ensemble, et al. is a Brooklyn-based pseudo-classical percussion ensemble that combines elements of classicism and modernism while taking a garage approach to its material. The group's repertoire, containing mostly original works composed by Ron Tucker and collaborations between the ensemble's players, springs from an almost punk-rock desire to chart unknown territories from musicians who have tired of inhabiting all-too familiar states. Atypical for some percussion groups, ensemble, et al. prefers a simple, intimate, dynamic and delicately beautiful aesthetic.
Out West Arts had the good fortune to see a piano recital by Emanuele Arciuli. Of note, along with a rendeition of Ives' Second Piano Sonata, a related work by James Tenney:
What preceded this was a concise summary of some of the music world spinning out form Ives' work. First on the program was James Tenney’s Essay which directly references the written essays Ives wrote to accompany the original publication of the “Concord” sonata. Tenney takes off from Ives by borrowing and then rearranging certain notes from the sonata which are then plucked by the player from the inside of the piano in this case.
Soundgarden. Live on I-5. "There’s nothing too exceptional about Live on the I-5, but given that this is the first new release from the recent reincarnation of Soundgarden, it’s worth a listen." Karina Halle. Oakland isn't really on (the) I-5, by the way.
Charlie Haden Quartet West. Sophisticated Ladies. "Listening to it from the beginning to the end is like being trapped in a dream with a twisty plot that draws you deeper and deeper into a period Hollywood fantasy of the bad and the beautiful." Stephen Holden
I made it through 11 albums from last week, with Art Blakey and The Virtuoso Tuba being the most memorable. Now that Purdue has flamed out in the NCAA basketball tournament, I'll have more time for streaming and listening.
Last Saturday night I caught a trio of Philip Glass’s slightly more obscure music, performed by a well-rehearsed Pacific Symphony and Pacific Chorale (based in Orange County, California) as part of their annual American Composers Festival.
The opening piece, “Meetings Along the Edge” from Passages (1990), featured Glass’s collaboration with Ravi Shankar, in which both agreed to each compose a melody for each other and write a new composition around it. Usually I cringe at the results at these attempts at cultural exchange and creative collaboration, but in this rare instance I was very taken with the way Shankar’s Indian melody combined with Glass’s signature contrapuntal and harmonic elements. It created a fascinating juxtaposition, that gave me new insights on how Shankar’s Indian musical elements integrated into his very recognizable compositional language.
This is the work where Shankar arranges Glass' themes and vice versa. It's been awhile since I've heard it since I only have it on cassette tape but what I remember was attractive and interesting, if not necessarily coherent.
It reminds me of the thought-voices in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, of the constant stream of individual meanings heard by sad angels in overcoats, normalized out of sheer quantity, yet somehow retaining their individualism: because they are heard. This tone, this sonic landscape, is what the LA-based remake, City of Angels, sadly missed.
GF: Ok firstly, your name, where you live and what are you up to at the moment?
Eric: Eric Eberhardt / San Francisco / Digital Product Manager for a entertainment & publishing company
GF: There seems to be a lot of unknown/underground artists streaming on the site. How did you go about finding/sourcing music for the site and how many artists are now streaming through it?
Eric: I originally got inspired by the SomaFM ambient streams as mentioned in the above link but since I didn’t want to just “hijack” their stream & bandwidth I started looking for other alternatives. A friend suggested SoundCloud which I had used a little bit before but was amazed to find out just how much great ambient music was available on the site with a “remix-friendly” Creative Commons license. Initially all the music came from searching the SoundCloud “ambient” tag and then hand-selecting tracks that I thought would work well and since launch I’ve been contacted by many artists who have enjoyed the project and asked to be included. If the music seems like it will work I’ve been adding everyone who asks!
I have subscribed for awhile to firedispatch.com which sends me an email for any fire department dispatch event in San Mateo County. But it never occurred to me to augment civic awareness with aesthetics.
Uh oh, some problem was just reported "south of The Cats" on Highway 17. Awaiting further report...
This is generally sparse music...I'm not sure what the photos represent in the Wolff videos...For that matter, the giant robit and nude women giant robot and nude woman in the painting for the Wuorinen work is equally, uh, interesting...Just as I try to catalog what I listen to on rdio, I'm trying to do the same for relevant YouTube videos from Norwegian Thomas Bjørnseth's web site. Both have the potential to keep me perpetually occupied...