Saturday, October 31, 2015

Playlist

Recorded

October 25, 2015
Se vi duol il mio duolo - Gesualdo - Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley

Part of what seems so modern about Gesualdo is the centripetally charged architecture of the virtual space he creates. Hidden rooms and dark hallways are implied. Out can't be got. The only option is further in.

Konzert in G Major BWV 1048 - J.S. Bach - Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

The halls here are brightly lit, and there are windows open to the breezes. The balanced phrases spill out in every seeming possible combination of distributive weighting.

Petites Pieces "Les Langeurs tendres" Wq. 117 #30 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

A mid-18th Century Chopin nocturne, though it would translate more graciously to lute or guitar than to piano.

Tatrai Quartet
Quartet in G Major Op. 17 #5 Hob. III:29 - Haydn - Tatrai Quartet

More fresh air and sunshine. Children are playing. Our music is a grace to the gracious living of others. This is the quartet from which Beethoven borrowed the recitative for the 9th.

Symphony in D Major K504(504) - Mozart - Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood, Jaap Schroder

It isn't just that all of Mozart's best music is opera, either for real or in drag, but that the extent to which it is Mozartean is exactly the extent to which the music is the image of staged singers in mid-plot. The slow movement of this one pulls a second twist, in that the moment of its plot is utterly still, without beginning or end - the characters entwined for all time in freely poignant, floating bliss.

String Quartet in E minor op. 59 #2 - Beethoven - Budapest Quartet

The close regard of little tids of figuration (as transformable music substance) is the musical substance. The larger structures (phrases, sections, movements) are accidents, epiphenomena of the cross-play among micro-compositions.

October 27, 2015
Polonaise in F-sharp minor Op. 44 - Chopin - Artur Rubinstein

Played with admirable lucidity, the phrases rounded just enough for clarity without telegraphing what might be suddenly there next.

Symphony in C Major Op. 61 - Schumann - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan

This is recorded/engineered in such a gluey acoustic environment that even what sounds like it was played articulately becomes distant and blurred, in soft-focus. Ah, that '30's Hollywood glow. Doesn't do Schumann any favors though.

Deception Pass State Park, Washington
In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 25, 2015
Wishes Last - Keith Eisenbrey

I wrote/improvised a song that's like a hymn, accompanied by spoons and nylon string guitar. I'll be putting this up on Bandcamp soon with a couple of other recent songs. First take, best take.

October 26, 2015
Banned Telepath 39 Seattle 151026
Banned Telepath 39 Somerville 151026
Banned Rehearsal 897 151026 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, in Seattle; and Aaron Keyt, in Somerville


Up to our usual shenanigans, Steve found a way to bow the washtub bass with a loose spring, to excellent effect.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Playlist

Live

October 20, 2015
Jonathan Biss
UW World Series - President's Piano Series - Meany Hall, Seattle

Sonata in C minor, K. 457 - Mozart
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op. 19 - Schönberg
Sonata in F Major, K.533/494 - Mozart
Kreisleriana, Op. 16 - Schumann
Waldszenen: Abschied (encore) - Schumann

It would have been nice if he had played the Schönberg twice, there is so much there and it goes by so quickly. But also it exists within such a radically different projected social image than Mozart that it takes a while for the ear to adjust itself. It's like the scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen's character finds himself unexpectedly, and with growing horror, closeted with Christopher Walken confessing to self-destructive fantasies.

My feelings about the evening were mostly positive (lovely singing tone, delicate shadings of phrases, etc.) my major gripe being that the fast tempi were, to my ear, simply too fast for the music's internal articulation to come through. This was most apparent in the Schumann, who perhaps doesn't do himself any favors with his sehr rasch and noch schneller. However, there is potent contrapuntal detail in the quick figurations that simply doesn't make it to the back of Meany when played too fast. A quibble I suppose, but it seems a shame that only the pianist himself is close enough to pick up on all those marvelous twists and turns.

