Saturday, December 31, 2016



"The time has long gone since the monumentality of the written text, having found its niche in the great halls of literature, could experience such achievement in proxy for its poet as ultimate bulwark against the flotsam of history and the underlying tussle and torque of time. Neither Keats' Urn nor Yeats' Singing School nor even the dusty owls of Robert Duncan's grim Museum, can hold out any longer against the utterly transitory character of even the most heartily well-wrought artifact. The artifactual nature of reality itself is now felt to be so keenly ensconced in its fleeting identity, that 'the work of time's' subjection to time's ravages hardly evokes a whimper. You must find a way to live with a moment's grace and let the matter of durative identity take care of itself as it can." Charles Stein "Magic Without Tears in the Writings of Lissa Wolsak" - Open Space Magazine Issue 12/13 fall 2010/winter 2011



December 26, 2016
Fletcher Henderson

That Devilin' Tune - Stella Mayhew [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

An oversize stage presence in the service of cringe-worthy minstrel-show lyrics.

Unknown Blues - Fletcher Henderson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Loose-jointed piano playing.

Panama City Ltd. - Ada Brown [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Delicious horn section.

I'm Crazy About My Baby - Fats Waller [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The sophistication of the performance leaves the song far behind.

December 27, 2016
Romeo et Juliette Act III - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juratis

Clearest bliss layered on clearest bliss, but viewed from an angle that fragments each line, especially in secret, where intricacies are worked out.

Nat Cole
Just a Sittin' and a Rockin' - Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Sets up shop and stakes a claim.

Somebody Loves Me - Lester Young, Nat Cole, Buddy Rich [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

All three of them are fabulous, but Nat Cole's piano playing is astonishing in the way it folds rhythm and tune together.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 25, 2016
UTUMC - MCC Coffee Makers 161226 - Keith Eisenbrey
When we got to church Christmas morning Karen and I took our choir folders, which we had taken home with us late on Christmas Eve, back to choir room in the basement. In the hall was a coffee maker, and in a kitchen off the hall was another, all by themselves, happily singing carols.

December 26, 2016
Banned Telepath 52 161226 Anchorage
Banned Telepath 52 161226 Seattle
Banned Rehearsal 925 161226 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, and Steve Kennedy, in Seattle; and Aaron Keyt in Anchorage

Saturday, December 24, 2016



December 15-18, 2016
Die Zauberflöte Act II - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Bohm

An allegory of the patriarchy in all its splendor and misogyny. As wonderful as the individual numbers are, and even as well as the Act II works as a sequence of pieces (somewhat better than Act I), the thing itself fails as drama, in part because the characters are motivated by the necessities of the allegory rather than by their personal interactions. They aren't making it up as they go along, it is made up for them from above. I also have trouble with the disjuncture between the sung sound and the spoken sound. The sung sound is so huge, so developed in itself, so wedded to its accompanying harmonic processes, that when characters simply speak I can't reconcile the sung and spoken voices into single persons.

December 22, 2016
Sonata in A-flat Major,op. 110 (#31) - Beethoven - Wilhelm Kempff

1. Figuration playing over the surface of what is held dear. Clouds on sky.
2. The perfectly wrong tempo, WK nails it throughout. I wanted to jump up and down.
3. Between-ness, one person, a singular voice, profane. (Alternating with:
4. The fugal sacred, corporate, universal. (Neither looking back to the other, but each finding cause, common or un-, within each, to be found to be having been moved back into the other.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
December 19, 2016
Gradus 304 161219 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

A new G. Anew! G! A gnu, gee! (Agnew) )Gwenga.( Eeg! Ungag! Wen, Ag; Wen, A.

Feeling felt. Bone of wood flesh of felt. Felted hammer fleshed bone wood resonanced wire.

The exact timing of an attack in relation to where the wire is in its vibration cycles can make such a difference in color as one could imagine a voice: back or front of palate, raised, lowered, the tongue just so.

The piano is an empty mansion, of which to approach is to inhabit. Guest or haunt? This music is some where. Some. Where.

Sunday, December 18, 2016



December 17, 2016
Finnegans Wake Chapter 3 - James Joyce
Neal Kosály-Meyer
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

memory fragments in the dark


December 10, 2016
Thunder Road (live) - Bruce Springsteen [from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Live 1975 - 1985]

American Pie, bye bye
American Pie, escape from
American Pie, escape from within the language of

but hardly a moment in there that doesn't tell.

Ghosting (for Pat Graney Dance) - Amy Denio [from Tutto Bene]

Color me blown away. Barely a minute and a half long, the tonality is seeming solid but treacherously slick, and the rhythmic sense hovers between flatfooted folkish 3+3+2 and one of Cortot's floating riffs on a Chopin triplet. It would take a graduate seminar to tweeze out all the nested partitions of thirds and fourths winding around in there. All that and then a suckerpunch quasi-double-time cadence that would have made Machaut smile. Amy was kind enough to grant me permission to play around with this: Theme and Variations? Fantasy On? Riffy Etudes? Hmm.

Anonymous - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Buried in the mix, a guitar's bare hint at reflection, like the dull glint on a gun barrel.

Banned Rehearsal 607 - Isaac E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Anna K, Isabel K, Neal Kosály-Meyer - April 2001

prolonging the lead in, the sense of getting ready to start. The sound world: percussion is in front drums bells wooden bars, guitar in imitation; slipping around inside strands of sustained tones sliding around, back into the percussion chattery. Inventing a mix, an instrumentation, a pattern of weedy tangled sounds. Regularity emerges, but always challenged by some angular, obtuse momentum. Doors open and close. A healthy hang-in-there attitude. Winds down even more prolongedly than it wound up. In the end we present multiple short fragments of possible mixes bending toward the oh-so-composed, long fades perpetually reawakened.

Just Keyboard Respect - Mark Zuckerman - Peter Winograde [from Open Space 21]

Beautiful keyboard writing! (and beautifully played). A clear, delightful, but frightfully quick game of Randallian pinecones.

December 11, 2016
And The Wind Still Cries - Randy Raines-Reusch [from Hendrix Uncovered]

An undulating drone and what gets pulled from it.

Finnegans Wake Chapter 1 - Mr. Smolin and Double Nought Spy Car [from Wayroads and Meansigns]

Recited, for the most part. Music enters though the relation between the reciting and the various musics over which it is recited. The big thunderclap near the opening joins the two. As deeply embedded in the humanities as the text is, this take on it comes across like stitched-together missives from space aliens, or as though on latenight downchannel TV. Or: brazenly neo-modern: the old text surrounded by ready-mades. Defiantly not integrated with itself.

