Saturday, November 25, 2017



November 18, 2017
Finnegans Wake Chapter 3 - James Joyce - Neal Kosály-Meyer
Gallery 1412, Seattle

Neal performs this in the dark. It is difficult to take notes in the dark. The dark in which Neal performs this is as much a temporal, Joycean darkness, as a literal, nocturnal darkness. The text itself is so tightly focused on the most immediate statement that the past disappears more quickly than it does in more standard practice prose. We can't see where we've been, and by this we realize that we can't see where we are headed either.


November 19, 2017
The Firste Pavian and The Galliarde to the Firste Pavian - William Byrd - Elizabeth Farr

Jeweled rings bedeck the downbeats, ornaments that expand their durations. It is an old way of mediating the vertical and the horizontal realms, curving their axis points.

Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus XVIII (alio modo Fuga a 2 clav.) - J. S. Bach - Zoltan Kocsis

A two-piano rendition of the upside-down-ready fugue.

Two Tight Blues - Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

This language of hyperaware body movement flies under the social radar, where much can be said. Tunes mime a dancer. Puppetry.

Ramblin' Blues - Woody Guthrie [from Columbia River Collection]

The verses are single statements, or simple question and answer pairs, repetitious, with no explicit narrative. And yet the narrative is clear, peopled, conversational.

Frantic Antic - The Jumpin' Jacks [a Rescued Record]

Commercial happy fifties kid music from when Rock and Roll was as yet unknowable. Beatnik beach blanket bingo lingo. Tight playing though!

Three Highland Airs - The Lake Washington Singers, Betty Eisenbrey, Joanne Deacon [from my mom's tape of a concert on April 11, 1961]

I listen to these the way I would look at an old snapshot, a personally fascinating generational artifact.

I Don't Believe You - Bob Dylan [from Biograph]

The power of story telling is the power of persuasion over memory. There's Bob hogging the narrative, betrayed again, or so he says.

My Wife - The Who [from Who's Next]

Bar talk stories men tell each other.

November 21, 2017
String Trio in 2 Movements - Elaine Barkin - Davis Trio [from Open Space 34]

Vaporless, frozen, drifting, weightless, flash-lit, a chorale only audible a few notes in any direction || a stillness moving by partial illumination.

Ein Hundenleben - University of Washington Contemporary Group Improv Ensemble [from Neal's Recital Tape 5/22/1981]

Starts with a high quiet whistling
Maple Leaf 1991
all enter plucking or intoning
(a slow)
or quick response

enter clowns

Suffers I think from too much me on the piano.

Puzzlin' Evidence - Talking Heads [from True Stories]

Tight, clean, controlled. At a remove from us. To hear the song clearly it must be held out at an exact distance. Do not enter! Observe. That drum sound there: the space it is in is too big for you. Squint at it through this crack.

November 22, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 255 - John E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, and Aaron Keyt [May 1991]

There is no beginning to this. There is where the tape starts to record full of vigorous scribbling. The funmaker with its blank stare tone colonizes the sound - a hippo on an anthill. Don G plays in the background (with tootmentary). The various strengths with which the signal comes through making the stage more strangely real for a while. Multiple Don Gs threaded through. Banned Giovanni. Envelopes of drum resonance striking the room drum bursts of radiated sound. We are, in part, and rudely, a form of music criticism. Having actual musics intrude is, if anything, overplaying that role. It becomes too obvious. Small: 'viva la liberta?'

Saturday, November 18, 2017



November 11, 2017
Amy Denio
Truth is Up for Grabs
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

Pre: Neal tells us that 2/3 of Neal's & Anna's wedding brass ensemble is participating. Packed! All the chairs are brought out. Big enough to be a murmuring, luscious in this space.

The governing vibe is of a pit orchestra, rather than an art orchestra. That is, there is no concerted attempt on the part of the performers to transcend themselves and become else than a group of musicians playing this music.

Full tilt expression, nothing held back, nor humor nor sorrow nor low nor high nor ought nor else.

How they end (the songs): not quite abrupt(ly).


November 11, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 620 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey,  Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [October 2001]

Snare drum springs soften the sax. I revisit an old thought. Weighty massive thoughts dimple the ground. Tattered banners bothered in a chilly wind. Dampers off the strings prolong sax bleats room eloquence. Frivolity kept away. Every thought is a palpable mass.

O Mary Don't You Weep - Bruce Springsteen [from The Seeger Sessions]

As (though) recorded live in a big living room.

