Every half-bookish NPR listener the world over probably heard
this radiolab episode that begins with a detailed analysis of Kristen Schaal and her pal Kurt Braunohler doing their Kaufman-esque absurdist routine, and now it has been pointed out by Rebecca Haithcoat in LA Weekly that this Kaufman moment may be making another appearance with Jay-Z and Kanye West...in other news, these Jefferson Friedman string quartets are really great - as is Chiara’s performance, and there are even two Matmos remixes of the quartets on the album. I’ve been really taken with the remix idea myself after doing one for NewVillager’s song Lighthouse. Going through the audio stems that I was sent to do the remix was akin to taking apart a Kaleidoscope then reassembling it into something else entirely, and the process challenged me to use materials that I wouldn’t normally associate with my own work or sound...but I digress...beautiful juxtapositions seem to abound as of late whether it be Beethoven and Black Metal or thoughts on screen savers and office novels. Well, perhaps David Foster Wallace can sum all of this up for us via The Pale King, “above and below were a different story, but there was always something disappointing about clouds when you were inside them; they ceased to be clouds at all. It just got really foggy.”
Every half-bookish NPR listener the world over probably heard
_ Henry Cowell - Piano Music of Henry Cowell - Sorrell Davis Hays
Outkast - Big Boi & Dre Present...
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Benny Goodman - Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert
James Tenney - Spectral Canon for Conlon Nancarrow
Fats Waller - Jitterbug Waltz
J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations (Simone Dinnerstein)
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Atlas Sound - Parallax
At long last, the Yellow Foot Chanterelle (left) has made an appearance here in Seattle. A week ago I went mushrooming for Chanterelles - slightly unusual for this time of year - usually they're either A. giant and soggy or B. it's become too cold and they've gone to sleep for the year - but it was so incredibly dry in late summer/early fall that their season was pushed back a bit and it hasn't been too rainy yet thus far. All in all it was a good haul (see below). However, this unusual season also meant that the Yellow Foot Chanterelles weren't out yet, yet last year in early November (the very end of usual Chanterelle season) they were out in droves. But...they must be out now as the foragers at the market had a soggy basketful.
Wandering in the woods causes one to reexamine listening in our daily lives - the thick moss beds covering everything creating a completely different way of not only hearing sound, but interacting and moving through it and realizing one's own participation in the creation of sound. These ideas show up in my own work all the time - mainly in abstract ways - but recently I finished a piece for men's choir and percussion ensemble for Ken Pendergrass at SPU, and the work requires the percussionists to improvise at the end of the work using a tray full of natural objects they've collected to create the sound of moving through the woods. The singers are also required to play natural objects - rustling branches to create additional textures. Listening in new contexts seems to be happening all over - when I embarked upon the Sunset + Music tour over the summer I met a number of interesting people doing similar things, among them Tom Peyton. He and his group at DoTank do listening experiments like this one quite regularly. Technology has surely changed how we listen to music and media in general; hopefully positive contributions like that will be a counterbalance to the potential for sound to become less consequential in these strange times of fear and loathing.
11/21 listening list
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Open Graves with Stuart Dempster - flight patterns
Smog - dress sexy at my funeral
Django Reinhardt - All Star Sessions
F. Couperin - Harpsichord Suites
Tom Baker - Hunger
Django Reinhardt - Souvenirs
_ After the sun set on the tour de sunsets in October, a great deluge of work and events came rolling on in, so up until now I've been spending most of my time doing lots of organizing and emailing (and thinking about organizing and emailing) for events next year. Occasional collaborator Ross Simonini and I are working on a new electro-acoustic score for Catherine Cabeen for March, I just finished another 'composerly' remix for NewVillager as well as a piece for Seattle Pacific University's Men's Choir and Percussion Ensemble, and then there are two guest-composer events on the east coast this spring that I've got two commissions for. One is for Beta Test Ensemble - a work for electronics and unspecified number of winds, and the other will be an electro-acoustic work in the vein of my sunrise and sunset pieces that will begin at sunset and take the listener into the black of night. The latter work is for Scott Comanzo's Private Works series at The Hartt School. Add to that a commission for a site-specific work for the 100 Acres Sculpture Park and a last minute invitation to write for Tom Peyton's roving bell choir (Bell by Bell) for MATA's Make Music Winter and it seems as though I won't be slowing down the composing train until the end of September 2012. Hopefully I'm not spreading myself too thin...
In other news, if you find yourself in need of more Evans Kammer, I recently released a couple of singles. One is called Collective Resonance, which is for percussion ensemble with electronics, and this little ditty was featured in the 2011 Music Issue of The Believer as well as on BBC3 and a couple other radio shows here stateside. The other is In a Shifting Landscape, which is for viola and cello with electronics, and has a brief write-up here. Both are available on your favorite online retailer.
_ Bill Evans - Everybody Digs Bill Evans
Lounge Lizards - Voice of Chunk
Gavin Bryars - Biped
Art Blakey - The Big Beat
Copland - El Salon Mexico
Villa Lobos - Bachianas Brasiliera No. 5
NewVillager - S/T
Shabazz Palaces - Are you...Can you...Were you? (felt)
Shabazz Palaces - A treatease dedicated to The Avian Airess from North East Nubis (1000 questions, 1 answer)
Wagner - Prelude from Tristan und Isolde (at Lars Von Trier's behest...hmmm)
Olivier Messiaen - Livre du Saint Sacrement - XVI