March 27, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-03-26

* Jerusalem: City of the Two Peaces (Hesperion XXI, et al./Savall) (Alia Vox 2SACD)
* McCoy Tyner: Nights of Ballads & Blues (Impulse! CD)
* McCoy Tyner: Inception (Impulse! CD)
* Gateway: Homecoming (ECM CD)
* Marc Johnson: The Sound of Summer Running (Verve CD)
* David Torn: Cloud About Mercury (ECM CD)
* Steven Halpern: Gifts of the Angels (Open Channel CD)
* V/A: The Perfumed Garden: 82 Rare Flowerings…1965-1973 (d.1) (Past Present 5CD)
* Hawkwind: Hall of the Mountain Grill (United Artists LP)
* Jane: Jane III (Brain LP)
* Marcos Valle: Vento Sul (Odeon/Light In The Attic LP)
* This Mortal Coil: It’ll End In Tears (4AD HDCD)
* This Mortal Coil: Filigree & Shadow (4AD HDCD)
* This Mortal Coil: Blood (4AD HDCD)
* Boris with Michio Kurihara: Rainbow (Drag City CD)
* Boris: Heavy Rocks 2 (Southern Lord 2LP)
* Boris: New Album (Sargent House CD)
* Locrian: Infinite Dissolution (Relapse LP)
* Matthew Bourne: Moogmemory (Leaf LP/CD)



I was honored to participate in another Indeterminacies event at Zeitgeist Gallery this week, moderating the discussion between the audience and four student composers from the Blair School of Music, each of whom wrote music in response to the artwork of gallery artists, Paul Collins and Ward Schumacher.

All of these young composers presented unique and invigoratingly thoughtful analogs to the paintings on display. Jasper Brey's "Century" for flute, horn, double-bass and percussion, developed an accomplished set of variations based, in part, on recurring colors and motifs in Schumacher's series. "Natural Development" by George Miller took a different approach, with computer music and dance creating an immersive visual and audial space evoking the anthropomorphic trees depicted in Paul Collins's brightly colored yet oddly unsettling pictures. Amy Victoria Thompson's "Concert Pie" was a tour de force musical response to a punning, text-based painting by Schumacher. A seamlessly unfolding catalog of cadences -- from gothic to modern -- represented the text (which reads: "The End is All Importan" -- get it?) while an astonishingly thoroughgoing development of a handful of melodic and rhythmic ideas gave the piece a cohesiveness and emotional heft that reflected the seriousness beneath the artist's joking surface. Finally, Andrew Clark's "Soft Bark" harnessed the inherent narrative qualities of a string quartet to describe the various characters lurking within Collins's deceptively sunny, sylvan scenes. To learn that Mr. Clark is but a freshman was something of a shock!

The handling of musical materials across a variety of approaches and instrumentation was truly impressive -- but their sensitive and committed engagement with the art really blew me away. I tried to get people talking about what was going on -- and each composer was fascinatingly articulate about what they were up to -- but getting the audience involved was hard. Even so, it was clear to me that the capacity crowd was a moved as I was by the music. And perhaps it got them thinking -- if not talking. Regardless, it was a great evening. Young people like this give me hope for the future.


Meanwhile, here at Heeltop Home Studio, the Moogertron 3700 is coming along. I picked up a couple more Moogerfoogers on Craigslist for a great price (and another one came in the mail). It's insane, I know -- but I love it. Soon it will be complete (ha!). Anyway, here's a taste of what I've been up to:

March 21, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-03-19

* Biber: The Rosary Sonatas (Manze/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd: Jazz Samba (Verve LP)
* Abdullah Ibrahim: Ekaya (Home) (EKAPA/Blackhawk LP)
* Henry Threadgill: The Complete Nous & Columbia Recordings (d.7-8) (Mosaic 8 CD)
* Stefano Torossi: Feelings (Carosello/Golden Pavilion LP)
* Stephan Micus: The Music of Stones (ECM CD)
* Stephan Micus: Darkness And Light (ECM CD)
* Steven Halpern: Chakra Suite (Open Channel CD)
* Bola Sete: Jungle Suite (Dancing Cat LP)
* D’Angelo: Brown Sugar (Virgin/Universal 2LP)
* Marcos Valle: Garra (Odeon/Light In The Attic LP)
* Grateful Dead: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 1981-05-15 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Santana: Caravanserai (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity SACD)
* Van Morrison: Wavelength (Warner Bros. LP)
* The Incredible String Band: Earthspan (Reprise LP)
* Gram Parsons: GP (Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity SACD)
* Deep Purple: Stormbringer (Warner Bros. LP)
* Daevid Allen: Good Morning! (Virgin LP)
* Triumvirat: Spartacus (Capitol LP)
* Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti- LP)
* Japan: Gentlemen Take Polaroids (Virgin LP)
* Boris: Amplifier Worship (Southern Lord CD)
* Boris & Merzbow: Gensho (Relapse 4LP)
* Yob: Clearing The Path To Ascend (Relapse 2LP)
* White Hills: No Game To Play (300mics LP)



I'm loving the Moog -- but still so much to learn!

