Saturday, December 29, 2018



December 22, 2018
King Arthur Act 5 - Henry Purcell - Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet

The birth of the distinction between high art and low art can be blamed on the concept of Royalty and Nobility. The idea of Learned Court or Church Music, as an economy, allowed only the Learned to be written out, writing being the only means of preservation outside of oral tradition. The demotic appears in written form only through imitation by the learned and otherwise is left to its own devices, its praxis handed down personally - a process that did not stop at the courthouse or churchhouse doors. It remained there also, as always.

Nänie Op. 82 - Johannes Brahms - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw

consistently engaging as a play of sound colors
nice orchestration!!
a symphonic movement with one of Brahms' few harp parts
about as fine a piece as any other of his

December 26, 2018
Grandpa's Spells - Jelly Roll Morton - George Mitchell, Edward 'Kid' Ory, Omer Simeon, Johnny St. Cyr, John Lindsay, Andrew Hilaire [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Arrangement is,
as composition is,
a tool for timbral amplification

Adagio for Strings - Samuel Barber - Berliner Philharmoniker, Semyon Bychkov

poignant incomplete, enclosed

All The Things You Are - Art Pepper [from The Way It Was]

never losing cool in the spotlight
easy to hear
how the pairs

Let The Good Times Roll - The Sonics [from Boom]

a winning combo of messy reverb and narrow bandwidth

Crepuscle With Nellie (take 3) - Thelonius Monk - Thelonius Monk, Al McKibbon, Art Blakey [recorded in London on November 15, 1971]

cyclily it goes
slow and heavy round
and round and round

Eliza (Interlude) - Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [December 1981]

three short movements for spinet and (trombone or tenor tuba?)
clever and brief
but not horrible either

Breakout - Swing Out Sister [a Rescued Record]

synthy machine backed
born to be bland

December 27, 2018
Banned Rehearsal 277 - John E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [November 1991]

guitar, autoharp, ocarina
homespun sound with infant and fuss and very faintly if I am not mistaken a radio station brought in on the waves of electric chance

violin and hand drum shiny bright with bell duet
for violin squak and infant squall

deep dynamic focus from mezzo forte on down to where the airwaves shine dimly

öbjét d'kítsch

special brand young parent sleepiness yawn

No session or sequence of sessions is important as to where the project might be going
they are only important in the sense that they and their kind exist within the corpus
the junkyard's accumulation is the key, not the particular trajectory of accumulating
history is not as granular nor as linear as we would care to think

this music is very close, near, to our ears, inhabiting its space precisely
its space is its and none others

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 25, 2018
Fox Spit 181225 - Keith Eisenbrey

After the guests all left
a scribbled bit on the guitar my brother Paul made.

Saturday, December 22, 2018



December 15, 2018
Neal Kosály-Meyer recites Finnegans Wake Part 1 Chapter 5
Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

what have we here
a book
what we have here

these paper wounds
we start proper

worthily, Neal is gaining an audience for this crazy project
it is quite the thing to experience
acted but acting not
spoken but sung
a musical reciter at top of game


December 16, 2018
Banned Rehearsal 276 - John E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [November 1991]

Listening is thinking

thinking listening

language hegemonizes mind
so too does music

language and music engage in mutual hegemonization
language seeks to control
because it, language, is control

music seeks to permeate
so peaceful a lullaby

we busy ourselves rearranging sonic devices
drumming to serve for work song
dulcimer bridges a gap between koto and banjo
(but then the autoharp?)
lyre and lute pipe and drum
a gentle concerto for mountain dulcimer and autoharp untuned

John the impaler of snails
John the emboweler of otters
minor masterworks of the limerick art, by Aaron

recorded in The Spaceship Tintinabulary on its generation long journey to The Center of the Unknown Universe

a bell is a cymbal with pious pretensions
toy piano toy accordion toy drum
trio contrapuntesque

My Northwest Home - Wes Weddell [from My Northwest Home]

more string play

December 18, 2018
24 Preludes 1-4 - Ken Benshoof - Keith Eisenbrey [June 2006]

My performance here focuses on the piano thinking rather than on the genre thinking, in order to make plain what is optional in the notation.