Banned Rehearsal 787 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer [March 2011]

bits of sound barnacle the border
hints of vastness in the near distance
held back
drums guitar and bass a rock band
in the same sense we were ever a jazz band
"banned rehearsal" pronounced "scribble scribble"
eloquence feeds back has been trying to escape into glory
irreproducible results Neal sings!
It Was a Monday Evening
narrative church rhythm thank you very much
done found some groove we never found before and never will again

Bulleya - Amit Mishra, Shipa Rao [from Bollygood Volume 2]

Values production value. What is this without its bells and whistles? Full throttle is the base line setting.

November 12, 2017
Your blogger, ca 2001
Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La - William Byrd - Elizabeth Farr

Recorded so that, or is it always that, harpsichord sound is more specifically localized than piano. It is lighter, pointier. Immense intellectual heft, lightly borne, tales within tales within could finish and be done several times but then continue on, again, into ravishing beauty.

Die Kunst der Fuge, Contrapunctus XVIII - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg

To be inside this fuguescape fuguemare fugeuedral aware of the granular harmony of the spirit.

2nd fugue like a chapel echoes the cathedral and looook! we can open up this wall and create a third midsize space - and finally 3rd fugue here's the choir with our Orgelmeister Kappelmeister - an architectural tour, all the sites singing. Surely if this had gone on JSB had a grander weirder place for it to get to than any such place as it had already been.

Karen and me, 1986
November 13, 2017
Lazy Drag - Thomas Morris [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Light touch on the beat at the start, allowing them to fatten it up or thin it out as needed. Patterns of same.

Columbia's Waters - Woody Guthrie [from Columbia River Collection]

Conceit: this song is a job application in which many of WG's stock phrases are trotted out again. A window into a process of making.

For Minors Only - Chet Baker, Art Pepper [from Playboys]

Clearly, this track is a product, an object, quintessentially commercial.

Far and Wide - Brahms - Lake Washington Singers, Betty Eisenbrey, Joanne Deacon [from A Musical Souvenir: The Lake Washington Singers Spring Concert (April 11, 1961)]

Some fine piano playing there, Joanne!

Hymnen - Stockhausen
Karen and Isaac, 1996

What is a theme within such a thicket?! A prop, a focus, a thread to follow, a placeholder: NOT THE SHOW.

I think to myself "this is the Stockhausen that got on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's." Extreme Ivesian quote festival. (I started composing about 10 years after this was made, and it only took me about 4 years to find it, for it to find me.) I spent a lot of time with it back in the day.

Sounds we follow as they variously incarnate and morph toward other veering incarnations.

Electronic music was what it is now, a bunch of folks playing with new toys. What sounds can we get on this? What are its sounds? Its voice? As it concerns radio: radio waves, invisible light, dark light, another dark, another sleep, another night, another wake. Front loaded: an active eventful texture, signals in transit, the harrowing descent, breathing human sleeping.

". . . nur eine Erinnerung": What does that actually do as an excuse for the böses Blut es gibt?

Some events are discrete moments, note-like - hard edged short events. Others are episodes of flange and sweep - long events. Flange-y buzz-hum-y waves rhythmed syllabically. We hear the timbre shift as a quasi-vowel shift. Thuds of war episode in third region where whistlers imitate the whole of what they are of in mimicry, in mimicry as a kind of abstraction. A full range of immediacy(ies) articulating murk.

November 14, 2017
Trust Me - Janis Joplin [from Pearl]

The plea goes on and on circling inside around the instrumentals, pleading never ending changes.

Still Crazy After All These Years - Paul Simon [from The Essential Paul Simon]

In a warm keyboard bath. Is it just me or did I really catch a partial quote of Bridge Over Troubled Water in the strings?

We're Desperate - X [from Wild Gift]

Structural density of the guitar/bass complex: leave space in the verse for the words, leave none in the chorus.

Banned Rehearsal 67 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Kosály-Meyer [March 1986]

In the little Greenwood half house, sneezing, heater, hooting: slide show? Conversational, sort of, in that we are doing activities and also being with each other as just folks a little bit. Bumping around is up front, music as such, in deep background. Woozy but not unpleasantly so. Making spaghetti, it sticks good. Slow swing dinner in B-flat minor. This is our trademark DING! from a junkshop in Kingston NY. The tape machine has an eraserhead button (still does, long unpushed). "I hope that was intentional or not." My dad shows up, must have been something to do with my passport. Karen may have moved up to live with Neal & Anna while interviewing. Tri-doxology, para-para-doxology (hindsight) a hindsight. It is very nice it just slips underneath the skin. Berry-ness is discussed. Wild sound on acoustic guitar.

