Saturday, July 30, 2016



"The aspect of aesthetic imagination of real presence becomes especially vivid during long but time-limited events having the character of a performance (e.g. calme étendue by Wandelweiser composer Antoine Beuger, 1996/97, which lasts up to nine hours). A piece of music of nine hours' duration necessarily eludes perception as a whole. The knowledge of its actual performance at the moment is available to an audience member who is absent from the room solely as an aesthetic image. Here the uncertain element of truth in such a projective image is in antithetical tension to the phenomenological structure of perception and imagination. When I leave the room, I can assume at any given time that the performance is going on, and something is happening in the performance space that follows the score (with which I'm familiar) and/or is similar to what I perceived at an earlier moment during the performance. This uncertainty nonetheless points to the uncertainty of any given perception, which can always deceive me. But my imagination cannot. Imagining, as a synthetic act, is always certainty, for rather than telling me something about the world, it is solely the product of my assumptions." Volker Straebel - "Aspects of Conceptual Composing", The Open Space Magazine Issue 10 Fall 2008



July 23, 2016
Rockin' In Rhythm - Duke Ellington - The Harlem Footwarmers, Freddie Jenkins, Arthur Whetsol, Cootie Williams, Lawrence Brown, Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Juan Tizol, Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Camey, Fred Guy, Wellman Braud, Sonny Greer [from Ken Burns' Jazz]

How seamlessly can the ear be led? Are you sure you had your wallet with you, sir?

Density 21.5 - Edgard Varèse - Lawrence Beauregard
Billie Holiday

Ascending strenuously through the several realms, not disregarding that of pitch, reaching at last for the last of reaching.

All Of Me - Billie Holiday, Shad Collins, Leslie, Johnakins, Eddie Barefield, Lester Young, Eddie Heywood, John Collins, Ted Sturgis, Kenny Clarke [from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

An encyclopedia of syncopation at its most sophisticated.

It Might As Well Be Spring - Sarah Vaughan, Clarence Brereton, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Bill Kyle, John Kirby, Bill Beason [from Interlude: Early Recordings 1944 -1947]

In singing the tune she also, or perhaps she sings the tune so as to, illuminate(s) harmony's innards.

Turn Over A New Leaf - John Lee Hooker [from The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948 - 1954]

Call and response: voice to guitar. Stomp the floor.

Love Is Strange - Mickey & Sylvia [from Original Oldies From the 50's Volume Thirteen]

At some point in the early 80's I was turned on to The Shirelles' dynamite debut I Met Him On A Sunday. I found the track on a cheap 7" 33 1/3, upon which I discovered this justly celebrated single by Mickey and Sylvia, with its wicked 'syl-vi-a' 'sweet-ee-pie' guitar licks. This song makes me smile every time.

Anthem - the dove descending breaks the air - Stravinsky - Festival Singers of Toronto, Elmer Iseler [from The Original Jacket Collection]

Has SATB ever sounded so weird?

Shake It Up (Remix) - Paul Revere and The Raiders [from The Legend of Paul Revere]

Almost a straight instrumental, were it not for the demonic laughter buried deep in the mix.

A Woman Left Lonely - Janis Joplin [from Pearl]

It isn't emotion or emotive qualities she adds as it gets going. All that drains away as she aligns with some prevenient energy field - as though she finds the exact warp of voice that will lock in and resonate on the soundboard of solid blues.

Bowles' Blues - Eddie Bowles [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording Volume 1]

Some interesting ways that triplets can halt in midair and still be triplets.

Intermezzo - Aaron Keyt - Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt
Aaron Keyt and Sky of Destiny

Aaron and I go way back, and this recording is among the earliest of our collaborations, stemming from when we were both undergrads at the UW. The score, for two pianos, only rarely has the two pianos sounding simultaneously. Most of the time phrases rock or rocket or reel or wobble back and forth between them. A Brahms Intermezzo is chopped up and shuffled, as though a new tale were being told with the fragmented trajectories of an old. A clown parade wanders through (in bits), and among it all emerges an intimately delicate inward pondering. This piece got a certain amount of flack when we played it for the faculty - perhaps there was discomfort with his perceived irreverent use of Brahms (heck, he can take it). I like it more now even than I did then.

July 24, 2016
We Three Kings of Orient Are - London Symphony Orchestra [from Listen To The Joy]

What does it take to make an old carol suitable for the aspirations of middle class American homes? Ditch the words, first. Arrange it to sound as much like Tchaikovsky as possible, without going so far as to sound like anything alarmingly particular. Hire a great band and sell.

