Saturday, September 19, 2009

Should.....

Oh boy it's been a long time since my last post......

"we're all in trouble, you know",

a fellow musician said to me last night.
We were on the topic of improvised music, and he mentioned an article he'd read that "all music should appeal to the composer, player and improviser in everyman". My friend's point being that he thought we were all screwed, due to the usual moderately well attended gig.

Two thoughts about this...the first, probably my least favorite word: 'should'.

This is a word usual used by people trying to sell an idea. Occasionally it's used out of genuine consideration for someone else. Usually, and particularly in critique circles it seems, the word is used because someone feels that something is 'wrong'. If you've ever checked out Cognitive Behaviour Therapy you'll know this already. For those of you that haven't, 'should' is something people often use to make others, or themselves, feel bad about what's happening currently.

The second, the assumption that 'everyman' is the goal towards which artists strive. Obviously for someone who's ever thought about the role of art seriously must realise how ridiculous this statement seems. As I said at the time: "that presumes that 'everyman' is right". Rather than dwell on whether they are or not, why not just work on making the most honest and informed art you can? I think when artists become concerned with what other people think more than what they think themselves they are doomed. I can't imagine this existence ending in any other way than hollowness and unhappiness.

There are plenty of people who create art that's enjoyed by much of the mainstream, but true artists don't create art to appeal to a specific demographics, they make art, and they make the art they make, because they can't imagine it any other way.

End of rave.

For anyone who's interested, I have a youtube channel, which has a couple a clips of me playing, including my latest trip of trying to play Elliott Carter's "Two Diversions" in time......here it is.

Bye for now...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Should....

When I attended to Banff workshop for Jazz and Creative music in 2008 I had an amazing time. It was an extraordinarily energizing experience. The thing that really hit home with me was that there were all these people: 'teachers' and 'students' who were following their muse with conviction and devotion, and the whole community at the workshops seemed to support that. Surely that's what being a creative artist is about right?
I did have one strange experience however, which has already created more than a little dialogue in the jazz blog-o-sphere. I was in a room with 9 other pianists of various persuasions, and was berated when I (we) couldn't remember the name of James P. Johnson's 'Carolina Shout'. The interesting thing about that was: I have listened to that piece many times, but for some reason answered that it was a Jelly Roll Morton piece instead.
Once our host had calmed down a little he made it clear he thought that that was blasphemy: that a bunch of students of improvised piano music (notice I don't say jazz) didn't know the piece immediately.
After the camp in an interview with Wynton Marsalis, they bemoaned together the lack of students's knowledge about the history of jazz. Citing (I paraphrase here): "one of the pianists was playing all these variations on 'Donna Lee', another was improvising in tone-rows.....but not one of them know this piece!" . Interestingly a few months later the author removed his initial post alerting the rest of the jazz world to this troubling fact.
More recently, a writer at Allaboutjazz.com interviewed a prominent Australian musician, and when receiving a list of musicians the Australian thought were creating interesting things in the NY scene, replied:
"The other aspect to your comments about the New York jazz scene deal with race. It is interesting that you did not name any African-Americans who are doing compelling work amongst the cats you mentioned. Is this also reflective of the general lack of innovation in the music?"
I find both this and the previously described reaction quite bemusing. In both cases it seems an American has taken it upon themselves to point out (or at least imply) the shortcomings of an outsiders musical vision. Every serious student of jazz knows it is an American-created artform, and spends time becoming informed of the tradition. However at some point you stop becoming a jazz musician and you start becoming an artist. Artistry is not bound by the shoulds and should-nots of tradition, indeed it often thrives on the exact opposite to those things.
Personally I am not here to help a tradition survive, I am not an historian. I am here to realise my own vision, if my vision encapsulates things you are not comfortable with, well, the proof is in the pudding. If I want to explore improvising using tone-rows (a base description of what I'm interested in to say the least) then no-one has a right to try an adopt a quasi-conservative-moral-higher-ground and tell me I'm not obeying the rules.
I'm interested in alot of music, including the ones you are trying to push, it's just that I'll get there when I'm ready, not when you say I should.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pre-blog reading

I'm going to write you something on the weekend, I promise.
It's going to have something to do with this and also this. It could well be informed by other things to. Maybe this will rear it's head. Anyway, maybe you'll want to check these articles out when it comes time to read my thing.

Also., here are some interesting things:


and


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Apologies + listening

Firstly, apologies for my slackness in continuing to post on this blog: things have been pretty busy lately. Largely with me editing an interview I did with Elliott Dalgleish for the 3rd edition of Extempore.
In the meantime, here are some things I've been checking out lately (some from the questionnaires and some not).

Aki Takahashi & Kronos Quartet playing Feldman's Quartet for Piano and String Quartet
Pierre Laurent-Aimard playing Ligeti piano Etudes
Ligeti's Piano Concerto and Violin Concerto, from the "Clear of Cloudy" box-set, well worth checking out
Elliott Carter's Double Concerto for Piano and Harpsichord
Meshuggah: "Chaosphere" and "Nothing"
Musica Antiqua Köln & Reinhard Goebel playing J.S. Bach's "Musical Offering"
Thelonious Monk "Genius of Modern Music Vol. 1 & 2"
Little Feat "Dixie Chicken"


