1 #'0' Hob. II:6 - Haydn - Tatrai Quartet
 
In Session at the Tintinabulary
 
April 21, 2014
Transverse Flute 140421 - Keith Eisenbrey
Banned Rehearsal 857 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal  Kosály-Meyer
 
April 22, 2014
Sonata - Aaron Keyt - Keith Eisenbrey
Greek Nickel #2 - J. K. Randall - Keith Eisenbrey
Attitude - Doug Palmer - Keith Eisenbrey
 
Trying to get a recording of the pieces I played at my recital with more of the notes right. I think they still need some work.
 
Finnegans Wake - Chapter One - James Joyce - Neal Kosály-Meyer
 
Neal has been memorizing Finnegans Wake again. His plan is to get through the whole thing over the next 17 years. My hope, in the coming years, is to document his recital in both sound and video. First chapter in the can.
 
Upcoming
 
June 27, 2014 - 8 PM
Banned Rehearsal Celebrates 30 Years of Noise
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Playlist

Live

April 12, 2014
A Cat's Life
A piano Recital by Keith Eisenbrey, with special guest Olivia Sterne
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
 
Attitude (Two soloists punch their way out of a paper bag) - Doug Palmer
Greek Nickel #2 - J. K. Randall
Sonata - Aaron Keyt
A Cat's Life, a little opera for solo piano - Keith Eisenbrey
 
Herocat revisits the scene of the crime
After I was done and we were putting things away a resident cat came to inspect the piano.
 
Here are the program notes:
 
In spite of his unfailing attempts at self-deprecation, composer, instrument maker, and partially reformed auto mechanic Doug Palmer has emerged as a unique and valued voice in the Seattle new music community. Attitude began it's life as a duet for cello and piano, but when a cellist was not forthcoming I asked if he could rework the piece for solo piano. Its subtitle: two soloists punch their way out of a paper bag, is pretty much all the program notes you will need.
**
J. K. Randall has been such a powerful presence in American musical life for so long that it is difficult to overestimate his influence. He is among the first pioneers of computer-synthesized music. He taught many generations of composers and theoreticians at Princeton until his retirement in 1991. He is an inimitable writer, editor, theorist, and critic. Over the course of his long life he has collaborated with dozens of musicians, but his decades-long on-going conversation with Benjamin Boretz, in words spoken and printed as well as in music improvised and composed, stands as one of the most fruitful intellectual duets of our time. Typically, Greek Nickel #2 does not invite so much as demand engagement. The surface is spare and nearly void of rhetorical clues. What kind of a thing is it? I've been working on it for a year or more and I'm still not sure. We'll have to dive down pretty far, I think, so take a deep breath.
**
Aaron Keyt is a local composer. He studied composition at the UW and Princeton. He has composed for orchestra, chamber groups, and piano, as well as working with computer-generated and -modified materials. Along with Keith Eisenbrey and Neal Meyer, he is a founding member of the improvisational group Banned Rehearsal, now in its 30th year. Sonata (2012) is 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.
**
In writing A Cat's Life, I wanted to tell a story in music, using every time-honored rhetorical trick I could think of: long and short range key relationships, motivic recurrence and transformation, and of course words spoken out loud. Starting with the name of a friend's kitten (Heldenkitty), tale and music developed together: a fable of Herocat's life and death, his dreams and doubts, and even his great task (a double fugue, no less). Is it an opera? I think so, though perhaps only as a literary conceit. But what is opera after all, if not a literary conceit?
April 18, 2014
Kleine
Hoax Foot
Lion Pincher
Pouch
Victory Lounge, Seattle
 
 A quartet of two-piece bands, HF and LP (hmm) share a drummer, LP and P share a guitarist.Squint a little and the line-up reads like the name of a law firm. K made a valiant attempt to conjure up a working jet engine by starting with the roar. HF dialed it back (a little). LP and P didn't so much dial it back up (though that too) as finesse the design.
 
Sociologically, these bands are essentially playing for their friends - a good many of whom are in other bands. To some extent the differences among them (especially notable in this line-up) have more to do with the particulars of the way each duo interacts with each other than with musical differences per se. K could be the cousins from Boise, the others a subset of the local poly-amorous sub-commercial rock scene, all getting together for a jamboree. There is apparently another music venue next door to VL, so there is also a steady stream of slightly differently costumed folks wandering in to use the ATM. A certain gymnastic ability is required if you want to squeeze past the band to get to the porch, which gets trickier the more you've had.