Octanphonie - Eugene Bozza - Rainier Chamber Winds, Kathleen McFerran [from Out and Back]

An attempt is made to: convince a stubborn horn player; subdue the energetic; relax in spite of troubling thoughts; hold it together in the face of giddy inebriation.

Little Bird - Motorhome [a Rescued Record]

Roomfilling guitar, more bass-heavy then REM, vocals a bit more focused. Toward the end is a quick break followed up by a new tempo coda. Nicely misshaped.

Banned Rehearsal 603 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Isabel K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer, March 2001

Even an ironically oratoricalized question is an anxiety. The Banned preserves our demeanor of formal silence. What good is brick wall music? Is its value exactly in the fact that it doesn't answer questions?

You're Way Back Down - The Fe Fi Fo Fums [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

The vocal shouts over the shoulders of his guitar-thugs.

Rux?: Gumbo - Bob Priest - Stu Dempster, Joanna Hood, Bob Priest [from Hendrix Uncovered - New Music Inspired by Jimi Hendrix]

Stu Dempster, cleaning house I think, gave me this CD ("not for sale" its cover announces) at his birthday celebration concert earlier this month. I haven't seen Bob Priest in years (I started keeping a listening journal in the mid-80s and some of the first entries are from Bob's "Marzena" concerts) and I was delighted to hear in this odd little piece that he's still busy making interesting sounds.

July 25, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 902 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer, January 2016

The sound of a declaiming voice will silence even its own text. Music doesn't stand a chance.

July 26, 2016
Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt BWV 112 - J. S. Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling

It isn't until the second time around that we realize just how introductory the blatant non-introduction really was. We are given a guided tour down through the tessituras, then ushered back into daylight.

Keyboard Sonata in C Major Wq. 54/2 - C. P. E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

C. P. E. Bach was working at a time of flux, when the emphasis on contrapuntal elaboration was waning in favor of combinations of tunes and chords. It often seems a bit haphazard and gimcrack, but fascinating in its moments, deeply invested in each twist and turn. This music is being taken apart as we listen.

Keyboard Sonata in A Major Hob. XI.30 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

This music is putting itself together.

July 27, 2016
Le nozze di Figaro, Act IV - Mozart - New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

This, the end, begins at the lowest of the low: a servant girl. Following this are the several big arias, a veritable bloodbath of competitive "R" rolling, and the payoff ensemble to finish.

July 28, 2016
Symphony in B-flat Major Op. 60 (#4) - Beethoven - Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

Pairs of tenuous threads spin light out of darkness, with and without layers of shadow bright.

In Session at The Tintinabulary

July 25, 2016
Gradus 294 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Saturday, July 23, 2016



July 19, 2016
2 Nocturnes op. 48 - Chopin - Claudio Arrau

1 - A stutter step in the bass, a tune venturing far afield, a chorale: each, as we focus on it, distracts from where the others are heading so that, as we refocus, we find ourselves much further into the brambles than we had planned to go. We continually adjust our thinking, and in doing so the parts seem to readjust to each other's reality, on down the line, like marbles rolling down a toy switchboard. Plink a plunk a clitter clack.

2 - The first two measures are a title to a nice story. But it is primarily the duration of 'two measures' that becomes the subject of the whole. This becomes solidified in the sequence of two-measure variations that makes up the greater part of the trio.

Sonata in D minor op. 121 (#2) - Schumann - Jean Mouillère, Jean Hubeau

Well, we'd best deal with it now, and so we get on with it. First we observe its facets and corners, rolling it around in our hands. It isn't as big or heavy as a bowling ball, more like a large gourd. Soon it's all over us and so in we dive, vigorously.

Strauss and Brahms
11 Chorale Preludes op. 122 - Brahms - Daniel Roth

The vinyl record I ripped this from was horribly noisy, and the music signal was such a tiny part of the sound that it was nearly impossible to hear the music behind the 'warm vinyl sound'. I was able to clean it up a little. The bass is still boomy and dull, but for the most part one can imagine something like music going on back there. The organ tones appear here as if embodied in their cathedral space, liberated from the mechanism that produced them. I had the impression of pitches just hanging out among themselves, digging each other, ignoring us. This may be the closest Brahms ever got to sounding like early computer music. Switched On Brahms anyone?

