Saturday, April 22, 2017



April 18, 2017
Strange Like Us, Your Mother Should Know, Mud On My Bra

Sunset Tavern, Seattle

Strange Like Us consists of: Kyle Sturner, vocals, guitar; Sadie Alley, vocals, keys; and Arna Garcia, drums, vocals. Darling synth sounds and solid playing all around provide a potent platform for Kyle's weaponized trans girl baritone. Add Sadie in parallel octaves for the KO.

Your Mother Should Know is, of course, Neal Kosály-Meyer and his sister (and my spouse) Karen Eisenbrey. This was their first electric show in quite a while. There were some shaky spots here and there, but they pushed through them. Karen got to try out her new headset microphone, and this may have been the first time I remember being able to really hear her vocals clearly.

We have heard Mud On My Bra (Myla and Aria Mud) before, and were eager to do so again. Aside from their stunningly tight ensemble (at the service of some fancy rhythmic games, I might add) I was able this time to attend more to the songs themselves, and to Aria's voice, within the ping of which I noted a hint of Jad Fair.

All that and our parking karma could hardly have been better: practically right outside the door, and free. Thank you so much to the woman who saw us trying to disgorge drums from the car and let us have her space when she left. And we got home before 11!


April 15, 2017
A Matter of Trust - Billy Joel [from The Essential Billy Joel]

BJ has great control, just no range, or sense of timing. Even the count-off is performed, tamed.

Banned Rehearsal 244 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, January 1991

Consisting largely of a reading of A Cat's Life, accompanied by violin scribbles and quiet ocarinal hootings. Aaron provides extensive, if eccentric, marginal commentary. As much as I enjoy listening to my own music, and I do, inserting such a constructed form into an improvisation is an error. It remains, especially in my ear, separate from the on-progressing activity of making it up as we go along. It is persistently deaf to the other people in the room. When I get done Aaron takes over on the piano (or joins me for a 4-hands improv - recollection fails), and a truly awfully awesome sound ensues. Far superior as a part of the activity than my composition could ever hope to be.

Sunset's Wall
April 18, 2017
Taste Test - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Rotating pitch collections.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [from Jack Straw recording session May of 2005, take 1]

Each assay of the tune finds a new place within the harmonic-contrapuntal thicket.

10 Penny - Repeat Offenders [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

Attention is paid to the hollow moment just ahead of the downbeat.

Isaiah 60:1-5 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [recorded in September, 2013]

This piece demands a more reverberant space to live in than is given here. It needs stone walls and a dome.

Musica Ficta - Sascia Pellegrini - Sascia Pellegrini

It is unclear from the program notes who is playing piano, but I presume Sascia is on the vibraphone. It is striking how 'on stage' the characters are, as they mimic and join, hide and seek, meld and face off.

April 19, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus 8 - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

a broad gentle downward slope
a grand mansion overlooking

Symphony in G (#94) - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer

Cracks in the façade, but not endangering. Rising waters, but not alarming. Yet.

String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 - Beethoven - Quartetto Italiano
Sunset's Floor

If a quartet is both a unified thing and a suite of several differing things, then disparities of style, affect, and key can participate in a unified thing, and the same techniques with which the participants of a suite of several things can be said to become unified can be said to unify other orders of disparate parts, and each individual participant of a suite can be made of deeply disparate parts. How far can the parts be sundered and yet remain parts of a thing, not alien to it?

Katya Kabanova Act 3 - Janácek - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackeras, Gabriela Benacková, Dagmar Pecková, Erika Bauerová, Dana Buresová, Eva Randová, Miroslav Kopp, Jozef Kundlák, Peter Straka, Zdenek Harvánek; Czech Philharmonic; Prague National Theatre Chorus;

Ritualized sacrifice, as demanded.

April 20, 2017
Got The Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

Among many other things, the blues are a medium by which life advice is passed, and the forms and texts are entwined with the society of their arising.

Brown Baby - Eddie Edinborough, Bobby Leecan [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

It's difficult for me to hear what exactly those instruments are. Guitar? If so then it really loves those lower strings. Kazoo? If so, then just possibly the most magnificent kazoo playing ever.

I Don't Want to Make History - Stuff Smith, Johan Jones [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

It isn't just that the singers have been listening to the instrumentalists and vice versa, but they each have also been watching the dancers, and translating the dance into the sung parts of song, and the instrumental parts of song, as well.

Embraceable You - Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers

Lights down low. Something more comfortable.

China Boy - Frankie Trumbauer [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

This one is for the dance floor.

Godchild - Red Norvo [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Ken Benshoof had a theory about jazz harmony treatises. The puzzlement was that you could read what a practitioner wrote about what they were doing, but it never quite lined up with what they seemed to actually be doing. His theory was that jazz players always played "off" of something: "off" a beat, "off" a chord, "off" a tune. The treatises can only describe beats, chords, and tunes, not the nature of the "off". This is a prime example of the importance of "off" precisely calibrated.

Peggy Lee
I've Got You Under My Skin - Peggy Lee [from Black Coffee]

Skates on the thin ice of a sensibility. The rhythm of her vocals is almost just simply saying the words. There's that ever so precise "off" again. Peggy Lee genius.

Bewildered - James Brown [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart Of Rock & Soul]

A parody of teen crooner delivery taken so far over the top as to enter a new land. Those breaks toward the end are composed just to hear the reverb the engineer let loose around it.

Pledging My Time - Bob Dylan [from Blonde on Blonde]

Another parody of sorts, this time of delta blues. Of sorts because also a pastiche of sorts. Of sorts because also a submission, a sacrifice. The long-held harmonica notes toward the end are straight out of Louis Armstrong's toolshed. Then he does his best to conjure a synthesizer with it.

American Pie - Don MacLean [from American Pie]

This was the first record I owned, a gift from my brothers. Having ripped this from my own vinyl copy, it still has all the familiar pops on it. I find it curious, after all these years, that the first popular music song I took to independently of my parents, and that wasn't by Simon & Garfunkle, concerned itself with the past. The music of my time was the music of a past time.

Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie [from Changes One]

And of course, DB presents nostalgia as a point of view, in order to invent a fictional past.

One Of These Days - Pink Floyd [from a collection of great dance songs]

There is, or was, a class of youth, and I imagine they are, or were, mostly boys, for whom these crazy long spacy tracks were "so much better than that pop crap all my friends listen to" that they truly longed to infiltrate the dance mix at the sock hop with one of these behemoths. To that class of youth, these were indeed "great dance songs", and Pink Floyd was by far the best of their purveyors. In that sense this otherwise incomprehensibly titled Best Of Collection could be considered as perhaps their most archly meta of concept albums.

