Saturday, December 31, 2016



"The time has long gone since the monumentality of the written text, having found its niche in the great halls of literature, could experience such achievement in proxy for its poet as ultimate bulwark against the flotsam of history and the underlying tussle and torque of time. Neither Keats' Urn nor Yeats' Singing School nor even the dusty owls of Robert Duncan's grim Museum, can hold out any longer against the utterly transitory character of even the most heartily well-wrought artifact. The artifactual nature of reality itself is now felt to be so keenly ensconced in its fleeting identity, that 'the work of time's' subjection to time's ravages hardly evokes a whimper. You must find a way to live with a moment's grace and let the matter of durative identity take care of itself as it can." Charles Stein "Magic Without Tears in the Writings of Lissa Wolsak" - Open Space Magazine Issue 12/13 fall 2010/winter 2011



December 26, 2016
Fletcher Henderson

That Devilin' Tune - Stella Mayhew [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

An oversize stage presence in the service of cringe-worthy minstrel-show lyrics.

Unknown Blues - Fletcher Henderson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Loose-jointed piano playing.

Panama City Ltd. - Ada Brown [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Delicious horn section.

I'm Crazy About My Baby - Fats Waller [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The sophistication of the performance leaves the song far behind.

December 27, 2016
Romeo et Juliette Act III - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juratis

Clearest bliss layered on clearest bliss, but viewed from an angle that fragments each line, especially in secret, where intricacies are worked out.

Nat Cole
Just a Sittin' and a Rockin' - Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Sets up shop and stakes a claim.

Somebody Loves Me - Lester Young, Nat Cole, Buddy Rich [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

All three of them are fabulous, but Nat Cole's piano playing is astonishing in the way it folds rhythm and tune together.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 25, 2016
UTUMC - MCC Coffee Makers 161226 - Keith Eisenbrey
When we got to church Christmas morning Karen and I took our choir folders, which we had taken home with us late on Christmas Eve, back to choir room in the basement. In the hall was a coffee maker, and in a kitchen off the hall was another, all by themselves, happily singing carols.

December 26, 2016
Banned Telepath 52 161226 Anchorage
Banned Telepath 52 161226 Seattle
Banned Rehearsal 925 161226 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, and Steve Kennedy, in Seattle; and Aaron Keyt in Anchorage

Saturday, December 24, 2016



December 15-18, 2016
Die Zauberflöte Act II - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Bohm

An allegory of the patriarchy in all its splendor and misogyny. As wonderful as the individual numbers are, and even as well as the Act II works as a sequence of pieces (somewhat better than Act I), the thing itself fails as drama, in part because the characters are motivated by the necessities of the allegory rather than by their personal interactions. They aren't making it up as they go along, it is made up for them from above. I also have trouble with the disjuncture between the sung sound and the spoken sound. The sung sound is so huge, so developed in itself, so wedded to its accompanying harmonic processes, that when characters simply speak I can't reconcile the sung and spoken voices into single persons.

December 22, 2016
Sonata in A-flat Major,op. 110 (#31) - Beethoven - Wilhelm Kempff

1. Figuration playing over the surface of what is held dear. Clouds on sky.
2. The perfectly wrong tempo, WK nails it throughout. I wanted to jump up and down.
3. Between-ness, one person, a singular voice, profane. (Alternating with:
4. The fugal sacred, corporate, universal. (Neither looking back to the other, but each finding cause, common or un-, within each, to be found to be having been moved back into the other.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
December 19, 2016
Gradus 304 161219 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

A new G. Anew! G! A gnu, gee! (Agnew) )Gwenga.( Eeg! Ungag! Wen, Ag; Wen, A.

Feeling felt. Bone of wood flesh of felt. Felted hammer fleshed bone wood resonanced wire.

The exact timing of an attack in relation to where the wire is in its vibration cycles can make such a difference in color as one could imagine a voice: back or front of palate, raised, lowered, the tongue just so.

