Saturday, January 17, 2015


Siri and Steve

January 10, 2015
Siri and Steve
Egan's Ballard Jam House, Seattle

A year ago in September we caught this classy act at a little winery in Langley and it was with great delight that we find them now a bit closer to home. Siri is a cousin of mine, sharing a set of great-grandparents on the McAbee side. They play a selection of '60s hits - Paul Simon and The Beatles are prominent - as well as some original songs. The volume level is grown-up low, the vocals are supple, un-pushed, and well balanced. They blend easily with the intricate instrumental arrangements - cello and guitar both playing off and deftly imitating each other. A wealth of sound in 10 strings and a bow.


January 11, 2015
Symphony #5 - Paul Creston - Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz

This is safer as a symphony than as a dinner party. They're everywhere! Nervous jitters, sliding off the table from nowhere, repeatedly. Taking runs at what starts as somewhere, were it not for it going on to where its going on is the subject. Long wandering lines of thought turning vaguely pressure cookery. Gonna blow!

Klavierst├╝ck IX - Stockhausen - Aloys Kontarsky

Still points that don't bring stillness, but index our velocity as we whip by multiply angled attack decay envelopes. Planes intersect - subtemporally grounded.

Symphony #6 - Roger Sessions - American Composers Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies

For listening up close. Every size of joint and color precisely measured to fit and tell. Strenuously carrying the Vienna torch.

January 13, 2015
String Quartet #3 - Elliott Carter - Pacifica Quartet

poked with a thousand needles
conversing on the side
swaddled with many wrappers
a thousand sleepers tippytoe

on Mt. Pilchuck, Spring 1977
(I still have the hat, not the shirt)
January 15, 2015
Magic Man - Heart

It was probably at about this time that I first saw a synthesizer in person. I was in a high-school music class (rumor was that the Wilsons had gone to Sammamish also) and a recent alum who was studying at Bellevue Community College brought one over for show and tell. I don't remember much what I thought of it then, but the sound of the synth on this track can't be far off from what I heard. Unfortunately the "gee whiz kids listen to our new synth" spotlight doesn't fit very smoothly into the mix, marring an otherwise terrific sound. Such were the times.

Let The Power Fall - Robert Fripp

With a limited but luscious vocabulary of (guitar?) sounds Fripp renders digital delays archaic 10 years before they were invented. Its activity is to find the music inherent in an apparatus where the apparatus is defined to include as an essential part the personality of the operator. Like Cage and his notations.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

January 11, 2015
Crestline 150111
Crestline 150111 folded
Crestline 150111 folded rubbed - Keith Eisenbrey

Improvising on tenor banjo (four strings, tuned like a viola, C, G, D, A). I am quite pleased with my electronically 'rubbed' version, so I thought I'd share that one on my Soundcloud site.

January 12, 2015
Gradus 257 - Neal Kos├íly-Meyer

I want that first chord! Neal plays two 20-minute rungs each session, each rung a different combination of notes. He is at a point in the project where nearly every A-natural and E-natural are in play - a plateau of riches where internal distinctions subsume global progression. Temporally local subsets within each rung that are distinguished by number of tokens come across as being different not in size but in focus - narrow or deep.

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