'til next time

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Contrapuntal jazz piano

I, like many people, am a huge J.S. Bach fan. I practice at least one of his pieces every time I sit down to practice the piano. I love contrapuntal music, from whatever era.
How many instruments can create a polyphonic texture all on their own? A couple.
How many can do it with more than 2 independent melodic layers?
It often puzzles me as to why more jazz pianists don't use their left hand in any other sort of way than in a "'comping" one. For all of the re-appreciation of pre be-bop era piano players that has been happening since the Marsalis movement, there are not many pianists who improvise and use the left hand for more than chordal accompaniment or the odd touch of a bass note or open fifth.
Pianists like Marcus Roberts, Eric Reed and Kenny Kirkland were obviously know/knew very well educated about 'stride', 'boogie-woogie' and other early piano styles. However unless they are playing some sort of direct reference to that music, i.e. playing a piece written in that era or directly derivative of that style, that don't seem to take on-board the idea of polyphony that is suggested, often explicitly, in that music.
Brad Mehldau is the obvious exception. Now there's a guy who can, and does, play equally well with both hands. Craig Taborn is someone else who comes to mind, but how many others are addressing this stagantion that seems to be happening in the history of jazz piano?!
I would argue Keith Jarrett only ever explores polyphony in a serious way (and boy does it get serious: Dark Intervals anyone?) in a solo context. His trios, even his early, wilder ones, are still very much derivative of that post-impressionist/Bill Evans lineage.
If you listen to Herbie Nichols (check out his solo on "The Third World"), Horace Silver (he's always playing those 3rds and 7ths like little counter-melodies), Ahmad Jamal, Andrew Hill or any other pianists who were intent of creating their own sound outside of that Bill Evans-Herbie Hancock-McCoy Tyner lineage you can here they have carried on Art Tatum/Bud Powell's conception of the LH as both an accompanying and melodic force.
What happenned?
Maybe one explanation is that, with the advent of formal jazz education, it became more necassary to teach a rigid 'system' piano voicings. The set of voicings developed and adapted by Evans, Hancock and Tyner are, in most ways, alot more categorizable, and therefore learnable/teachable, than the more abstract explorations than those other pianists I have mentioned. It is easy to learn voicings: 3/5/6/9 or 3/5/7/9 by rote and use them almost immediately in everyday jazz gigs, therby becoming a perfectly passable jazz pianist who sounds like a jazz pianist.
Tradition is also the main force behind this, but that is no excuse to never push to have the role of the left hand evolve, surely!
Personally I think it is up to the many pianists of my generation who are not mixed-up in the factional dealings of jazz in the late 80's-90's, but who also have a solid understanding of and interesting in early jazz, and other kinds of music that utilise the full potential of the piano. It is our job now to make it work.

Jazz piano rant: over.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Questionnaire.....pt. 8

Elliott Dalgleish:

1. Favourite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings

2. Favourite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost 9 CD Spirit Box Set (1962-70)

3. Favourite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Elliott Carter: String Quartets No.1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know

I don’t understand the question. I have no idea what other people know or for that matter don’t know.

However, I enjoy listening to Eric Dolphy: The Complete Prestige and Blue Note Recordings

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into

I don’t understand the question. I have no idea what other people think I might or might not be into.

However, I presently enjoy listening to Colon Nancarrow: The Complete Studies for Player Piano and George Crumb’s Madrigals Book I-IV

6. Give me 3 of your favourite Australian Jazz recordings

Had a good time playing with Misha Mengelberg at Wang. 06 as a duet
Liked Gary and Allan’s interplay on 6 x 3
Enjoyed John Rodgers and Anthony Burr’s playing on the track Horseshit

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Choose one?! There are many unrecognised and unsupported players that have been side- lined over the years by the arts community. It is not for me to categorize them.

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Try anyone who isn’t considered consumable.

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you...

For me it is not a matter of seeing someone play. I rehearse and play weekly with talented players in the local Brisbane community. That inspiration is direct and ongoing in my life.

10. Favourite book(s) on music?

Here are a few of many.....

• Acquisition of Absolute Pitch: Complete Treatise in Five Volumes by Julien Falk
• Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music by Frank Kofsky
• Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction by Ingrid Monson
• The Computer Music Tutorial by Curtis Roads
• The Bartok Companion by Malcolm Gilles
• Formalised Music by Iannis Xenakis
• The Works of John Coltrane (complete transcriptions) by Andrew White
• Genesis of Music by Harry Partch
• Brian Ferneyhough Collected Writings by J Boros & R Toop
• Silence by John Cage
• Notations by John Cage
• Elliott Carter Harmony Book by Elliott Carter, Edited by N Hopkins and J Link
• Twentieth-Century Harmony by Vincent Persichetti
• As Serious As Your Life by Valerie Wilmer

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Modern classical.......

With all of these questionnaires coming in, I am re-doubling my enthusiasm for checking out new music. Needless to say, the combination of Itunes and Wikipedia makes for an ever-growing music catalogue.
In the meantime, here are some links that I am finding to be pretty amazing, for a variety of reasons.

Here's a Boulez interview, with some excellent quotes....."History is much like the guillotine. If a composer is not moving in the right direction he will be killed, metaphorically speaking."

Here's the BBC interviewing Elliott Carter

This is probably my favourite clip on youtube
This, this and this is some more great Carter

This Berio anecdote is pretty hilarious. Check out that postscript about John Cage on a gameshow at the bottom!

Here's the first in a series of radio interviews: John Cage interviewing Morton Feldman.
I haven't checked them all out yet.....

last, but certainly not least, some music that is just plain incredible

Enjoy!


Questionnaire.....pt. 7

More drummers......interestingly, both of these guys run record labels that are putting out great music, so make sure you check out those links.

