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

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