March 13, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-03-12

* Borgia Dynasty: Church & Power in the Renaissance (Hesperion XXI/Savall) (Alia Vox 3SACD)
* John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse!/Universal Blu-Ray)
* Jimmy Giuffre 3: Thesis (Verve LP)
* Dorothy Ashby: Afro-Harping (Cadet/Verve CD)
* Chick Corea & Return To Forever: Where Have I Known You Before (Polydor LP)
* Everyman Band: Everyman Band (ECM LP)
* Fareed Haque Group: Cosmic Hug (Magnatude CD)
* Manu Katché: Playground (ECM CD)
* DJ Shadow: Midnight In A Perfect World (MoWax CDEP)
* FKA twigs: LP1 (Young Turks LP)
* Marcos Valle: Marcos Valle (Odeon/Light In The Attic LP)
* Grateful Dead: Uptown Theatre, Chicago, IL 1981-02-27 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Uptown Theatre, Chicago, IL 1981-02-28 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Van Morrison: Beautiful Vision (Warner Bros. LP)
* Tangerine Dream: Cyclone (Virgin LP)
* Tangerine Dream: Force Majeur (Virgin LP)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery (Manticore LP)
* Hawkwind: In Search of Space (Liberty/EMI LP)
* Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido (United Artists LP)
* Ghetto Brothers: Power Fuerza (Truth & Soul LP)
* Curved Air: Second Album (Warner Bros. LP)
* Kraftwerk: Autobahn (Vertigo LP)
* Heldon: Stand By (Cuneiform CD)
* Steven Halpern: Higher Ground (Open Channel Sound CD)
* Dik Darnell & Steven Halpern: Prophecies (Etherean Music CD)
* Radiohead: Kid A (Capitol CD)
* Radiohead: Amnesiac (Capitol CD)
* Kvelertak: Meir (Roadrunner LP)
* Mastodon: Leviathan (Relapse LP)
* Baroness: Purple (Abraxan Hymns LP)
* Sòlstafir: Óta (Season of Mist 2LP)
* Wild Nothing: Life of Pause (Captured Tracks LP)
* Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO LP)
* Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO 2LP)



More signs of spring -- including the return of Daylight Savings Time! Hooray!

March 6, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-03-05

* Mare Nostrum (Hesperion XXI/Savall) (Alia Vox 2SACD)
* Walter Carlos: Sonic Seasonings (Columbia 2LP)
* Dick Hyman: Moog: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman (Command LP)
* George Russell: The Essence of George Rusell (Sonet/Soul Note 2LP)
* Randy Weston: Tanjah (Polydor LP)
* Chick Corea: Return To Forever (ECM LP)
* Miroslav Vitous: Magical Shepherd (Warner Bros. LP)
* Weather Report: Night Passage (Columbia LP)
* Weather Report: Weather Report (Columbia LP)
* Weather Report: Procession (Columbia LP)
* Weather Report: Domino Theory (Columbia LP)
* Weather Report: Sportin’ Life (Columbia LP)
* Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson (Philips/Light In The Attic LP)
* Grateful Dead: Uptown Theatre, Chicago, IL 1979-12-05 (selections (SBD 3CDR)
* Tangerine Dream: Tangents 1973-1983 (d.3-5) (Virgin 5CD)
* Harmonia: Musik von Harmonia (Brain/Grönland LP)
* Harmonia: Deluxe (Brain/Grönland LP)
* Space Art: Trip In The Head Center (If LP)
* Peter Gabriel: Plays Live (Charisma 2LP)
* Eric Bikales: Tranquility (Moodtapes LP)
* Wally Badarou: Echoes (Island LP)
* Boards of Canada: Hi Scores (Skam EP)
* Boards of Canada: The Campfire Headphase (Warp 2LP)
* ISIS: Celestial (Ipecac CD)
* ISIS: Oceanic (Ipecac CD)
* Mastodon: Call of the Mastodon (Relapse LP)
* Mastodon: Remission (Relapse 2LP)
* Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band: The Rarity of Experience (No Quarter 2LP+7”)
* Wye Oak: The Knot (Merge LP)
* Wye Oak: Civilian (Merge LP)
* FKA twigs: FKA twigs (Young Turks EP)



I'm having too much fun over here.

Having recently added another couple of Moogerfoogers to my arsenal, the Moog semi-modular synthesizer is coming along nicely. The MF-103 12-Stage Phaser is unlike any other phase pedal in that it also offers a wide-range LFO and a full compliment of control voltage ins and outs which, in conjunction with the CP-251 Control Processor, can be used to modulate various parameters of the Sub 37 and/or the other Moogerfoogers. Suddenly, my sonic options have become virtually limitless -- and I've only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible.

And, of course, I dream of owning the entire Moogerfooger lineup (and perhaps another CP-251 to control them all) -- but that's going to take a while. Moreover, I will need to make some space in my tiny studio to accommodate such a beast! In the meantime, however, I have plenty of toys to play with.

Too much fun!