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.
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.