Wednesday, August 5, 2015

... and taking the airs


- - -


(just to prove to myself how seriously i am taking this newfound deep relaxation stuff, i left this post open, just the picture up there to inspire - for ooh, at least forty-eight hours in the end (while i worked in the other place, among other things)... taking the airs i say - je vous le raconte - and this in turn folds back into, reflects back upon the circumstances under which said post was conceived.

to wit: -

after saying previously (and not for the first time) that some braxton experiencing was imminent, though not quite quite yet underway, i did follow this up for a (recent, punk- or post-punk-obsessed) change. and - you know what, after all this time, it turns out it really really doesn't matter what i actually listened to or how i ("randomly" selected it (i.e. let my physical-presence-in-the-world make the choice instead of my "self-aware onboard processor")). for that matter, i wasn't 100% listening to it either, because i was doing other things some of which required a great deal of (already-layered) thought and attention. but that's actually fine too, as it turns out, because - hey! haha, get this, in case you didn't know already - and as i have reminded myself on numerous occasions before - b's music, above all, else, instantly betows upon the space within which it is played the status of deep and open learning zone. it's... magic/k ;-)  so, just walking around in it - especially whilst indulged in something as carefully-assembled as the thousand-filament twist i'm in the middle of working around the place - greatly benefits the advanced concentration, as well as supplying continuous, on-hand spiritual nourishment and support. [none of this is bullshit either (as i hope you realise, whoever you are).] it also also provides, like, light-hearted entertainment along the way in the form of, say, two or three musicians sharing a quick joke by introducing such a theme to a gtm exploration at such a time. (i did listen to gtm quite a bit on more than occasion, i can say that much - nothing stochastic about that at any rate.)

- and i realised - at long last/yet again - that this, above all, is one surface so complex and multilayered that not even i am expected or required to cut it (dissect it): the universe alone could do that, because everything is in there. 


(transmission ends - to be continued)

 - silence resumes -

- -



c x

Sunday, July 5, 2015

setting up a few chairs...

- and this too shall pass, and the natural rhythm of things will bring me back to braxton's music again. lo, and -

well, we are still not quite there yet. but yesterday, finding myself alone-and-in-the-mood, i switched at long last from punk rock to jazz, and beyond; and this doesn't always work, if i's forced, but on this occasion it wasn't, and lots of good stuff just came flooding on back.

i played:

1. miles davis (quintet), in person friday night at the blackhawk (disc one, of four) - w/ mobley, wynton kelly, chambers and cobb: cooking!

2. evan parker, 50th birthday concert - but plunged right in at the deep end now: played 24 minutes of schlippenbach trio (parker, lovens) and twenty of parker/guy/lytton, my head and ears now well and truly opened up..!

3. henry threadgill's zooid, up popped the two lips in its entirety - incredible stuff; it is an absolute dead cert that the more one knows about (different attitudes and approaches to) music, the more experienced one's ears are... the better this stuff'll sound, guaranteed...

4. greg osby, banned in new york, tracks one and two... the girls were home by this point. i was quite impressed that not only did my (six-going-on-seven(teen)) daughter not demand to turn it off, she came in and showed me her she can do the "uptown funk" dance, all the way through - following the tune in her head, while standing right in front of the free-ish jazz which was permeating the room and operating at a very different rhythmic wavelength altogether - ! i'm not at all sure the six-year-old me coulda done that, or anything like it ;-)  as for the music, i am just gonna say this: jason moran... 'nuff said! just starting out he was, but he was on it -  oh and the leader was no slouch, neither...  (*)

- see, i would say that's a pretty fair warm-up for some braxton... stay tuned - !

c x

* these were all from my cd collection, not from rips or cd-rs or whatever... not sure why that's significant, but... anyway, that limits me mostly to music which i purchased in the years 2001-2005 and which survived the culls which accompanied imminent parenthood, then moving house... just the jazz (...) stuff (and not including any braxton whatsoever), that makes around 300 cds to choose from, all of it good... but it's a very scattershot selection in many respects and has barely been added to over the last few years, not much really. (how many braxton albums do i have? who cares?! lots! but even i do not need an answer to that question...) i just have this random greg osby album and none of his other stuff, but i do also have the osby-lovano team-up date friendly fire (featuring moran again, and lovano's bassist and drummer at the time, cameron brown and idris muhammad) - which i have not listened to in donkey's, but as it happens i can hear lovano in my head anytime i choose, and listening to osby yesterday, i could totally see how these two found each other: their sounds have several different overlapping qualities such as (seeming) dryness, intelligence, deceptive warmth and wit, etc ... i remember the album comes out with the usual blather about how the two leaders requested each other, but in this case, one can well believe it...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

birthday card

anthony braxton is seventy years old today. happy birthday maestro!

so... 70th birthdays... a big deal, or not? many would say yes, but there are others who would simply prefer not to make a fuss about such things. i suspect our man falls into the latter category, but i don't actually know for sure; he has gone very quiet lately.