Recorded

October 22, 2015
Sonata for Viola and Piano - Ivan Sokolov - Karen Bentley Pollick, Ivan Sokolov

As though a long lost sonata by Franck had been discovered, though eventually it nods toward the modernism of Debussy.
Warren Burt

the shape of the voice I: Milton Babbitt - Warren Burt [from Milton Babbitt, a composer's memorial]

We turn pages of textured modulations

I am not sure
the sound having stopped

and having sat after
for some time

when
I should

or should want
to regard this

as being

(ever)

finished

On a personal note, I had the good fortune to meet Warren Burt many years ago when he visited Bard College in the early '80s. I remember him passing out the (single page) score of a piece that could be played even post-apocolyptically - not certain there would be instruments left or any technology with which to construct them, it is scored for rocks (banged together). An experimental stalwart and a fascinating thinker.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 19, 2015
Gradus 277 151019 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

I started thinking about the musical metaphor of the vertical, the up-down-ness of pitch, and how embedded this concept is in our language, how "high and low on the pitch spectrum" could be mistaken for a qualitative primitive, irreducible. But I was noticing in my hearing of these assorted E-naturals and C-sharps that I was also hearing vestiges of a different, tonally-functional vertical sorting. Any E seemed, somehow, to be higher than any C-sharp, and both tended down toward an implied A-natural root. In other words, in tonal perception, the root of a chord is always at the bottom of some metaphoric, but palpable, pile of notes, regardless of its particular actual spot along the spectrum.

Exchange

Last week's post included my comments on listening to a recording of John Cage's Atlas Eclipticalis. Neal Kosály-Meyer responded by email, and I offer here our exchange, I will give Neal the last word, but do plan on responding soon - so further installments are likely:
Me and Neal near the start of our disagreement about Cage

K: 
Atlas Eclipticalis - Cage - The Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra,with The Hartt Contemporary Players and The Arditti Quartet, Melvin Strauss

30 minutes of the most lovely of nearly-overs, of almost-dones, of penultimatisms, spent in contemplation of my constitutional inability to hear sounds as themselves, empty of meaning. To hear a sound as itself I would need to not be aware that it was made by a human being, or that it was laden with social freight. Such a position seems deeply misanthropic, murderous. Would music be best for Cage if none were there to hear it?

N: 
Would music be best for Cage if none were there to hear it?
            No, since for Cage hearing is the essential or even supreme musical act.   So more like, that music would be best which involved only listening.   He always said his favorite piece was the silent piece.

Such a position seems deeply misanthropic, murderous.
            “This project will seem fearsome to many, but on examination it gives no cause for alarm.   Hearing sounds which are just sounds immediately sets the theorizing mind to theorizing, and the emotions of human beings are continually aroused by encounters with nature. Does not a mountain unintentionally evoke in us a sense of wonder?  otters along a stream a sense of mirth?  night in the woods a sense of fear?  Do not rain falling and mists rising up suggest the love binding heaven and earth?  Is not decaying flesh loathsome?  Does not the death of someone we love bring sorrow?  And is there a greater hero than the least plant that grows?  What is more angry than the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder?  These responses to nature are mine and will not necessarily correspond with another’s. Emotion takes place in the person who has it.  And sounds, when allowed to be themselves, do not require that those who hear them do so unfeelingly.  The opposite is what is meant by response ability.”  JC Experimental Music, 1957

To hear a sound as itself I would need to not be aware that it was made by a human being, or that it was laden with social freight.

            If we hold listening to be the highest and subtlest musical act, “hearing a sound as itself” is an ideal, a koan, a counsel to let go of ideas and feelings about that sound and return to listening, then again and again letting go of the ideas and feelings that come to return again to listening and that sound itself whose heart we will never exactly reach, though in the course of the quest to reach it we may at some point find our ears to be now in excellent condition.

spent in contemplation of my constitutional inability to hear sounds as themselves, empty of meaning.
            See above—as in meditation no one’s heart or mind will shut up, ever.   Letting go of thought and feeling to return to stillness, darkness, silence, the deeper mystery, always being pulled back by thought feeling cough sneeze itch ache fatigue anxiety, all that is not the still dark silent deep we seek—that’s how this works.  And there is no empty, of anything.