Polly- Nirvana [from NevermindWordblurbs in exact syllabic count fitted into soundblurb segments with pitch trajectories, a partial song. (Schumann's inescapable ghost.)

Banned Rehearsal 432 - Isaac E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [August 1986]


We try to get something to work. Got those wah-wah tech blues. Aaron's synth, I believe, we struggle with the extent of our tech-savvy: this has an "in" that fits the guitar patch cord, therefore if we plug in the guitar to it we will automatically get magnificence. At the time it seemed, oddly, that nothing was happening, that the guitar strumming had no effect on what was coming out of the synth. The jury is still out on it, but the sounds of us struggling with it are fabulous. "It is my firm belief that with five more synthesizers we could achieve total silence." And yet, between the synth, the Mighty Wurzlitzer, and our direct to cassette mastering, I wonder if any prog rock band ever sound as good? the Tintinabulary at its finest. We don't do nicety.

Banned Rehearsal 621 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [November 2001]

Nothing to hear but you. You make the sound. In our digitally produced era there is more air between the sounds, which allows more expanse of surface with which to mess, more coast to invade. Plunks and hums tiny sounds of extreme interhearing. Down to pianississimo violion tremolo and small frame drum, ocarina moving between their soundboxes' resonances, articulating a shiver whistling in the dark.

November 17, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 698 -Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [March 2006]

Testing the waters. It generally doesn't take much to get it going, inert as it is, (though it be), just takes the right gentle push prolonged just so long. After several false-like leads: snare drum, flute and buzz, but that also falters . . or wait, now it's moving. Reasons to hang in there. Seeping into other sounds groundwater invisible under cover of underground it sneaks past the carousel skimming the feedback fence, flirting with skimming it under cover of skimming past it we flirt under darkness with the broad light of it, of past days.

Goodbye Amsterdam - Rachel Harrington [from Celilo Falls]

Relations among people occur in landscapes. How much we leave - its expanse of sorrow - when we leave each other. Gentle stutters in the guitar figures.

Banned Rehearsal 906 -Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [March 2016]

Neal learns himself speaking. Tiny construction workers hammering miniature hammerings. Wallace watches o'er, duets across the continent with cowbell. Lightweight sphere rolls the texture of the drumskinhead amplified by circular tension applied. Copperpipe in syntheticfoam insulationtube squeak like balloons.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 12, 2017
Rain Traffic Crabby Crows - Keith Eisenbrey

Our best guess is that the crows were complaining about the rain.

November 14, 2017
Kitchen - Keith Eisenbrey

For the record: I didn't break anything.

November 15, 2017
Second Thoughts - Keith Eisenbrey

I finished composing the first eight Études d'exécution imminent in May of 2014. In terms of the original chart this was the half-way point, but I needed a break to re-think myself, to consider where the composition of these had gotten me, so I took a self-imposed sabbatical from composition - indifferently observed: news of the death of J. K. Randall brought forth a response in the form of J, (September 2014), I was asked to contribute to Ben Boretz's Festschrift (Another, December 2014) and I arranged a traditional hymn tune for Karen to sing just after Christmas (Hail the Blest Morn) - altogether a fairly productive sabbatical. In the spring of 2015 I started working on these disassembled piece parts, which together constitute the 9th Etude, finishing in August, 16 months later. That was a long time for just a few notes, but I flatter myself they are densely packed. Arranged as in this (not quite perfect) performance, one after the other, the piece parts play out the re-writing of memory as it is remembered and its eventual, inevitable, loss.

Saturday, November 11, 2017



November 4, 2017
The picture I made
Gradus 94 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

Uses dampers as filters to extract partials
silence is resilient
behind me Karen purees pumpkin
time out of grid
a car stereo drives by outside
sidebar tea ceremony
that a sound could seem to happen Now is a demonstration of how wide a span is the apprehension of Now

Thursday After - Youth Rescue Mission [from Youth Rescue Mission]

adding elements one after another in stepped sequence
within song structure serious phrase length rhythm play
blood harmony could almost be the Fleetwoods at the end (just a hint)

Gradus 285 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

I made a picture.

November 5, 2017
The Hunts Upp - William Byrd - Elizabeth Farr [from My Ladye Nevells Booke]

ringing echoes
signals passed on hills
familial tales
courtly tales

Der Kunst der Fuge, Contrapunctus XVII Rectus / Inversus - J. S. Bach - Zoltan Kocsis

strong vertical leaps up? down? contribute to the effect of utter duplication
is it the direction of the leap or its mere distance that tells?

