Saturday, June 25, 2016



June 24, 2016
Whiting Tennis
The Tom Price Desert Classic
The Shanty Tavern, Seattle

Firmly planted roots rock, no nonsense. The Shanty Tavern is about the size of a large elementary school classroom, low ceiling, wooden floor and wooden walls, a magnificent chamber for sound. Bang on.


June 21, 2016
Symphony in B-flat Major Op. 60 (#4) - Beethoven - Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood

How: one sonority is occupied by another.
How: the tone colors are pressed into other tone colors.

Performance Proposition: If a tiny fiddly bit was worth writing out it is worth making clearly audible.

Tarantelle in A-flat Major Op. 43 - Chopin - Alfred Cortot [5.VII.1933]

"Knock knock."
"Who's th . . ."
"Impatient New Phrase."

Klaviertrio in G minor Op. 110 - Schumann - Quatuor Via Nova, Jean Hubeau

Each thing that is a thing here is a densely packed mass, under high pressure, beneath layers of earth. To pry any thing that is a thing here apart requires immense effort. Or to simply let go.

Maureen Forrester
June 23, 2016
4 Ernste Gesänge Op. 121 - Brahms - Maureen Forrester, John Newmark

A narrowest passage, a tiniest fissure. How we twist to pass through.

Le Martyre de Saint-Sebestien - Debussy - Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, James Conlon

It emanates, rises into being, a portent that pulls us further in. The earth engulfs us to beyond the conception of surface. At the end, unimagined, a sublime day.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
June 20, 2016
Gradus 292 160620 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

In which the second G-natural down from the top, performed pianissimo, sets off a car alarm in the distance.

June 22, 2016
4 St. Rage Songs, bass and 12-string tracks. - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Sunday, June 19, 2016



"We are experiencing an intimate, self-reflexive and interpersonal touch: beneath your and my hardened forms of self-representation in public situations we experience our obsessions and internal contradictions as being touched, understood and identified; and only in this process do we experience being in transformation. We thus come close to each other through understanding the same deep-seated inhibitions or forms of desire. An access to one another is revealed,a possibility for change, a convergence. As possibility. Intimate utopia, folie à deux. You and I." - Helger Schulze, (translated by Laura Schleussner), Berührung (Touched by Sound) - The Open Space Magazine issue 8/9 Fall 2006, Spring 2007



June 18, 2016
The Spectrum Dance Theater
Cornish Playhouse - Seattle
The Minstrel Show Revisited - Donald Byrd

DB and company are not shy to reveal what we successfully forget. Black face in your face. Let's share racist jokes. The permeable skins between the bodily languages of clowning subservience, and the bodily languages of self- and other- identification, and the bodily languages of desperate aggression are co-opted to grind our faces into the shards and sparks of our minstrel show past still present among us, barely transmuted: jazz hands, MJ's single white glove (a coded reminder?), white liberal church choirs trying to sing gospel told "to be more black", hip hop's posturing choreography and on and on ad nauseam and beyond. Intentions were and are well and ill on and from all angles, but clearly, the code of silence has failed.

On a more strictly aesthetic note, the inter-disciplinary play among dance, song, spoken word, direct address, audience participation, and reportage (not a complete list), was seamless where it needed to be and abrasive where it needed to be. SDT is a dance theater, but one that takes the theater part seriously. Dance theater for thinking people.


June 15, 2016
Keyboard Sonata in E minor Wq. 65/30 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Each note's decay envelope is so steep (we are hearing a clavichord) that their inter-relative weights, both their dynamics and their agogics, is packed with at- and in-tentions. Climbing a cliff on the merest of holds.

Keyboard Sonata in B minor Hob. XVI:32 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

And now we are orchestral.

June 16, 2016
Le Nozze di Figaro Act II - Mozart - New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

It opens with a drop-dead killer song then dissolves into recitative - first among the female voices and gradually adding (through Cherubino pants role mediation) male voices, during which Mozart constructs an elaborately elaborating ensemble. It is no surprise that the recitative, the ensemble, and everything in between is awesome in the extreme (listen to that recitative again, dig that crazy rhythm!) But we the audience also undergo a shift in perspective, from fly-on-the-wall clinical observer to fully immersed (or enmeshed) co-operative - or more perhaps: over the course of the act the action has moved from out there on the stage to entirely within each of us, overwriting what is us with what is it. A brilliant insurgency.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

June 13, 2016
Gradus 291 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Every couple of weeks Neal comes over and improvises two 20 minute rungs on a new combination of piano keys. This session ended with a rung made of all the A naturals, all the E naturals, all the C sharps, and the highest G natural. I am allowed 40 minutes to consider how music is put together, or to think critically about how I habitually regard music as being put together.

What signals 'start over': repetition as return || end of long duration || novelty
What signals 'moving on': increment || transformation
(double whammy 'start over and move on': non sequitur)
What signals 'working on it': parametric invariance || not starting over, not moving on
Pointillism: each moment starts over, each moment of each moment starts over. updown backforth allthesame.