December 13, 2016
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus IV - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

Clotted keys, knots of partial centrality. Occasional clarifications: red herrings?

Polonaise in E-flat Wq. 116/2 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Carl finds some very peculiar ways to count to three.

Symphony in C minor (#78) - Haydn - The Hanover Band, Roy Goodman

Sequences of types, as sets, sequenced into sequences of types as sets of sets, articulating the picture of life painted for their masters by their servants. The ordered day. It's hard to imagine (if you will excuse the inexcusable) Haydn hiding anything, but then...

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 12, 2016
Banned Telepath 51 Seattle 161212 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy

December 13, 2016
Banned Telepath 51 Anchorage 161213 - Aaron Keyt
Banned Rehearsal 924 161213- Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt

Saturday, December 10, 2016



"can we see it without words? do words block the view? if words are the view, what lies beyond, behind? behind beyond // what to write in, on. what? and // in what language? // not the mother tongue, but    the other tongue" Pedro Rivadeneira "Corporalmente" - Open Space Magazine Issue 11 Fall 2009



December 3, 2016
Luigi Dallapiccola
Concerto per la notte di Natale dell'anno - Luigi Dallapiccola - Philadelphia Composer's Forum, Joel Thome, Valarie Lamoree

delicate tracing 
dove tails

joined by the repetition of a curve
so that each moment glows or burns

distance or undistance
deep space behind a stone wall of voice

December 6, 2016
It Will Stand - The Showmen [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Outing the trope of genre promotion (rock and roll will live forever) as an affirmation of the audience (you will live forever). It is essentially an altar call.

Cup of Faith / Beaudoin Quadrille - Fidel Martin [from The Art of Field Recording Vol. 1]

The ornaments on this (a fiddle tune) are touched lightly, articulate feathers on a muscular frame.

Birds of a Feather - Paul Revere and The Raiders [from The Legend of Paul Revere]

Trying for a Sonny and Cher sound? Captain and Tenille? (of which, by the way, I saw an album in the rack at Value Village this morning).

Stevie Nicks
New York State of Mind - Billy Joel [from The Essential Billy Joel]

Oops. Billy forgot to attach a song to this performance.

Edge of Seventeen (live) - Stevie Nicks [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

The bass player makes this song ecstatic, accenting from the hip.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 9, 2016
312 Bus Chain Song 161209 - Keith Eisenbrey

Yesterday morning there was a wee bit of snow on the ground so the buses had their tire chains on. They must be good for exactly one trip, because they started to come loose as soon as we got on the freeway. I was sitting there wishing I had brought my zoom with me to record the WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM when I remembered that my phone could record audio. The result is 6 minutes of rhythm as I desire it. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2016



November 26, 2016
Sonata in A, Op. 101 - Beethoven - Artur Schnabel

There are no straight paths. Grumbly trills. The pianos of Beethoven's day possessed a wider assortment of tone colors from top to bottom. Moving material into a different register didn't simply change the pitch level, it also changed the color of the sound. B doesn't rely on this bare effect, but also composes his own color shifts at every level of detail, putting his thumb on the scale, as it were, so we don't miss the point. This is part of why these pieces seem to shift so easily onto modern instruments with their more even tone-quality from top to bottom.

Barcorolle in F-sharp minor, Op. 60 - Chopin - Alfred Cortot [recorded on July 5, 1933]

Chopin loved finding deliciously odd pivot points for his multi-step modulations. Changing keys is a dance move.

Some Of These Days - Sophie Tucker [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Her voice is simply too big for the recording technology available at the time.

Shake It and Break It - Ladd's Black Aces [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Some fancy stop time shenanigans in there.

November 29, 2016
Sippie Wallace
Jack O' Diamonds - Louis Armstrong, Sippie Wallace, Hersal Thomas [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

According to the notes I have, this piece was recorded on the day my dad was born: March 1, 1926. Heavy beat, but touched lightly, in an instant, like perfectly synchronized eye blinks.

God's Getting Worried - Virginia Dandies [from Goodbye Babylon]

About (y)our wicked ways.

Romeo et Juliette Cinquieme Tableaux - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

The topsy-turvy world of R&J is a dramatic composer's dream, just begging for extremes.

Portrait of a Guinea Farm - Claude Thornhill [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

This is a very strange thing indeed - somewhere between a tone poem, a novelty song, and a fugue.

December 1, 2016
We're Through - Sarah Vaughan, Dicky Well's Big Seven [from Interlude - Early Recordings 1944-1947]

Trying to arrange the cushions of consolation just so. It's so hard!

The Rake's Progress Act III - Stravinsky - Orchestra of St. Luke's, Robert Craft, Jayne West, Jon Garrison, Arthur Woodley, John Cheek, Shirley Love, Wendy White, Melvin Lowery, Jeffrey Johnson, Gregg Smith Singers

Pulling the rug out from under is standard operating procedure. This is theater in all its artificial glory, perfectly believable even with artifice tipping its hand at every moment. Ties everything up and puts a bow on it.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 28, 2016
Banned Telepath 50 161128 Anchorage
Banned Telepath 50 161128 Seattle
Banned Rehearsal 923 161128 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steven Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer (Seattle); Aaron Keyt (Anchorage)

Saturday, November 26, 2016



November 19, 2016
Finnegans Wake Project
Gallery 1412, Seattle

Chapters 1 and 2 - James Joyce - Neal Kosály-Meyer

In case we had forgotten, Neal brings us up to date on the story so far. The body laid to rest and the crime rumored about. Chapter 3 will be performed at the Chapel on December 17, 2016.


November 20,2016
I did not pay the price on the label
The Best Of Times - Styx [a Rescued Record]

A full Las Vegas style production. Strangely timely.

Guess I'm Falling In Love - Jad Fair, Moe Tucker, Kate Messe, Barry Stock [from I Feel So Far Away - Moe Tucker Anthology 1974 - 1998]

Focus guaranteed. That firehose is, in fact, directed at your face.

Self Portrait in 69 Shades of Grey - Michael Leese - Burning Dog Music Ensemble

Nothing whatsoever to do with the recent infamous book and movie: this predates all that by nearly 25 years. This begins in late 20th century chamber music territory, flute, harp, some brass. An electric bass enters and some cages are rattled and it wanders into jazz band land. ML was a composer I became acquainted with back on CompuServe, when that was a thing. This was one of several tracks on a cassette - transportable medium of choice at the time. We lost track of each other at some point. I was sorry to discover that he had passed away several years ago at the age of 49.

Little Mouth - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Lust and Disgust shout each other blue in the face.

