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.

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