Banned Rehearsal 62A - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Kosály-Meyer [January 1986]

We are being vewy qwiet. Cassette machines sound like ammo lock and load. Gradations of multiple media transference terroir. Literally, mediations. A chorus awakens beneath waters. A cranky slide viewer. How quick the generations to the alien? One? None? The darkly glass. The layered hollows of wind. Crackly undulations. Flames of the fiery furnace. Gloriously spacious, the underlying is revealed. Remove masks. Pluck tendrils. We breathe and allow discussion.

This was side one of a two sided session as we prepared for our third Brechemin outing the next evening. My recollection is that Aaron might have been around, but didn't participate in the concert because he felt that in his absence in Berkeley he hadn't had a chance to properly rehearse. Karen was still living in Tacoma at the time, and wasn't able to come up either. Our second Brechemin show was called "A Short and Simple Concert", and the first part of this new show was essentially a repeat of that one, re-titled as "3 Compositions No Breaks". And that is what you hear on this rehearsal. First, Neal's Hunting and Gathering, then my Trance Butchered Knight for Wurlitzer Funmaker Sprite and tape, finishing with some plucking and singing.

feast on my car - Infamous Menagerie

I'm pretty sure that's the title of the song, but what is sung is clearly "feast on my heart". A manual? A labeled diagram? Every time I hear something by IM they become my absolute favorite band of the 90's.

Banned Rehearsal 421 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [April 1996]

The Funmaker 10 years later (we start in with what we have at hand and see what it makes) up to its old tricks again. Its cruddy reverb is lustworthy. And the Mighty Wurlitzer at its Wurlitzeriest. This sort of lava is hard on the feet. A near unanimity of purpose among some members is narrowly averted.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

April 17, 2017
Gradus 310 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Fog dark densely grown. (We may not have enough bread crumbs.)
At sea. Billows, birds, whales. Beacon. Stars. Moon. Phosphor.

Saturday, April 15, 2017



April 9, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus 7 - J. S. Bach - Zoltan Kocsis
This is a plug

All about the fugal entrances, and how each one opens a new window.

Symphony in D (93) - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer

Dramatic pauses and uneasy balances. The fart joke falls flat because it only points out what was obvious throughout anyway: dramatic pauses are the subject matter.

Grosse Fuge in B-flat - Beethoven - Amadeus Quartet

A fugue we enter through a hall of inward facing windows.

April 11, 2017
Katya Kabanova Act II - Leoš Janáček - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackeras, Gabriela Benacková, Dagmar Pecková, Erika Bauerová, Dana Buresová, Eva Randová, Miroslav Kopp, Jozef Kundlák, Peter Straka, Zdenek Harvánek; Czech Philharmonic; Prague National Theatre Chorus

Listening to this music is like reading the expression of an open-book face.

Chock House Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

I kept wondering if, as has been suggested of the contemporaneous recordings of Robert Johnson, this was recorded at a slower rpm than we hear as playback. There is probably no way to know for sure, but the possibility of it might be determined by a comparison of other recordings. Did his voice always sound so weirdly high? If you bring it down a step or so does his voice sound more like it does in other recordings? Is it a likely guitar key? Can the probable tuning of the guitar be ascertained by figuring out which notes are on open strings? Are there other recordings of the period that we know were sped up, i.e., might it have been a common practice? Is the weirdness confined to this time period (ca 1926)?

Hard Times Stomp - Red Perkins [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Sheik of Araby - Milt Brown [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Lovely, fat, almost clarinet-like guitar sound.

Apollo Jump - Luck Millinder [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Children's Dances - Zoltán Kodály - Jenö Jandó

Classy teaching pieces. The lesson hidden under the fingerwork is about the deftly shifting attention's focus from one voice to another.

April 13, 2017
Just One Of Those Things - Charlie Parker [from The Cole Porter Songbook]

Breathless momentum, stripped down arrangement.
John Verrall

Autumn Sketches - John Verrall - Kimberly Davenport

The ground is solid rock, but neither level nor even. Up is on a different slant than Down. Any attempt at parallel is doomed from the get go.

Ain't No Use - Sarah Vaughan [from The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

Precise placement of voice. She dances inside her instrument.

19th Nervous Breakdown - The Rolling Stones [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

An instrumental with a backing vocal for an excuse.

99 Lbs - Ann Peebles [from Original Funk Soul Sister The Best of Ann Peebles]

In the same sub-genre as 60 Minute Man. The song is so brief as to barely get started. Perfect at every moment.

Changes - David Bowie [from Changes One]

An assemblage in lieu of a song. Tactic: garble the narrative.

AKU (cassette version) - Keith Eisenbrey - Keith Eisenbrey, Christopher Mehrens

Realized on Synclavier, courtesy of the University of Washington Department of Systematic Musicology. Chris and I spent hours and hours laying down these tracks. The reel to reel master tape deteriorated into something else entirely, so this is the "safety" copy I kept on cassette tape. There was a certain amount of institutional grief involved trying to schedule a time to play this for the composition faculty at our weekly Friday department workshop. Looking back on it now, I have to wonder what I was thinking, to play this for exactly that group of people? Over 30 minutes long, it pretty much forgoes anything like regular musicality in favor it design. The synclavier could only play 8 sounds at the same time, so in a fit of maximization I decided to base the whole thing on a sequence of 8 numbers. This sequence (I've forgotten what it was) determined the relative amount of time each patch would be present in mix, the relative density of notes within each patch-track, various settings of complexity of wave form and envelope for each patch, and (my favorite) the relative amount of time from the end of each patch-track to the end of the piece. The notes were a hodgepodge of things, quotes of myself and others, "that'll do" doodles, and carefully stacked pitch piles. And then I had to arrange it so that there were never more than 8 sounds playing at once. I had charts all over the place.

In Session at the Tintinabulary
April 10, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 932 170410 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy

Steve brought over a little purple guitar and played it.

Saturday, April 8, 2017



April 2, 2017
(I'm A) Road Runner - Junior Walker and The All Stars [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

A giant tambourine fronts a precisely on the beat rhythm bunch, around which JW slips.

10538 Overture - The Electric Light Orchestra [a Rescued Record]

Half trying to be artsy, half trying to be dancy. Pseudo-Prog-Pop. I may be wrong, but I imagine it was mostly the backing sound for some kind of stage spectacular.

Anarchy in the U.K. - The Sex Pistols [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

The best part of this is the huge massed sound of the band. As for the preening edge lord, he's best taken in small doses.

(I'm A) TV Savage - Bow Wow Wow [from Love, Peace & Harmony - The Best of Bow Wow Wow]

Begging for an MTV type video. Why else would it be at all?