Doomsome Otherings (reading session unedited) - Keith Eisenbrey - Seattle Creative Orchestra, Roger Nelson

Freefloating passages in a partly clogged rehearsal bay. The music's parts, set adrift, have jostled loose. What comes through, even early on, is the orchestral palette, and a sense of how the colors shift.

Get Daddy A Chicken Sandwich - The Trashies [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

A screenplay written as a prank or novelty song. Self-parody in the mold of Black Flag or The Dictators, perhaps even leaning toward the full-on satire of Full Toilet.

Xtet: Last Dance for Milton - Elaine Barkin [from Open Space volume 29]

The space between the notes is full of mischief or tenderness. A music of teasing affection.

November 25, 2016
Ivan Arteaga and Keith Eisenbrey 160202 C

A conversation in pantomime, aiming at what just eludes text.

Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus III - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

A typical sequence might be expected to climb up or down a ladder. These spin on tilted axes. Organ sounds tend to take up residence within architectural space, in a way that nothing else does that I can think of. Among other things this separates the voices of the fugue along different lines than implied by the score.

Alla Polacca in D Wq. 116/6 - C. P. E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Ostensibly in 3, but I was hearing the meter as a sequence of 4-beat measures overlapping like fish-scales so that beat four and beat one occupy the same temporal location.

Sonata in E Major (#31) - Haydn - Anton Nel

Once again, the sonata that my friend and collaborator Aaron Keyt reworked into a thorny and thoroughly modern semi-pastiche, and once again it wasn't until the opening of the middle movement that I recognized it.

Concerto in A K. 622 - Mozart - Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Neville Mariner, Jack Brymer

A Mozartean imitation is never direct, he delights in subtle differentiation - a narrower ambitus here, a modal shift there, ornaments full of attitude sprinkled liberally. He fully inhabits the means of his own expression, much as Ken Griffey Jr. fully inhabited his home run swing. This more than anything was probably the achievement that left the Romantics gasping for breath.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 21, 2016
Gradus 303 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Among the poking around are frequent bouts of pretty sweet timbral composition.

November 25, 2016
Ravenna Park 161125 A - Keith Eisenbrey

The sun was out yesterday morning so Karen and I took a walk down to Ravenna Park. I recorded two stretches. This first started at the top of the ravine, at 20th Avenue Northeast, and proceeded east along the North Trail as far as the ball field (where there was a game of Kick Ball in progress, what fun!) We heard and saw several winter wrens, and crows, gurgling brooks, and a conversation among our footfalls. I still need to find a good way to silence the microphone handle I'm using, but the extra noise isn't too distracting.

Ravenna Park 161125 B - Keith Eisenbrey

Once we got above the ball field, heading back along the South Trail, we heard a squeaky swing in the playground. I turned the recording back on and we marched up the damp concrete steps (a really nice sound!) and recorded a little bit of the swing in its weary complaint.

Saturday, November 19, 2016



November 12, 2016
The Campbell Brothers
University Temple United Methodist Church

This evening of friendly bluegrass-infused music was given as a benefit for the alley ministries of University Temple United Methodist Church. My long-time partner in the tenor section Dave Campbell was joined by his brother Rick Campbell - both switching variously among guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandola, and mandocello - and by Paul Elliott and Pete Goodall (on fiddle and bass respectively) for a mix of old songs and new, including covers by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. As seems to be typical with bluegrass, displays of instrumental virtuosity are interwoven with bouts of competitive self-deprecation, raised to nearly a blood sport. Many thanks to all concerned. I understand the concert raised nearly $1000!


November 13, 2016
Hubcap - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Fragmentary and unfinished - in a strong, Schumannesque way. 3 parts are repeated, with a coda of back-around-to-the-top-again to hint at cycles and cycles.

me in the 90's
Doomsome Otherings (edit from a reading) - Keith Eisenbrey - Seattle Creative Orchestra, Roger

Through most of the 90's I was working in a self-consciously neo-classical style, with strong echoes of Arthur Berger and 50's era Benjamin Boretz or Elaine Barkin. Doomsome Otherings (my alternate rendering of "Canonic Variations") was originally written as a viola and piano duo in 1994, riffing on what was probably a mis-hearing of the variations in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto in C Major (#3). What I thought I heard were bits of earlier variations plugged into place in the middles of later variations. So I constructed a set of five variations (or a theme and four variations, depending on how you look at it) into each variation of which, at a set place within its schema, is inserted a bit of the surface style of the variation 3 places in front. The harmonic structure of the whole set proceeds more or less independently by a schema I couldn't explain to you anymore because I can't remember it. I believe it had something to do with transformations of pentachords in two strands proceeding at different rates. I made several unsuccessful efforts to hire players to record it for me, so when the Washington Composers' Forum held a contest for orchestral readings in 2000 I decided to orchestrate it. It's probably just as hard to play as an orchestral piece as it is for viola and piano, but Roger Nelson and crew valiantly pushed through. Many thanks to Christopher Shainin for editing the various starts and stops into a single whole. I'm still pretty pleased with the piece. Any hard-core violists out there?

Don't Care If I Die - The Earaches [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

anger at existence.

Floorplan - Youth Rescue Mission [from Youth Rescue Mission]

Warm string kodakmoment sound, but flatfooted and begrieved - there are actual living spirits in that quiet shady street!

November 14, 2016
Cançoes Profundas - Steve Peters - Steve Peters, Rafael Carvalho, Lesli Dalaba, Beth Fleenor, Paul Kikuchi, Joshua Parmenter, Naomi Siegel, Greg Sinibaldi

Now that's what I call a baptism! Extreme inundation. You, pilgrim, have been duly dunked.

forth comes human-babble
tongues of deep :: we mimic, talk back

a cathedral a bell we stand inside
clapper voices
the sky a bell we stand under
clapper drums

distillation of ocean roll and roar

water to water :: an island enclosed
clock tick or windroar as time

alternates crisscross in the ether
thin signals from shore

shipcalls shorecalls birdcalls whalecalls
geography as memory :: memory as geography

(Thanks for the CD, Steve!)

Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus III - J. S. Bach - Zoltan Kocsis

These gears are in such a tight space they really should seize up. But these cogs are subtly twisted. Creation as machine.

Sonata in B minor Hob XVI:32 - Haydn - Anton Nel

Delicacy and fineness of feeling achieving a state of decadence.

November 16, 2016
Die Zauberflöte Act I - Mozart - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Bohm

Of all Mozart's well-known operas I struggle with this one the most. Sometimes I can convince myself it all hangs together, but most of the time I can't. I was doing somewhat better this time, considering it as a parable of repression and resistance, patri- and matri-archy, animal human and civilized human. What is missing entirely are the characters that seem to have stepped living and breathing out of the past. These figures were 2D then and are still so. He could sure write a stunning tune or two though.