30 minutes of the most lovely of nearly-overs, of almost-dones, of penultimatisms,
            Sounds like my idea of a good time.

Atlas Eclipticalis - Cage - The Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra,with The Hartt Contemporary Players and The Arditti Quartet, Melvin Strauss


I expect we'll continue to have this particular discussion on into the future.   Thanks as always for the stimulus to thought about what it is exactly that I am and we are doing.

K:
yeah yeah, chapter and verse, amen.

The problem is that I don't have a way to understand the notion of "the sounds as themselves" that has any particular meaning. If he means "sounds as an emanation of nature", well that's a completely different thing to my mind, but the media complex of concert music trappings he chose to work in pretty much overwhelms any hope of that. And any sound made by a human person, or even any sound I experience has having been made (conceived, designed, produced, reproduced, or banged out in situ) by a human person, becomes an utterance, a token of social exchange, more or less transparent, more or less charged, ineluctably connecting us together, actively communicating us.  For me, it is the hearing of sounds "as utterance" that sets the theorizing mind to theorizing, the empathic heart to understanding. If emptying the sound of it's utterance-hood is the ideal, then that would necessarily sever then connection between utteror and utteree, literally dehumanizing the token of exchange, leading back to murder.

Don't get me wrong here, I enjoyed the recording immensely, but as an utterance, as many things more than sounds "as themselves".

see you Monday!

N:
yeah yeah, chapter and verse, amen.

               I still pray for you, brother.
The problem is that I don't have a way to understand the notion of "the sounds as themselves" that has any particular meaning.
           Except that it seems that you DO have a notion that has a quite particular meaning:   that of being amputated or severed from that which you don't wish it to be amputated or severed from, or of being the instrument or victim of murder.

If he means "sounds as an emanation of nature", well that's a completely different thing to my mind,

             It feels more direct to me to think of the sound AS nature, or as just being itself, rather than being an emanation, messenger or intermediary.   As when Beckett said that Finnegans Wake is not about a thing, it is the thing.

but the media complex of concert music trappings he chose to work in pretty much overwhelms any hope of that.

             Using the trappings of concert music certainly thickens the plot, especially back in the day when musicians and conductors would ignorantly or intentionally sabotage pieces like Atlas.   Nowadays recordings like this one or the SEM Ensemble's seem to me to offer a different and refreshing thing that a set-in-its-ways beast like a symphony orchestra can do.   Hearing orchestras do repertoire like this well actually gives me hope for music and I guess for humanity.

And any sound made by a human person, or even any sound I experience has having been made (conceived, designed, produced, reproduced, or banged out in situ) by a human person, becomes an utterance, a token of social exchange, more or less transparent, more or less charged, ineluctably connecting us together, actively communicating us.

                Hearing Cage played well always feels me to me intensely human and intensely uttersome, generally requiring significant engagement, attention to fine detail, a respect for the composer and what he has made.   I guess I find it more exciting when what is being uttered is a sound formed and contemplated in as much detailed glory and mystery as is possible to form and contemplate, and often mysterious as utterance, just as often serendipitously connecting to the rest of the piece in a theatre or a phrase or an arc that can be as extraordinarily compelling as if it had been the result an intended design, and often the more enjoyable because I know there was no such intention.

For me, it is the hearing of sounds "as utterance" that sets the theorizing mind to theorizing, the empathic heart to understanding.

           As indicated, I don't think sounds cannot utter if we're actually listening to them.   There is perhaps an implicit metaphysic in Cage that utterance, consciousness, feeling, thought are not exclusively human qualities or attributes, but are generally present in all things.   At least that's the way I like to imagine the universe, not privileging thought feeling and design as being things that only humans do, but as being inherent properties of all manifestations of matter and energy.   Can't be proved or demonstrated one way or the other, obviously.   Imagining it that way, for me, makes the universe more fun, friendly and less lonely, I guess.   Cage's music played well usually makes it feel more likely to me that this is in fact the way things are.

