Thursday, October 11, 2007

october 07 braxtothon... explanatory preamble

so... here is where i find myself:

when c#9 got wound up i was left with (among other things) a lot of music to listen to (no shit...!), some of which i had scarcely heard at all and none of which had really been given its due - i daresay this is a familiar problem to most people who could be arsed to read this in the first place - but i also knew for sure by now that mr braxton was my new main man. with the help of jason's discog i put together a chronological list of all the recordings of mr b which were now within reach of my ears - albums, live concerts etc or individual tracks in a few cases; and of course a cd like news from the 70s needed to be listed piecemeal, each recording from a different venue and date (etc etc). the idea was that when i next had a week off work i was gonna try and listen to - well, realistically it was never going to be the whole lot, and with exactly 100 entries by the time i finished, i had to revise downwards and limit myself to recordings of mr b. playing his own music for a start.

so... here is where... etc

i have picked a shortlist and will (in practice) have to pick a shorter version of that: that is, i can regard the shortlist as the territory to be explored and the precise route through it (in chrono order) to be this particular exploration. but of course it's going to take me a lot longer than a week anyway... fuck it, let's just spend the rest of the month on it, as free time permits eh :)


1) one recording to be played at each sitting, in full, no breaks (if one disc - all my braxton is in digital formats, very conveniently... if more than one disc, breaks in between may be necessary)

2) while listening, may make brief notes (prompt-words, times) - otherwise no distractions - impossible but that's the aim. looking at personnel details etc is permissible, liner notes etc (where applicable) are out.

3) after each sitting, maximum of 30 mins to type up impressions (impossible - for me - but that's the aim, blah blah)

4) minimal editing of same (pref. none except typos)

grading: i am not foolish enough to think that i can assess the quality of the man's work objectively... there will be no marks out of ten, etc..! on the other hand i shall make recommendations in each case, as follows:

CCCC = essential, vital listening... get it, tell your friends etc...
CCC = non-essential, but likely to reward anyone with open ears
CC = not the sort of thing to start with, but not completely esoteric either
C = hardcore fans only

these are of course completely personal opinions in each case and as such are basically imperfect and ignorant, and subject to potential change :)

an asterisk * after a composition number indicates that at the time of recording the numbering system was not yet in effect, i.e. read it as "the composition now known as..."

that's it - see you in there :)


centrifuge said...

first instalment follows later today...

this is where i get to find out how many others are so into b's music that they will actually give up time and mental energy just to discuss it with a gushing fanboy like me... heh ;-)

King Kennytone said...

||¬¬ ___--

cent man!

what in hell have you embarked upon etcetera, ahem etc.

egad yes
not one for discussin' much myself
i will say only this:

King Kennytone had fedExed his minidisk to mr improv
who is even
swilling espreeso in Bologna

|` _-

centrifuge said...

that's good news

no, i know... well, we will all know soon enough whether this is actually readable or not ;-)

it is not the blog, just one thing simmering away in the background as the blog develops - both of us want to share some of our personal impressions though...

McClintic Sphere said...

Outstanding news, king kennytone.


Sam said...

What an excellent idea!! I am so going to love this. I was actually getting ready to start from the beginning and work my way chronologically though all my Braxton CDs, but I sure as hell wasn't planning on writing about them!!

centrifuge said...

heh heh... neither was i originally..! the idea at first was just to listen to them... then came the necessary whittling process... and then the blog was underway, and this is sort of what happened next...

the 30 minute rule is of course a bit of a joke - but i am still trying to stick to it in principle, and here's why: it forces me to do it right away, impressions still fresh, and with a minimum regard for distractions like writing style. (similarly i have made very few alterations before publishing.) if i allowed myself free rein, i would end up going on and on and on and on and... no-one would ever want to read it, in all probability, and in any case i would probably never feel that i'd actually "finished"! this may be the only way i can do it...

i am already wondering how the hell i will cope with the much later stuff - but i am hoping/trusting that by then my understanding of b's composing will be that much clearer, leaving me free to talk about compositions and not bogged down in playing details... otherwise it'll be impossible

it may be impossible anyway ;-) but we shall see

anyway... thanks sam, and i hope you DO enjoy it - i must admit that i wondered whether ANYONE would want to read it at all.... even if they didn't, i figured it might be useful for me - what i didn't realise was how therapeutic it would turn out to be (already!)