Sonata in A Op. 101 (#28) - Beethoven - Wilhelm Kempff

My favorite part: how those repeated chords stretch out at angry angles to any world the ostensible beat might inhabit.

Barcorolle in F-sharp Op. 60 - Chopin - Vladimir Ashkenazy

Bachlike, the melody falls to the ground in parts, spreading a single beat (from a phrase-functional standpoint) out over several measures. From theme to theme is a journey and a struggle. Before the new is achieved the old must be dismantled, and the new must be strapped together from the old's parts.

November 17, 2016
King of the Bungaloos- Gene Greene [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

It is difficult to separate the musical value from the icky. On the one hand the proto-scat, in-your-face onslaught of nonsense packs a punch, but in the context it comes across as yet another infantalization of African-American experience and aspiration. In the end all I can cling to is my extreme discomfort and dismay.

Harlem Strut - James P. Johnson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

JPJ struts out a whole song and dance routine, complete with band and backup singers. In a way he does for Vaudeville what Liszt's transcriptions did for Beethoven symphonies.

Georgia Grind - Louis Armstrong's Hot Five - Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Lil Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr

Finds multiple x-tuple subdivisions of the shifting meter, each on, and creating, its own rhythmic plane. We have our work cut out for us, holding it all together. Those cats blowing on stage aren't letting on how they do it.

My Pretty Girl - Fletcher Henderson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

A similar effect to GG above, but with whole instrumental groups playing at angles to each other, rather than individual soloists.

Romeo et Juliette, Quatrieme Tableaux - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

I couldn't help but wonder how amazingly diverse "symphonic form" would be if we all took this deeply imagined and delightfully bizarre sequence as permission and model. Such fun! The guitar standing in the corner happily reverberates the up-in-the-air ending.

Tryin' to Be True -Modern Mountaineers [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The only way to tap the beat of the whole is to join in as an independent player, because that's exactly what each of them is doing. You just got to dance and that's that.

Ballin' The Jack- Art Hodes [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Deep focus on all of the above.

The Rake's Progress, Act II - Stravinsky - Orchestra of St. Luke's, Robert Craft, Jayne West, Jon Garrison, Arthur Woodley, John Cheek, Shirley Love, Wendy White, Melvin Lowery, Jeffrey Johnson, Gregg Smith Singers

An opera infesting a symphonic narrative. Or: a narrative symphony dancing with an opera. I love how at one point the harmony resolves to an old-fashioned perfectly balanced triad, followed immediately by the words "I wish I were happy!"

stray notes:

The first female words of the act: "How strange".

Into the idealistic heart a knife thrusts and twists. (Why nobody really likes satire, as in "likes").

The orchestra interludes work like a curtain: it does not change and it tells you nothing.

Zeitmasse - Stockhausen - Arthur Gleghorn, Donald Muggeridge, Donald Leake, Donald Christlieb, William Ulyate

3D space created on a 2D surface by careful use of perspective alone.

November 18, 2016
Double Concerto  - Elliott Carter - Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Arthur Weisberg, Paul Jacobs, Gilbert Kalish

Bicameral. Two concertos partially conjoined - but not at the soloists.

We Could Be Happy - The Cryan Shames [a Rescued Record]

Just darling! Like the Fleetwoods if they were all guys.

Pillow of Winds - Pink Floyd [from Meddle]

More warm glow music with slidy bass.

Montreux/Berlin Concerts, Cut 7 - Anthony Braxton - The Berlin New Music Group, Gerald Humel, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis

As though AB and GL were clambering to the top of EC's DC (see above), all its clatter and spite. At the top they share some sounds. The ground softens, the trees green themselves and darken. A harp closes the book. At the very end of the track, just before the applause is faded out, somebody on stage (AB? GH?) says "Somehow we got through!"

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 14, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 922 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Includes birthday greetings to Anchorage Aaron.

November 15, 2016
Slow Blues - Keith Eisenbrey

I have been revisiting my 1999 solo piano piece Slow Blues. The recordings I made shortly after its completion are all about 30 minutes long. I feel it moving along a bit faster now that I have gotten better acquainted with it, and this version, though still 'slow', clocks in at a bit under 18 minutes. I am taking my original dynamics and pedal marks to be suggestive guidelines rather than prescriptions. Partly this is because my current piano (an 1890 8' Chickering) responds differently than the one I had then (a 1975 6' Yamaha). For any composer-tech types out there who are interested, this is the first piece I wrote that used each mod-17 M-transform in sequence, (M0, M1, M2 . . . M16, M0) as the structural basis for a whole piece. It also takes a significant lurch out of the neo-classical, or, perhaps, slips suddenly through a crack in the floor.

Saturday, November 12, 2016



"Permission to entertain alternative experiences is neither granted nor denied."
J. K. Randall "Concerning Birds by JKR and AM:" - Open Space Magazine Issue 11 Fall 2009



November 5, 2016
Darrell's Tavern, Shoreline


strangely joyless, as though playing for their own heads

Power Skeleton

How can you not have fun if you wear a cat mask?

The Sun Giants

Has all the parts of a standard 4-piece, drums, bass, lead and rhythm guitars w/vocals. But here it's all about the bass and her wicked quick fingers.


November 5, 2016
Variations for Piano op. 27 - Webern - Charles Rosen

It stands right up to your eyeballs, studying your every blink.

Melancholy Baby - Earl Hines [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Something about the sforzando pokes into new registers that comes across as distinctly Webernian. Well yes, see above. By the end he's got that tune dancing quickstep backwards across the tables in 8-inch heels.

'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do - George Lewis and The Original Zenith Brass Band [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Here's the shot: a circular bar, the camera aimed inward on an extracircumferential track whipping around, projected several frames per second too fast, multiple bartenders mixing drinks rapid fire, all the while juggling flaming swords.

November 6, 2016
The Rake's Progress Act I - Stravinsky - Orchestra of St. Luke's, Robert Craft, Jayne West, Jon Garrison, Arthur Woodley, John Cheek, Shirley Love, Wendy White, Melvin Lowery, Jeffrey Johnson, Gregg Smith Singers

Each ointment has its particular fly in't. Technicolor sound and stage apparatus plainly in view. It almost wears a neon sign: Caution! Ironic Remove At Work!

November 8, 2016
I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent - Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Rides happily through the clumsy engineering on stupid charm alone. I love the variations played on where exactly in the measure "No I'm not a juvenile" enters. All those "no no no no no no no's" were oddly timely.