Sunday, June 12, 2016



June 5, 2016
Wicked Wind - Pomegranate [from Rescued Records]

The guiding metaphor is the literal domestication of woman: she is described as a house.

June 7, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 601 [March 2001, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Isabel K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer]

a. The longer one engages in a repetitive activity the more invested one is in it, to the point where ceasing that activity could be heard only as a repudiation of it, as an oops, rather than as a compositional choice, and so one loses freedom of choice for fear of shame.

b. Semi-arid sounds on a narrow small sky evening.

c. Or repetition suggests long distance journeying, calls of small brass at a distance. Not a narrative but a place heard through the passage of time, a place allowed in time's passage.
near Ritzville, Washington - June 2016

d. Delicate. In order to really hear this one must become quite small, focused micro-aurally.

Night Trip - Bug Nasties [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

A TV theme song, like Secret Agent Man.

for toy piano - Stephen Dembski - Ju-Ping Song [from Milton Babbitt: A Composer's Memorial]

At once: deflationary and packed. The careful composition of rhythms and tempos is partly shadowed, not so much obscured as thrown into relief, by the presence of the clunky mechanism sound. A hefty 2 and a half minutes.

June 8, 2016
Keith Eisenbrey at Seattle Composers' Salon, January 1, 2016 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [John Teske's recording]

Prefaced and Postscripted by the talking establishes, for the recording, a measure of the distance at which we are hearing a music. At the end I was fascinated by the palpable relaxation as it became clear we were through playing, as though we were being gently released from an embrace of collective attention.

June 9, 2016
Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen BWV 49 - J. S. Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling

It was not apparently intended as such exactly, but this would work splendidly as a wedding cantata - if one wanted to model one's married life after 18th Century German society's ornately realized web of received functions.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
June 5, 2016
Banned Telepath 49 Mississipi River Brewery 160605

June 6, 2016
Banned Telepath 49 Seattle 160606
Banned Rehearsal 911 160606 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer in Seattle; Aaron Keyt at a brewery on the banks of Mississippi River

Saturday, June 4, 2016



May 29, 2016
Long Gone - Sissle's Sizzling Syncopaters [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Slippery with legato, sempre portamentissimo. Beats are slid onto, slid off from, wide and ample.

I Found a New Baby - Ethel Waters [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Ethel Waters

Hearing the room, the space around the sounds.

String Quartet - Ruth Crawford Seeger - Schönberg Ensemble

The distances among the voices are precisely drawn as they answer from each other and from us: light and time, an open land. We hear foreshortened images of instrumental voices across and behind each other, not pulsing but throbbing slow like breathing.

Violin Concerto - Schönberg - State Academic Orchestra of the USSR, Alexander Lazarev, Liane Isakadze

We follow through rooms behind our host. The space is not friendly to the gracious rounding of phrases. Speech is muttered, incomplete, fragmentary - hints not statements. Remembering where you came from won't help, grimly slant.

Nowhere - Charlie Barnet [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

There is a thread of cowpoke rhythm (think Grofé) that runs through the whole of it, rehearing itself as a part of each new thing that comes in - and oh do they come in those new things - until it rehears itself abstractly, as the resultant hocket of independent voices.

I'm Scared - Sarah Vaughan, John Kirby and his Orchestra [from Interlude - Early Recordings 1944-1947]

Affectual non-sequitur: the way Sarah's voice comes in at the opening, like the soloist's entry in a late Mozart Concerto.

Frank Martin - best crinkles ever
May 31, 2016
Violin Concerto - Martin - Symphony Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Frank Martin, Wolfgang Schneiderhan

It opens with the orchestra cycling through several concertos full of possibilities. The melodies are long, but motionless, exactly and ever just here, like monk-chant. They don't move us, rather they carve us out where we sit.

Drown In My Own Tears - Ray Charles [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Transparency. Full and overfull, but absolutely plain, clear. Nothing is obscure.

Atlas Eclipticalis - Cage - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Jame Levine

Performed as a Romantic tone-poem of the immense isolation of the stars, and of the forest dwellers peeping out and up in fear and dread. One could regard the notion of program music to be any music that maps an aspect of the extramusical realms into the musical, so this is really not so far off.

June 1, 2016
Standing In The Shadows of Love - The Four Tops [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Boxes in sequence. Bits if what it is are in them. Structurally decorated, circling the predicament.

Trans (Studioaufnahme) - Stockhausen - Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbracken, Hans Zender

Vertical bands of pitchstuff and hollowness. He's never shy of the obvious gesture, witness the opening band accumulating from the top, inversely echoed by the closing band the evaporates from the bottom.

Book of Rules - The Heptones [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

There are sustained tones here and there, doled out with circumspection.

Simple Gifts - Kia Sams - Prospect Choir

A dynamite little arrangement for children's and adult's choirs, clever and straightforward at once.

Begin The Begin - REM [from Life's Rich Pageant]

Thick vegetation on a hot day.

Riding On The Train- Ashtray [from Rescued Records]

The walls are close.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
May 30, 3016
Gradus 290 160530 - Neal Kosály-Meyer