Saturday, March 5, 2016


My journal notes from Salon

March 4, 2016
Seattle Composers' Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle (guest host: James (Jim) Holt)

Jeremiah Lawson - Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp Major (acoustic guitar)

Part of what an instrument is is the relation between the size of its box and the intricacy of its articulatory potential.

Nicole Truesdell - Western States Pictorial and Crossing Parallel Lines (piano and toy piano)

Within the hesitations (between phrases, between lines, between instruments) a lively voice plays hide and seek.

Sean Osborn - selection from Four Moods for Two Bass Clarinets

Delightful play on how many of anything we might count that there are, drifting at last into the realm of the unnumbered.

Neil Welch and Marcin Pączkowski

Saxojalopies galumphing downhill at high speed, parts flying in all directions. Eloquent craziness.

Altogether another fabulous night at Seattle Composers' Salon, every piece a delight.


February 28, 2016
Good For Northin' Joe - Lena Horne [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Lena takes great care with the progress of her vowels, active to the end.

The Frim Fram Sauce - Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, with Billy Butterfield, George Koenig, Bill Stegmeyer, Jack Greenberg, Artie Drelinger, Milton Chatz, Joe Bushkin, Danny Perri, Harman 'Trigger' Alpert, Cozy Cole [from Louis Armstrong and Guest Stars]

Almost in stripper tempo, the lyrics are an excuse for a couple of vocal show-offs.

Let Your Daddy Ride - John Lee Hooker [from The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948-1954]

All the sound is stuck tight to a chunky driving beat, like rust on an old spike.

I Wanna Play House With You - Elvis Presley [from First Live Recordings]

He leans his voice out over the top of the beat, the shoulders of it are out in front, pushed from below.

The Wanderer - Dion [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

There is hardly a bit of sound in this mix that wouldn't be perfectly clear on a cheap transistor radio.

? and The Mysterians
96 Tears - ? and the Mysterians [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

? rides his voice from high in the back of the mouth, rolling up over the top.

Trans (Uraufführung) - Stockhausen - Sinfonie-Orchester des Südwestfunks, Ernest Bour

Choirs of instruments gnawing at the core, avoiding the Loom Monster and the Stompers - all the hazards of a gnawer's life. Something huge spins beneath the surface. Now briefly we are outside, where the spinning can't be felt (but still the Monster looms). The gnawing is getting somewhere.

At the end there are episodes of silence in the score and applause (and boobirds?) erupt into it, followed by shushushushing. As these episodes recur the shushing and the applause and boobirds play a social (or anti) coercion game with each other. I love how suddenly the music is in a room with people, people with attitudes.

Didjeridervish - 1976 - Stuart Dempster [from In the Great Abbey of Clement VI]

Stu is the larynx, the abbey is the giant's mouth, a sounding organ.

Elephant Talk - King Crimson [from Discipline]

Prog Rock, the music that arose when the musicians started hanging with the guys in the booth.

Three Rhapsodies - Elaine Barkin - Sue-Ellen Hershmann-Tcherepnin, Susan Gall, Ian Greitzer [from Open Space 16]

A wire sculpture, huge as an ocean liner, in which we the life-raft wander, weightless, narrowly lit.

March 1, 2016
Three2 - Cage - Greg Campbell, Dale Speicher, Denali Williams [from Seattle Percussion Collective]

A score is a lens of/for people's proclivities, a wedge prying open a space for use.

Sonic Brilliance 13 - [February 1996 - John E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Holden K, Neal Kosály-Meyer, Kia M]

In the 90's we had small children, and Sonic Brilliance was their improv session before the adults did their thing.

Your 3 Minute Mardi Gras - Christopher DeLaurenti

There is more than an undercurrent of violence in this sound. Breathless staccato jabbing.

Stormy - The Invisible Eyes [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

The surface has been scraped, roughened, smeared - just so.

Steps - Joan Tower - Melvin Chen [from Milton Babbitt: a Composers' Memorial]

Restless birds roost and rise across the marsh. The camera pans slowly.

Amy - Amy Denio [recording of her presentation at Seattle Composers' Salon of January 2016]

Her pieces: Three Times Seventeen Equals Fifty One and Recipe for Disaster. Complete with the introduction and questions. Even more fun the second time around.

March 3, 2016
Se tu fuggi, io non resto - Gesualdo - Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley

We are not the speaker who does not rest, we are the attempt to flee.

Ich bin in mir vergnügt BWV 204 - J.S. Bach - Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmut Rilling

The artificiality of the operatic model (recitatives and arias, etc.) is a firm bind, subtle pushes against its constraints tell more than they would in a less conventional style. Some truly fancy singing.

Keyboard Sonata in A Major Wq. 54.6 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Plain Jane configurations spoiled, almost perverted,  in interesting ways. The parts of sequences diverge subtly.

Quartet in F Major Op. 17 #2 Hob. III:26 - Haydn - Tatrai Quartet

Insurrection slipping unseen between the gaps.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

February 28, 2016
Autoheterophony 160228 We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder - Keith Eisenbrey

Fourth in this series, exploring the songs I learned in church as a kid.

February 29, 2016
Gradus 285 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

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