Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Archie and Odeya @ The Hammer, Thursday Night

Thursday night at the Hammer MuseumArchie Carey and Odeya Nini will perform works composed for themselves and for each other, solo and together, in three parts. This concert presents the voice and bassoon as individual instruments and as musical partners.

Solo Voice
A Solo Voice begins an exploration of extended vocal techniques and song that finds its own logic of communication via expressions of body, emotion and thought.

Voice and the Bassoon 
A series of compositions intertwining these two qualities of sound in dialogue. At times inseparable and at times vastly diverging, both instruments find harmony in texture, points of commonality, and aberrant ways.

Bassoon Solo
A sonic expedition offering new creative possibilities from the bassoon, as a character and as a tool for realized imagination.

Music begins at 6pm! Presented as part of wild up's residency at the Hammer Museum.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2'42" Beijing

Please enjoy this ninth installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: Vijay Iyer @ Royce Hall

On October 14, Angel City Jazz and UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance presented Vijay Iyer with special guest Steve Coleman at Royce Hall.

Iyer's regular trio with Stephan Crump and Marcus Gilmore began the show. It takes a certain level of playing to truly fill up a space the size of Royce Hall, and the trio was up to the task, expanding as the night went on. They were soon joined by Steve Coleman on alto, and later by cornetist Graham Haynes and tenor Mark Shim. In their different configurations, the group essentially played 3 sets without a break, lasting a total of 2.5 hours. Either despite or because of that, the concert sometimes felt a bit restrained, like a first set, with the really juicy stuff to come in the second.

The trio was tight in a way that only comes from being long-time musical comrades - other long standing trios come to mind like Jarrett, Peacock, and Dejohnette; or Medeski, Martin, and Wood. Iyer, Crump, and Gilmore's fluid yet deeply subdivided relationship to rhythm inevitably brought to mind the talas of Carnatic music, mixed with Thelonious Monk's intuitive sense of spacing. I was most excited about the playing of Marcus Gilmore, whom I hadn't heard live before. His playing fit somewhere between the time warp of Tony Williams and the bombastic solidity of Max Roach. At one point, Iyer even said, "this one features the drummer, but let's be honest: they all feature the drummer."

Once Steve Coleman came on, it became clear why Iyer lists him as such a powerful influence. His relationship to harmony and musical cycles is well aligned with the aesthetic of the trio. Coleman sounded solid playing through a set of wonderfully angular tunes. There is a certain openness in a piano trio that is closed with the inclusion of horns - meaning that a definite aesthetic choice has been made (which is not a bad thing). Coleman's tasty playing showed why that was a choice worth making.

After Coleman had a chance to play with the trio for a while, there was a brief pause as mic's and stands were brought onstage for Mark Shim and Graham Haynes, as well as a Rhodes for Iyer. The additional textures brought a world of extra depth to the ensemble's sound. I hoped more would happen on the Rhodes, but it was always tasteful, so no real complaints. Shim and Haynes played the roles of respectful sidemen, often allowing the trio and Coleman to take the forefront but stepping up strongly when the time came. Haynes' cornet was sometimes difficult to hear, but it always found the right notes when it popped out. Will this sextet ever record an album? If so, it will be pretty fantastic.

Iyer's bio lists a diverse range of influences, including composers such as Reich, Ligeti, Debussy, and Bartok. I didn't hear the Reich much, but definitely felt some Ligeti peek through - not the micropolyphony/clocks-and-clouds Ligeti, but the Piano Etudes Ligeti, with a syncretic interest in music of the whole world. Debussy's sense of harmony and musical fantasy was definitely present, as was Bartok's rhythmic invention. A few tunes reminded me of the rhythmic cycles in Arnold Dreyblatt's ensemble music.


This show wrapped up the Angel City Jazz Festival, which presented a whole slew of legendary improvisers over the course of 2 weeks, including Mark Dresser, Bill Frisell, Archie Shepp, Myra Melford, and more. Performances took place at LACMA, REDCAT, the Ford Amphitheatre, and Royce Hall.