Stand By Me - Ben E. King [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

As was this. But: Triangle! Sandblock!

Adieu - Karlheinz Stockhausen - London Sinfonietta

I still remember Benjamin Boretz's comment about this: "when he runs out of ideas he lets Krenek write a measure" (paraphrase from a conversation in about 1983) - both funny and dead on as to how the affective disjuncture feels going down.

November 10, 2016
Evil Woman - The Electric Light Orchestra [Rescued Record]

Since the hook is pretty much all one can hear clearly as words, the song comes across as, effectively, a pure expression of misogyny. Yes I can look up the lyrics (I did), and yes it falls in a long tradition of vindictive breakup songs from all skews of gender and orientation, but really, the only thing that gets through is the bald brainwashing repetition: "Evil Woman Evil Woman Evil Woman . . ." Sorry guys, it's just icky.

The Montreux Berlin Concerts Cuts 5 and 6 - Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Dave Holland, Barry Altschul

Partly a celebration of flights of improvisatory fancy, partly an indulgence of collective intricacy - precisely executed fugal scribbling.

Indiscipline - King Crimson [from Discipline]

A music reporting back on the reaction of its perpetrator. "I like it! I wish you were here to see it!"

Live To Tell - Madonna - [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

I was amused to discover that I could sing along with her in her own register - and my upper range isn't all that high.

Breed - Nirvana [from Nevermind]

Love the way KC's vocals imitate the guitar's downstrokes in a kind of record stuck record stuck power play. Stravinskian, perhaps.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 7, 2016
Gradus 302 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Saturday, November 5, 2016



November 4, 2016
Seattle Composers' Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Jeremy Shaskus - Who's Who Cues - Porter Jones, trombone; Jim Knodle, trumpet; Jeremy Shaskus, tenor sax

bare statements
bare comments
comments bare
statements bare
statements bare comments
comments bare statements

right down the middle for a beautiful strike

Neil Welch - Exit Cycles - Danielle Sampson, voice; Neil Welch, tenor sax

A dance on perilous glass
a dancer on each side (up/down) of the perilous glass
leaping landing sliding stopping
just so
against each other's
stopping sliding landing leaping
to quiver the plane of the perilous glass

Daniel Webbon - St. Helena - Daniel Webbon, drums and electronics

a chorale goaded by drums, its notes shoved into place

Keith Eisenbrey - Corollaries - Keith Eisenbrey, piano

four telemetry readouts from a probe launched through a twisted conceptual void.


November 1, 2016
2 Nocturnes op. 62 - Chopin - Claudio Arrau

staring down stillness
the center holds

tonality here is an image of how the body shifts its center haunch to haunch

Poor Mourner - Fisk University Jubilee Quartet [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

This music is older than the blues,

like psalm tone singing, or as though Gregorian chant or pre-Gregorian chant had been passed down separately from euroculture, received from an older source.

There'll Be Some Changes Made - Ethel Waters [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Big soft beats, ictus cushioned in warm felt.

November 3, 2016
Comet Chop Suey - Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five - Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Lil Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr

Where is it exactly that LA's cornet playing lives?
In the fraction of time between when the embouchure forms the pitch and the valve forms the pitch.

Jesus is a Mighty Good Leader - Skip Johnson [from Goodbye Babylon]

Sings on three levels: first, the center tone; second, several subsidiary centers that are pulled back into the center tone; third, the slithery scoops decorating each center tone.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 31, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 921 161031 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Sunday, October 30, 2016



October 29, 2016
Seattle Opera
Hansel & Gretel - Engelbert Humperdinck - Sebastian Lang-Lessing
McCaw Hall, Seattle

I would object to the distracting production more if I were convinced there was anything in
particular to be distracted from. We could at least have been given Zemlinsky instead of this, eh?


October 24, 2016
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus II - J. S. Bach - Zoltán Kocsis

In which it can reasonably be pondered just how many keys can be implied simultaneously, and whether the sum of those implied keys establishes a new key, in a new realm, within which lurks a hidden fugue.

Keyboard Sonata in D Major Hob. XIV:33 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

Approaches to significant tones, all kinds
(such as)
Approaches, imbedded in sets
Approaches, delightful
(but perhaps not)
Approaches, necessarily to astound

October 25, 2016
Requeim K. 626 - Mozart - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiender Singverein, Herbert von Karajan, Wilma Lipp, Hilde Rossl-Majdan, Anton Dermota, Walter Berry, Reinhold Schmid, Wolfgang Meyer

The personal is the cosmic, and this death is personal, as big as cathedral innards. Those soloists are as far from operatic as can be, that is, they are not a personality that speaks, but rather inscriptions burned wholly into the stones of naves, transepts, and choirs.

October 27, 2016
Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 61 - Beethoven - Concertgebouworkest, Amsterdam, Bernard Haitink, Henryk Szeryng

For once he approaches a Schubertian graciousness of expanse: militant unhurry, blaring contrasts, long balance.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 24, 2016
Gradus 301 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Start with a problem to consider: that G-natural in the middle. That's a problem for sure. Gradually it becomes clear not only that the problem is solutionless, but that all the notes are problems.

Saturday, October 22, 2016



Rainy Pass in the past
October 15, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 606 - Isaac E, John E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt - April 2001
A sense of deep enclosure or seclusion
the kids come in and blow our cover
conversations among discrete sounds in discrete bundles
resisting accumulation with modest success
gels briefly then falls apart
each to their own workbench

Variants for Two Clarinets - William O. Smith - Jesse Canterbury, William O. Smith

Locationless until tongue click locations us. I think of the years and years in which the clarinet, as an instrument, was perfected to be rich in its timbre and athletically nimble: qualities that also allow uncountable possibilities for exploration into the unconsidered lands.

Problem Solver - Youth Rescue Mission [from Youth Rescue Mission]

Distinct sound-plates in play (including a nice mock Stravinsky orchestration to open) one after the other, narratively episodic, decidedly progressing from a beginning to an end point, to suddenly then start again, the point of all of which is to underscore, and bridge, the distance between them.

October 16, 2016
Gradus 283 - Neal Kosály-Meyer - February 2016

endings of pieces in A. All of them. A list.

or and also

partitions of an alternative universe A Major Rheingold

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 17, 2016
Gradus 300 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Back to the countable quantities.