Spokane - Rachel Harrington [from Celilo Falls]

She does not rhyme "gold watch and chain" with "Spokane" (because it doesn't!)
She rhymes it with rain.

I fall in love with the fancy duo guitar stuff. Her personal geography takes care with its syllables.

Riverview Park Playfields - Keith Eisenbrey [May 2016]

We were camped then in West Seattle while our bathroom was being redone. We took a walk through a nearby park and birdsong. We cross a street at a crosswalk.

foot step rhythm like bubbling sauce
kneading crunch dough

softball in the distant wilds
more distant traffic flanges through space as space is heard

December 20, 2018
Canzon - Thomas Simpson - The King's Noyse, David Douglass [from Mascharada - Music at the Bückeburg Court of Ernst III]

a miniature opera
done in 4 minutes or so

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 17, 2018
Banned Rehearsal 972 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Saturday, December 15, 2018



December 8, 2018
How Firm a Foundation - Keith Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey

my recording of December 5, 2018
unfinessed timing, but with great care to amuse

Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down - Sister Fleeta Mitchell, Rev. Willie Mae Eberhart [from Art of Field Recording, Vol. 1]

at ease with its confident command

Soundform II Cricket - S. Eric Scribner - [from Storm Sound Cycle, May 2011]

it is as though this weren't music we were listening to
but washes of layered ambiences
any story line focus is deliberately frustrated
so that we can experience this space without participating
a particular distance at which it grows dark

Finnegans Wake Part 2 Chapter 4 - James Joyce - aleorta [from Waywords and Meansigns]

outside inside
a quark an ark a bark
a beach of words like sand churned into filtered whorls of thematic synergistic jumbled geology
worlds piled into higglepiggle rhyme heaps
bits of precontext clinging
mucking up the whole weary moraine
a dye has been applied to these lists of words

December 11, 2018
Aria - Thomas Simpson - The King's Noyse [from Mascharada]

Something about the way pitches repeat at register is more than vaguely reminiscent of Webern.

King Arthur Act IV - Henry Purcell - Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet

a musical extravaganza held together by a plot
but the extravaganza of the music is primal
which is why a dance number as a part of one of these things makes perfect sense
Wagner's through-compositional compulsion was just a way of making plain what had been developing all along, it actually lessens the importance of the music as such with which opera began its history

Schicksalslied - Brahms - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw

slow groundwork allows weightless lift
oops, dramas
setting a dense poem chorally adds density without contributing clarity, comes across like a movie adaptation of a book

Kansas City Shuffle - Bennie Moten [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

show dance upon which variations or doubles compete

Dona Nobis Pacem - Ralph Vaughan-Williams - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw, Richard Clement, Nathan Gunn, Patricia Nealon, Pamela Elrod, Sean Mayer, William Borland

much like Purcell in the knee-jerk wordpainting, but inflated by more ample resources, oppressed by the imperative to be important, National
the sentimental sanctimony of Empire
unlike Purcell in that it takes itself seriously

wordpainting fails to enhance text's meaning, it merely underlines an empty aspect of it
good for a laugh, but otherwise generally a distraction
it would help if he had any sense of timing or proportion

December 13, 2018
Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra - Heitor Villa-Lobos - Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Vladimir Altschuler, Marco Tsessos

mid20thcentury Display Concerto
a vehicle
for solo enhanced by orchestra
the play of sounds against each other - what makes a concerto a concerto - given lip service at best
given that limitation this is a rather attractive example, with melody up front

All The Things You Are - Art Pepper [from The Way It Was]

mumbling in close formation they scrawl a tune

Skinnie Minnie - The Sonics [from Boom]


Crepuscle With Nellie (take 2) - Thelonius Monk [recorded in London on November 15, 1971]

syncopation can be accomplished by playing ahead or behind the felt beat
or, as here, by moving the beat to where you need it, stretching and squeezing the flow into a taut rubato

Tomorrow - U2 [from October]

pipe tune
builds up
only to get to where the fade is

Rock and Roll - The Velvet Underground [from Another View]

trying different vocal persona, demo-ish, (or self study)
rough song, smooth coda
what might this sound like if we were to do it this way?