In March, UCLA's newly restructured CAP (formerly UCLA Live) will present one of Iyer's other collaborators, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. 10 years ago I was lucky enough to hear their Raw Materials duo play in Seattle (opening for Tin Hat Trio), and I look forward to hearing him live again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10/19: Killsonic, Timur and the Dime Museum, and Tes Elations!


This Friday night, come hear Killsonic, Timur and the Dime Museum, and Tes Elations hit The Satellite in Silverlake! This is a show you SHOULDN'T MISS!

Doors are at 8pm, music starts at 9. Entrance is $8, but if you know any of the musicians, contact them to get on the $5 list.

Killsonic are the brutal sonic experimentalists you may have seen storming any number of venues around LA. You can hear their recent album, the Exit Boogie EP, on Bandcamp:




Timur and the Dime Museum are the "Punk-Operatic Spectacle," fronted by operatic tenor Timur Bekbosunov, that have been demolishing every possible musical boundaries. Their new album will be available in January! Here's a live video of a song titled Here With Me that will be featured on that album:



Tes Elations are an upcoming band featuring 2 cellos, guitar, drums, and vocals. I wrote about them back in March, and you can buy their debut album directly from their website.

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: Interlocking Textures

In August, the Los Angeles Electric 8 released Interlocking Textures, an album that "encompasses a century of American composers inspired by the subtle melodies and complex rhythms of Indonesian gamelan." 

There really couldn't be a more fitting title for the album. The broad-stroke description of their sound would place them somewhere between the canonic structures of Steve Reich and the embossed fractal cycles of Indonesian Gamelan. But their sound travels beyond that. The group's transnational aesthetic draws from Bali, Java, Japan, Russia, and more.

Randall C. Kohl's Suite Mundial finds the group explicitly exploring the aforementioned influences of Balinese and Javanese music.

Mantle Hood's Implosion, originally written for percussion quartet, also stays close to that Indonesian theme. Hood, who is best known as the grandfather of ethnomusicology,  fills the piece with Balinese-ish landscapes, but  populates it with distinctly American music.

That is followed by Toru Takemitsu's Romance. Originally written for piano, Romance benefits greatly from the guitar octet arrangement, creating a sort of timbral bridge between that quintessential Western instrument and the Japanese Koto.

The group then launches into the more distinctly American music with an excerpt from Reich's Electric CounterpointJonathan Guillen's Fog is pretty, somber melodic fantasy over subdued whole tone ostinati, while Kai Kurosawa's Warr Guitar Conterpoint is a well-crafted additive process piece featuring Kurosawa's own Warr Guitar.

Charles T. Griffe's Three Javanese Songs follows, capturing the beautiful austerity of Javanese music. The nature of the guitar's sonic decay really does a fine job emulating Javanese instruments without sounding contrived.

The classical guitar background of the many of the musicians in the group is betrayed by the last piece on Interlocking Texturesan arrangement of Shostakovich's Octet, Op. 11. A combination of Tomita and Stanley Jordan comes to mind, though only superficially, as the comparison doesn't do the arrangement justice.

Interlocking Textures is an exciting album of electric guitar arrangements you won't hear anywhere else. The Los Angeles Electric 8 are not quite as raucous as Glenn Branca, yet not as traditional as the LA Guitar Quartet. Their musical path points in entirely other directions, and it will be exciting to see where it leads.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Scott Walker album trailer!

Here's a new video preview for Scott Walker's forthcoming album, Bish Bosch!



I am excited for it. His last album, The Drift, was amazing. Here's Jesse, from that album:



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Register Online to Vote

Are you registered to vote? The deadline in California is October 22.