October 21, 2016
Corollaries (Up's Up)
Corollaries (Down's Down)
Corollaries (Up's Down)
Corollaries (Down's Up) - Keith Eisenbrey

A common trope of music criticism is the idea that the structure that generates, or that is presumed to generate, a piece should be perceivable and understandable by a listener. With new or difficult music this often arises in the form of a protest: "Nobody could hear that!", followed by a detailed story of exactly how it could not be heard. The response is usually in the form: "I can", followed by a detailed story of exactly how it could be, and of exactly how, presumably, it was, in fact, heard. Years ago, listening to some early Stockhausen or other, I realized that the least interesting aspect of it, for me, was the fact that it happened to be twelve-tone. I asked myself then why exactly it should matter that the generating structure (the chart) should be what we understand or perceive the piece to be.

One of the underlying points made by Benjamin Boretz, in Meta-Variations: Studies in the Foundations of Musical Thought is the notion that carefully analyzing our methods of thinking about music can reveal alternatives to those methods, and that in so doing new musical possibilities could be invented. I make no claim that I was the first to try this, but sometime in the 1990's I asked myself what music might sound like if I redefined, for compositional purposes, the idea of the modular interval. In other words, what would happen if notes an octave apart weren't treated as the same note, if some other interval were treated as generating matching pitch classes? Specifically I started inventing systems in which the modular interval (traditionally 12 semi-tones) was redefined to be 17 semi-tones (an octave plus a Perfect 4th). Since then I have written many of these "mod 17" pieces, using both content-determinate and order-determinate systems.

I have found that, in practice, thinking along these lines tends to loosen the ties between designed-in structures and my listening perception of what is going on in the music, often to the point where I doubt whether the chart could possibly be derived, even with careful analysis of the score, from the music itself. A problem, perhaps, just not my problem. For me it has been exhilarating. Among other things, it operates as a subtle fracturing of the idea of the note as the atom of musical thought, an exciting result.

In Corollaries I wondered what would happen if I took the 17 integer row I have been working with recently and, instead of applying it to the pitch-classes as a tone row, apply it instead to the intervals between pitches, as an "interval row" - ignoring, as it were, what the notes are as pitch-classes and shifting syntactic emphasis to the relations between them. Of course intervals, being relations and not objects, have some interesting qualities. Is it an interval up or an interval down? Is the inversion of the interval also fair game? For my first foray I decided to go as dirt simple as I could. For (Up's Up) I present the interval row (in three interval-transpositions) as a series of intervals going up (flipping around to the bottom when I run out of keyboard). (Down's Down) is the same but with descending intervals. (Up's Down) are the inversions descending from top to bottom and (Down's Up) are the inversions from bottom to top.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Talon at the Royal Room

October 11, 2016
The Royal Room, Seattle
Greg Sinibaldi - EWI (Electric Wind Instrument) and electronics, Ryan Ferreira - guitar, Ted Poor - drums

Salmon, Eagle, and Raven walk into a bar and pick up instruments.

I got to thinking about what sort of theater this music is. Masked dancers acting out ritual type-stories. The instruments and their accouterments are very like ornate masks or puppets, allowing the musician freedom to inhabit their mythic parts, and to speak in tongues.

The drumstick died in a good cause.


October 10, 2016
The Gospel of the Red-Hot Stars - Tom Baker - Seattle EXperimental Opera, Julia Tai, Maria Mannisto, Paul Karaitis, Liz O'Donoghue, Alissa Rupp, Will Dean, Mark Johnson, Tom Swafford, Jesse Canterbury, Chris Stover, Tom Baker, Brian Cobb, Greg Campbell

from a single wick
slowly caldering plates of color and gesture
background radiation of the chamber of wilderness walls
the paper sky against which it plays

Tapes - Youth Rescue Mission [from Youth Rescue Mission]

A short audio collage poem: biography?

Banned Rehearsal 903 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer (January 2016)

the man in the closet giving an interminably circling sermon
piano turning it to comic opera or a comedy of an opera
matching rhythm to phrase spoken
percussion and small pans
the creaks and squeaks of the machinery behind it all

October 13, 2016
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus II - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

Exploring something eelish, elusive: a meta-tonality wrung from combinations of scale-degree function as they twist and writhe.

Keyboard Sonata in G Hob. XVI:27 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

Unmediated contrast. Tonal slippage. Haydn here is a storyteller, comfortable within a social framework.

Concerto in B-flat K. 595 - Mozart - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, Malcolm Bilson

Mozart tells tales also, but paints the scenery with such magic that we are immersed. The original Virtual Reality.

Fidelio-Ouverture op. 72b - Beethoven - Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

Ideas shape us.

3 Mazurkas Op. 63 - Chopin - Vladimir Ashkenazy

What is being invented here is a sense of music as a literature (rather than being a service), the immediate model being lyric poetry.

Fantasiestücke Op. 111 - Schumann - Peter Frankl

ladders to no where
shifting centers and spinning compasses
we gather to ourselves what we can

Wild Cherries Rag - Ed Morton [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Ragtime, american minstrelsy, jazz: sadly, each as much a ghetto as a genre, but also an open line of communication to the outside.

Aunt Hagar's Children's Blues - Ladd's Black Aces [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Continuing that line of thought, one presumes there was, even in the heyday of ragtime, american minstrelsy, and jazz, a music that was played within the community that possessed a similar sophistication to everything else that was going on at the time, but which wasn't picked up in the recorded sample.

Muskrat Ramble - Louis Armstrong's Hot Five - Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Lil Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr

Conflicted grace.

Travelin' Blues - Jimmy Rogers [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Those ghettos, and let's add country, cowboy, western, and blues, all had direct links to each other, and as they entered the recorded sample those links strengthened. Nice subtly structural use of yodeling, too.

Romeo et Juliette Troisième Tableaux - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

The violin tunes high in the register are a lyric equivalent of the texture of bow on string. Or: these tunes are designed with fret board in ear, leaping from string to string. I kept getting the sense that Prokofiev is playing charades with us, and we're not getting close. The best part of Prokofiev is the interior patterning of meter as rhythm, i.e. what is happening is a pattern of what happens within single beats and their tightly bound neighbors. The balalaika number is a dynamite stand-alone thing.

Lullaby To A Dream - Benny Carter [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

That 1940's microphone warmth, as though we are hearing through scrim of cigarette smoke in black and white.

52nd Street Theme - Dizzy Gillespie [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Tired of being sophisticated. Let's just amaze each other.

Bitten der Kinder - Paul Dessau

I'm still not sure what this is. Some fragment of a theater piece? The info on the CD is less than helpful.

Dancing In The Dark - Sarah Vaughan [from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

Every note is a lovemaking.

Like, Long Hair - Paul Revere and the Raiders [from The Legend of Paul Revere]

Long hair referring, I suppose, to the Tchaikovskonzert opening salvo - and the tail-end "so there" cadence.