July 20, 2016
Waltz Sequences from Der Rosenkavalier - Richard Strauss - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz

Switched on Strauss wouldn't work so well, it is far too enamored of its nostalgic sheen, the warm afterglow of its imperial splendor.

Poor Buttermilk - Zez Confrey [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Trouble In Mind - Chippie Hill [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

In Session at the Tintinabulary

July 17, 2016
Zillah 160717 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey
Zillah, WA

Karen and I set out after breakfast to wait out the opening of the local wineries and discover what Zillah sounds like on a Sunday morning in July. There were some crows, and the truck sounds were often nicely isolated. The municipal sound system (who knew?) seemed to be set to selections from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul.

July 18, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 914 160718 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

The porch furniture being scattered around the front yard and stored in the garage while our painting project got underway, we gathered around the kitchen table and did what we do, little knowing that even at that moment Banned Rehearsal had been mentioned in a footnote in the Selected Letters of John Cage. Yes, that's right! BR has achieved footnote status!

Saturday, July 16, 2016



July 12, 2016
Falsche Welt, dir trau Ich nicht BWV 52 - J. S. Bach - Gächinger Kantorei, Helmut Rilling
Keyboard Sonata in B-flat Major Wq. 54/4 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Segmented, like a puppet.

Keyboard Sonata in E Major Hob. XVI.31 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

My long-time collaborator Aaron Keyt wrote a Sonata a few years ago that uses this as its measure-by-measure basis for pitch collection roil. As an analysis, it can be heard as an abstraction that maps pitch-content without also mapping interval content. Interestingly, the sense of narrative also remains, but in absurdist vein, i.e. a narrative without content. Christine plays it on a multi-keyboard harpsichord.

July 13, 2016
Le Nozze di Figaro Act III - Mozart - New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

An act of small arcs, an intermezzo, an aria sublime, a delicately hushed ensemble, a chorus.

July 14,2016
Symphony in B-flat Major Op. 60 (#4) - Beethoven - Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter

Less a drama than a location, a locale, a here in which to apprehend the time.
Time as place. Now as here. Here as now.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

Gradus 293 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

The rungs go by so quickly here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016



"When music is applied to warlike ends, we tend to believe that it has been turned against its innocent nature.To quote the standard platitudes, it has charms to soothe a savage breast; it is the food of love; it brings us together and sets us free. We resist evidence suggesting that music can cloud reason, stir rage, cause pain, even kill. Footnoted treatises on the dark side of music are unlikely to sell as well as the cheery pop-science books that tout music's ability to make us smarter, happier, and more productive. Yet they probably bring us closer to the true function of music in the evolution of human civilization." Alex Ross - "The Sound of Hate", The New Yorker, July 4, 2016.



July 8, 2016
Seattle Composers' Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Jeremiah Lawson
Studies in Harmonics 7 - 12 for Solo Guitar

What remains after all music else has been leached away.

S. Eric Scribner
Phase Canon #1
Eco Slab Gong / Sound Scroll #1 for Inside Piano

Evocation, in the old sense of calling forth, like a nonbullshit seance.

Jay Hamilton
Grief: for Houdini, who did not believe but wanted to (solo cello)

Brazenly unprettified, brutally clear, desperately heartfelt.

Susan Maughlin Wood

A film (mechanisms, locomotions, bees, blossoms, garden snails) set against three movements for piano and violin. Like books leaning against each other not commenting but sharing ideas.

July 9, 2016
Swarm + Stew | in honor of Stuart Dempster on his 80th birthday
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, Ione, Neal Kosály-Meyer, Pauline Oliveros, Margaret Sunghe Paek, Greg Powers

Swarm + Stew - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Beginning before it began some stayed and gathered in the space humming and buzzing some buzzed to the garden to hum. Pete Comley sat next to me with his gear and discovered some minutes into the humbuzz that a bee (sluggish) had come to join us. Sitting quietly humming finding my humming tone occasionally separating from how I was making it. Opening my eyes as the garden buzzhummers regathered in the space 30 minutes or so later I was delighted to discover how many there were to join us. Stories told, sounds shared. What gathered in the peaceful summer night that night erupted in ecstatic glee. Shoes were removed. Rooms skipped around. Whoops whooped dancer back lifting Stu to whoop whoops.

A high water mark in my Seattle music memory.