Simon Barker: here

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Crescent - John Coltrane

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Ritual Music from Korea's East Coast
Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Morton Feldman Piano and String Quartet - Aki Takahashi and Kronos Quartet

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know.

Egberto Gismonti - Danca Das Cabecas
Anything by Hermeto

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into.

James Taylor (anything)
An Evening With John Denver
Nick Drake (anything)

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

The Necks- Aether
Sean Wayland - fangin
Steve Hunter - Homebase

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Adam Ponting

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Craig Taborn (don't know if he's underrated but would love to hear more)

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you....

Mike Nock Qt - The Berlin Hotel (1991-2?)
Mark Simmonds Freeboppers - Strawberry Hills Hotel (Tinkler, Rex, Lambie)
The Necks (many times)
Jackie Orszaczky (many times)

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Confronting Silence - Toru Takemitsu


and Ronny Ferella: here

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Old and New Dreams / Old and new Dreams
Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Salif Kieta Soro

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Messiaen Quartet For the End Of Time
Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people
would know.

Henry Threadgill Very Very Circus- Too Much Sugar for a Dime
Fieldwork- The Door

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but
no one would've thought you'd be into.

The Grass is Blue- Dolly Parton

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

The Necks- Sex
Clarion Fracture Zone-Zones on Parade
Jackie Orzaczky Budget Orchestra-Deep Down and Out
Mark Simmonds- Fire

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Jonathan Zwartz

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Joe Zawinal

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays
with you....

Dewey Redman 1988 Club Foote Adelaide- Dewey Redman, Eddie Moore, Geri Allen, Lloyd Swanton
Ustad Nusrat Fatah Ali Kan (Pakastani vocalist)/ Salif Kieta (separate gigs) Womadelaide 1992? Can’t remember, reefer days.
Allan Browne, Ben Robertson, Stephen Grant—Monstalvat Festival

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Treat it Gentle-Sidney Bechet
To Be or Not To Bop- Dizzy Gillespie and Al Fraser
Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music- Christoph Cox, Daniel Warner
Forces in Motion-Anthony Braxton
John Cage Writing-John Cage
African Rhthm and African Sensibility-John Miller Chernoff
Arcana: Musicians on Music-John Zorn
Bill Evans How My Heart Sings-Pettinger
Footprints The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter -Michelle Mercer

Monday, June 8, 2009

Questionnaire.....pt. 6

Here's Sean Wayland

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Allan Holdsworth " flat tire"

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Exotic Voices and Rhythms of the South Seas
David Fanshawe
love the stuff from the "cook island"

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?
Brahm's 3rd symhpony

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people
would know.

Dred Scott : Christmas CD

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about
but no one would've thought you'd be into.

Xanadu Soundtrack

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

6 by 3 ( grabowsky )
Wizards of OZ
Ondas ( Mike Nock )

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Mark Fitzgibbon

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Tim Miller guitarist

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really
stays with you....

Midnight Oil live on many occasions
Jan Rutherford performing "Infant Eyes" at Wangaratta Piano competition solo piano

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Questionnaire.....pt. 5

and now, Jamie Oehlers and Paul (trumpet) Williamson

Jamie Oehlers: here 'tis

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Coltrane "Live at the Half Note", Wayne Shorter "Footprints Live"

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Kocani Orkestar "L'Orient Est Rouge"

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Jacqueline Du Pre "Elgar Cello Concerto", Messiaen "Visions de l'Amen

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people
would know.

Sonny Rollins "Live in Denmark", Keith Jarrett "Treasure
Island"

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but
no one would've thought you'd be into.

Eminem "The Marshal Mathers LP"

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

"Tinkler/Rex/Grabowsky/Edie" Julien Wilson "While you were sleeping"
Andrea Keller Quartet "Little Claps"

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Roger Garrood

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Dewey Redman, George Garzone

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays
with you....

Wayne Shorter at MIJF, George Garzone at Perth Jazz Society,
Roger Garrood at Fremantle Arts Centre (1990?)

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Chasin The Trane
Open Sky - Sonny Rollins Bio
Messian - The Technique of my Musical Language
Ornette Coleman - a Harmolodic Life
Miles Davis Autobiography
Beneath the Underdog - Mingus
Straight Life - Art Pepper
Lady Sings the Blues - Billie Holiday


Paul Williamson: here he is

1. Particularly interesting jazz album?

Writing and playing on Dave
Douglas - Witness, Andrea Keller - Little Claps, Wayne Shorter - Beyond the
Sound Barrier & Allegria,Paul Motion - Garden of Eden, , Tomasz Stanko - From the Green Hill,
Charles Lloyd - Sangam, etc...........

2. particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Arve Henriksen - Strjon, John Hassell - Mafira Street, Brian Eno - Music for Airports............

3. particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Morton Feldman - Only

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would
know

Christian Wallumrod - A year from Easter, Chris Speed - Swell Henry
Yeah No, Mary Lou Williams - Black Christ of the andes, SEXMOB - Din of Inequity

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no
one would've thought you'd be into.

Squarepusher, Charlie Shavers - Horn O'
Plenty

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

The Necks - drive by, Band of 5 Names - Severance, Scott Tinkler Trio - Shrike Like.

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Ben Gillespie

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Michael Buckley

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays
with you....

one of the regular gigs (from years ago) which really inspired my love of music - Mark Fitzgibbon's 'Go' which featured the frontline of Scott Tinkler and Ian Chaplain..............

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Notes and Tones (Arthur Taylor), Footprints:
The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter, Musicophilia (Oliver Sacks),
Improvisation (Derek Bailey), Milestones (Jack Chambers), Straight Life: The
Story of Art Pepper, ..............

