Saturday, August 27, 2016



August 20, 2016
Seattle Opera
McCaw Hall, Seattle

The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory - Rossini

No stunner, but pleasant enough in the music department. The ensemble writing is superb throughout and of course the performers are excellent. I even rather enjoyed the set design, with its Pythonesque puppetry.  But somewhere behind in my head I can't help but loose a nagging thought. Not to make more of it than I felt while listening, but I wonder how long SO, and grand opera in general, can successfully persist in pretending that these spiffed up antique entertainments have much to say to us if no effort is made to consider, critically, the repressively stratified social structure that forms their substrate. What exactly is funny here? An entitled priapic jerk attempting to rape the triply imprisoned chattel of a fellow tyrant? Can we accept this horror as having only existed in the quaint world of opera plots, never in our actual historical world, and as having no obvious extension into our own times?

Your Mother Should Know
August 24, 2016
Book Launch - The Gospel According To St. Rage
Common Good Cafe, University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle

Readings from "The Gospel According to St. Rage" - Karen Eisenbrey
7 St. Rage Songs - Your Mother Should Know - Karen Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Karen says she wasn't sure she knew how to plan a book launch party, but that she does know how to plan a show - so that's what she did. The readings and songs were interspersed "like Lessons and Carols". The songs went well, helped by David Campbell's expert help with the sound gear. The readings got laughs in the right places, and gasps when events got dire. My job was to sit back and let Karen shine, which she did and then some. I could not help but feel an odd mix of paternal and fraternal prides.

Audio of the show is available on Karen's website, and the book, published by Pankhearst Collective, is available from Amazon. At the end of the book is a discount code for the St. Rage EP on Bandcamp.


August 23, 2016
Concerto in A Major K. 488 - Mozart - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, Malcolm Bilson

The 2nd movement, as it pares itself down to exactly and only what tells, becomes too intense to hold. The 3rd ends in a series of ever fancier juggles in quick succession. The cadence says "Take. A. Bow." Or maybe "Hire. Me. Please."

Piano Concerto in G Major Op. 58 (#4) - Beethoven - Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, Rudolf Serkin

The music spreads itself out over ample fields, wide room for spinning, or to stop and drift about. Try a trill here. Or here. Or there. In the 2nd movement we ever so slowly enter into the piano's sound. The stern orchestra doesn't get softer, it simply fades from consciousness as we enter this other realm. Day comes again. The ample day.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

August 22, 2016
Gradus 296 160822 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

It drops to the bottom, where it lingers. Imagine a polyphony on a single pitch.

Saturday, August 20, 2016



"We hear a lot about finding one's voice, but we hear less about finding a harmonious place for it to resound, about modulating it with respect to its surroundings, about stilling oneself to respect the other's voice. And even less about finding one's silence." - Barbara White "In Search of Silence", The Open Space Magazine Issue 10 Fall 2008



August 16, 2016
Jesse James - Bruce Springsteen [from The Seeger Sesssions]

In the 30s the 'Western Outlaws' and 'gangsters' were sanctified by partitions of us as quasi Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor - a rose-colored-glasses simplification at best - and so I wonder what cred exactly Bruce is aiming at here.

I must admit, he had me with the lovely map
Pioneer, O Pioneers! - Brian Cobb [from Campfire Songs] - Maria Mannisto, soprano voice, Craig Garretson, baritone voice, Jesse Canterbury, clarinet & bass clarinet, Chung-Lin Lee, flute, Eric Rynes, violin, Brad Hawkins, cello, Brian Stone, guitar, Greg Campbell, percussion, Dale Speicher, percussion, Julia Tai, conductor

A brooding sense of isolation, distance. What strange idealism pulled, or what silent horror drove, the civilized from civilization, only to carry it along?

Gradus 281 - Neal Kosály-Meyer (January 2016)

Among other aspects, the Gradus project is a study in levels of attenuation. Here it skims the surface of continuity and coherence, exploring chaos with a probe, a poke of fingers. What if coherence were a choice rather than a desperate gambit?

