Sunday, May 26, 2013

next-level studies, inst. 1: duo update

[y'see, the order with which all this gets revealed and clarified even for me is of crucial importance in this sort of work, never mind the decisions and strategies concerning the order in which the information is then encoded and disseminated(ish) to you guys, the listening readership-at-large (*1);

- next comes another mini-burst of several linked posts, on a contextual-conceptual development-based theme:]

ONE of these days, i will i will, i will actually put up the much-delayed-and-further-delayed student studies 3 post (of course, it might ease the process if i wrote it first...). meanwhile, we are stuck back at the level of scholarship as notified here, two short-long years ago plus weeks-and-counting, so that the most important conclusion from the readings i had done throughout the published braxton materials at this time - namely the centrality of the duet, as opposed to the solo concert - never yet got published. two years, some weeks and counting. [it's not really such a big deal, is it... let's all remember, the reason we can justifiably use a term like avant-garde is cos the rest of the world still aint catchin up any time soon. i say let's all remember, i never got round to that post either (i.e. the state of the term avant-garde *2 and whether there is yet any utility in deploying it)]

so anyway, without further ado and all that, here it (belatedly) is:

1. when "they said" ("they" being the scottish critic in this case) that braxton's continuing creativity and longevity is fuelled by his frequent returns to the good old american songbook, they were way off target. ok, this bit isn't actually anything to do with the update is it. that's true, but:

2. when i said (passim up till that point, though mainly on and around the old radio 3 jazz messagebored) that what actually fuelled said continuing creativity and longevity was b's frequent solo recitals, i was wrong also. haha, actually - as i found out when i read some of the interview materials appended to the books of composition notes - those solo concerts were really just a pragmatic way of getting around the euro tour circuit on the (ultra-)cheap, i.e. travelling and playing alone, and knowing that if and when even a friendly promoter was weighing up whether to book a "free" act they would immediately be thinking in terms of the number of people onstage as separate hungry open mouths, the obvious conclusion was to sell himself as act which could always be booked solo. this, in turn, quickly became reputed as an act well worth seeing, so that no-one ever really had to worry too much about whether anyone would turn up for it and sit through it; and besides, it was hardly unique by that point anyway. (the aacm, they really knew what they were about. let's all be clear on that for a sec)

3. - no, what actually actually fuelled said continuing creativity and longevity was:




en bref, then: the reading material updated me about the fact that playing solo gigs frequently wasn't (ultimately) anything much to do with spiritual advancement or refreshment or anything else (albeit these were beneficial side-effects), it was driven primarily by economics, and backed up by considerable nerve and courage (albeit both born of grizzled and road-tested experience); it was only later (or was it? *3) that i concluded that actually the duets were where it is at in terms of the major long-distance deep-reserve fuel source. again, to sum up: exploring an open space with one other mind and voice is a unique opportunity which is entirely different from the trio, where all sorts of further dimensions are opened in terms of sub-relationships and extrapolations, either in different directions or with different weighting or balancing; and if the trio represents a different paradigm then how much more is that true of the quartet, and onwards and upwards... no, the duet encounter offers possibilities which can only come and go within larger ensembles. two minds together - where minds now encompasses hearts, guts, voices and every other damn thing - the upward spiral, the virtuous circle, that begins here. ground zero.

and that concludes inst. 1

stay tuned ;-)

c x

* see comments

1 comment:

centrifuge said...

1. where "listening" refers specifically (nay, exclusively) to that small-but-potent minority of lsiteners who have attuned their ears to hear ***real music*** (as opposed to mere repetition-based entertainment-deliveries); - and where "at large" is understood to include, at this point in time, a pretty small number of readers ;-)

2. ahhh, i even advertised on the blog (once-upon-a-not-so-very-long-ago) that this post was on its way, then never wrote it. the idea was to examine whether or not the term "avant garde" is even worth reclaiming from the "dustbin of utility" at this stage, bearing in mind the (putative) inherent undesirability of using a military metaphor in the service of creative art, and for that matter noting the absurdity of continuing that metaphor when the scout groups have long since become cut off from the main body of the army, no longer even in the same continent but far removed both in space and time - !

- and the conclusion would have been, give or take: yes, it can still be used precisely because no-one else *has* caught up; other outriders besides braxton have explored equivalent hinterlands and have been just as diligent in reporting back, but this explorer has remained committed to the **bleeding edge** for SUCH a long time, now..!

3. funnily enough, i really can't remember. this sort of thing is (part of) what slips through the cracks in the fingers of my memory ;-)