Monday, June 1, 2009

Questionnaire.....pt. 4

I think this one of Adrian Sherriff's deserves a post all of it's own....

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz albums?

One Down, One Up:Live at the Half Note - John Coltrane, Interstellar Space - John Coltrane, Live Evil - Miles Davis, Miles Ahead - Miles Davis, Out to Lunch - Eric Dolphy, El Corazon - Don Cherry/Ed Blackwell, European Concert - Ornette Coleman, Creative Orchestra Music 1976 - Anthony Braxton, The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Volume 1 - Sun Ra, Inner Mounting Flame - Mahavishnu Orchestra, A Handful of Beauty - Shakti, The Sultan's Picnic - Rabih Abou Khalil, Back From the Gig - Booker Ervin, Extensions - Dave Holland, Solo Monk - Thelonious Monk

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recordings?

Any recording of Gamelan Selonding from Tenganan. Some selonding recordings are from the Ubud based groups (eg. Mickey Hart). Those sets of instruments don't capture the unique sound of this ensemble to my ears.

Tuva: Voices from the Centre of Asia. I first heard this album in 1992. It blew me away then and is still a favorite. In recent years Huun-Huur-Tu have been creating beautiful albums keeping the essence of this tradition alive.

Any recording by Forward Kwenda the mbira player from Zimbabwe, particularly the solo work. Some of Forward's solo work is reminds me of the energy, drive and multilayered dimensions of the later Coltrane recordings with Elvin.

Any recording by Lazaro Ros, akpwon extraordinaire. Particularly the albums with Olorun. Listening to Lazaro's voice floating over a bata toque is one of life's true pleasures.

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/pieces?

Metastases (Xenakis), Sirius (Stockhausen), Barstow (Partch), The Dreamer That Remains (Partch), Études sur les mouvements rotatoires (Wyschnegradsky), Sinfonia (Berio), Excerpt from Drift Study (La Monte Young), Symphony No. 40 (Mozart), Symphony No. 7 (Beethoven), Wozzeck (Alban Berg),

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know.

Eu E Eles - Hermeto Pascoal

Live at Montreux - Hermeto Pascoal

Chimarrão com Rapadura - Hermeto Pascoal and Aline Morena

To me Hermeto is such a phenomenal musician that you can only really tell how far beyond us he is on an album like Eu E Eles (entirely solo/overdubbed). Find a picture of the cover to see the instruments that he plays on this album. The duo album is an absolute joy. Check out the clips on their website.

http://www.hermetopascoalealinemorena.com.br/english/escute_dvd.asp

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into.

Paul Robeson: The Complete EMI Recordings

The Complete Pet Sounds Sessions

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

Artisans Workshop (Artisans Workshop) - For me this album is like Cecil Taylor's earlier recordings, only once you know the material well enough to clearly hear the boundaries between the composition and extemporization can you fully appreciate the significance of the work. It probably helps that I played these tunes occasionally and toured with these guys across the early nineties.

Introducting McJad (Hounslow/Gould) - I feel that if we put Keith Hounslow together with Bob Barnard, Australia produced two of the great jazz trumpet players of the last century. In the few encounters that I had with Keith, it was acutely tangible how deeply he was hearing what he played.

Ice Dreaming (Hustas/Keller) - I am not sure what it is about this album, but I must of played it a dozen times in the first few days after I purchased it. Beautifully played, strikingly original music.

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Bob Barnard/Graeme Lyall - neither unknown but both with gifts that heavily outweigh their level of broader renown.

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Albert Mangelsdorff - his American sidemen on recordings include: Elvin Jones, Jaco Pastorius, John Lewis, Lee Konitz, Don Cherry, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Ed Thigpen and many European great musicians. Developed a unique innovative voice on that trombone that dextrously stretches from hard hitting hard bop (earlier work) to the wooliest free playing (Glove Unity Orchestra) and a very personal approach to composition featuring large intervallic leaps. Released approx. 40 albums as a leader. Probably his biggest flaw is that he sounds like a white German trombone player (he is one) and he didn't choose to move to New York.

Eddie Bert would probably rank as a more underrated great musician but he only really made two well known albums (one with Monk and one with Mingus) and then predominantly worked in the studio scene (moral of the story, don't play the trombone to become famous).

John Gilmore also makes a strong candidate.

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you....

A North Indian classical recital that I saw at Melba Con in 1992. I don't know if it was actually a great gig or who performed, but it was the first time that I saw an Indian classical performance. I cried when they stopped and then floated out of the hall.

Cecil Taylor solo at the Brisbane Festival in 1993. I also played at his workshop a few days previously and then hung out with him and a group of friends until sunrise the day after the gig. Cecil lives and breathes absolute commitment to his music.

Pharoah Sanders at the Prince of Wales in 2005. It is not often that your heros turn out to be almost everything you imagined.

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Technique of My Musical Language, Olivier Messiaen
Findings: My Experience with the Soprano Saxophone, Steve Lacy
Sangeetha Akshara Hridaya, S. Rajagopala Iyer
Forces in Motion: The Music and Thoughts of Anthony Braxton, Graham Lock
Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, Anthony Cox and Daniel Warner
Recording the Beatles, Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew
Gamelan Gong Kebyar, Michael Tenzer
Enclosure 3, Harry Partch
Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody, Dave Liebman
The Computer Music Tutorial, Curtis Roads
Mastering Audio: The Art and Science, Bob Katz

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Babbitt

This is pretty interesting......