Saturday, December 8, 2018



December 1, 2018
Allemande - William Brade - The King's Noyse [from Mascharada]

closer to clearly a dance than any of Bach's Allemandes are
being older

step kick step kick
do they all stem from the same root dance as the Polka?

King Arthur Act III - Henry Purcell - Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet

Purcell liked the noise of it
up to his elbows in liking the noise of it

a shake (ornament) on shake (word) - very clever, Henry
wordpainting as blatant as possible, visceral even
as though that were so completely the point
but also distracts some from the little seminar the notes are engaged in, as notes

and then there's a Wind Machine!

Quartet in F Major op. 135 - Beethoven - Alban Berg Quartett

four clowns
each answering

to reprise is to vary
the activating symmetries

we suspect the non sequiturs
are not so non as all that

a lull? a lulling? a trap?
(left hanging in the attentive lurch)

definitely a trap
pizzicati ex machina

Caprice - Henryk Wieniawski - Itzhak Perlman, Janet Goodman Guggenheim [from Itzhak Perlman 
Live in Russia]

an encore
a remnant of the old Music Is For Fun vogue

East Arkansas Shout - Sammie Lewis [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

picked that up (the vogue above)
a draft or older version of the land of a thousand dances
pre mashed potato too

Carabina Trienta-Trienta - Epifiana Sanchez and group [from The Art of Field Recording vol. 1]

There is a slow flange quasi-arpeggiation effect concerning the placement of the strum sound upon the strings within the presence of the recording. tape wobble or intent?

December 4, 2018
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - The Sonics [from Boom]

a reimagined throwback

Punk and its progeny being a back to the roots music, from the very root of it arises a propensity to revisit older songs and goose 'em. From this trope comes some of my favorite covers and moments: The Stranglers Walk On By; The Dictators I Got You Babe; and (live): Peterman I Can't Help Falling In Love With You; and Red Ribbon That's All Right Mama.

stripping the sheen from the 50's
bringing it home

Chordially (Improvisation) - Thelonius Monk [recorded in London on November 15, 1971]

thinking with his hands
not a finished thing and clearly not a thing intended to be finished
melody notes perched uncomfortably on lumpy chord chairs

Eliza Act I - Keith Eisenbrey, Dave Jones, Aaron Keyt [December 1981]

oh golly this goes back

in the year between my graduation from the UW and my wandering off to the East
Aaron, occasionally Neal, Dave Jones, and I would gather in the basement of Dave Jones's place north of the University and record improvisations. Over the course of several such session we improvised an opera named after one of the characters in Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick. The result is easily not all that wonderful, but it has its moments and anticipates many of the activities that came to dominate Banned Rehearsal a few years later.

the overture
intoned trombone, bass clarinet, conch? ceremonial solemn
text erupts
fairy tales

If improvisation's purpose is to elicit pieces of music then we explode that idea by trying to elicit a particular known genre of music, demonstrating just how far off things can get. And it isn't due to us choosing the wrong kind of music to elicit. We do it in numbers.

we didn't have amplification per se to play with so we moved the microphones around instead
competitive cleverility
all of a sudden I realize
hey I'm in control here

December 6, 2018
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - Paul Simon [from Graceland]

fancy melismas and choral drums

Banned Rehearsal 275 - John E, Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [November 1991]

a piano, so, Toad Hall
as none was available at that time at headquarters
thumbpiano mixed to have presence
J operates a spring contraption and is cyclically quite amused
drum and brass with flabby lip
the organ transformed suddenly into The Show
or was that the Aaronsynth?
going on for the cause of why not go on
or drift more
fat finger tunes
some tiny whisper whistles imitating cassette ghosting
J squawks discovering agency
double double reed thingy designed for the desire to be at two with one's self
pre-toddler delight
squeamish should turn their ears aside
diaper is being changed