Banned Sectional 6 KEE AK - Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [January 1986]

train whistle high rustling springiness moves to frontal attack pushing hard in magnificent rolling time spans
some Tibetans hang out next door
obo roi
we were never shy about pinning the needles
unrecoverable synth patches

a break :: they return (the Tibetans)

slower mood relaxed, intimate
tune accidentally extracted from music box innards (just the tones that happen to over-resonate)

the Tibetans utterly transformed into another species of other entirely
funmaker in top form

takes its time getting into any spot, but once there it is well and truly in that spot

another break :: for a moaningsoftly drone solo

we re-enter the regular world

Drunken Boat - Infamous Menagerie

Rubberband guitar sound matches the pots&pans drums. An effect akin to that of a toy symphony, but here without any sense of archness or spoof.

April 4, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 420 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [April 1996]

Image: tuning up, but nothing like actually tuning up.

Neal and Karen, Bickleton, WA 1996
Image: climbing a rocky snow-blown pitch at high-altitude, footing treacherous, air thin, inches gained in triumph. Each sound without tincture of technique. We hunker into camp while the storm rides us out. Something profoundly heavy about how we feel. The earth pulls in sodden gusts. Morning dawns oppressively, but struggle on we must with Mighty Wurlitzer Hero to pull us on and break us through. We feel lighter somehow, the atmosphere fresh and clear, the scene of troubles fades from beneath us.

April 6, 2017
Jeremiah 17:5-8 (midi) - Keith Eisenbrey

The keyboard part taken by midi harphsichord, the voice by midi flute. It is fascinating how midi de-mediates sounds. The layers are not softened by our mutual bodies' compassions.

Gradus 90 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

After a long wait, a few pokes poke. (twice). Quietly responded to, then conjoined. A hint now and then of presence in silence. 3 notes! Such a richness! Low notes fade into the upper partials echoing the quiet iteration of the higher. It doesn't fade into nothing. It is nothing. Then it is not.

Joys of the Trail - Brian Cobb [from Campfire Songs]

A Rhythm Fight Club. Ends with laughter but not happy. Into the future comrades!

Jesus Loves Me (Autoheterophony) - Keith Eisenbrey

Eight of me singing around an old hymn tune/text. I love the play of sibilance, undulating harmony, and the substrate of breath. Stacking the same voice over itself, here, allows the parts of the voice sound to precipitate - or operates like a centrifuge to separate factors.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

April 3, 2017
Gradus 309 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Bright lights (just a few) across the moggy gloom.
Rung 2 takes time to put things together, but by the end it is clear that it, time that is, was not together before it got put there.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


There is no end to the tuning of guitars

March 28, 2017
Your Mother Should Know
Victory Lounge, Seattle

Neal and Karen are back in action! The set was stripped down instrumentally (that's Karen's entire kit underneath the mic stand - a bodhrán, a tambourine, and a glow-in-the dark skull shaker) but ramped up vocally. Lots of duet singing, and a strong set list with many new songs, including '68 Chevelle and Jerseyville Illinois. The only disappointments were that we couldn't stay to hear the other bands (it was a Monday night), and my recording didn't turn out well (input too hot). I'm looking forward to their next outing at the Sunset on April 18. That's a Tuesday, but I'm on vacation so I can sleep in. They'll be sharing the bill with Mud On My Bra and Strange Like Us.


March 26, 2017
Katya Kabanova Act I - Leoš Janáček - Czeck Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackeras, Gabriela Benacková, Dagmar Pecková, Erika Bauerová, Dana Buresová, Eva Randová, Miroslav Kopp, Jozef Kundlák, Peter Straka, Zdenek Harvánek; Czech Philharmonic; Prague National Theatre Chorus

Register and voice, within the orchestration, model a consciousness from the inside, as its sensibilities and attentions shift. The structural image is like a cranky, but multiply interfolded, or perhaps like a multiply interfolded Möbius Cranky. Had I one, that would be my bardic name.

March 30, 2017
Deep Henderson - King Oliver [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

What's deep is the metric patterning at play.

Blue Rhythm - Mills Blue Rhythm Band [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Quick boom chick beat. The multiples pile up differentially on the off and on the on beats.

Hesitation Blues - Milt Brown [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Both the electric guitar and the fiddle find ways of playing each note out in the yard. The beat stays in the house.
Chu Berry

Blowin' Up A Breeze- Chu Berry [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

A terrain to slalom, skis made of clips of hockety fragments.

Junkman Rag - Luckey Roberts [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Something artesian, or nancarrowish, about the way this spews out, under pressure.

I Get A Kick Out Of You - Charlie Parker [from The Cole Porter Songbook]

CP starts out playing it straight, only falling into bebop midway through. The piano player has to dive in to pull him out and hold him up til they can get to shore.

A Choral Flourish - Vaughan-Williams - UPS Chorale, Thomas Goleeke

Somewhere in the soprano section of this is my spouse, before we were an item. It isn't really possible, given the size of the choir and the quality of the recording, but I could swear I was picking out Karen's particular ping.

A Sermon, A Narrative, and a Prayer - Stravinsky - CBC Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, Loren Driscoll, John Horton, Shirley Verrett

I was getting a peculiar notion of those disjointed tunes, as though they were really just a few notes, straightforward and stepwise, but that each note's pitch qualia was unstable, flipping between quantum states. Observing it, it moves.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 26, 2017
Maple Leaf 170326 - Keith Eisenbrey

Spring is leaking into Seattle slowly, so I set out a device in the backyard early in the morning and listened to the tall tales the tall kale told. And crows. And a jet. And other birds. And midway through, someone singing in the distance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017



March 24, 2017

Floating in the high cold air - Lori Goldston (with friend)
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle


feedback of the box :: an additional hyperbow with which to pull each string's particulars into relief. Geologic. Ample. Generous as a long prairie drive.

LG wFriend

silent harleys flocked wheeling :: floating west to the foggy gray sea
roadless road trackless track pathless path
the deep pressed feel of pressed deep

smeared cyclic rhythm abstract :: surface of an ad hoc medium
elicits out of nowhere a baritone saxophone solid as amber
mind body spirit pull away

shore side
an anthem


March 21, 2017
Taking Me Home - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

Delivery on the flat line, punk nouveau.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [recorded live at University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle, on November 6, 2004]
Mt. Rainier National Park - ca. 1975

I'm perhaps inordinately pleased with how delicate and transparent a thing this turned out to be.

Cell Block 21 - The Hollow Points [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

A cinematic chorus from a punk rock musical. Our hero lands in prison. Video unnecessary, it's all there in the music - though perhaps if Busby Berkeley tried it . . .