August 17, 2016
Die Kunst der Fuge, Contrapunctus 1 - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

The vinyl pressing I had of this recording was never good - murky and noisy, I honestly wasn't looking forward to listening. But apparently I had inadvertently sabotaged it while ripping to digital. Instead of recording the output of the turntable, I was recording via the laptop microphone. What was murky before was murky cubed, and in the background was Karen and me chatting in the kitchen, banging cupboard doors. I'm a pretty rough and tough listener, but this was, alas, a waste, not even fun in a new music found sound sort of way. So I found the recording online, and was happy to discover that the performance is actually better than I had feared.

August 18,2016
Keyboard Sonata in F Hob. XVI:29 - Haydn - Christine Schornsheim

It keeps doing that Buster Keaton shtick of finding itself suddenly in new surrounds, but with equally dizzying changes in the protagonist. Was he trying to out-do CPE Bach at his own game?

In Session at the Tintinabulary

August 13, 2016 (recording remotely at Volunteer Park, Seattle)
Volunteer Park Water Tower 160813

Karen and I got to the park early for Steve's guerrilla music session, so we hoisted ourselves up the stairs to the top of the water tower. While we were enjoying the view and the space we were surprised and delighted to be suddenly serenaded by four young women singing Bulgarian and Croatian folk(?) songs arranged in parts. By their second number I had my recorder out and captured this mini flash performance. Hoorah Seattle! - If any of the performers happen upon this, please let me know who you are so I can give you proper credit.  

Tree Stone Session - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Bruce Greeley, Aaron Keyt, S. Eric Scribner
not at Volunteer Park

SES had invited all interested to come to Volunteer Park to improvise and to perform Tree Stone, a piece that involves clicking rocks together and shaking tree branches, but mostly listening to the park on a beautiful Seattle summer afternoon and estimating in one's head how long a minute might be. Eventually there will be a link to the sound on my soundcloud site, but upload speed has been a problem lately.

August 15, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 916 160815 - Jenny Chung, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer
This turned out well, and the pie was delicious.

Again - eventually a link will appear on soundcloud. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 13, 2016



"Blake proposed seeing not with the eyes but through the eyes -- not, that is, with the limits of the natural organ as habitual frame but through an open channel. Same with ears, the open channel, passing through "the doors of perception." This stance is listening through sound to the core, as if the actual sound were a leak from another dimension asking to be tracked back to an original, which, however, never shows itself." George Quasha - "Hearing Speare Hearing Through Sounds Themselves", The Open Space Magazine Issue 10 Fall 2008



August 7, 2016
Kid Ory
You're Next - Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, Lil Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr [from Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens]

How it moves from its empty foreboding chunk chunk opening harmony into summer weather, as simply as remembering what's for dinner that night.

Creole Rhapsody - Duke Ellington - Duke Ellington, Cootie Williams, Freddie Jenkins, Arthur Whetzel, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol, Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Fred Guy, Wellman Braud, Sonny Greer [from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

The opening musics reenter after the virtual record-flip break through a fissure made sneakily by the pattery snare drum, which leads the finish, thereby tying together an otherwise episodic amble.

Romeo and Juliette, Premiere Tableau - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

Prokofiev lives in the troubled harmonies that occupy the middles of his phrases. Squarely in the Berliozian Romantic tradition, the music both amplifies and inhabits the dramatic scene.

Jig Walk - Pee Wee Russell [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Pretty sure it is just drums, piano, and clarinet, but the clarinet uses what are nearly multiphonics, with an assist from nicely particular registrations of the piano's chords, to impersonate backing horns.

You Go To My Head - Sarah Vaughan - Sarah Vaughan, Clarence Brereton, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Bill Kyle, John Kirby, Bill Beason [from Interlude - Early Recordings 1944-1947]

Long vocal line with surprise rhymes sprawling over a sumptuously cushioned accompaniment.

Red Rodney
Mark - Red Rodney [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Let's move this along boys, we have a lot of notes to fit into three minutes.

August 9, 2016
Havana Moon - Chuck Berry [from The Best of Chuck Berry]

Just under the radar, CB's voice relaxes into a smoky smooth bluesy basso at the ends of phrases.

Hide Away - Freddy King [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

In a way the Beatles did this track a loving disservice by referencing it so often. It's tricky to hear for itself.

Kicks (Remix) - Paul Revere and The Raiders [from The Legend of Paul Revere]

A pretty great song weakened by the author's message lyrics.

One Of These Days - Pink Floyd [from Meddle]

A seventies dorm room Bolero.