The piano is an empty mansion, of which to approach is to inhabit. Guest or haunt? This music is some where. Some. Where.

Sunday, December 18, 2016



December 17, 2016
Finnegans Wake Chapter 3 - James Joyce
Neal Kosály-Meyer
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

memory fragments in the dark


December 10, 2016
Thunder Road (live) - Bruce Springsteen [from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Live 1975 - 1985]

American Pie, bye bye
American Pie, escape from
American Pie, escape from within the language of

but hardly a moment in there that doesn't tell.

Ghosting (for Pat Graney Dance) - Amy Denio [from Tutto Bene]

Color me blown away. Barely a minute and a half long, the tonality is seeming solid but treacherously slick, and the rhythmic sense hovers between flatfooted folkish 3+3+2 and one of Cortot's floating riffs on a Chopin triplet. It would take a graduate seminar to tweeze out all the nested partitions of thirds and fourths winding around in there. All that and then a suckerpunch quasi-double-time cadence that would have made Machaut smile. Amy was kind enough to grant me permission to play around with this: Theme and Variations? Fantasy On? Riffy Etudes? Hmm.

Anonymous - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Buried in the mix, a guitar's bare hint at reflection, like the dull glint on a gun barrel.

Banned Rehearsal 607 - Isaac E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Anna K, Isabel K, Neal Kosály-Meyer - April 2001

prolonging the lead in, the sense of getting ready to start. The sound world: percussion is in front drums bells wooden bars, guitar in imitation; slipping around inside strands of sustained tones sliding around, back into the percussion chattery. Inventing a mix, an instrumentation, a pattern of weedy tangled sounds. Regularity emerges, but always challenged by some angular, obtuse momentum. Doors open and close. A healthy hang-in-there attitude. Winds down even more prolongedly than it wound up. In the end we present multiple short fragments of possible mixes bending toward the oh-so-composed, long fades perpetually reawakened.

Just Keyboard Respect - Mark Zuckerman - Peter Winograde [from Open Space 21]

Beautiful keyboard writing! (and beautifully played). A clear, delightful, but frightfully quick game of Randallian pinecones.

December 11, 2016
And The Wind Still Cries - Randy Raines-Reusch [from Hendrix Uncovered]

An undulating drone and what gets pulled from it.

Finnegans Wake Chapter 1 - Mr. Smolin and Double Nought Spy Car [from Wayroads and Meansigns]

Recited, for the most part. Music enters though the relation between the reciting and the various musics over which it is recited. The big thunderclap near the opening joins the two. As deeply embedded in the humanities as the text is, this take on it comes across like stitched-together missives from space aliens, or as though on latenight downchannel TV. Or: brazenly neo-modern: the old text surrounded by ready-mades. Defiantly not integrated with itself.

December 13, 2016
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus IV - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

Clotted keys, knots of partial centrality. Occasional clarifications: red herrings?

Polonaise in E-flat Wq. 116/2 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Carl finds some very peculiar ways to count to three.

Symphony in C minor (#78) - Haydn - The Hanover Band, Roy Goodman

Sequences of types, as sets, sequenced into sequences of types as sets of sets, articulating the picture of life painted for their masters by their servants. The ordered day. It's hard to imagine (if you will excuse the inexcusable) Haydn hiding anything, but then...

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 12, 2016
Banned Telepath 51 Seattle 161212 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy

December 13, 2016
Banned Telepath 51 Anchorage 161213 - Aaron Keyt
Banned Rehearsal 924 161213- Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt

Saturday, December 10, 2016



"can we see it without words? do words block the view? if words are the view, what lies beyond, behind? behind beyond // what to write in, on. what? and // in what language? // not the mother tongue, but    the other tongue" Pedro Rivadeneira "Corporalmente" - Open Space Magazine Issue 11 Fall 2009



December 3, 2016
Luigi Dallapiccola
Concerto per la notte di Natale dell'anno - Luigi Dallapiccola - Philadelphia Composer's Forum, Joel Thome, Valarie Lamoree

delicate tracing 
dove tails

joined by the repetition of a curve
so that each moment glows or burns

distance or undistance
deep space behind a stone wall of voice

December 6, 2016
It Will Stand - The Showmen [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Outing the trope of genre promotion (rock and roll will live forever) as an affirmation of the audience (you will live forever). It is essentially an altar call.