Here are a few places you can register online:



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2'42" Mexico City

Please enjoy this eighth installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":

Monday, October 8, 2012

Master Song

I recently saw The Master, which has a stellar Jonny Greenwood soundtrack. At some point I was tangentially reminded of this cover of Leonard Cohen's "Master Song" - easily my least favorite cut off of Songs of Leonard Cohen

This version is from Beck's Record Club, an innately hit-or-miss project in which he gathered a group of musicians in a studio to cover an entire album in a day. For Songs of Leonard Cohen, Beck was joined by MGMT, Devendra Banhardt, and a few others.

If you find nothing else of value in it, you must at least make it to the 2 minute mark in order to admire the best use of a Metallica sample EVER.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Angel City Jazz Festival

The Angel City Jazz Festival is this weekend! Angel City Arts and the Jazz Bakery present the fifth annual Angel City Jazz Festival October 5 -14, with concerts at LACMA, REDCAT, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, and UCLA’s Royce Hall in association with CAP UCLA. The theme for this year’s festival is “Artists & Legends,” a vehicle for forward-looking artists to pay tribute to the legendary mentors who played significant roles in their musical lives.

Here's the stellar lineup:

Friday 10/05

Saturday 10/06

Saturday 10/13

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

CD REVIEW: Microscopium Oo

Microscopium Oo recently independently released a debut album, titled LAX>KIX. Microscopium Oo is a project of L.A. violinist Timothy Maloof.

Maloof's other musical projects, like the Saffron Parade Arabesque Band (an ensemble focused on classical Arabic music), do little to suggest the electronic depth of Microscopium Oo. Similarly, on LAX>KIX Maloof rarely feels the need to display his wide knowledge of Arabic phrasing and tuning, doing so on only a few tracks.

Much of LAX>KIX owes aesthetic allegiance to Brian Eno's early ambient works, along with his more recent instrumental albums. As the title suggests (KIX being Osaka's Kinsai International Airport), these are 21st century tunes to contemplate the marvels of globalization to during a transpacific flight.  It's a sort of musical cousin to Fennesz - but less Austrian, more Arabic. Besides the delineated Arabic-influenced tunes, the sonic palette also draws freely from European ambience, Japanese electronics, and Indian timbres.

The results sound deeply international in a way that is fitting to emerge from California - where the West can't go any further without become East, and the East must do the same. This is not to say it fits into the often cringe-worthy genre of "East Meets West" projects. To the contrary, on LAX>KIX these sounds have been deeply internalized and are merely a natural part of the musical expression.

Tracks like La Mode or Oud of Sync sound like a collaboration between Eno and Eyvind Kang, while Turn It On and Prelude seems to have been cut from the same cloth as Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II. That might sound like a disparate combination, but there is strong cohesion in the underlying aesthetic approach.

LAX>KIX is available on iTunes, Bandcamp, or CDBaby. You can also find Microscopium Oo on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Listen to the album streaming on Bandcamp:



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Well-Tuned Piano online

If you don't think you need to hear La Monte Young's entire Well-Tuned Piano, then you are wrong. You are missing what is oft-described as the magnum opus of a profoundly influential living American composer/hobbit. 

Oh look, someone was gracious enough to put the entire 5+ hours of it online!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Monday, October 1, 2012

2'42" Tacoma

Please enjoy this seventh installment of 2'42"



2'42" is an online series by Daniel Corral that reflects on the evolving nature of duration and form in this globalized new millenium.

A claim has been made that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. This statement has been circling the internet, independently initiated by bloggers Joshua Allen and John Scalzi. It has been perpetuated by the likes of Boing BoingWiredNPR, and many more.

2'42" takes that statement to heart. Music written and/or recorded in cities around the world has been "corrected" to fit that "perfect pop song" length of 2:42. Each track is named after the city where its source material originated.

A single installment of 2'42" will be released online every week until further notice. As they are released, they will be available for free on sites like BandcampSoundcloudSonic SquirrelInternet ArchivesReverbnationYoutube, and Vimeo.


Previous installments of 2'42":