In Session at the Tintinabulary

December 3, 2018
Banned Rehearsal 971 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt

December 4-5, 2018

How Firm a Foundation - Keith Eisenbrey

I wrote this chorale prelude-ish arrangement of the hymn tune Foundation in July of 2001, the last of three little organ pieces. For the last decade plus now I've been going through all my keyboard pieces to be sure I have acceptable recorded documentation. They all work pretty well for piano too, though this one requires some carefully applied sostenuto pedal in three or four spots.

Saturday, December 1, 2018



November 30, 2018
Denise Glover and Friends (Julian Smedley and Greg Glassman)
Ristrettos Coffee & Wine, Maple Valley

Denise and I were fellow students of Ben Boretz, though we missed each other at Bard College by a few years. A year or two ago Ben recommended her first album, Pathways, so I looked into it and was pleased I had. Denise and I ended up as social media friends, and somewhere along in there I realized we lived just a few cities away. I had been waiting for a good opportunity to get to a live gig, and this was it.

With her gently focused alto voice nestling comfortably in amongst where a fiddle's D and A strings sound best, alternately joining herself on guitar and mandolin, she and her able henchmen - Julian Smedley on fiddle-violin/viola/guitar and Greg Glassman on acoustic bass guitar - presented two sets from the humming nexus of country, singer-songwriter, swing-grass, and roots rock. I'm sure I missed a few possibilities in there, so I think I'll stick with "pretty guitars, no pedal effects." And oh but the guitars sure are pretty! There was a nice mix of original songs and covers: Cochran, Dylan, Lennon-McCartney, Guthrie, Cohen - that crowd. The originals hold up just fine, thank you. Another win for the locals.

The venue was pretty noisy at first, but we sat right up front - practically in their laps - close enough to hobnob without heckling. It was a nasty drive to get there through the dark rainy traffic, but I was sure glad we did. Thank you for the lovely evening! We hope you find a way to play closer to us soon.

check out her new album: Gaps in the Stories
you'll be glad you did


November 24, 2018
Magnificat in D S.243 - J.S. Bach - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Chorus, Robert Shaw, Dawn Upshaw, Penelope Jensen, Marietta Simpson, David Gordon, William Stone

what an odd thought, that there should be a timpani part by Bach of all people
to be sure the tonic and dominant are pounded clearly

thoughtful braided melody lines

but: performed as though for a Symphony Hall audience
back when you could do that and not have it come across as out of it

one glorious protracted cadence
to rule them all!

aside: the more clearly articulated are the cadences throughout the less dramatically one needs to be with the final (a rule for balance, or an index for when in musical history one is)

comment: the biggest sounding bits of tutti lose detail in the room, a problem with performing as though for a Symphony Hall audience

November 25, 2018
Gloria in D R.589 - Antonio Vivaldi - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Chorus, Robert Shaw, Dawn Upshaw, Penelope Jensen, Marietta Simpson

structurally segmented :: each activity set apart
starts with simple ones
builds carefully brick on brick
affectual boundaries are simply not crossed
life, after all, is controlled. is organized. is set.

clear or obvious structural outlines focus or allow attention to melody
a reprise, and of course, a spectacular double fugue

this is the last picture my Mom took.
I think it's at Mt. Rainier National Park
Quartet in C-sharp minor op. 131 - Beethoven - Alban Berg Quartett

Certainly starts out in Vivaldiland, plaintive imitations and resolutions
but conflicted, unstable

in a prior music this first would be an internal movement, only the first for special occasions, such as death

another movement: this peaceful evening cave life! friendly whist hearty humor cozy fire, chastely dance

slipping back so easily into Vivaldish
the image has invisibly engulfed us, we are among the changelings
the scaffolding of what was music elsewhere

the fogeys are gone we can risk up the dance a bit now
old house spirits present and old house spirits past