Questionnaire.....pt. 3

This time it's Allan Browne, Shannon Barnett and Scott Tinkler.

Allan Browne: check him out here

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

george lewis "climax session" blue note ..not the trombone player !

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

allegri "misere" king's college

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

golbergs g. gould

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know.

jelly roll morton "Billy Goat stomp"

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into.

are you experienced ? jimmy hendrix

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

allfrey st. stompers ..barnard bros, dyer and polities 1959
" the thousands " phil slater quartet
bernie mc gann "ugly beauty "

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

stephen grant

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

warren baby dodds /billy higgins

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you....

roland kirk sydney town hall and basement 1973 ?
duke ellington dallas brooks hall
simon barker and carl dewhurst wangaratta

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

dr. faustus thos. mann

Shannon Barnett: check her out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Duke Ellington – The Far East Suite or Black, Brown and Beige.

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Celia Cruz – anything!

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite in D Minor.

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people
would know.

Not many people would know the record? ‘Fahvergnugen’ Nils Wogram.
Not many people would know I liked it? Harry Connick Jnr ‘25’

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but
no one would've thought you'd be into.

Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a River and Rod Stewart – Maggie May

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

Vince Jones – Live
Julien Wilson Trio – While You Were Sleeping
Stephen Magnusson, Eugene Ball and Sergio Beresovsky – Healing Songs

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Stephen Grant

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Jim Black

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays
with you....

BBC @ MIJF 2009
The Necks @ The Corner Hotel 2005(?)
Kevin Hunt et al at Charles Sturt University - Bathurst 2000

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

‘Hendrix – Setting the Record Straight’ by John McDermott and Eddie Kramer…
and also comparing Mingus’ autobiography ‘Beneath the Underdog’ with the slightly more realist ‘A Critical Biography’ by Brian Priestley.


Scott Tinkler: check him out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Out to Lunch- Eric Dolphy
Out Front - Booker Little

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

What does World mean? Do you mean Earth recording?
Stuff by Karaikudi Mani and Sruthi Laya
Daorum, Simon Barker with the Korean fellas, amazing, can I call it "World"?

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Elliot Carter- Catenaires, in fact, most Carter.
Rose is a Rose- John Rodgers, Classical? Well it's notated, apart from the Imporov stuff, not Jazz, bloody incredible music, my favorite Aus recording full stop.

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know.

Chuck Mangione- Feels So Good,

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into.

Karnatic stuff, Korean Pansori stuff, Balkan-the drinking appeals, maybe some Tom Waits stuff, some Bjork, Meshugar,

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

Artisans Workshop
Showa 44 (either one)
Phil Slater quartet, the thousands
Walter Lampe- Trio Music. ( he is Aussie but the album may not be)
Is that 3?

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Mark Simmonds - as good as it gets, every Aussie should be taught about what he did, everyone else should hear what he did.
Ken Edie, one of the most distinctive musicians on his instrument in the world, he cuts down trees, the world is so retarded.

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Dewey Redman, might sound weird but his son is better known for christ sake????

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you....

Karaikudi Mani - Sruthi Laya Quartet - Adelaide late 90's, one of the best performances of any kind I've ever seen, fucking incredible on every level,
The Daorum group live in Brisbane and Sydney, Il Tong is by far my favorite singer.
Pateras/Baxter/Brown at Wang.
Ren Walters/Guthrie/Becker at Bennetts.

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

I like the book I wrote that Barney mentions, if I could read I'd like more too.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Questionnaire.....pt. 2

In this issue, Will Guthrie, Peter Knight and Geoff Hughes

Will Guthrie: check him out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

At the moment - 'Trickles' - Steve Lacy

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

At the moment - 'Aquatic' - The Necks

> 3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

At the moment - David Tudor - 'Music for Piano'

> 4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people
> would know.

Roscoe Michell - Solo Saxophone Concert

> 5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but
> no one would've thought you'd be into.

At the moment - Palace Brothers - 'Arise Therefore'


> 6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.
At the moment

The Necks - Piano, Bass Drums
Mark Simmonds Freeboppers 'FIRE'
Artisans Wokshop


> 7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Maybe under-documented is a better word than underated - Mark Simmonds

> 8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Roscoe Mitchell

> 9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays
> with you....

Ren Walter's TIP (mid 90's)
Bucketrider (mid 90's)
Jim Denley / Robbie Avenaim (late 90's I think)


> 10. Favorite book(s) on music?

At the moment - Forces in Motion: The Music and Thoughts of Anthony Braxton

Peter Knight:
check him out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

In A Silent Way Miles Davis

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Thimar John Surman, Anouar Brahem, Dave Holland

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Quartet for the End of Time Messiaen (Morton Feldman's Piano and String Quartet on a different day)

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know.

The Codona Trilogy Collin Walcott, Don Cherry, Nana Vasconcelos

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into.

Last Splash The Breeders

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

Other Planes Erik Griswold
Strobe Coma Virgo Phil Slater
Nine Conversations Paper Hat (Colin Hopkins, Frank Di Sario, Andrew Gander)


7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Stephen Grant

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Kenny Wheeler

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you....

Stephen Grant's New Orleans Five at the Fountain Inn Port Melbourne (around 1991)
The Necks Wangaratta Jazz Festival 2002 (I think)
Band of Five Names Bennetts Lane 2003


10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Musicking Christopher Small
The Rest Is Noise Alex Ross
Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music Christoph Cox, Daniel Warner (eds)


Geoff Hughes: check him out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

The Bridge -Sonny Rollins

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

D'Gary - Music from
Madagascar - so light and awesomely heavy at the same time..