Xtet: Last Dance for Milton - Elaine Barkin [from Milton Babbitt: A Composers' Memorial]

clear lines
clear abruptions
episodes of interruptions
stabilities flourish here and there
but persistence is not deemed necessitous

It makes perfect sense now that I think about it, remembering all those crazy pages of scrawl-doodled commentary {(Igor's goriest, etc.), how like precision scores they are, as in: play this tune exactly so, at an angle to the page, hand drawn, fanciful, from the idiolect} that Ars Antiqua and its "proprietary squiggles" would appeal so deeply.

Self-Righteous Fool - Denise Glover [from Pathways]

Curve balls so subtle you'd be past 3rd base before realizing you had struck out.

March 23, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus VII - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

Collisive. A time-scale shredder. Armor up before listening.

Symphony in G Hob. I:94 (Paukenschlag / Surprise) - Haydn - Academy of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, Neville Marriner

If the image of the music is the exploring of the most pleasing aspects of something, what is the something we are exploring the most pleasing aspects of? A discourse of the spaces between sets of tunes?

And herein we find that brilliantly square one fingered tune (Pa-Pa Hay-Dn's Dead And Gone) that lurks behind Beethoven's Eroica variation theme.

String Quartet in F Major op. 135 - Beethoven

A telescope extended and collapsed at once, in networked dimensions. And waddayaknow? There in the midst of all that "Es muss sein!" is PPHDDAG inverted, in three quarter profile!

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 20, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 931 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Yellowstone National Park, 1998

Saturday, March 18, 2017



March 11, 2017
Katya Kabanova - Leoš Janáček - Seattle Opera
McCaw Hall, Seattle

The plot and characters are strong, but it's the pitch work commands attention. Similar in approach to Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, but with sharper edges.


March 12, 2017
Sweetheart O' Mine - Jelly Roll Morton [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

JRM plays a Lisztian trick with his pianism, in that it sounds like a transcription of music for a much larger ensemble.

Shout Sister Shout - Boswell Sisters [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Boswell Sisters - Hats!

They arrange their voices like a horn section.

Oh Baby Maybe Someday -  Ivy Anderson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Arrangement, orchestration, song-writing, and composition, are all identical activities. The only difference is social attitude.

Loose Lid Special -  Tommy Dorsey [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Big massed sound choirs. The instrumental soloists imitate singers.

This Subdues My Passion - Charles Mingus [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

I kept getting the feeling that the band was manipulating (lip-ipulating?) the sound of their instruments to imitate the sound of older recordings.

I've Got You Under My Skin - Charlie Parker [from The Cole Porter Songbook]

'On the beat' in the sense of there being a sheer dance floor between his sound and the beat he's on. Crazy break-dance too, and not even a shred of effort is heard.

Symphony - Stefan Wolpe - Orchestra of the 20th Century, Arthur Wesberg

Imagine a troop of jugglers performing multiple game-based jugglings simultaneously, each juggler juggling not just what whirls in the air but their specific interior gang of characters, one for each game.

Beginnings are beginnings. Endings are where what it is happens to get lopped off.

The Mountains High - Dick and DeeDee

The development of electronic amplification allowed live sound to begin to duplicate what was only possible in the studio before - and for live sound and studio sound to imitate each other, inventing themselves along the way. Pretty fancy singing back there too.

Cinque Variationi - Luciano Berio - David Burge

Ann Peebles
The piano writing reminds me of Art Tatum, in its melodic superabundance, and of Thelonius Monk, in its unblinking clarity. Melodic variations at heart, but standing in for a single melody is a thicket of tunes, and of sets of nuanced weights and subtle angles.

I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down - Ann Peebles [from Original Funk Soul Sister The Best of Ann Peebles]

A political knife attack from the past. Damn she's good!

Concerto - Walter PistonSeattle Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Quartet, Gerard Schwarz

I believe I recorded this off the radio some many years back. Its 'concerto-ness', that is, the sense of its contrasting sounds, is not a contrast of opposition, or of vying equals. Rather, the quartet provides a new sound region within the orchestral sound, now hidden, now revealed - and further in each quartet member reveals individual smaller regions within the quartet sound region within the whole sound. It's also got some lip smacking pizzicato passages.

Revereware - Keith Johnston, J. K. Randall - [from Inter/Play]

Reed and no reed. That old familiar Crumar sound slowly molding the bend. There is a sense of proximity play. Each sound source exists in specific relation to the listening mic. Hide and go seek. Each proximal node carefully nurtured for coexistence. Didjeridu makes the Seattle Stu connection, I presume. If one had a choice in all the world's musical history for who would be the best person to be in charge of your pitch-bend wheel, it would have to be Jim. Were pitches ever bent to so vivid a drapery of sound?

March 16, 2017
Graceland - Paul Simon [from Graceland]

Attributions jumbled and uncertain. Who says what when? The instrumental rhythm, oh so impeccable, appears to be solvable, but then one wonders.

Banned Rehearsal 243 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [January 1991]

Recorded hot, small instruments scraped banged and rummaged through. Clearly not great music, but just as clearly intently engaged, and in the clear intent of being only and purely intently engaged.  || the Jaymar before it fell apart!! Ah how we miss thee!! || Getting to a place where, in music, if it were speaking it was doing, would be speaking in tongues.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 13, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 930 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Steve constructs a tiny set of drums on top of the xylophone. Karen revisits the bug guitar. Keith roams about what catches his eye. Aaron provides treble trombone talking points. Neal cuts it up in pieces.

Saturday, March 11, 2017



March 9, 2017

Honey Noble and Carbon Quartet

Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Carbon Quartet consists of Rulon Brown, soprano sax; Nick Torretta, alto sax; Kevin Nortness, tenor sax; and Chris Credit, baritone sax. They performed pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Jun Nagao, Eugene Bozza, and Nikolai Kapustin.

This concert was, to the best of my recollection, my first experience with a live saxophone quartet, and I found myself comparing the sonorous qualities of the ensemble with other instrument-choir groupings. It compares favorably with string quartet in many aspects, perhaps falling short in the subtleties that arise among the specific colors of each string. But the dynamic range is wide and supple, and the articulation palette is rich. The sound has focus and authority, each instrument clear in its timbre even while blending into an unmistakably choral unity.

They were obviously having a blast negotiating the quick, complex arrangements, to the point where my perverse imagination wondered whether a really slow tempo would be socially successful. I know slow notes are hard on wind players - especially in the upper registers. Would it simply not be fun enough to bother?

Honey Noble, a singer-songwriter project of Katie Jacobson, performing with a large crew of electrified musicians, dancers, actors, lighting, and projected video, presented The Monster, a play / song cycle / dance / light show that struck me as eminently worthy and crazily promising, but unfinished. What I was digging the most were the multiplicity of axes along which it extended itself, the relationships among the planes of its exhibiting. Onto the Big White Wall in the back a frenetic video was sometimes projected, a dancer in a beige body suit stood nose right up close to the said BWW. The various electrified musicians (I recognized Greg Sinibaldi with his electric wind instrument) draped in ugly hospital gowns, sat circled around the back of the stage. The short bits of acting took place stage front, as did most of the singing. The dancer and two supernumeraries (minions? acolytes?) invaded the audience space down the center aisle and around the back to either side. All in all an attractively active setup. Katie sang mostly from front and center, which, considering the dramatic themes (self-obsession, self-possession, self-destruction, self-integration) worked just fine.