Mi-Parti - Witold Lutosławski - Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jacek Kasprzyk

Clouds of strings circle and envelop, or call forth and let evaporate, the unsustainable potent violence of the dead, ascending in glowing ash.

Elimination Dancing - Bow Wow Wow

Unimaginable without the virtual stage show, costume changes, the works. Power punk glitz.

The Boy In The Bubble - Paul Simon [from Graceland]

Turns around on itself so many times you would almost think it wasn't meant to be not a lullaby.

In Bloom - Nirvana [from Nevermind]

A canvas of solid colors, not primary, in dynamically proportional blocks and stripes. Strong and messy verticals.

August 10, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 416 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer, March 1996

We gather our tools, weigh them in hand, cross-calibrate, coalesce into: e-guitar, tenor sax, bass line (on the mighty W), drums, t-bone, various percussionals. Pressure is applied from angles low in the mix :: slowly squeezing violin and cornet out of guitar and sax, a residue of drone coats the wreckage. A late hurrah.

The Farthest Shore (Kalessin) - Keith Eisenbrey

This is a midi generated realization of a flute trio I wrote in 2001 for Sarah Bassingthwaighte, who took it to some little town in Russia with a bunch of flute students. It was apparently performed as a flute nonette, though the only record I have of it is the program with my name transliterated into their alphabet. I looked around for a scan of it, but was unable to find it. Alas, my sound files are quite well organized and indexed, but the image files are not. More to do.

In Session At The Tintinabulary

August 8, 2016
Gradus 295 - Neal Kosály-Meyer 

Sunday, August 7, 2016



July 30, 2016
Secret Forest Show
John Teske and Neil Welch with friends
Ravenna Park, Seattle

John's piece had us up off our duffs to wander atop the duff, down the trail to a clearing by the creek. Figuring the instructions, even had I been able to read them at distance, were for those who might be uncomfortable simply walking about attending sound, I simply walked about attending sound, which made a most pleasant evening strolling.

Upon regathering on the logs Neil preached saxophone from a hidden green pulpit, skyrocket staccato tones shimmering in the canopy. An ensemble piece followed, searching out the ravine's expanse and texture. From the distance a wandering company's A Midsummer Night's Dream approached. "Lysander!" As we were done and heading home the waAMND had taken station in the clearing by the creek to which we also had been drawn.

Another bit of Seattle magic. Thank you!


August 2, 2016
Waltz in F minor, Op. 70 #2 - Chopin - Peter Katin

An eager nosegay, blossoms crowding just so.

Sonata in A minor, Op. 105 - Schumann - Jean Mouillère, Jean Hubeau

The 2nd movement pas de deux, piano sound touching, supporting, spotting the en pointe violin sound only enough to give the impression of exquisite weightlessness.

August 3, 2016
4 Ernste Gesänge, Op. 121 - Brahms - Janet Baker, André Previn

In a choice between lyric line against/or immutable stasis, these choose the former.
In a choice between expression against/or reflection, these choose the former.
In a choice between comfort against/or fear and trembling, these choose the former.
In a choice between goal against/or presence, these choose the former.

In short, my preference is the Maureen Forrester John Newmark recording.

El Cavito - Grupo Bahianainho [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The Latin Chaotic. The sound quality in this 1911 recording has severed some of the more obvious clues to the unanimity of their ensemble. It takes work to discover just how together they were.

Chain Gang Blues - Sam Moore [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

Lots of vibrato and slippery pitches, high on the neck.

In Session at The Tintinabulary

August 1, 2016
Banned Rehearsal 915 160801 - Jenny Chung, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer
We gathered on the porch, though it wasn't hot, to mix our sounds with those of the taco truck around the corner being subjected to attempted engine repair.

August 6, 2016
Second Thoughts Omnibus 160806 - Keith Eisenbrey
A year and several months ago I ended my self-imposed (and only partly observed) sabbatical from composition. I have gotten to a point in the project where I have sounds to share. This midi-generated sound file is all the parts packed in their box, shrink wrapped, ready to be torn open and re-assembled. The score in this form is for 12 pianos.

Blood and Fire, Hallelujah 160806 - Keith Eisenbrey
And last night I had the idea to take the midi file of Second Thoughts, slow it down (from quarter = 120 to quarter = 32) and use the result as the solo piano part of my 2010 virtual piano concerto Blood and Fire, Hallelujah