I Wanna Meet You - The Cryan Shames [a Rescued Record]

hokey, but OK about it.

October 14, 2016
Buried Alive In The Blues - Janis Joplin [from Pearl]

instrumental vamp

The Montreux/Berlin Concerts Cut 4 - Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Dave Holland, Barry Altschul

Circus clown music (or a rethinking of the Stravinsky of Renard or L'Histoire.) But these clowns are not portrayed, we are placed within their thinking.

Rivals - The Heats [a Rescued Record]

Distinctly Beatlesish, except that neither verse nor chorus is remarkable.

Stepping Stone - Sun Sect [a Rescued Record]

Demo quality post-punk (not quite ready to let go) - or rather aiming at a mid 60's vibe: Neo Proto Punk.

One(5) 1991 - John Cage - Stephen Drury

I scribbled a whole load of words about intervals - but nothing worth sharing. Is there any kind of equivalence between two consecutive pitches and two simultaneous pitches in the 'kind of two-ness' they exhibit? That is, to what extent are their respective intervals the same cognitive thing at all?

Call The Doctor - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Multi-stranded. Poetically perhaps too heavy a reliance on the rhetorical "they" and "you", the language of conspiracy theories, coercively displacing, alienating us from the big bad out there.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 9, 2016
Corollaries Omnibus - Keith Eisenbrey

Late at night along the Interspace, thinking about intervals: just what kind of animal they are.

October 10, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 920 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer

I think Steve nailed it, just after I pressed stop. "What just happened?"

Saturday, October 8, 2016



October 4, 2016
The Montreux/Berlin Concerts Track 3 "84 Deg. -Kelvin -6" - Anthony Braxton, Kenny Wheeler,
Anthony Braxton
Dave Holland, Barry Altschul

Morse code rhythms and seabirds. Trumpet provocateur, How did that chorus rhythm get signaled, and still sound like it was invented on the spot?

Chihuahua - Bow Wow Wow

Chi Wow Wow :: Bowhuahua

I Wonder As I Wander - London Symphony Orchestra, Placido Domingo [from Hallmark Listen to the Joy]

Secularization by star-power over-dramatization.

Come As You Are - Nirvana [from Nevermind]

An altar call (Just As I Am, Without One Plea)

Banned Rehearsal 417 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

roll call
pressure cooker
heap bag

agitate pulverize grind chip (at) forge anew (forge(t)) press and squeeze stipple and stroke fiddle and fuss step back cock a head prop up hoist twist whack and flatten let sit let weather look away see from distances pick up shake each which way plug in set to rolling.

October 6, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 605 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Isabel K, Neal Kosály-Meyer
gentle bell(y)

|| within this mix recognized improvisational attitudes :: recognized faces though some surprise or perplex as to whom? My own thoughts in particular are obvious to me as my own, others I guess at, as do each we all

||nursery sounds infant babble and cry primitive of improvisation :: bodily, innocent of edits, nearly innocent of language (though are we, ever?)

||transparently lives in the room resonance and baseline noise, the way print lives on the surface of paper

twisted place(s)

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 3, 2016
Gradus 299 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

As the collection increases in count its thingness, as a whole to be grasped, closes, while its thingness, as a space to explore, opens.

Saturday, October 1, 2016



"Phenomenology takes it upon itself to describe the appearance of phenomena and to do so on an originary background which has to be established in a theoretical manner (or perhaps, in a sense, as some sort of a fiction) as soon as we feel its presence behind all concepts. This pure presence, [. . .] far from being just a mere base or a unified and inert undercoat, is on the contrary a product of a preexisting, if not always identifiable, sensory mobility. In other words it is a given, not in the sense of a gift which somehow was previously given to us, but as the "givenness" of something which has always been in existence. Before we can even begin the process of distinguishing ourselves from the world, the famous Husserlian "there is" (es gibt) of the world - of which we became part of by birth - is a given. Our consciousness, incapable of making distinctions or judging, is given to us at the same time as the world; the world shaken by rhythms and movements of the originary, which are incessantly composed, decomposed, and recomposed before they become stabilized in a synthesis of sensory elements, so that ultimately, under the influence of the formation of categories of judgment, they may be arranged under the concept of an object." Marie-Claude Lambotte "the movement of the "originary" in art", translated by Dorota Czerner, The Open Space Magazine Issue 11 Fall 2009



September 25, 2016
Märchenbilder Op. 113 - Schumann - Gérard Caussé, Jean Hubeau

It is exactly when Schumann seems to be falling back on direct repeats and square rhythms that he goes most splendidly askew. In a Boretzian locution, these are program musics, the subjects of which are 'folk songs arranged for concert performance'.

Petrouchka - Stravinsky - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz

Not the music to accompany a dance of a puppet show, but a puppet show in its own right. The mythic and the orchestral puppet show face each other across the chasm of the dancers bodies. For instance: the opening, where our attention is being pulled from here to there, from this sight to that sight, as though by strings. Not quite coercion, but not quite seduction either. We discover ourselves to be witnesses. The murder occurs while we are there.

Sounds of Africa - Eubie Blake [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Part of the deep undercoat for Art Tatum and Cecil Taylor.

September 27, 2016
Heebie Jeebies - Louis Armstrong's Hot Five - Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Lil Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr

Louis digs his voice out from deep in his chest.

Travelin' Railroad Man Blues - Alabama Sheiks [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

This is me. This is my calling card, this my placard.

Romeo et Juliette Deuxieme Tablaeau - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

Grand Russian Ballet of the Tchaikovsky stripe, flagrantly flirting with the resurrection of Empire.

September 29, 2016
Take The "A" Train - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - Rex Stewart, Wallace Jones, Ray Nance, Lawrence Brown, Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Juan Tizol, Otto Hardwick, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Camey, Fred Guy, Jimmy Blanton, Sonny Greer [from Ken Burns Jazz]

A thought experiment: Listen to this as though the rhythm section were silent and it becomes deliciously disjointed.

Who Put The Benzedrine . . . - Harry Gibson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

. . . in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine? In celebration of somebody's awakening.

Black and Blue - Dickey Wells [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

A soliloquy. Sometimes he looks in your eye. Sometimes his eyes drop to the floor as he mutters under his breath.

Too Marvelous For Words - Art Tatum [from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

This is not a pitch/rhythm space into which one enters lightly. The song is captured at exactly the moment of critical fracture, bursting from within.