Cup of Faith / Beaudoin Quadrille - Fidel Martin [from The Art of Field Recording Vol. 1]

The ornaments on this (a fiddle tune) are touched lightly, articulate feathers on a muscular frame.

Birds of a Feather - Paul Revere and The Raiders [from The Legend of Paul Revere]

Trying for a Sonny and Cher sound? Captain and Tenille? (of which, by the way, I saw an album in the rack at Value Village this morning).

Stevie Nicks
New York State of Mind - Billy Joel [from The Essential Billy Joel]

Oops. Billy forgot to attach a song to this performance.

Edge of Seventeen (live) - Stevie Nicks [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

The bass player makes this song ecstatic, accenting from the hip.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 9, 2016
312 Bus Chain Song 161209 - Keith Eisenbrey

Yesterday morning there was a wee bit of snow on the ground so the buses had their tire chains on. They must be good for exactly one trip, because they started to come loose as soon as we got on the freeway. I was sitting there wishing I had brought my zoom with me to record the WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM when I remembered that my phone could record audio. The result is 6 minutes of rhythm as I desire it. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2016



November 26, 2016
Sonata in A, Op. 101 - Beethoven - Artur Schnabel

There are no straight paths. Grumbly trills. The pianos of Beethoven's day possessed a wider assortment of tone colors from top to bottom. Moving material into a different register didn't simply change the pitch level, it also changed the color of the sound. B doesn't rely on this bare effect, but also composes his own color shifts at every level of detail, putting his thumb on the scale, as it were, so we don't miss the point. This is part of why these pieces seem to shift so easily onto modern instruments with their more even tone-quality from top to bottom.

Barcorolle in F-sharp minor, Op. 60 - Chopin - Alfred Cortot [recorded on July 5, 1933]

Chopin loved finding deliciously odd pivot points for his multi-step modulations. Changing keys is a dance move.

Some Of These Days - Sophie Tucker [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Her voice is simply too big for the recording technology available at the time.

Shake It and Break It - Ladd's Black Aces [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Some fancy stop time shenanigans in there.

November 29, 2016
Sippie Wallace
Jack O' Diamonds - Louis Armstrong, Sippie Wallace, Hersal Thomas [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

According to the notes I have, this piece was recorded on the day my dad was born: March 1, 1926. Heavy beat, but touched lightly, in an instant, like perfectly synchronized eye blinks.

God's Getting Worried - Virginia Dandies [from Goodbye Babylon]

About (y)our wicked ways.

Romeo et Juliette Cinquieme Tableaux - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

The topsy-turvy world of R&J is a dramatic composer's dream, just begging for extremes.

Portrait of a Guinea Farm - Claude Thornhill [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

This is a very strange thing indeed - somewhere between a tone poem, a novelty song, and a fugue.

December 1, 2016
We're Through - Sarah Vaughan, Dicky Well's Big Seven [from Interlude - Early Recordings 1944-1947]

Trying to arrange the cushions of consolation just so. It's so hard!

The Rake's Progress Act III - Stravinsky - Orchestra of St. Luke's, Robert Craft, Jayne West, Jon Garrison, Arthur Woodley, John Cheek, Shirley Love, Wendy White, Melvin Lowery, Jeffrey Johnson, Gregg Smith Singers

Pulling the rug out from under is standard operating procedure. This is theater in all its artificial glory, perfectly believable even with artifice tipping its hand at every moment. Ties everything up and puts a bow on it.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 28, 2016
Banned Telepath 50 161128 Anchorage
Banned Telepath 50 161128 Seattle
Banned Rehearsal 923 161128 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steven Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer (Seattle); Aaron Keyt (Anchorage)