If emptying the sound of it's utterance-hood is the ideal, then that would necessarily sever then connection between utteror and utteree, literally dehumanizing the token of exchange, leading back to murder.
              I would argue that privileging thought, feeling, design etc as exclusively human, and narrowly defining "utterance" to conform with that is the more amputating and murderous act, and the sort of thing that defines what Freud called the General Neurosis, that which makes us, as Nietzsche would have it, the "Sick Animal."    I don't need all music to be like Cage's, but I definitely need Cage's music among those I hear and contemplate--for me it opens kinds of doors and windows OUT of the sickness that hardly anybody else's does.

I'd add that all of this very much validates and confirms the work I've taken on with Gradus.    Among lots of things, that project is very much about taking that Cagean sound-in-itself notion and carrying it into a way of playing which is not dependent on the strictly composed ways that JC employed.    Your continued enthusiasm for Gradus means even more to me given the frustrations you still have with Cage, since it  feels like I'm managing to transmit what's most important to me about him in a way that you can receive without as much ambivalence as you experience with Cage's own compositions.   Must be doin my job.

P.S.   Felt I needed to add that my final response (to your bit beginning "If emptying the sound of its utterance-hood . . .")  was not meant to be as harsh or contrarian as it may read.   That came out because it hit me that the imagery of amputation and murder were reminding me of something on point, which was Norman Brown's close reading of Freud, Life Against Death, especially the sections in which he traces the early developmental crises and their culmination in the Oedipal phase.  Brown emphasizes that these are not simply "normal" developmental phases however universal, but tragic and traumatic experiences that each of us has gone through, and that the final result, the mature human ego, is in fact something which is profoundly amputated or castrated from that which it would be better not to have been amputated or castrated from.    Freud's heartbreaking insight is that we are as a species burdened with an awful and constitutional illness out of which it is difficult to see the way out.   Brown sees more hope than Freud, partly through a re-thinking of psychoanalysis at a social level rather than just individual, but also in ways that artists might envision different, healthier ways of being human.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Playlist

Live

October 16, 2015
Highline Tavern, Seattle

Oddly, it seems Red Ribbon's Bandcamp page is down at the moment, but I'll put the link up there anyway. It has been too long since we've heard Emma Danner and crew, and in the interim they have grown solid at the core. Her vocals are not as pushed as they were those first few shows, allowing her voice to revel in quirkiness, floating blissfully in the wash of the five-piece instrumental flangethrash.
they had darling stickers

Ephrata is a four piece, advertising themselves as "Seattle's best all girl and all guy shoegaze dream pop band." I'll buy that. What is remarkable is that their go-to vocal sound is four-part harmony, and the happy combination of two girl voices and two guy voices has a classical balance that works well for them. And they look so wholesome! What a nice family!

Prom Queen is a "cinematic 60's rock band from Seattle", in costume and wig. In front of some solid drumming (nice looking gold sparkle set!) the dynamic between bluesy guitar and female vocalist had something of a Mickey and Sylvia flavor to it, but all done in stripper tempo and with a don't-you-dare-come-fucking-hither attitude. A heady brew, to be sure.
Prom Queen eye roll

Salad Boys are on tour from New Zealand, of all places. Two skinny tall prancing guys up front on guitar and bass, and one apparently nearly asleep drummer in the back who, when playing, is all in and steady as a rock. At first blush the vocalist reminded me a little of the Rod Stewart of Maggie May, but veered off into more REM territory, possibly due to the density of sound provided by electric-twelve string. (I want one). We enjoyed it thoroughly, but we had to take off before their last two songs in order to catch our bus home. And now I need to take a nap.

Recorded

October 11, 2015
Wozzeck - Berg - Paris National Orchestra, Pierre Boulez

It measures: place in time, place on compass, place on social hierarchy. Wozzeck is unmoored in all. The orchestra is not an accompaniment as in Mozart, nor an enveloping world within which the singers live, but is more like a malign antagonist - jeering, heckling, commenting on the action to itself. It's like sitting next to a rudely loud person at a movie, or as though the heckler characters in Ludwig Tieck's Der gestiefelte Kater had been transformed into a music, a doppelganger of the play.

