November 18, 2017
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.
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|
or quick response
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?'