- and of course he is not the only one. this is all pretty weird, but my drifting (definitively - for now!) away from this blog has coincided with the maestro's post-academic "self-imposed exile" - as he is apparently calling it. he is busily composing the rest of his opera cycle... and me? no, i just drifted off it seems. - but then, i thought i was starting something else, didn't i? and just never (yet) got going (yet) on that one at all (yet). don't know what to say, really... for most of this year i have been off the ganja, and that in turn (as it usually does) has left me short of inspiration... i just have not felt like writing at all. [more recently, i did in fact begin still another blog, but as this is on a totally different subject - the novels which donald westlake wrote under the pseudonym richard stark - it's not necessarily likely to appeal to any readers here - assuming there are any.]

anyway... this is not the occasion for bemoaning my own lack of activity. many happy returns of the day to a master composer, instrumentalist and educator, and may he enjoy his retirement!


a glance at the blog's stats suggests that a few people lately have been looking at the town hall: trio and quintet entries from the original braxtothon, or more specifically at the one for the quintet. what readers may or may not have realised is that i did eventually get back to that piece with a deeper level of understanding: check it out if you're interested. (damn. was that really back in 2011?? how these last few years have flown, with so little to show for them...)

... that is all for now.

c x

Saturday, January 31, 2015

why i am (among other things) a born-again punk rocker...

... at the age of 44 ;-)

erm, so this is what you (assuming anyone reads this during my lifetime and i haven't totally succeeded in genociding my readership, heh)  get instead of a manifesto this year. i have done enough of those for the time being, i think. for those who don't know what the hell i'm talking about, this is the quick way to get to them in order. now, with that out the way - what the fuck is the point in starting an eighth instalment, as it were, whwen i currently feel i have little or nothing to say round here? i have even listened to some braxton - a bit - and a very few other jazz or improvised/ experimental-creative things, and have been reassured to discover that i really haven't "lost my ear" at all. i just - well, there is a reason, are reasons why i keep being dragged back to this hardcore punk business. it reminds me, at a very important time in my life by the looks of things, of the basic lessons of punk rock, wheresoever it springs up in response to perceived oppression:

- don't let anyone else tell you how to think
- don't let anyone else tell you what to do
- don't let anyone else till you who to be

these are so important, so crucial indeed, that i made sure i laboriously typed them out (ok, it wasn't exactly hard labour - but i am shit typist most of the time so it's ofetn a chore) rather than copy and paste, i made sure i carefully typed them out like spiritual exercises. the first one - well, i have been practising that for years and decades already, since childhood for sure, it is long ingrained already. but the other two, really? i think i rather needed my nose rubbed in them just a bit. hence, just lately most of my life lessons have been coming to me, not via mr braxton's (manifold) horn(s), but from the warped mind of jerry a., mastermind (i use the term advisedly) behind poison idea. - jerry has almost no discernible "vocal talent" to speak of (except of course an innate understanding of how to deploy phrasing, absolutely essential for a punk singer of any stripe) - yet his voice bespeaks both power, vulnerability and a true and valid viewpoint, and he writes remarkably tight songs for a guy with "no musical ability"; and like all such vehicles of great bandleader-composers, PI always sounds like PI right off the bat, whoever is backing the big man behind the mic at the time. (tom "pig champion" roberts, synonymous with the band's notorious image for years and years, died in 2006 age 47.)

anyway... fuck it, right, let's keep this relatively brief for once and just remind myself what i am and am not saying here. i am not closing the blog, since there wil come a time (could even be soon) when i shall have plenty more to say on the music of our maestro. this is a definite i think. meantime -

 - i am seriously considering attempting to launch a new site, using for a name an epithet by which i briefly described myself in these very pages, some while back. (unnecessarily cryptic, say you. you'd probably be right.) i said then that i was a guerrilla musicologist (among other things) and i still very much have that hat on, even if i haven't been communicating it to anyone. maybe that is time to change though. let's see if i actually fucken do it ;-)

any actual braxton-related stuff at all, whatever it may be... will still appear here as and when...

meantime, since i seem to be saying that a lot at the moment, for anyone who gives a flying fuck, here is my current state-of the medium address, or my "top five of punk and hardcore" (in strictly alphabetical order):

bad brains
black flag
poison idea
sex pistols

- the last one in paerticular is doubtless highly controversial to some - and far too "obvious" to others, all of which i care less about than even the usual breed of punk rocker, since of course i have an autistic-spectrum disorder to be factored into the mix as well ;-)  suffice it to say that i can defend it easily enough as and when , but this is not then or thereabouts. - more soon i hope.

happy february everybody :-D

cent x