October 13, 2015
Music for Small Orchestra - Ruth Crawford Seeger - Schönberg Ensemble

One might imagine her puzzling out how the pitches in Le Sacre du printemps work around each other, and ignoring everything else. 

Ionisation - Varèse - New York Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez

Something uncivil is occurring, just around the corner.

Romeo and Juliet Suite #1 - Prokofiev - Seattle Symhony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz

Of a piece with Disney animation of the time: something creepy masquerading as an anachronism.

Anitra's Dance - Donald Lambert [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

A series of masks.

Concerto in D - Stravinsky - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra - Neville Mariner

Peapod racing. Very fast. Very tiny.

Kreuzspiel - Stockhausen - London Sinfonietta

Ceremoniously theatrical. The tunes wander as though blindfolded.

Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry [from The Best of Chuck Berry]
Atlas Eclipticalis - Cage - The Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra,with The Hartt Contemporary Players and The Arditti Quartet, Melvin Strauss

30 minutes of the most lovely of nearly-overs, of almost-dones, of penultimatisms, spent in contemplation of my constitutional inability to hear sounds as themselves, empty of meaning. To hear a sound as itself I would need to not be aware that it was made by a human being, or that it was laden with social freight. Such a position seems deeply misanthropic, murderous. Would music be best for Cage if none were there to hear it?

One More Heartache - Marvin Gaye [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Indian Reservation - Paul Revere and the Raiders [from The Legend of Paul Revere]

Social consciousness (of a sort) as a TV theme song.

October 15, 2015
Space Oddity - David Bowie [from Changes One]

Birth.

The Once Over Twice - X [from Wild Gift]

The sound is packed under pressure, squeezed tight from both sides.

Papa Don't Preach - Madonna [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
That's B.A.D. - Moe Tucker [from I Feel So Far Away: Anthology 1974 - 1998]

agitprop.

Banned Sectional 24 KEE NWM - January 1996 - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer
Two grappling avatars furiously constructing a drummer. As it thins out Neal's tenor sax blurts create ghost echoes both before and after (it was recorded on cassette tape and loud sounds will leak both up and down the layers of spiral in storage). This is an effect that, I think would be impossible to duplicate live - echoing an event that has not yet occurred.

Downtime - Benjamin Boretz [from Open Space 20]

There is a favorite moment of mine in the middle of Shostakovich's Symphony #1 where the piece comes to an emphatic and unambiguous end. Thud. There is a short pause and the pianist suddenly bangs a big chord, knocking the remainder of the symphony down a staircase where, eventually, it does end. There is something of the kind at work here as well, though the effect (if effect it is) repeats itself thematically, drilling into deeper rock each time, but which is nevertheless completely other than S's satiric-comic model, since it occurs not in quotidian time, but in spirit or soul time, kairos rather than chronos.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 10, 2015
Maple Leaf 151010 - Keith Eisenbrey

We had a bit of a blow and a drench, so I recorded a few minutes of it. Of course things mostly settled down as soon as my recorder was set up, but I did get some nice white noise and an occasional rattle from our decrepit wind chime.

October 12, 2015

Attic 151012 -  Keith Eisenbrey, with Karen Eisenbrey assisting

Karen and I are, at long last, going to have our attic insulated. This necessitates hauling all the stuff that we were storing up there back down into the house. I aimed the microphone up toward the attic access and did my best to refrain from profanity.

Banned Telepath 38 Seattle 151012
Banned Telepath 38 Somerville 151012
Banned Rehearsal 896 151012 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, and Neal Kosály-Meyer (in Seattle); and Aaron Keyt (in Somerville)


Among other joys, Aaron and I play a cross-continental piano trio (I had two keyboards at hand).