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Turangalila
-Messaien - LA Phil on CBS

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people
would know.

Bill Evans Consecration 1 - heaps of people seem to hate this
period of Bill for various reasons -I just hear a man totally possessed by music
and finding grace even when he's very sick and only months away from death.

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about
but no one would've thought you'd be into.

Who knows what anyone thinks -(or
cares?) Exodus -Bob Marley and the Wailers

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

Too hard ::: Angels
and Rascals -Andrea Keller, You You -the Alcohotlicks, , Tinkler Live - Allan
Browne -Trios -for now anyway::: TOO HARD

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Nearly everyone

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Ben Monder

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really
stays with you....

Lost and Found at last years IMJF and BBC at this years
IMJF - Stephen Magnusson solo anywhere, anytime

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Harmonic Experience WA Mathieu
Harmonic Mechanisms for guitar Vol 2 - George Van Eps
The Listening Book - WA Methieu
Listening and Voice -Don Ihde
The Maestro Myth -Norman LeBrecht
Berlioz - Memoirs
The Act Of touch -Tobias Matthay - this guy is a nutter - buts its fun if
you can get past the post Victorian vernacular and the absurd level of
detail.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Questionnaire.....

In the spirit of a similar questionnaire over at Do The Math, I sent a bunch of questions out to some Australian jazz musicians. I'll be updating this post as more get sent back to me, but in the meantime, we have Paul Grabowsky, Tim Stevens and Barney McAll.
The idea with these is for people to get a bit of an insight into what these great musicians are into, and also to (hopefully) get some recommendations for new things to check out.

Paul Grabowsky: check him out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Miles Davis 'My Funny Valentine' Ornette Coleman 'In All Languages"

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Young Wagiluk Group (S.E. Arnhem Land), Karaikudi R Mani "Sruthi Laya"

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Beethoven String Quartet Amin op 132

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know.

Andrew Hill 'Smokestack' Sun Ra "Space is the Place"

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into.

Esquivel "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music"
Beatles "Abbey Road"

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

Aaron Choulai 'Korema'
The Necks 'Sex'
Mark Simmonds 'Fire'

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Ian Chaplin

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Warne Marsh

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you....

Steve Magnusson Trio Bennetts Lane 2007
Phil Treloar Feeling/Thought Sydney Conservatorium 1988
The Necks Corner Hotel 2008

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Schoenberg Style and Idea
Slonimsky Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns
Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Tim Stevens: check him out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

Miles Davis: Filles de Kilimanjaro

2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

The Necks: Mosquito

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Bartok: String quartet no. 3

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people
would know.

'Gone with the wind' featuring Art Tatum and Ben Webster
or 'One' by Andrea Keller (on 'Angels and rascals')

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about
but no one would've thought you'd be into.

The Go-Betweens: Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express

6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

Browne/Costello/Grabowsky: Six by three
Hustas/Keller: Icedreaming
John Sangster: The joker is wild

7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Graeme Lyall

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

John Taylor

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really
stays with you....

Paul Grabowsky, Gary Costello and Allan Browne at Mietta's, early-mid 1990
Tony Gould, Lach Easton and Steve Heather, Palace Hotel East Hawthorn,
c.1992
Kenny Kirkland, Adam Armstrong and Andrew Gander, Wangaratta 1996
Joshua Redman trio, Melbourne Recital Centre, April 2009

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

Scott DeVeaux: The birth of bebop
Igor Stravinsky: The poetics of music
Leo Treitler: Music and the historical imagination

Barney McAll: check him out

1. Favorite/particularly interesting jazz album?

The Survivors Suite - Keef Jarrett.
This is a complete picture where you have to listen to the whole.
Dewey Redman is completely masterful here as are all these icons.


2. Favorite/particularly interesting 'world' recording?

Djelika by Toumani Diabate

3. Favorite/particularly interesting classical recording/piece?

Morton Feldman Piano and String Quartet - Aki Takahashi and Kronos Quartet

4. Name a Jazz recording you're mad about but not many other people would know.

Victor Feldman "The Artful Dodger"

5. Name a (genre other than jazz or jazz) record you're mad about but no one would've thought you'd be into.

Eyeless in Gaza "Pale Hands i Loved So Well".
Had a huge Influence on me .


6. Give me 3 of your favorite Australian Jazz recordings.

John McAll "Black Money"
Chris Abrahams "Walk"
Andrea Keller "Angels and Rascals"


7. Most underrated Australian Jazz player?

Adam Ponting

8. Most underrated non-Australian Jazz player?

Masabumi Kikuchi

9. Name a gig (or two or three) you saw in Australia that really stays with you....

"Transwaste" at the Middle Park Hotel. This was Peter Jones, Jamie Fielding, Michael Sheridan (forget who played bass).
Industrial and very free music which, having caught the train in from Mooroolbark at 16 years old...changed my very DNA.

Paul Grabowsky at RMIT Glasshouse. Solo piano Concert. Especially remember a song he played for his Rabbit. Paul brought fire from another tribe.

Jamie Fielding at RMIT Glasshouse with Martin Jackson's band. It was like watching/hearing a magician or sorcerer. Jamie was on the precipice of discarding "Jazz" so
I got to witness a ghost music and a future music in teh same performance.
Meeting Jamie that day also stays with me and I was changed by that.