What struck me as perhaps unfinished were the joints between things, which could, to my mind, go either way - toward accepting them as such, stepping out of character, setting each up like a new tableau, "thanks for your patience guys while we reset the stage how you doing tonight"; or finessing them so that each seam lives in its own gut wrench, choreographed, composed, inevitable.


March 7, 2017
String Quartet in C-sharp minor op. 131 - Beethoven - Amadeus Quartet

In the land of sentient sequences, the fulcrum of movement and stability remains contingent on self-generating hair-triggers.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 6, 2017
Gradus 308 170306 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

The newest G-natural. A tool of pulling, a tool of hammering on the side of itself to loose the recalcitrant rod of itself plunged deep into the heart of itself.

Saturday, March 4, 2017



March 2, 2017
James Falzone & Bonnie Whiting
Utterances - music based on text, spoken word, and translation
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle
Bonnie Whiting: percussion
James Falzone: clarinet, piano, shruti box, bells
with special guests:
Beth Fleenor: bass clarinet
Ivan Arteaga: alto saxophone and clarinet
Neil Welch: tenor and soprano saxophone
Steve Treseler: tenor saxophone and clarinet
Eric Vanderbilt-Mathews: alto saxophone and clarinet

Prelude - Bonnie Whiting and James Falzone, 2017
Amazonia Dreaming - Annea Lockwood, 1987
Sighs Too Deep For Words - James Falzone, 2017
Exercise No. 4 for Hands Right, Left and Deserted Mouth - Susan Parenti, 1984
The Room Is - James Falzone, 2013
Perishable Structures That Would Be Social Events, IV. Varése - Bonnie Whiting, 2017
White (part 1) - James Falzone, 2013
Your Thoughts While Listening - Richard Logan-Greene, 2015
White (part 2) - James Falzone, 2013
Toucher - Vinko Globokar, 2013
Grace and Chance (at the same time) - James Falzone, 2015
Postlude - Bonnie Whiting and James Falzone, 2017

The event as a whole wholly subsumed its constituent parts. Not that each part was not utterly distinct in its own integral event-ness, but that each part gave itself up wholly, in all of each of its integral event-nesses, to the passage of the event as a whole. That is, each event's moments were lifted into a status within the whole event that outshone their narrower moment-hoods. This doesn't just happen. Serious lifting was involved.

One hell of a band too.

March 3, 2017
Seattle Composers' Salon
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Sheila Bristow :: two songs: Strong Wisdom and Leap Into Love, for mezzo-soprano, piano, and cello. Melissa Plagemann sang, Sheila played piano, and Meg Brennand was her usual magnificence on the cello. Sheila has been working on this set for some time now and we have heard earlier versions of at least one of them at other Salons. I admire her straight-ahead, get out of the way of the text, illustrate clearly without over dramatizing things approach to song writing. Although her style is nothing like my own, the attitude is like, and refreshing. The entire cycle will be presented at the Chapel on April 8.

Steve Eric Scribner :: Tree and Stone (Artificial Version), for paper tree parts and chair stones (performed by the audience); and The Sherványa Nocturnal Music, for piano, harp, and other plucked instruments (peformed by Steve, piano; a harp player whose name I was too dead tired to remember to write down; and Karen and me on miniature kora (bug-guitar) and three-string ukulele). I was involved - in the sense that I plucked a few notes quietly through most of it - so my only comment is that I think I had the best seat in the house. The paper sound from the audience was luscious.

ComManD :: Thaumaturgy, for percussion, saxophone, dance, and electronics. Being, as I say, pretty much dead tired from a wicked week at work, I didn't manage to catch all the names, but Ivan Arteaga operated, to some extent, as spokesperson. They are working on some fancy computer-enabled ideas of collaboration, interaction, and mutual sound manipulation. The image that struck me strongest was the dancer, tricked out with accelerometers at wrist and ankle, somehow being both marionette and string-puller at once. Weirdly fascinating.

Blake DeGraw :: Electronic Quartet for Humans, for four saxophones. I recognized Jeremy Shaskus, but the other two names escaped my enfeebled note-taking. Adam and Justin was all I got. Bursts of sound from four sides projecting an image of a surrounding space. Bursts of no sound from all sides projecting an image of a withheld space.


February 28, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus VI - J. S. Bach - Zoltan Kocsis

This stands in front of you several times over all at once. Resistance is not futile, it is presumed, vanquished. Nothing like music as usual.

Symphony 95 - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer

First the overture. A domestic crisis with fatherly advice. Fatherly advice activated, public acclamation follows. Wrap it up.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

February 27, 2017
Assembly Rechoired 56 170227 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey
There was rain. There was snow. There was thundersnow. And then came the overturned propane tanker on I-5. Traffic was beyond a mess. In honor of our compatriots trapped in traffic Karen and I carried on with noise. Since before our marriage (the first two were in June of 1986) we have called any improvisation session with just the two of us and no other Banned Rehearsal regular an "Assembly Rechoired". This is #56. Karen played the Excelsior and I bumped around several noisy items, at the end pouring all the ping pong balls out of the bucket into the chimney. And back.

Saturday, February 25, 2017



"Meaning and sound, as Nancy describes them, both share the same 'form, structure or movement': they are comprised of a series of infinite referrals, a sending-away which returns, only to be sent away again, ever anew. The return penetrates the sending, 'all simultaneously,' producing a dispersal of bounds and rebounds without end. This applies, for Nancy, equally to the actual physics of sonorous reverberation as well as to the infinite circulation of meaning and reference. Meaning and sound share the 'form, structure, or movement' of resonance." Brian Kane "On Reading Listening" - Open Space Magazine Issue 12/13 fall 2010/winter 2011


Mud On My Bra!

February 24, 2017
Café Racer, Seattle

Mud On My Bra!
Merchant Mariner
The Snubs

What a great evening all around.

MOMB!'s jawdropping togetherness was a masterclass in perfect ensemble. It's more than technique, it requires a personal sympathy that can't be bought. I was seated around a corner from the stage so I couldn't see the whole band, but had a wonderful view of the drummer's expressively intelligent face, totally in it. MM spilled off the stage (seven people in a space that three makes tight). We were surprised and delighted to recognize an old friend from another part of our life playing violin. Hey there small world! TS wore masks like bandits and ripped out Black Flag-like song bursts. Good feeling all night. Thank you!