October 13, 2015
Trio 151013 - Keith Eisenbrey


Toy piano, german concert zither, and electric bass.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Playlist

Live

October 3, 2015
Macefield Music Festival
Seattle


at The Sunset Tavern
The Kent 3 are survivors of the mid-90s punkish scene in Seattle, apparently well known among the junta of other survivors of the mid-90s punkish scene in Seattle. Their set is fast and tight, filling every cranny with get in your face, while
Best in the game

at The Tractor Tavern
Mikey & Matty do their best to channel the blood-harmony of the Everly Brothers. Faustine Hudson (nice hat!) is the best drummer I have heard live in ages, perhaps ever. There is a palpable negative space in her drumming, not a stroke is without effect, nor a silence without weight. All that, solid as can be, and she's obviously having a blast in the bargain. She alone was worth the trip to Ballard.

Recorded

October 4, 2015
String Quartet in C Major op. 59 #3 - Beethoven - Amadeus Quartet

Outside the busy household a wraith bides, not invading except as an occasional awareness from inside.

Polonaise in F-sharp minor op. 44 - Chopin - Peter Katin

The mid-bit refuses to move in any direction until suddenly, whoops! it's over here, like some dumb magic trick - a sleight of tonality by misdirection of memory. Mr. Katin orchestrates admirably.

Symphony in C Major op. 61 - Schumann - Berlin Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan

Lingering on a note just long enough, persists just exactly to a metrical weight-moment uponwhere we think we might remember someotherwhere this might have gotten to, but moves elseonwards. Underneath the e-string shimmer the slow roll of slumberous hornscellosclarinets - the dreaming body beneath the dream. The last movement, rambunctious, encloses within itself the poignant end of some slow movement otherwise not present.

October 6, 2015
Piano Concerto in B-flat Major op. 83 - Brahms - London Symphony Orchestra, Janos Ferencsik, Julius Katchen

Bridges and roads of stone, not the mountains they traverse, but the views of the mountains from the bridges and roads of stone.

Waltz in D-flat major op. posth. - Scriabin - Michael Ponti

A quick stutter of waltz, giddy til it drops through the floor. Not a waltz for human metabolism.

Das Knaben Wunderhorn - Mahler - Concertgebouworkest, Amsterdam, Bernard Haitink, Jessye Norman, John Shirley-Quirk

Tone painting overdone to the point of ghoulishness, the singers' world envelops, leaves no room for us outside from which to observe, we too are brought in, immersed. Märchenwelt as another exotic location.

October 8, 2015
Prelude "en Tapisserie" - Satie - Frank Glazer

All the parts are in the box. No instructions for conceptual assembly, or what help is given mostly hinders.

Allegro Barbaro - Bartok - June de Toth

Bartok has not, as has Satie, lost his faith in stretto and splash.

Alagazam - The Peerless Quartet [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Poking out from between the patently offensive lyrics and (presumed) black-face presentation, is some pretty fun proto-beatboxing, nonsense words as drums, or up-tempo quantitative verse.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 4, 2015
Trio 151004 - Keith Eisenbrey
I improvised three tracks, one each of bells & gongs, tin whistle, and clavichord.

October 5, 2015
Gradus 276 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Neal introduces a new C-sharp, but not to anypitch else, because any other pitch is unimaginable, a perceptual impossibility. Until it isn't.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Playlist

Live

October 2, 2015
Macefield Music Festival
Seattle

at Conor Byrne Pub
Scott
Scott Yoder has a lovely acoustic 12 string and a pleasing baritone voice that veers more toward a dylanesque than a country twang. In contrast to some he-minstrels he seems to have picked up strength in a shared vulnerability that is more commonly the province of she-minstrels, such as
Shannon

Shannon Stephens, (nice boots!) whose lightly wrought alto/mezzo vocals never soar to anthemic heights, but are always finding exquisite paths through the transparent open weave of sound provided by her ever so musicianly band, reminding us not to be blinded to what is there by what we think ought to be there, or such as

Mindie
Mindie Lind, with her face's active performance role, commenting on the songs in progress with a leer or a wink, edging cabaret-ward, her forward voice given plenty of space, her deftly composed set beginning with just her and her keyboard, after a few songs adding an understated electric bass, then a backing vocal, and ending with an a cappella duet. Music for grown-ups, in some (unfair) contrast to

at The Sunset Tavern
Full Toilet, who were just finishing their last song as we forced our way into the swampy press, and whom we had heard several years ago, or in contrast to