10. Favorite book(s) on music?

But Beautiful by Geoff Dyer
Ethics, Etiquette and our Jazz Society by Scott Tinkler
(Forward by Michel Tortoni)


Friday, May 1, 2009

Geri Allen/Paul Motion/Charlie Haden

Recently I discovered this trio's album, "Segments". Having already listened to "Etudes" and "In the Year of the Dragon", I'm already reasonable familiar with all of this trio's approach to music making, but, listening to this record, it struck me how this group often doesn't get to respect it deserves for an approach to playing 'songs' of various kinds in a creative way.
If you are a drummer, bass or piano player and don't own any of these records you have a massive hole in your library that needs filling (don't we all). If you play any other horn, then you should check this stuff out anyway.
The thing I really love about all of these guys playing is that they are all more concerned with line, rather than with clearly outlining harmony and form (or so it sounds to me). This gives the music amazing forward motion. Anybody who knows anything about these players knows they are masters of the aforementioned, but they never let it get in the way of great ensemble playing, in fact they are using their command of form and harmony to move past any dependence on it.
The more I think about that last point, the more I really think it sums up why I like this trio so much, and how I want t0 approach playing jazz repertoire (I mean that in the broadest sense). I was going to go into a whole lot of stuff about influences, particularly of Geri Allen's, and why I don't think that many people studying jazz have this down as essential listening, but it doesn't really seem that necessary now.....enjoy.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Daorum

It's not often that I listen to a record, and then immediately, without hesitation, without considering doing anything else, start the record again. It's also not often I get a record like this.


DAORUM, ladies and gentleman, is the new release on Simon Barker's Kimnara label. It is a documentation of the collaboration between Korean traditional musicians Bae Il Dong and Kim Dong Won, and Australian musicians Matt McMahon, Phil Slater, Carl Dewhurst and Simon himself.

Multi-cultural collaborations in music often end up sounding fragmented and conceited, and usually are pitched as more of a gimmick than anything else. Underneath they seldom carry any real emotion through to the audience; any chance of that being thwarted by the musicians efforts to hurriedly put something together without taking into consideration the depth that comes with the traditional music of other cultures. You can probably deduce who I think is to blame in most incidences.
DAORUM is nothing of the sort: this is some of the most hair-raising music I've heard. There are points on the second track, "Calling" (at 2.20 and 9.10 particularly) when my skin-crawls. The intensity of emotion on this whole record is amazing, and amazing genuine. I know for a fact Simon has been researching and practicing branches of traditional Korean drumming for years, and you can hear his respect for the traditional in his careful arrangement of the traditional elements amongst the more improvised contributions by the Sydney musicians.
At no point does this music sound like a collaboration: it is truly original music made by two groups of musicians from different backgrounds working towards a common goal.
I should also mention that the sound production on this record is immaculate.
Get this record at the Kimnara website, and look out for Emma Franz's documentary "Intangible Asset Number 82" mid 2009. A trailer is on the site.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

3 different...

I'm currently preparing three very different programs of music for two CD launches and a gig for the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
The first is a launch of my solo record: Polar, April 19th at Bennetts Lane.
The second is a trip to Sydney on April 3rd and then Cd Launch at Bennetts on April 12th,
and the third is playing with Tim Berne on April 29th.
All of these performances involved learning some difficult music, but all of very different kinds.
In all I have to play some intense notated music: varying from Jelly Roll-Morton, to Tim's original (and lengthy) originals, to some 'Contemporary Classical' music by Queensland composer John Rodgers (who is currently living it up in NY, lucky bastard).
What is striking me to most about all of these things is that, even though they are incredibly different in style, they all deal with the same things that I love in music.
They are all seriously rhythmic, and can't be played properly without addressing the intricacies of their respective rhythmic 'natures'.
They all set up a great world of sound that you can move around in. When a composition does this, the improviser can really have a good time running around inside (or outside) that world. It's usually easy for jazz players to only improvise in the sound of the composition they are playing. Often, this just leads to 'playing in style', or them playing what they thing should happen. Most of the time this result in cliche and boredom.
I know I've been the victim of the gravity of history before.
But, if the compostion is strong enough, and the player is strong enough, the player can come to terms with the sound of the tune, and play it in his/her own way.
Just listen to the Miles quintet play 'Stella by Starlight' on disc 8 of "Live at the Plugged Nickel"!
They really own that tune, the tune is right in the band sound.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A couple of records that changed some things

I thought I'd use this opportunity to briefly talk about two records that had a significant impact on me. In this case, they are both from Brisbane, Australia:


Artisans Workshop: Artisans Workshop
Elliott Dalgleish (saxophones)
Jonathan Dimond (bass guitar and trombone)
John Rodgers (violin)
Ken Edie (percussion)

When I first heard this record I really couldn't believe my ears: "People in Australia, nay, BRISBANE played this?!" Apart from being some of the tightest ensemble playing you've ever heard (the solos-on-the-form playing in 'Ridiculous' is mind-blowing), and including some incredible instrumental playing (check 'Viv's Bum Dance), this record really presented my with a totally new sound. Never mind the kind of fusion-y production (it was the early 90's after-all): this is some of the toughest, most-committed, most joyful music you'll ever hear, anywhere, period.
You should get a copy at Tall Poppies. Elliott tells me there are other (he says even better) reel-to-reels siting in storage somewhere. If/when they come out, I'll be the first one there.