February 19, 2017
Way Down Old Plank Road - Uncle Dave Macon [from Anthology of American Folk Music]

Attempting to answer the age old question: how many times can whoop-diddle-iddle-iddle-oo-bedop-day come up on a 3 minute banjo scrub?

Merchant Mariner - the electric ukelele player
I'll Be Satisfied - Bryant's Jubilee Quartet [from Goodbye Babylon]

An easily gracious a cappella phraseology, breath-based. The singers don't blend so much as give up just enough of themselves to allow the others space to do likewise.

Satisfied - J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers
[from Goodbye Babylon]

Same song slightly different feel. This one adds banjo and fiddle to provide a table for the singing to stand, and a commentary like wine to pace it.

The Star Spangled Banner - arranged by Stravinsky - London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas

MTT takes a broader tempo than Stravinsky's recording does, and eschews the chorus. Revealing of some truly sweet voice leading.

A Hundred Years From Today - Sarah Vaughan, Georgie Auld and His Orchestra [from Interlude - Early Recordings 1944-1947]

Suave take on a Shakespearean ploy (why wait? no one will care what you did). You can hear the expression of her eyes in the tang of her voice.

My Heart Belongs To Daddy - Charlie Parker [from Cole Porter Songbook]

And here you can hear the words CP is singing with his axe. He plays like a singer. Must have been listening to Sarah.

Lonely Avenue - Ray Charles [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Arranged wth a capital A. RC sings like an instrument, articulating time spans with pitch-words.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) - The Tokens [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock &
The Snubs in masked action

So close to yodeling you can smell the cowpoke camp smoke.

(I Know) I'm Losing You - The Temptations [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Putting it all together, strands wound strong as rope.

Baba O'Riley - the Who [from Who's Next]

New toys! Not just the synths but also the whole stadium filling hugeness of it. And yet the final instrumental could be a hoedown from anytime.

Frankie and Johnnie, Twenty Froggies Go To School - Margaret Kummett [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording Volume 1]

Which is the more accurate memory device? Recordings or brains? When an elder pulls out songs sung in childhood the memory has been ripened, fermented, purified.

I Fall Down - U2 [from October]

A confessional. There is a hint of Ray Charles (see above) in the way he fits words to a note-y tune, almost like a mallet instrument here and there.

Note to reader: Cue up all of the above on whatever song performing software you have. You won't be sorry.

Banned Sectional 20 KEE NWM - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer, January 1986

Using cheap consumer stereo gear to turn half the little house in Greenwood into a mailbox. Neal, still relatively new to Finnegans Wake, reads from it lickety split, on psalm tones. (Joyce: comic vocabulist, propounds an Eruditerad.) I am playing the mailbox room, at the end making a train with windups and feedback whistle. One of my finer moments if I do say so myself.

February 20, 2017
Fired Up - Moe Tucker, Lou Reed, Daniel Hutchens, Sonny Vincent, Brian Ritchie [from I Feel So Far Away - Moe Tucker Anthology 1974 - 1998]

What's left of the bare outline of song structure is pounded into submission, a massy pulp.

Banned Rehearsal 419 (Speakeasy Set #) - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer, March 1996

A roar gathers slowly in the high places. Bit of a blast fest at the sound-work shop. Hammering a plate of noise into shape (see MT, above). Big fat blobular trio of sax cornet electric guitar naked obesity || shh it's almost sleeping || Armor On! Now hold still! War Drums. Overpower the recording equipment (not a bad plan of attack). The pluckystrings help clean up what's left of the oily mess. Alarms sound, they're marching back to ecstatic dance village. It goes on too long several times over, each time worth the effort of going on too long again.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 (050517A) - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey

Recorded by Doug Haire at Jack Straw as part of the 2005 sessions in which we recorded all of my then existing Gathered Songs. This one seems stronger to me every time I hear it. A set of double variations, or perhaps of angled adumbrations on a lyrical habitat.

February 21, 2017
Roll Call - Aaron Keyt

Lift the rocks, show all that lurks there. Kick-ass untamable acidspitting malevolent staring glimeyes and unearthly Tierschrei. A curated bestiary. What DIY can lead to, given an actual aural sensibility. This is about as fabulously raw an hour of sound as I can remember.

Too Slow - Newton Armstrong - Mark Knoop [from Milton Babbitt, a Composers' Memorial]

A solid body called into presence by the gentlest of indications. here. here. and here.

Ivan Arteaga & Keith Eisenbrey 160202 A - Ivan Arteaga, Keith Eisenbrey, February 2016

We tell tales at each other.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

February 20, 2017
Gradus 307 170220 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

What if there were a way, equally methodical, of working through all the rhythmic/metric/dynamic/agogic combinations as well?

February 23, 2017
Your Mother Should Know Acoustic Demos - Karen Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Although they haven't been out and about for a while they have been working on songs old and new. Time to set up some microphones and record an acoustic demo of a bunch of songs. For the big boxed set.

Saturday, February 18, 2017



February 12, 2017
Morris Clyfford - Arthur Margolin, J. K. Randall [from Inter/Play]

Two voices, call them Plain and Fancy, make attitudinal micro-adjustments to each other, each chomping at the bit to engage, but neither desiring the other to give up an inch of what they are. Dog bark in the next room joins the rhythm, and suddenly the co-agonists find themselves occupying a mutual corner. That's just about when the tape ran out.

Who We Hatin' Now, Mr. Reagan?- The Center for Disease Control Boys

Broad political comedy, mostly for each other.

One7 - John Cage - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Muttered in secret || DECLAIMED!

February 14, 2017
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]

I love the quick-echo between the vocalists. Grooving on the texture of close-packed material.

Banned Rehearsal 608 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey,  Anna K, Isabel K, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Spiral up incline slow vista shift toward intimate familiar || radio fog dissipates, as the.

Do the Stomp and Drag - Glorious Day [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]

In punk-face: If you are treated like a zombie you may as well dance the dance.

Isaiah 6:1-5 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [recorded at University Temple United Methodist Church, on December 21, 2014]

The recording linked above was done in the studio. The live version was recorded during the Offering, which adds a great deal of extraneous noise.

High Plains Drifter - Denise Glover [from Pathways]

The pages of this hand-scrawled book, a bit narrow for the lines, are full and generously so. The letters give each other room to sing.

February 16, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus 6 - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

Two fugues crammed so tightly together that stray bits extrude suddenly into oddly contoured voids. Quartz in schist.

Menuet in D Major I and II Wq. 116/3 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi

Lighter than air, the glance into minor thrills, a mutual stillness.

Symphony in D Major (#96) - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer

What might break out into the open from within the polite.

