January 19, 2016
Earle Brown Retrospective
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
A screening of The Music of Earle Brown - a film by Susan Sollins-Brown
Seattle is deeply indebted to Inverted Space and their co-sponsors for putting on this hugely ambitious and magnificent concert. My prior familiarity with Earle Brown's music had been entirely by book learnin', somehow no sounds had come near. Given the care with which most of these pieces are designed to be different each time out I am especially glad that my first exposure was live, and breathtakingly sympathetic and convincing. I must also say that the printed program was superbly designed, evocative of the physical look of an Earle Brown score and perfectly clear. Bravissimo!
Home Burial (1949) - Brooks Tran, piano; Whitney Dopierak, projection
had an attractive old-fashioned murkiness about it, echoed or echoing in the intercard-like projection of the Robert Frost poem upon which it was ostensibly based. Being a short person finding myself as per usual behind a tall person I was unable to read along (or unwilling to distract myself from the sound by trying).
Music for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1952) - Luke Fitzpatrick violin; Hye Jung Yang, cello; Brooks Tran, piano
The early 50's pointillist (blip bloop) sound has a nostalgic hit for me, sending me back to the listening library at the UW in the late 70's. "What are you listening to" (I offer my headphones) - followed by deepening puzzlement . . ."uh, OK .. ."
Novara (1962) - Elizabeth Talbert, flute; Ivan Arteaga, bass clarinet; Trevor Parrish, trumpet; Josh Archibald Seiffer, piano; Luke Fitzpatrick, violin; Allion Salvador, violin; Vijay Chalasani, viola; Rose Bellini, cello; Marcin Pączkowski, conductor
Static energy states transforming by liquid reconfigurations.
Centering (1973) - Luke Fitzpatrick, solo violin; Elizabeth Talbert, flute; Alexander Tu, clarinet; Jameal Smith, bassoon, Renne Millar, horn; Trevor Parrish, trumpet; Elizabeth McDaniel, trombone; Josh Archibald-Seiffer, piano; Allion Salvador, violin; Vijay Chalasani, viola; Nathan Harrenstein, cello; Marcin Pączkowski, conductor
In a dark room of massive knife-sharp plates, like ships, freighters in fog, spinning slowly on a spinning sea.
String Quartet (1965) - Luke Fitzpatrick, violin; Allion Salvador, violin; Vijay Chalasani, viola; Hye Jung Yang, cello
Exploratory, like feelers whiskers antennae, a music that sounds like an intelligence. One can see David Dunn from here . . .
Tracer (1985) - Elizabeth Talbert, flute; Alexander Tu, clarinet; Ivan Arteaga, bass clarinet; Luke Fitzpatrick, violin; Rose Bellini, cello; Carmen Rothwell, double bass; Marcin Pączkowski, conductor
In the midst of a quadraphonic cellphone discharge, a sense of ongoing disintegration.
Special Events (1999) - Nathan Harrenstein, cello; Josh Archibald-Seiffer, piano
I may have simply been getting tired, but this one seemed leashed and narrow, a memory of how a piece might have gone.
January 17, 2016
When Cootie Left The Duke - Raymond Scott [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Laggard beats in stripper rhythm, languid and a bit off the tempo.
Baila La Conga - Lecuona Cuban Boys [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Serenade Concertante - Arthur Berger - Brandeis Festival Orchestra, Izler Solomon
Even the first entrances sound like re-entrances, steady beats that both are and aren't steady at once - energized steps, like the line breaks in the most brilliant beat poem ever. The big trumpet tune kills every time. At the end a series of muscular cadentials, each not quite but almost inconclusive until there we are at that oh yeah place.
Black Coffee (single version) - Peggy Lee
Her voice doesn't sidle up, more like it is, at each moment, insinuating itself with a slow quarter spin from the side.
January 19, 2016
Quarter To Three - Gary "U.S." Bonds [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
I'm anything but an historian of pop styles, but the way this starts with an apparently pre-recorded rhythm played through what could be a boombox (a modified sample), and flirts with the notion of a live vibe even though it comes across (as a whole) as a completely manufactured space, all reads as some strange amalgam of off-psychedelia and proto hip hop.
Devil With A Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly - Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Love the stuttery drum breaks, and the unfussy quick fade - not lingering, just time to be done.
January 21, 2016
Move Over - Janis Joplin [from Pearl]
Both fat and tight, the righteous mix. Janis is a gravel road turning quickly out of sight.
Crazy On You - Heart [from Greatest Hits]
The guitar introduction is in your living room's face. From there a ramshackle bridge over the chasm to full-on stadium.
Edge of Seventeen (Just Like a White Winged Dove) (studio version) - Stevie Nicks
An interesting abstraction of what a live sound might be. One example of several: what would be an echo off the back wall of an arena is, here, a canonic-ish re-entrance of voice; or: the backing vocals are playing the part of the invented space's reverberance.
Malleable Gestures - John Corbett, Jim Willett, Davey Williams, Sara Boyd, Ladonna Smith, Trish McCarl, Wally Shoup
As though one had extracted one's best shot at a string quartet by carefully filtering all the sounds from the recorded history of a music school practice room; an aural proof of the existence of ghosts. Where the original sound is from other than violin viola or cello we still hear the string quartet in the inflection;
an alien planet (Bliffmok) in a klongbicklious village at midblamfortink eve . .
a possession uncalled takes up residence, coming through badly on the radio, but we must consider the distance traveled . . .
sounds that wander through a vacant house, or through a pile of boards in the rain.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
January 18, 2016
Gradus 282 - Neal Kosály-Meyer
The first session is a study in Sol Mi Do descent, it bends down. The second bends up.