The Marcels
Blue Moon - The Marcels [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Doo-wop is, in its inception, an imitation of instrumental music, but one that allows an interplay of attitudes toward that imitated music in the multiplicity of texts involved: lyrical, nonsensical, onomatopoeical. It's a bit like those old polyphonic works in which each part is in a different language. The song that floats on top isn't the show, it's just the excuse.

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan [from Blonde on Blonde]

Arrangement by whoeverwasthereatthetime. Bob in full-on Revival Preacher mode.

Half Moon - Janis Joplin [from Pearl]

Love the yodel lift at the ends of phrases, and how carefully it is paced.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

September 24, 2016
Corollaries (Down's Up) 160924
Corollaries (Down's Down) 160924
Corollaries (Up's Down)  160924 - Keith Eisenbrey

The house was pretty quiet on Saturday so I recorded the other three Corollaries. Lately I have been considering my attitude toward notes as tokens or atoms of musical thinking. Among other things, this particular project has focused instead on the intervals, and on the gaps between notes in general, as the location of intentional design. In other words, rather than composing patterns of pitch in which the intervals, though considered, are subsidiary, I composed patterns of intervals in which the pitches, as it were, fall where they may.

September 26, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 919 160926 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

introducing our new friend, Excelsior!

More need not be said. We have a new friend. "Oh the glory glory glory on the horizon!" (Shelby Earl).

Saturday, September 24, 2016



Eugene Istomin
September 18, 2016
Concerto in C minor K.491 - Mozart - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Scwharz, Eugene Istomin

The spirit of wandering in delight can only come to terms with, can only be brought back to remembrance of, the Stern Truth, by wandering with delight and wonder through it.

metacomment: in contradistinction to violin concerto-ness, where the solo line plays the part of a singer, of language bearer, and the orchestra however integrated is the pit band; piano concerto-ness is a meeting of equivalent universes - the piano clarifies, interprets, analyzes, the orchestra. It teaches us how to hear it.

September 22, 2016
Piano Concerto in G Op. 58 (#4) - Beethoven - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Georg Solti, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Big in every way, but . . .

1. announces its solo sound so that the orchestra is already an interpretation, an inverted concerto. The orchestra is taught to be a piano.
2. The balance between/among: dynamic level and duration of passage || size and number || focus || implied and explicit. Love how, at the join, string sound and piano sound conjoin: pizzicato as a structural gambit.
3. The piano is taught to be an orchestra (and hearkening back to 2. with the modulation on the quiet pizzicato.)

Peter Katin
Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major Op. 61 - Chopin - Peter Katin

Fiercely unsentimental. Completely poetic, but so with a bone hard poetry of philosophical assertion. No swooning tulips here. Let's get serious folks, this music is talk.

Ages ago, at the time he was recording the complete Polonaises, Peter Katin was a regular on the Compu-Serve classical music forum. I had been looking forward to purchasing the CDs when they were released, but just at that time we had hour-reductions at work and money got tight. Peter sent them to me gratis. I am sorry to learn that he passed away last year at the age of 84.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

September 19, 2016
Gradus 298 160919 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Sunday, September 18, 2016



"The second aspect of the garden is a series of mental states and of corresponding corporal gestures, inscribed in memory. The fixation in memory of the sum of all the experiences that have already occurred, treating matter through body actions, allows one to recall them at any time in any order possible. We have here the notion of a walk through our physical and mental potentialities. As in everyday speech, the process of remembering is not a fully conscious act, as can be the case with written composition and the time of relection that it permits, it remains based on automatic reflex actions. It is a traveling between consciousness and unconsciousness which opens a path to an awakening ecstasy." Jean-Charles François "Dialogs of Deafening Gifted Eavesdroppers"The Open Space Magazine Issue 11 Fall 2009



Steam Plant, Spokane

September 15, 2016
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Bad Luck
(from Seattle: Neil Welch and Chris Ocasanio)

surf sound
fattened, aura-ed
field revealed
shadowed inversely
saturated surf sough breath
ablating rising
application of force
power pressue
onslaught on slot
lifting pressure
pressing lifture
end of time in beach
feedback multivalent portamento
motion of one into many
stopping smartly over over over stepping
startly crisply coily coyling stirring
trapezoidal generation unity by unity
source code all the same
root or binary roots


(from Berlin: Magda Mayas and Tony Buck)

the keel of a sleeping arc
drifting deep beneath
sounding the drowned
by night
keening light
on surface expanse
personhood collection accretion
meshing tools for
chemical sand
crazy-ass sandart
in sound rattlesnakeds
nakeds rattles
kora rigging harp
ship drift
buoyed (ant)
on the body of which


September 11, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 2016

Gradus 282 - Neal Kosály-Meyer [January 2016]

September 13, 2016
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus I - J. S. Bach - Zoltán Kocsis

Ringing the dynamic between independence and cooperation. It takes a village to be a fugue. And how it hangs in midair at the end, cadenced but unsettled.

Keyboard Sonata in E-flat Hob. XVI:28 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

Delightfully ramshackle, but all of a piece. Or: All of a piece in its image of ramshackley delight. Elbows and knees.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

September 11, 2016
Corollaries (Up's Up) 160911 - Keith Eisenbrey

In 2013-2014 I composed a set of 8 piano pieces under the project title Études d'exécution imminent. They are 17-tone serial works, all based on successive m-transforms of the same "mod 17" tone row. The original chart projected 16 or 17 pieces in the set, but after the first 8 I felt I had come to a stopping place so I took a self-imposed, and not particularly strictly observed, sabbatical from writing music. In the spring of 2015 I started working on Second Thoughts, which takes up the place of the ninth etude. That was a bit of a struggle, and took about a year and a half to complete. The four pieces that constitute this tenth etude: (Up's Up), (Down's Down), (Down's Up), and (Up's Down), were essentially complete in a week. Such are the vagaries of creative work. The recording I made on Sunday is not intended, on its own, for a reading of the piece, but as raw sonic material for an electronic arrangement I am concocting.

September 12, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 918 160912 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

As frustrating as Banned Rehearsal can be at times, over the decades, there are moments of awesome transparency, such as this. Improvisation is really too fancy a word for what is really just dinking around making sounds. Full engagement is what makes the difference.

September 16, 2016
Spokane Steam Plant Chimney Stomp 160916 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey

A chimney niche
Karen and I were staying in Spokane after dropping our oldest son off at Eastern Washington University. We had very fine dinner at Stack's at the Steam Plant, after which we were invited to explore. It felt like we had the place to ourselves, and it is truly the most visually interesting restaurant space I can remember. After a while we found ourselves in a circular room at the bottom of one of the chimneys, presumably open to the night sky a hundred or so feet above our heads. We closed the door and stomped a stomp.