Andante cantabile from Quartet Op. 11 - Tchaikovsky - Itzhak Perlman, Janet Goodman Guggenheim [from Itzhak Perlman Live in Russia]

always the opera scene thinker, as was Mozart

Memphis Shake - Dixieland Jug Blowers [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

irreconstructible set up to make this amazing sound!
Engineer that, M***** F*****!
balance among them just upside turvy enough to bring out every telling

Jeep's Blues (Live) - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra [from Ken Burns Jazz]

Duke accompanies that big brassy sound with hardly a twiddle, so as not to overpower

Cinderella - The Sonics [from Boom]

I wants to be her man
glasshard texture into which the voice mace wails

This is, of course, the classic 1966 recording. Not so many years ago Freddie and the Screamers played a Cinco de Mayo gig in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant in Crown Hill, Seattle. At the time I was already a fuddy duddy, and I honestly didn't think they were unduly loud at all, considering they were competing with four lanes of 15th Avenue Northwest traffic. At some point a neighbor several blocks away called the police, who began gathering at about 730. Freddie, who, at that time, was touring with The Sonics, was watching them warily, pretty certain they were about to be shut down. As a taunt, I think, he pulled out this work of brilliant punkass - at the "Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey CinderELLa" of which even I, fuddy duddy as I already was, had to get up and dance with Karen. That was when the police shut it down. When fuddy duddies dance in parking lots the party has gone too, too far.

Blue Sphere - Thelonius Monk [Recorded at Chappell Studios, London]


I'm Coming Over - X [from Wild Gift]

P.O.V. (from the first person) or (to the first person from the 2nd) i.e. "I'm coming over," she said on the phone

November 26 and 27, 2018
Banned Rehearsal 85 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, George Kosály, Marta Kosály, and Neal Kosály-Meyer [June 1986]

we converse
weren't we darling?
we cover I Can't Explain
Brim decaffeinated coffee can and drums

calms down then patter tick tick plock
holding patter pitter patter in time with inhuman nature

strawberry appears 11 8 1981 Dave Jones starts scheduling students on Tuesdays
telepathic feelers

high ultra-modern jacked in fussiness
kicked in head
7PieceMatchSet bit
the imitation of ecstatic
the known path can't lead to the unknown
kill that buddha kill it

actorly feint

have it away
come on in
bring it down

November 28, 2018
Endless, Nameless - Nirvana [from Nevermind]

poly: genre-al :: tonal
multi or bi

easily my favorite cut, perhaps because it's the closest to being improvisatory, or perhaps because it's the most compositional

Row, Row Your Boat - Wes Weddell [from My Northwest Home]

a fare thee well for the well
gentle waters

24 Tonal Preludes 1 through 4 - Greg Short - Keith Eisenbrey [from my recital Preludes in Seattle, June 2006]

And I thought I would be through the cycle of 24 long since! I am just now, 12 years later, beginning to steel myself up to work on 21 through 24. Greg's piano writing is fiendishly difficult, and splendid. It doesn't seem like they should, to look at the scores, but every little detail counts.
From the outside these four are even stranger and lovelier than I remember them. As preludes, they stop and consider what they are, quite unhurriedly, but always exactingly. Another win for the locals.

Zinda - Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Siddarth Mahadevan [from Bollygood Volume 2]

spilling onto each other
slowmotion Max Head-ead-ead-room
roboticize the personal

Lincoln Park Beach Walking South - Keith Eisenbrey [May 2016]

I wish there were a way to keep the handle of the recording device silent as I walk with it.

gentle wave sough and beach gravel
steps activated

the contrast between the sound of the device's own bumping and the sound it picks up in the usual microphonal way is, conceptually, very like the difference in sound we hear between what our ears pick up from the outside and what we hear when our skulls bump.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 26, 2018
Gradus 342 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

back to one note then two
none of them an A natural