Quartet in B-flat op. 130 - Beethoven - Amadeus Quartet

Gets going by never quite having been got going so that each :: place from which :: never is a place deflected || from this we persist || systemic flaws and their extensions

In Session at the Tintinabulary

February 12, 2017
Ghosting Doubles (first) (after Amy Denio's "Ghosting") - midi realization

I had been working since late last year on the next part of a long project, an extension of my Etudes
d'execution imminent, and had gotten pretty far along on a hunk of sound generated by a pretty ferocious chart. When I heard Amy Denio's fabulous solo accordion piece, Ghosting, recently I immediately thought that I would use that as the basis, in some way, for the next part. But on Saturday I had, as Ben put it once, "a better idea", and the above is the first of three (?) sets of doubles upon her tune. For those with a quick ear, the middle voice in the above is a simple transcription of Amy's original. ("Ghosting", copyright Spoot Music, ASCAP, is used by kind permission of the composer.)

I rather like the bald, frill-less, un-finessed midi sound of this version, though I do plan on learning to play it myself as well.

February 13, 2017
Banned Telepath 54 Seattle 170213 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer

February 15, 2017
Banned Telepath 54 Anchorage 170215 - Aaron Keyt
Banned Rehearsal 929 (170213-15) - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Aaron's bit is a wonderful 19-second long Moog-App twiddle. Neal speaks of cabbages and death. Steve and I find a new way to torture the atomatone. Karen rings bells.

February 17, 2017
Partita - Benjamin Boretz - Keith Eisenbrey

Kingston Bridge, New York, ca 1982
I have been attempting to learn this piece of Ben's, composed in 1955, for decades now, on and off. This version, recorded yesterday morning, is a pretty good picture of how well I'm doing this time around. I think I could still fix some of the more egregious bits of rushing, and clean up a not-quite-together attack or two here and there, but beyond that I'm not sure I'll ever play it much better. It always has been just a bit past the limits of my available technique.

Sunday, February 12, 2017



February 5, 2017
Der Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus V - J. S. Bach - Zoltan Kocsis

Strenuous clarification: like ripping out brush.

Menuet I & II in C Wq. 116/15 - C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi


Symphony in D Hob I:96 - Haydn - Academy of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, Neville Marriner

How very like a concerto this is, playing orchestral configurations off each other, punctuated by big tuttis that wipe the slate clean. Or: as asides, the tuttis act as interlinear translations of what is more politely said in the smaller ensembles. Or: How very like a machine of men Haydn's orchestra is!

February 7, 2017
Grosse Fuge in B-flat Op. 133 - Beethoven - Quartetto Italiano

Cramming the entire universe into a fugal frameworkspace, but the second subjects will have none of it. Dissonance flickers throughout like old movie aperture instability. Has anything ever sounded so busted up?

Brother Low Down - Bert Williams [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Occupying a middle ground between comedy act and musical act. Certainly leaning toward the music, but just as certainly not letting go of the shtick.

The Bible's True - Uncle Dave Macon [from Goodbye Babylon]
Bunny Berigan

Elbow room between voice and guitar. Unhurried whooping.

Wild Man Stomp - State Street Ramblers [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The tune ascends stepwise just only so far before whumping back in line.

Mama Don't Allow - Bunny Berigan [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Such a soft touch!

The Star Spangled Banner - arr. Stravinsky - CBC Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Fesitival Singers, Stravinsky [from The Original Jacket Collection]

Square shouldered and muscular. Clean lines and sturdy feet.

Something to Remember You By - Benny Carter [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The figuration is subservient to following the melody whither-so-ever it goes, breathed seamlessly from player to player.

February 9, 2017
Ezz-Thetic - Miles Davis, Lee Konitz [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Independently tethered to the same anchor. An arbitrary aesthetic completely worked out, the ultimate 'screw you'.

Jesse Belvin
Goodnight My Love- Jesse Belvin [from Original Oldies from the 50's vol. 13]

Fancier than it lets on to be, the voice is as controlled as Billie Stewart, but doesn't whip out the flash. Jesse is on top of the song's every twitch.

What'd I Say - Jerry Lee Lewis [from Sun Records Definitive Hits]

I love the authoritative sound of the piano at the opening. Sitting tightly wadded at torso's end. Nothing gets out.

Ain't Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Spacious enough to imagine that it goes on much longer than it does, as though it were merely a sample or advertisement for an experience we might have.

Fearless (Interpolating You'll Never Walk Alone) - Pink Floyd [from Meddle]

Sprawling, relaxed, whole.

An Alice Symphony - David Del Tredici - Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Oliver Knussen, Phyllis Bryn-Julson

(the orchestra tunes) (the singer says words) (the orchestra blats scenes) (we hear of cruelties) || the argument duly announced and duly made present. A hint of Peter and the Wolf in its film-cue characterizations. What is salutary: instruments playing their notes never transcend their actualities - until they do - and until they evaporate back into  (the orchestra tunes) (we understand absurdity as a form of cruelty) (we witness integrity violated).

In Session at the Tintinabulary

February 6, 2017
Gradus 306 170206 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Stars blink on as though night appeared as dawn. Some constellations are habitations, distant or near. || the flooding waves ripple closer || dikes and levees permeate the ripples || reflexive co-infusion

Saturday, February 4, 2017



January 28, 2017
Seattle Opera
McCaw Hall, Seattle

La Traviata - Verdi - Stefano Ranzani, conductor

My puzzlement at Verdi, and indeed at Italian opera in general, is of long-standing. Looking back at my attitude now that I am finally finding something interesting going on, I think I was simply misapprehending, or possibly not apprehending at all, the particular point of view of the musical material, as an aspect of the drama, that is in play. Here there is neither Wagner's Romantic embedding of the drama within a symphonic structure, nor Mozart's Enlightenment era arch-ironical puppet master as a musical narrator. Instead the orchestra serves as a kind of scaffolding to support a close first-person that exists almost entirely within the sung melody. Nothing exists for the music except the expression of the line as it unfolds.

There was some discussion bandied about concerning the stripped down production. Apparently the orchestra was reduced from Verdi's scoring, and perhaps there were some cuts made. Any of these can be easily remedied (for my own purposes) by simply finding a reasonable recording for later study. For my part I have no musical complaints at all about what I heard that night. The set consisted of lighting and several layers of curtains. There might have been a chair or two, but I may be confusing that with the chairs and tables at Seattle Shakespeare Company's two-evening, production of the Henry VI plays (with an all female cast), Bring Down the House, which we saw on the Thursday before and the Thursday after. I thought the curtains were attractive, thoughtfully used, and ambiguous enough to evoke all sorts of pertinent things. Mostly they didn't get in the way of or distract from the music, for which I am personally grateful.