Gatemouth - Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

sliding around the pitch, glisswise
a dance of them

this music is not dance music
this music is dance

Roll Columbia, Roll - Woody Guthrie [from Columbia River Collection]

Progress celebrated, collective progress, progress to benefit us'n'all.

For Miles and Miles - Art Pepper, Chet Baker [from Playboys]

phenomenal playing full of subtleties to be sure but something bluesy has been buffed out if it, refined in an almost pretentious way, if they weren't getting away with it pretty bossly

Echo Song - Orlando di Lasso - Lake Washington Singers, Betty Eisenbrey, Joanne Deacon [from A Musical Souvenir: The Lake Washington Singers Spring Concert (April 11, 1961)]

humored up? or just oddly translated, odderly arranged? or maybe that's just the way it is

Hold On I'm Comin' - Sam and Dave [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

thought: jazz is about its rhythm; rock is about its song structure; blues is the glue
these boys have heard some church singin' and how

The Song Is Over - The Who [from Who's Next]

praise chorus

November 7, 2017
Song of Fifty Cents - Jack Bean [from The Art of Field Recording Volume 1]

another function of demotic music
actual advice in humorous guise
(not that, but like dirty jokes as ad hoc sex ed)
how it is learned: those life lessons
quite the accent, one needs to pay more than fifty cents of close attention

Improvisation - University of Washington Contemporary Group Improvisation Ensemble [from Neal's Recital Tape]

Conversation wordlessly, as musical exercise.

You Get What You Want - Julian Lennon [from The Secret Value of Daydreaming]

this tries so hard, but I have trouble giving it the benefit of the doubt. The problem is not his singing voice, but something like a lack of roots.

November 9, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 254 - John E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [April 1991]

testing 1 2 3
now we have begun
at Toad Hall some crud in it
John 'plains, but 4 weeks old
strenuously lame we thus arrange the possibility of brief moments unlike any others
drill bit into bedrock inexorant
on my wall
there hangs a purple trout
continues on through
metabolism enhanced
be- words auf Deutsch
bell rings for train coming in

Hail Hail - Pearl Jam [from Rearviewmirror]

til the fuel runs out
the ride is over

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 6, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 946 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Aaron and Neal duet on trumpet and cornet, Karen drums an ocean, Steve tunes in, and there is me with banjo on my knee

Saturday, November 4, 2017



"Some are explaining that each one is doing the thing each one is doing because they are needing to
be doing that thing, because they are needing to be wanting to be doing that thing, because doing that thing is a thing that is feeding them, because doing that thing is a thing that they are needing to be doing so that they can be ones doing something that they are ones needing to be wanting to be doing, because doing that thing is a thing that is something any one will be doing who is one needing to be one doing some things that this one is needing to be doing, because doing that thing is a thing in some way satisfying that one as being the one being that one." Gertrude Stein - The Making of Americans



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

Calvin Senter - Colloquies: Moon, Rain, Sun, Wind - for solo guitar

gently persists in not resolving easy

long long thoughts (yep, Longfellow)

solid quiet presence

admirable patience

Mark Wilson - Kyrie eleison from "God Helmet" - for guitar, soprano, and flute

What glorious close heterophony between soprano and flute! It fairly made the melodic elements leap and kiss above our heads.

Clement Reid - Realizations for Horn and Piano

A richly produced illustrated narrative, of the sort whose pages linger in memory.

Nicole Truesdell - Ghost Story - for piano four hands

How does one signal story telling, musically? Or, how does music signal that it is telling story? This then that sequencing to be sure, but with four hands to play with Nicole also gets plenty of this and also that in play, lapping o'er.


October 29, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 431 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [July 1996]

one channel aimed in of doors
one channel aimed out of doors
middle passage
industrious at noise making
wrecked and wicked piano sound
in late night dreamy bill evans mode
duet cornet
conjoined banjo
roar from we know not where
subordinate clauses

Banned Rehearsal 619 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Isabel K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [October 2001]

homing in on room for quiet in the large
for explicit thoughts in transparent company
what can be done if considerations of performance just don't come up
such considerations not eschewed
more as if never known
music innocent of outside apprehension as such
rattling in so many ways
so many ways of rattling

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 30, 2017
Gradus 324 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

not wandering | not circulating | not but contracting | into falling | into inward collapsing


suspended spool | waking extend | thought into forward | space alert spreading | out exhibiting delve | back into