Recorded

April 13, 2014
Polonaise in A-flat (1821) - Chopin - Peter Katin
 
If the date is to be believed, he would have been 11 or 12 when he wrote this. Already the paradigm is vocal, the left hand discreetly chunking along while the right hand sings.
 
Concerto in B minor, op. 7 - Paganini - London Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, Salvatore Accardo
 
A coloratura with superpowers. Paganini was one of the many composers who, envious of the attention and social power divas were drawing from audiences, absconded with the toolkit.
 
Papillons - Schumann - Peter Frankl
 
A set of waltz fragments that shifts gears so many times and turns so many corners it makes your head spin. It really shouldn't work at all, as a piece, but it does. There is a deep melody there whose notes are made from the angles between each phrase, each figure. Meta with capital M.
 
Remeniscences de Lucia di Lammermoor - Liszt - Alfred Brendel
 
Following in Paganini's footsteps to some extent, but Liszt didn't want to be just the singer, he wanted to be the whole opera, and not only to be that, but to be transfigured as well.
 
Overture from Der Fleigende Hollander - Wagner - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz
 
Premeniscences.

April 14, 2014
La Damnation de Faust - Berlioz - London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
 
First of all a complaint: Is that the conductor I hear moaning along with music? Sheesh.
 
As flabbergasting as Papillons, but on a massive scale. The individual numbers are set on inclines. New elements sneak in under cover, or from behind, or plop down, dis-ceremonious, into our laps. There are long stretches of terrifying immobility - no dance or counterpoint or long line to lead us here or there, just a fragmented bit of music . . . then another . . . then another . . . then another.  Catastrophe might lurk in a single pianissimo note lingering ever so slightly too long, or a root position triad in not quite the right place. Not an easy listen, but hard to stop thinking about.

April 15, 2014
Scherzo in E-flat minor, op. 4 - Brahms - Julius Katchen
Offertorium 'Afferentur regi' - Bruckner - Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Eugen Jochum
Overture on Russian Themes - Rimsky-Korsakov - Bochum Symphony, Othmar Maga
 
Another complaint, this time about the production: Every instrument is in your face and dynamic contrast is messily lost. I suppose this would help it to sound better on a bad radio, but I doubt R-K would approve.
 
Quartet in D Major - Tchaikovsky - Copenhagen String Quartet
 
The music is held in a tight grip. Individual straying is sternly tolerated and must return to the grip.

April 17 2014
Quartet in D Major - Borodin - Borodin Quartet
 
Imperial comfort music. Nothing gets in the way of the tune. Each function knows its place. Even when it's in canon with itself the moving parts carefully trade the spotlight. I must admit though, they're pretty great tunes.
 
Sonata in A Major -  Franck - Jascha Heifetz, Artur Rubinstein
Mt. Hood and Mt. Saint Helens, from the Wonderland Trail,
Mount Rainier National Park - August 1976
 
Lines of hills interfolded into the distance.
 
Zwie Lieder - Mahler - [unlabeled]
Allegro Concert in B-flat minor op. 18 - Scriabin - Michael Ponti
 
Uncontainable.
 
You've Been a Good Old Wagon (But You Done Broke Down) - Len Spencer  [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
St. Louis Rag - Pryor's Band  [from Allen Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Valses nobles et sentimentales - Ravel - Vlado Perlemuter
 
It never occurred to me just how Schumannesque this is. A set of fancy waltzes like Papillons, but also a study in contrasting personalities. Ravel might have just as appropriately called it Eusebius et Florestan. A fancy clock with ports that open to views of its clockwork, and ports in its clockwork that open to views of itself at its clock work.
 
In Session at the Tintinabulary

April 13, 2014
Zuckerman 140413 - Keith Eisenbrey
 
Clavichord improvisation. Pretty happy with the sound.

Upcoming

May 2, 2014
Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle 8pm

I will be performing selections from my work in progress Études d'exécution imminente.

June 27, 2014 - 8 PM
Banned Rehearsal Celebrates 30 Years of Noise
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Playlist

Tonight!
 
Recorded
 
April 6, 2014
They Should Have Known - Sgt. Major [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]
Lessons From The Ancestors - Steve Peters
 
A study in the modalities of human vocalization, paned by bells. The whole is gorgeously rendered, but the successive joints (if successive is exactly the right word here) between bell segment and MOHV segment, and from MOHV segment to bell segment, are exquisitely timed and tuned, each flip a revelation in both directions.
 
Mohrentanz - Tielman Susato - David Di Fiore
 
In listening to older music I am often struck by how differently the balance of focus among beat, meter, and phrase is handled from composer to composer, and from century to century. Here they come out almost equal to my ear, with phrase perhaps slyly holding a finger on the scale.
 