John Rodgers: A Rose is A Rose
John Rodgers (violin)
Ken Edie (drums)
Anthony Burr (bass clarinet)
Stuart Cambell (piano)
John Reeves (voice)

John's debut release as a leader is some of the most beautifully ferocious music I've ever heard. When I heard this I knew I wanted to find out what is was, how it was put together, and how I could get those sounds. 'Improvisation' is still my blueprint for playing with John, 'St. Mary's is some of the most ridiculous violin playing in all of my collection of music, and the trio of 'Duet for Violin and Bass Clarinet', 'Solo for bass clarinet' and Solo for violin' is astounding (if you ever get to, ask John about how these pieces relate, technically: mind-blowing!). As with "A.W.", the attack of the sound on this record is one of the first things that got me: you really can hear how virtuosic each musician is just by his sound on his instrument (never mind the out of tune piano). Get one here
Your life may never be the same.

Till next time, enjoy!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Listen

As I've mentioned in one of my previous posts, I've been getting back "into" Jazz. Not that I was every supremely disenchanted with it, it's just I think I kind of painted myself into a corner. Let me explain:
As a student of creative music, I think we all spend a significant part of 'early' learning in building up some kind of aesthetic template. We then use this template to create, to define our musical identity and (often) to listen to music. It is a two-way cycle: all of these acts help us create, reinforce, morph and develop our template. So, as somebody who has always been concerned with having a strong 'musical-template', I think I had maybe gone too far in one direction. Don't think for a second I regret it though, this is 'extreme' behavior is actually quite consistent with my person as a whole, and I think was a necessary product of working hard on 'my own sound'.
So, there are things I know I like to have in my own music. They are my music aesthetic, my musical identity.
The trouble for me had become, though, that I ended up not really liking any music that didn't have at least (or maybe even all) of these things. Needless to say, it made me not want to listen to very much music, and even made me not enjoy certain playing situations which were actually quite good (see previous post).
But now, friends, now it's all changed. Lately I've actually found myself to be able to listen to alot of music, not of all of which check off my criteria for 'good' music, and just pick out things which I like. These things may not be influences in a direct sense, but definitely broaden and strengthen what I already have.
What I think this truly says (if I may be so bold) is that I am getting to a stage where I am comfortable enough in my own beliefs that now I'm not worried about being 'corrupted' by listening to music that isn't very close to my own ideal music. Either that or I've realised it doesn't matter anywhere near as much as I thought!
So anyway, while before all I was really listening to was Elliott Carter, mid 60's Coltrane, Herbie Nichols, Karakudi R Mani and Bach, no I've also been getting into (or back into) Horace Silver, Keith Jarrett, Lennie Tristano, 50's Miles, Weather Report, Brain Wilson, The Roots, Dave Holland, D'Angelo, and Paul Bley.
Some of these guys I re-discovered, while others I either discovered for the first time, or have been drawn into them much more recently, without worrying about becoming a 'clone'.
Long live stregnth in yourself and the thirst for more knowledge!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The difference in hearing....

I'm having an interesting experience at the moment picking takes out a trio session I did almost a year ago.
When I recorded this I was just about to head overseas to attend the Banff Jazz workshops and (to put it midly) was feeling pretty dis-enchanted with "jazz", and wasn't really able to fully enjoy playing with guys I love to make music with.
At the time, after the session was done, my thought process was something like: "well that wasn't a very good session, it was good to do, but that's one that'll just live on the hard-drive for the rest of time".
Now I'm listening to the sessions to put together a release for Ronny Ferella's new label: "Downstream"; I actually like the music(!)
So what this really confirms for me is that judging while playing is just not possible. Objectivity is damn unlikely at the best of times, let alone while 'in the moment' of music making. In this case, it seems my negative thinking (luckily) didn't result in totally unusable music (contrary to my impressions immediately following the session), and in some cases it may have actually (dare I say) added a certain 'fire' to my playing.
Here's the crux of my point though: if you're not judging your playing while creating, it allows you to move to that 'outside' place, where you are more of an observer of the music that someone in it. When you are stuck in the details: "oh that line was no good", "why can't I play in time?", "why is the drummer doing that?", you can't really put something together in the larger sense.
Douglas Hofstadter, in his books "I am a Strange Loop" and "Godel, Escher, Bach" (both great reads if you've got the balls to take them on), talks about how intelligent beings such as ourselves are designed to comprehend the world on the macro level. We don't worry about the micro-details. We don't need to; how complex compounds are interacting when they lubricate our car engine, we worry about having enough oil in the car. We don't think about the vitamins and proteins being carried through our blood-stream, we think about the concept of being fit and healthy. He goes on to say that when engineers/fitness specialists etc are developing new products/techniques, they are doing so with only moderate reference to the most micro level. They are mainly concerned with a slightly more macro view of things, although this view might be more micro-oriented than average person.
Further still, and this really is my point, Hofstadter says meaning is really created and perceived at the higher-up levels, where we see the interaction of large symbols, not at micro level where we 'can't see the forest for the trees'.
So......being stuck in moment-to-moment 'micro', judgmental thinking while playing is the exact opposite of how humans create and perceive meaning! Getting to that higher-plain of listening is where we should all be aiming if we want to maximise our, and the groups, creative potential.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A welcome note...

I think it's apt I begin this blog drinking a Coopers Pale and listening to Ren Walters' "What's Left", having just watched an episode of "Deadwood", and having listening to Scott Tinkler, Keith Jarrett, The Roots, Miles Davis, Billy Strayhorn, and Paul Bley, and also having read some Richard Dawkins, spent some time composing, and gone for a run, this afternoon.
No doubt this blog will house my raves on a variety of subjects, all with a purpose too un-developed at this point to make clear here.
I hope you enjoy the ride, and, if you're not suffering from tendonitis in the mouse-clicking hand, will take the time to subscribe to.