January 31, 2017
beneath the ground - Infamous Menagerie

industrial lasers cutting
blocks of mineral
as light
on film

Banned Rehearsal 418 (Speakeasy Set 1) - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer, March 1996

morning after the May 2001 fire

Just shy of 12 years into our shared history we played two sets at the Speakeasy Café in Belltown. This is the first of them. It has never been about playing well, but that if we were invested enough in our listening, then making any sound would speak true.

February 2, 2017
Aku (aged tape) - Keith Eisenbrey

Oh the memories! In 1980/81 at the University of Washington I was studying with John Rahn, who, at that time, had just produced a piece on the Department of Experimental Musicology's new Synclavier. I'm not sure how it was all worked out, but somehow I managed to get quite a bit of time on it during Winter Quarter. I devised an elaborate chart, based on a series of eight digits, and wound up with a 30 minute, 8 part monstrosity of an electronic piece. I remember that it was while I was transferring the charts to notation, pages strewn all over the room, that my brother came upstairs to tell me that John Lennon had been shot and killed.

In order to realize it exactly I had calculated the timing of each "take" so that it could be recorded separately, at a slow tempo, and could be played easily without error. My friend Christopher Mehrens, whom I had met in middle school at various city-wide piano competitions, helped with this process. I don't remember how many hours it took, but I do remember we often had to wait 20 minutes or more for the first note to be played. I also remember going to a computer store, which was quite the novelty back then, in order to purchase a "floppy disk", my very first. At the end of the process I ended up with a reel-to-reel tape which was my clean master.

Pete Comley instructing a camel
I made a cassette copy right away, and then kept the master tape. As the years went by, and digital recording at home began to exist, I became acquainted with Pete Comley, who had both a working reel-to-reel tape deck and a DAT. In May of 2001, with high hopes of once again having a pristine image of the sound, we pushed play and record and waited for vintage synclavier sound to emerge. It is difficult for me to describe the combination of delight and dismay when I heard what time's deterioration had worked on that tape. Apparently tape stock from that era was notoriously unstable. It was partly stuck to itself, causing the 30 minute piece to stretch out to almost 40. The wobble is woozily wonderful. Most of one track didn't make it over the record head, and my intricately designed digital patches were converted to awesome shrieks. Later I overdubbed a version of my text-sound composition Confessions of a Polyphonist, and called the result Ms. Found in a Bottle, after Poe, of course.

Even later I transcribed the whole thing in midi. Not synclavier to be sure, but looking back on it, my particular patches were no great shakes to begin with, at least not compared to what time and neglect could accomplish with a physical medium. Analog takes revenge, and how sweet it is.

Banned Rehearsal 694 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer, January 2006

Early on we invented a word for sessions like this: 'sedatory'. Snorish, trajectorizing away from energy increase. Gentle, domestic - crib play. Time-biding. It takes a long time settling, and settling is all it does. Could be a long preamble to set up the wicked xylophone entrance about 20 minutes in. This requires patience.

in memoriam M. B. - Andrew Mead - Maria Sampen, violin [from Milton Babbitt, a composers' memorial]

Golly. This is truly, truly lovely.

Ivan Arteaga and Keith Eisenbrey 160202 B - Ivan Arteaga, Keith Eisenbrey

Playfully poking, right up to the end, where some quiet place, gracefully turned, is revealed.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

January 30, 2017
Gradus 305 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Rich Trove struggling to cross Vast Emptiness. Pushing, spreading, expanding, more inexorably than the possibility of measuring. // Delving, pushing down against buoyancy.

Unfortunately the recording device ran out of memory 28 minutes into this 40 minute session. Bother!

Saturday, January 28, 2017



January 21, 2017
Carolina Shout- James P. Johnson [from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]
James P. Johnson

the dancer and the bard
the arms and the legs
earth's bind and weightlessness

Sail Away Lady - "Uncle Bunt" Stephens [from Anthology of American Folk Music]

A fiddle tune doing that check in with the open string thing fiddle tunes do.

I'll Lead a Christian Life - Elder Golden P. Harris [from Goodbye Babylon]

Fiddlevoice: holding it in the mask exactly static, high in the sinuses, even when at the bottom of the tune.

Romeo and Juliet (supplement) - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

I guess these might be the parts of the project that wouldn't fit back in the box. A melody is a piece of magic. How could one not believe in magic, given melody?

Rockin' Chair - Roy Eldridge, Graham Young, Torg Halten, Norman Murphy, Babe Wagner, Jay Kelliher, John Grassi, Mascagni Ruffo, Sam Listengart, Sam Musiker, Walter Bates, Milton Raskin, Ray Biondi, Buddy Bistien, Gene Krupa [from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz]

Snare drum finds a place to sidle in.

(I Wanna Go Where You Go) - Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra

Clarinet, with a long pointy finger, picking at the spots just after the moments where the realization of a moment occurs.

Bud Powell
Dusky and Sandy - Bud Powell - [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

If one imagines a stepped dynamic universe (pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff) as an even metric, like a steady beat of increase, the dynamics in this are in a syncopated relation to those steps.

Etudes for String Orchestra - Frank Martin - L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet

Lights are on all over the house. What is thought but the play of lights on all over the house? Europe's rowdiest orchestra at the top of their form.

Gypsy Woman - The Impressions [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

Rising repeatedly from narrative to rhapsody.

January 24, 2017
I Can't Turn You Loose - Otis Redding [collected from Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul]

A slow harmonic rhythm with intricately fiddly internal articulative rhythms. The instrumentals define a solid long sequence, ellipsing around the big motions in orbital metrical flow.

Clarinet Solo - [unknown concert waltz recorded ca. 1971] - Paul Eisenbrey, JoAnne Deacon

From my mom's archives, a tape of my brother playing a solo concert waltz (with cadenza!) in about 1971.

Hambone - The Phillips Wonders [from The Art of Field Recording, volume 1]

that ol' bo' diddly, all done by hand clapping, collapsing in laughter.

Lover's Walk - Elvis Costello [from Trust]

Narrow bounds. Nothing will escape.

Banned Sectional 05 KEE AK 860103 - Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, January 1986

Eschewing anything flagrant. Notes played regular, lists spoken as decided. Hanging in there, unflamboyant.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

January 23, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 928 170123 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

January 26, 2017
Entracte (170126) - Keith Eisenbrey

I wrote this little (17 bars of 4/4) piano duet in about 2000. My idea was that others could write
independent but equally sized duets so that the parts could be mixed and matched. Neal bit, sort of, but playing his "Piano Fore-Heads" with anything else was perversely impossible. Gavin Borchert came through and we played the various combinations toward the latter part of Polestar's presence. The recording of our performance is, alas, not in my collection. I made this dubbed recording yesterday.