July 2, 2016
Lullaby of the Leaves - The Ventures [from Walk Don't Run: The Best of The Ventures]

Every strum exactly
in place no
surprises exactly
four nothing slops
from phrase into next
phrase these boys
have practiced

Sooner or Later (One of Us Must Know) - Bob Dylan [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Bobvoice bounds in arcing leaps sometimes with effort, like pumping a swing, sometimes riding like a volleyball on the bounce of his band.

7 Pieces - Paul Simon, J.S. Bach - Keith Eisenbrey ca. 1971

My mom kept this little tape of me playing the piano when I was 11 or 12 or thereabouts - possibly earlier. I certainly was given to anthemic grandiosity - and to a flagrant disregard of steady beats. Molto rubato swing is probably not a good idea.

Coro - Berio - Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester

eases slowly from art song into an accumulating fugue
but the sphere turns or
the sphere is
transparent onionlayers
spheres spinning locking
independent glinting blades of sound
each layer passing in and out independently

all of the above

(in the sense that: if Les Noces were an armchair
this would be the overstuffed archie bunker version
presented 'as an ART PIECE')

Transcription of dialtwisting

The dissonances are hinged low in the mix.

July 5, 2016
Matte Kudasai - King Crimson [from Discipline]

Between gullkeen song and guitarwail
wheeling over the beach in the rainy-soon afternoon

Orange Airplane - Screaming Trees [from Clairvoyance]

Very arty. Collected from a soggy gutter where hiphopsample and 60spsychedelia are studiolaraly indistinguished.

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana [from Nevermind]

A stuttery spread precursing beat three.

My Spaceman - Motorhome [from Rescued Records]

When in stride a sempiternal drift. Turn left to go right toujour et toujour.

July 7, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 602 [March 2001, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Isabel K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer]

Our history extruded in a thick paste. We used to have years of boredom, clockwise currents of sound. carrier waves, messages, translations, comments, surface of paper, stuff of ink, atmospherics, foils: a bestiary of what we used to got.

Wot U Got - Armitage Shanks [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

Aggressive articulation of male sexual entitlement (reveals terror).

Waiting - Shaprece

Dressed to the nines.

Ivan Arteaga at Seattle Composers' Salon January 8, 2016

Jump cuts from coast to coast and time to time accomplished by the shift of a single finger or the slightest adjustment of either tongue.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

July 4, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 913 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt

Saturday, July 2, 2016



June 28, 2016
Low Down Blues - Sissle's Sizzling Syncopaters [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

What could be imitated, but not re-invented? Referenced, but not owned?

Louis Armstrong
Come Back Sweet Papa - Louis Armstrong's Hot Five [from Hot Fives and Sevens]

One gets the impression that Louis, with varying degrees of success, was doing everything he could to teach his band how to keep up with him. Sweet Papa isn't coming back.

Violin Concerto in D - Stravinsky - Philharmonia Orchestra, Paul Sacher, Anne-Sophie Mutter

A text book in how to unpack a tonality. Grooving on those ostinati, each chunk of their respective chunk chunk chunks facing in a new direction.

Trio - Cage - Seattle Percussion Collective [Greg Campbell, Denali Williams, Dale Speicher]

wind up toys
blank face percussive envelopes
measure our remove

Blue Serge - Duke Ellington [from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

A movie-star affect, the way it turns its face aside at every of its last moments.

You Go To My Head - Sarah Vaughan [from Interlude - Early Recordings 1944-1947]

The lyrics veer toward being nothing but a list of words that rhyme, in particularly rhythmed places within the meter. Veer so far as to be nearly without meaning except to the extent that their rhyme is their reason. But the resulting near vacation of the expressive space allows colonization, gentrification, by Sarah's oh so deliberate pacing of tones.

not mc, but rather me, some decades past
June 29, 2016
The Mighty Casey - William Schuman - Juilliard Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz

It has some nice moments, and telling touches: the greek rhubarb choruses, and any of the instrumental interludes after the game gets going, are my personal favorites. Otherwise it would be pretty much a train wreck were it not for how it almost allows access to the sense of cosmic time shift that provides much of the aesthetic awe of baseball in the wild: that heady range of magnitudes between the scales of seasons, games, innings, ups, pitches, and the moments of shattering air.

Chamber Music for 13 Players - Arthur Berger - Columbia Chamber Ensemble, Gunther Schuller [from Music of Arthur Berger]

The pirate games that pitches play when our backs are turned.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

June 27, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 912 160627 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

We celebrate the 32nd Bannediversary on the porch of the Tintinabulary.