Gaytheist, who, judging from the knuckle tats on a nearby fan must be "prog-core", are a three piece Portland gang of mostly brawny 30 somethings whose very fast, very loud, and, admittedly, ably accomplished set triggered all sorts of pathologizing impulses in me. To be fair, their reasons for doing what they do are likely so alien to the reasons I might do a thing myself as to be outside my critical ambit. But if there is a crack through which I might begin to hear this music sympathetically I imagine it lies in its very narrowness, in the tightness of its expressive corset. There are only so many moves possible here, and it is yet to be discovered whether the possible resultant configurations of those moves are swiftly exhausted or might yield to the infinite.

Recorded

September 29, 2015
Banned Rehearsal 412 - January 1996 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Anna K, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Some of my favorite moments in BR sessions are those that shift between getting ready to prepare to do and spilling over the edge into doing.

These sounds are not made, they are released, making themselves if given half a chance.
energies of the body's muscles || energies of harnessed industry

At first it is an essay in reed harps.

The sound not so much recorded onto tape as stuffed into every cranny of magnetic media, the drums overcramming the violin scribble until it sounds like it is coming over a bad radio connection.

At nearly our noisiest, full of episodes variously narrated or chaperoned by electric guitar, each episode worked at intently even if not (though often) successfully.

As though collectively arranging massive objects on the floor.

Falling Still - Emily Doolittle - Seattle Chamber Players (Maria Mannisto, Paul Taub, Laura DeLuca, Matthew Kocmieroski, Mikhail Schmidt, Joe Kaufman)

A vertical sonority appears, suggested by a single tone, a vertical sonority flowers, allowing melodic prolongation, spilling out in a narration of a flowered vertically suggested sonority.

Santa Claus - Freak Outs [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

". . . is gonna eat your brain."

for Milton - Christian Carey - John McMuretry, Ashlee Mack

a careful arrangement of fractured stones, garlands of lichen and dried grasses, ramekins of brimming liquids. Love the hints of walking bass, and how the tones of flute and piano wrap around each other or fling themselves apart across their own discoveries.

October 1, 2015
Deh, coprite il bel seno - Gesualdo - Academy of Musicke, Anthony Rooley

So many sides and asides, so many second thoughts, so many testings of tensile strength. He pokes and prods his own creation.

Konzert in G BWV 1049 - Bach - Festival Strings Lucerne, Rudolf Baumgartner

One imagines the glee with which he seems to be inventing or re-imagining composition as a learned profession rather than as a merely tasteful servanthood.

Petites Pieces "La Journaliere" Wq. 117 #32 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Late in the evening enchambered diversions for cultured friends. One could imagine 4 in the room, but not 6.

Keyboard Sonata in G Hob. XVI:8 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

In contrast, Haydn sounds like he might have been out-of-doors now and then, understands sunshine.

Symphony in D K. 504 (#38) "Prague" - Mozart - Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter

Starts cloaked, hidden in shadow. His second thoughts are spun out over great distances within a world that holds them steady in social community. We know where we. Our ideas can spread out safely among the parts. For now.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

September 24, 2015 (inadvertantly missing from last post)
Demo Sessions 150924 - Your Mother Should Know (Karen Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Acoustic takes of 8 songs so that their new bass player can practice remotely: Distracted Driver, Don't Black Out, Quiet Girl, Rebecca Marina, See You At The Next Show, Shed a Tear, Yellow Line, You Ruined It. 4 tracks: an old Sony dynamic mic inside the kick drum, a horizontally aligned stereo condenser mic to pick up Karen's vocal in one track and her drums in the other, and a mono condenser to pick up Neal's vocal. I figured the guitar would show up on everything anyway.

September 27, 2015
Trio 150927 - Keith Eisenbrey
Three overdubbed tracks: autoharp, snare drum, transverse flute.

September 28, 2015
Banned Telepath 37 150928 Seattle - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer
Aaron intimates that his portion will arrive anon.