Quai fora, donna - Gesualdo - Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley
 
The textural shifts are as alarming as the harmonic.
 
Konzert in F BWV 1046 - J.S. Bach - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
 
Bob van Asperen
April 7, 2014
Sonata in C minor Wq. 48 #4 - C.P.E. Bach - Bob van Asperen
 
A hall of parenthetical mirrors, the infra-movement variety of affect looks forward to the Mahlerian world-symphonies.
 
April 8, 2014
Quartet in E-flat Op. 1. #2 - Haydn - Tatrai Quartet
 
This lives in its hinges.
 
Symphony in B-flat K74g - Mozart - Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood
 
But this lives in how firmly it anchors the sense of scale-degree inside the particulars of its melodies.
 
Sonata in G op. 49 #2 - Beethoven - Arthur Schnabel
Symphony in B-flat D.485 - Schubert - Vienna Philharmonic, Karl Münchinger
 
And this, though the finale is phoned in, lives in the highly charged color of its modulatory sequences.
 
In Session at the Tintinabulary
 
easily the best guitar case of the bunch
April 6, 2014
Franciscan 140406 - Keith Eisenbrey
 
 On my mom's 1960's nylon-string guitar (freshly restrung).
 
April 7, 2014
Banned Rehearsal 856 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer
 
 
 
 
Upcoming
 
May 2, 2014
Seattle Composers Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle 8pm
 
I will be performing selections from my work in progress Etudes d'execution imminente.
 
June 27, 2014 - 8 PM
Banned Rehearsal Celebrates 30 Years of Noise
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
 
 
 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Playlist

Coming Soon
 
Live
 
April 4, 2014
Music Night Out At Nova
Nova High School, Seattle
 
India Glover
Over There
Bret Mulholland
Rockin' Recorders
Amelia Miller
Aslin Clagg
Street Logic
Your Mother Should Know
DJ Ol' Youngin
Irene Bowen
Role:one
Tellez the Formula
The Neerdowells
Benjamin Verdoes
Sick Of It
 
A talent show in a school cafeteria, but blessed with a pretty good sound system and (miracle of miracles) a singularly attentive and  non-talkative audience. The offerings consisted of a mix of he and she minstrels, several hip-hop and rock and roll acts, and a recorder trio. Student, parents, and teachers all participated, with quality varying from not bad at all to quite fine.
 
Recorded
 
March 30, 2014
Tear the Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk) - Parliament [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
 
Each recorded part is discrete and untouched by the others. This allows maximum resolution but at the expense of serendipitous mashing of timbre, that little extra that being in the room with others can add. In what is a commendably communal arrangement style, this loss is particularly unfortunate.
 
The Garden of Earthly Delights - Stan Brakhage
 
A short film, less than a minute and a half long - each frame an individually assembled collage of plant parts - leaves erupting into flight.
 
Three Sudden Songs - Neal Kosály-Meyer
 
Song reduced back to the size of an unmediated human person.
 
Lazy - Moe Tucker, Daniel Hutchens, Victor DeLorenzo
The Sentient Insect Variations - Harmonia Forest At Dawn - Pete Comley
 
An oppressive dampness hangs within the fat synth sound. Not a narrative or a lyric reverie or a clockwork, more like a collage of geographies.
 
April 1, 2014
Thrasher's Corner  - Fidelity Grange
 
The structure of verse chorus bridge et cetera is a grid. Harmonic rhythm is a grid. Meter (as understood with the feet) is a grid. String band arrangement is a grid. String necks are grids. Plucking hands are grids. Each grid crosses the other grids, independently, in grids, resulting it a fine-mesh wire-frame fleshed out by resonance. 
 
In Session at the Tintinabulary
 
March 30, 2014
Coronet 140330
Coronet 140330 A - Keith Eisenbrey
 
Several years ago Steve Kennedy loaned me one of his lesser-quality bass-guitars. Soon afterwards, in a feat of clumsiness, I broke the face plate. At some point Neal took it to one of his guitar tech buddies who replaced the face plate with part of any old phonograph record from the Coronet label. I have no idea what actual brand the bass is, so it will be the Coronet. These two improvisations are the same session, but the 'A' version has a quick delay on it.
 
March 31, 2014
Gradus 242 - Neal Kosály-Meyer
 
An E poked into the wide empty world. Diminuendo to below the threshold of thought.
 
Upcoming
 
June 27, 2014 - 8 PM
Banned Rehearsal Celebrates 30 Years of Noise
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle