Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 46
Issue # 46 REVIEWS:
Michael Bisio/Eyvind Kang – DUOS: Kang’s violin penetrates to the deepest darkest parts of your being, thoroughly enhanced & joined by Bisio’s bass on this CD of heavy improvisation. This is a different style of improv than I’m used to listening to, as string stuph usually seems to focus in on high-end ear breakers… NOT here… this is the kind of music your ears can munch on for hours! Jon Morgan (of Meniscus label) sent this to us in a HUGE package of other CD’s, & I’ll tell you, he’s got something exciting goin’ on here! There are also sections where the violin picking reminds me of LaDonna Smith’s frenetic style at the height of a piece, particularly on “After The Break”, my favorite track on this CD. Strong jazz compositional skills are clearly shown on “The Biszer”, a piece that will really MOVE you! If you are NOT a fan of music that pushes the limits, you may not agree with me when I declare this to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (of course, then, you probably wouldn’t be reading this ‘zine anyway, eh?). Contact via the label page at http://www.drimala.com/meniscus/gallery.htm or email to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Scott Hartley – ANCESTRAL CROSSING: Though Scott’s compositions feature his (excellent) keyboard style, there are many complimentary instruments – violin, flutes, strings – that make this sound more like an orchestra than you’d have ever imagined. The CD is an odd mix of styles… some would classify it as “new age”, others would peg it as sort of “semi-classical”. What I found most interesting was the (rather heavy) Celtic influence (almost like an undercurrent), something difficult to achieve with instrumentation that focused primarily on keyboard compositions. The elements of percussion that are woven in & through each of the pieces provide another strange contrast, often sounding like African jungles in the midst of a community orchestra. Anyway you listen, though, this is an extremely pleasurable sonic experience… gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, especially for those who love piano as a feature instrument. Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918… also via e-mail to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Frank O Pollizi Band – THE BASEMENT TAPES (Volume I): Chris Centuori, an old friend of Bret Hart’s, reestablished contact with me a couple of months ago. He’s been BIZ-ee in hiz’ (?de?)basement, volkz! D.I.Y. & proud, but more importantly, a jaded sense of musical humor that shoots him to thee TOP o’ th’ heap for this twisted set of aural appendages! Bass mix was a little much, but his guitars & grand interweave of various & sundry vox make up for it in a grand fashion! With titles like “Domestic Ammonia”, “Furnace Full of Marshmallows” & “Halfstep in the March of Progress”, it won’t take you long to figure out (in conjunction with actually LISTENING to the music, of course) that this music is for F-U-N!!! The obvious comparisons to Zappa & Beefheart can be made, but Chris’ goes further & further OUT. You might have guessed awready… I jus’ LOVE this CD. If we played it for ALL the pre-schoolers (each & every day), there WOULD be a true “third party” after 20 years, & all the political fat katz would check themselves (quickly) in to mental wards across the country (glorious, GLORIOUS day). Even if you have never heard this kind of cacophony before, it is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… in fact, it gets the PICK of this issue for “best musical insanity”! Contact at 3649 W. Pony Trail, Tucson, AZ 85742, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Jezzro & Huff – WORLDBEAT BRAZIL: We reviewed (in issue # 40) these folks on an album called “Brazilian Nights”. This outing features Jezzro’s enchanting acoustic guitars, but steps up the pace on the percussion side of things. An even dozen tracks that will send those in search of high energy (in a worldbeat framework) to absolute nirvana. “El Dorado”, cut 5, made me feel like I was IN the jungle… one of those “choog-a-long” trax, it was my favorite cut on the CD. “Mystical Garden” (cut 7) came in a close second… undercurrent rhythms with just a hint of guitar to enchant your ears. Solid compositions, high energy (even on the ballad pieces) & clear communication of the love of playing give this our HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating. Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918… also via e-mail to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Dave Fuglewicz – LIQUID AUDION: Those who’ve trekked through the trails of the underground (with me) over the last 15 years will recognize Dave’s (ever so slightly surreal) synth-architectures immediately on this great CD. He calls this round “Georgia Space Attack”, & I couldn’t have put it more aptly myself. Deep (& at times disturbing) synthweave that has far more going on sonically than you may realize at first sitting. If this were the beginning of the ’60’s, cannabis heads everywhere would be FLOCKING to listen! This is music that can’t be categorized in any traditional fashion… I view Fuglewicz as a sonic sculptor, carving his masterpieces out of invisible waves in the air! If you are a dedicated collector of sonic art, you will agree when I declare this as MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If you only dabble, or are afraid of anything that departs from the Methodist hymnal, you’re been forewarned. Contact at 360 Sheringham Ct., Roswell, GA 30076, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
W.O.O. Revelator – THE THEORY OF REVERSED EFFORT: Ain’t no THEORY involved here, folks, unless it’s some subliminal leftovers from piano lessons by Dok-tor Doom! I have been an avid listner/reviewer of W.O.O. music ever since my improvising partner Ernesto Diaz-Infante turned me on to them a couple of years back. Most of the CD’s I’ve heard have been captures of live performances… this is (I believe) the first studio session I’ve (ever) heard them do. As one might expect – it’s a KILLAH! I mean, this stuff reaches out & touches you in places even YOU didn’t know were indecent! For the listener who has been all along the pathways of “jade”, always searching for more & further reaching improvised music, this is the next EDGE! Bonnie Kane’s sax just WAILS (& it’s a ROCK-SOLID wail, not something grasshoppers would aspire to… not tweet/whistle stuff, this has BODY). Ray Sage does drums/percz that will astound & have you bangin’ thee KRAP outta’ everything you can slap! & Chris Forsyth’s guitar improvisations ARE the 8th wonder of the (aural) world. Your ears have to have grown a lot to understand where these folks are going (because where they’ve been IS where they’re going – at a pace most musicians can only DREAM of), but if yer’ there, you’ll have no trouble understanding why I rate this CD as MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at W.O.O.DIRECT, attn. Zee Yimou, Race Age, POB 249, Knickerbocker Sta., NYC NY 10002-0249, via email to email@example.com or on their site at www.wooweb.com Rotcod Zzaj
Bob Jordan – 4 CORNERS: Bob & I first hooked up on a tape (with Bret Hart) we called “The Oxymorons”. He’s an extremely talented artist, sonically as well as lyrically, & shows that (most) clearly on this CD outing. Clearly a D.I.Y. effort, the packet came wrapped in tinfoil, with a paste-in photo to serve as a jacket for a jacket. Strains of country poke through his stylings, particularly with his sweet slide techniques. One of the cuts, “Equipment”, complains about (what else) the plight many D.I.Y. artists find themselves in… one I can relate to for sure… not having all the fancy tools can pose problems for getting a good recording down – but he certainly proves himself up to the challenge. What is so cool about his playing is that he weaves some beautiful jazz licks in without making it feel like he’s “trying to”! He’s a poet/lyricist of high stature (in my ears, anyway), with lines like “It is easy to be beautiful/it is difficult to appear so”. Track 9 RAWKS you (back) into reality, Bob just TEARS THE ROOF OFF! You’ll seldom hear more original work than on this CD, such a fine blend of styles & sonic auras that it gets an automatic MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer (especially for those who love well-crafted lyrical/sonic adventures in a folk vein with a twist of rock). Contact at POB 261, Grafton, MA 01519 (didn’t see any email or WWW site, unfortunately). Rotcod Zzaj
Scott Rosenberg – IE (for large ensembles): Still trying to figure out what the title means… “Inner Explorations”? InExplicable? It is clearly a beautiful sonic experience, but you MUST be prepared to listen from start to finish – this is NOT a collection of 3-minute wonders! In fact, there are only 4 tracks on the CD, so that should give you some indication. V-E-R-Y slow builds from the intros, no rushes to judgement here. Rosenberg’s compz’ come very close to “space music”, very minimal sonically, but (at the same time) deep in the silences. Listening to this without the headphones on will rob you, somehow. Be prepared for some (albeit slow) twists & turns. Recording is excellent. Those who like their music slow, forceful and with purpose will join me in declaring it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… others, who prefer less minimalism will move to the next CD bin, I suppose. Contact at Barely Auditable Redords, 2649 W. Walton, 3, Chicago, IL 60622, on their site at www.barelyauditable.com or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
- Richard Lewis – RELATIONSHIP SUITE: A highly orchestral adventure that features Lewis’ inspirational compositional style. You’ll hear each & every note shining through, not a slacker among ’em. Style-wise, there are moments when it edges a bit too close to thee dreaded “smooth jazz” for these jaded aural appendages… but then it takes a rapid turn in the direction of your local symphony & fools you all. This is pure joy to listen to, not (in the least) disposable. I don’t think you’ll hear it on the rap stations, or heavy metal.. in fact, I don’t know where exactly you would scope it out (except in performance), but it’s more than (just) worth your while… for those who love hearing the sounds of beauty captured for their ears, it is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Some truly stunning moments. Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is email@example.com ) Rotcod Zzaj
Lakota Thunder – VETERAN SONGS: In from one of our favorite labels, Makoche Records, this CD features strong percussive treats for those enchanted with Native American rhythms. You must have a certain level of familiarity/enchantment with this type of music to truly enjoy it… it’s important (I believe) to remember that the main drum serves as a “centering point” & that the vocals are actually a part of the percussion. Forgetting this might lead a listener to wonder “where the music is”. The music is clearly IN the percussion – but you MUST listen for it. There is an energy, even a (resonating) FORCE there that will wake your spirit & (if you hear it) put it in HIGH GEAR! This album captures raw spirit, strong and natural & (in this reviewer’s ears) rates a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at 208 N. 4th Street, POB 2756, Bismarck, ND 58502-2756, on the website at http://www.makoche.com or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Brasil & Company – BRASIL & COMPANY: I believe (from looking at the package) that Paul Meyers (guitarist/composer) sent this CD of wonderful & enchanting music in himself. Brasil & Company is a quartet that features smooth/sweet vocals by lead singer Vera Mara (who Meyers has worked together with for the last 7 years or so…). I was (actually) reminded (in some fashion) of the first time I listened to Getz with Astrud Gilberto – yeah, this is that GOOD! Vera’s voice is crystal clear & liquid throughout, & her scat on the opening track is astounding! Myers guitar is heavily influenced by latin rhythms, more emphasis on jazz than flamenco, though. You’ll find yourself relaxing & enjoying the beauty of the day (even if it’s raining/sleeting outside). Just that kind of musical experience. I can’t recommend this highly enough, whether you’ve been “exposed” to Brazilian music or not… MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! It also gets my “PICK” of this issue for “best Latino in Y2K”. Contact via the site, at www.jazzcorner.com/meyers or via email to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Ken Davis – CELEBRATION OF LIFE: You’ll hear from the opening bar why this was titled this way. An even dozen tracks that can (& probably will) inspire you & pull you up out of the doldrums of everyday life. There is no question but what Mr. Davis’ compositions can perform that miracle for you… but there is some doubt in my mind that they will propel themselves beyond the status of “background” music. I hope I’m wrong, of course… there IS a sense of beauty & bewilderment in Ken’s music… but there are also sections where the music seems to rely (almost entirely) on phrases too near to cliche. The energy is THERE (especially on the saxophone interweaves), but it doesn’t really move in free spirit… almost like it’s trapped somehow. This surely isn’t music that should be ignored, as it has much to offer your ears & heart – for that reason, I give it a RECOMMENDED – but you’ll have to be the judge on just how unique it is. Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org ) Rotcod Zzaj
Ferrella & Schaeffer – MUSICAL CATECHISM: Thinking of it (as Thomas explains in his promo packet) as an intense Q&A session is one way to capture the spirit of this raw ambient improvisational experience. There are moments when it (the music) comes dreadfully close to drone, unless you’re listening with ‘phones & a high level of intensity. For that reason, some listeners might tend to chalk it up to “pure” ambience, with no underpinnings.. man, how WRONG they’d be. You must listen down under (like under phroggin’ Australia) to hear those little bells. They have some marvelous echoes, as well. It’s 2 full CD’s in the set, too, so the ambient “addict” can thrive on it, I’m sure. There are some WONDERFUL nuances in this music, though, & for that reason, I rate it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for those with a taste for the macabre in their music. (I was reminded by the players that this CD also has a QT movie on the CD (the green-colored CD – it’s a 2 volume set – but, unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to run on my ‘pewter; maybe you’ll have better luck with it!). Ghostly! Contact at 946 Harvey Terrace, Madison, WI 53703, on the site at www.earthboys.com or via email to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
D.W. Groethe – THERE’S A PLACE: Now, THIS was an odd one to get in from the folks at Makoche, but it’s on their label. Groethe’s music is about as cowboy as you can GET. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either… I used to listen to a guy named Eddy Arnold on my grandmother’s radio (mid-’50’s), before there was a lot of “crossover” country music… this music is “from the gut”, & folks (like me) who first heard those simple songs from folks like Eddy & Hank (Williams) will find themselves waxing nostalgic. D.W. even LOOKS like a real cowboy (& according to the liner notes, he is). That’s the keyword for his music – AUTHENTIC! This is about as close as you can get to the music you might have heard on the cowboy trail rides 100’s of years ago. You’ll have to have an appreciation for stories in your music, but if your ears have that, you’ll agree when I declare this to be HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at 208 N. 4th Street, POB 2756, Bismarck, ND 58502-2756, on the website at http://www.makoche.com or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Ken Field – TOKYO IN F: If you’ve never listened to improvised music before, you owe it to your ears to sup on this adventurous CD for a while. Be forewarned, however, that you must come prepared to LISTEN. It captures a live performance featuring Ken’s extremely able playing (alto, flute & percussion), with Katsui Yuji’s violin, guitars by Kido Natsuki & keyboards by Shimizu Kazuto. We have reviewed Ken’s exciting improvisations before in this ‘zine, but this was a HIGHLIGHT experience for me. The group sounds like it had been playing together for years…. when in fact, it was (probably) only OF THE MOMENT. Those of you who have experienced the joys of playing live improv will understand how unique it is to come into a playing situation where the only language spoken is music! Readers who don’t play will thrill to the intricate interchange being thrust upon your ears. Playing is not (at all) intrusive, it’s just that you can sense the gears turning & joy in the surprise twists & turns this kind of improvisation often takes. High enough marks to get a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, particularly for those who eat/breathe/live improv! A simply GREAT musical document! Contact at the site at http://fieldk.home.att.net (English), or http://music.sky-sea.net/official/kenf.html (Japanese), or via email to Ken at email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Automatic Music – TATE ST. COFFEE: If th’ kaw-fee is as razor-edged as this MUSIC is – I need ta’ be MOVIN’ on down ta’ N.C., whither this Fred Hall & a whole gathering of musicians (like my ol’ pal Bret Hart) are! It’s (much) like a whole phroggin’ ORchestra of guitars screemin’, people! Fred lists it in th’ tray insert as “day 204 in year 1 of automatic music”, so it’s sorta’ like a “best of” collection. We had already reviewed “And In Arcadia I Am” (track 1, which he calls “Circuit 1”), so I’m listening to “Fear The Panda”, from another CD called “This Is Automatic Music”. Grand excursions into thee land of guitar panda-monium, that cute lil’ sugger jus’ went onna’ RAMPAGE… loud enuff & high-energy enuff that you BETTER fear that “panda”! This cut/circuit makes me think back to an album called “Super Session”, believe it or not. Bret’s guitar stylings on # 3, “Dark Matter” (from In A Dollhouse) are clearly evident, lotta’ strat, very enjoyable & bouncy. Last cut (circuits 5-8) was a sorta’ “preview” of things to come. Spooky is all I can say… you’ll have to scope it (out) yer’self! Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
or via their site, at http://18.104.22.168/cgi-bin/linkrd?_lang=EN&lah=d49a03360fc60610fb73ef406ff8d83c&lat=975371493&hm___action=http%3a%2f%2fartists2%2eiuma%2ecom%2fIUMA%2fBands%2fAutomatic_Music%2f Rotcod Zzaj
& now… one of MY favorite reviewers, Henry Schneider, provides a “review-style break”… we are greatly appreciative of Henry’s recent spate of reviews for us!!!!
Aka Moon Invisible Sun (Carbon 7 C7-047, CD 64:17)<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /> Invisible Sun is the tenth release by Aka Moon whose name derives from the band members’ experience with the Aka pygmies of central Africa. Invisible Sun is a part of Aka Moon’s musical triptych consisting of Invisible Sun, Invisible Mother, and Invisible Moon (to be released). Invisible Mother focuses on the world of Western written music, Invisible Moon on a specific type of ancient raga from Southern India, and Invisible Sun on jazz with Duke Ellington’s ghost floating in the background. Invisible Sun is a sumptuous album of excellent late twentieth century jazz consisting of piano, sax, bass, and drums. There are 12 songs on this album ranging in length from 1 ½ to 10 minutes, each song segueing seamlessly to the next. What is interesting is that Invisible Sun consists of written passages that alternate with improvised sections, but the quality of the music is such that the casual listener would not notice the transitions. Offering is the one song that differs from the rest. It is an atmospheric mood piece dominated by a sepulchral organ. If you like your jazz with a touch of the avant-garde, Invisible Sun is for you. Contact at Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium; www.netbeat.com/carbon7] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Louis Dufort Connexion (empreintes DIGITALes IMED 0051, CD 65:25) Louis Dufort composes for the Marie Chouinard contemporary dance company, works with the artistic committee of ACREQ, and explores hybrid and unbridled musical experimentation. Connexion is his first release of electroacoustic music and contains four compositions: Transit (1998), Pointe-aux-Trembles (1996), Zénith (1999), and Décap (2000). Spanning 4 years of musical explorations, each piece is unique. Transit is an abstract composition that jumps around from metallic alarm clock-like bells, descending whines, processed noise, and wordless vocals. At times it sounds like it could be destroying your speakers. The liner notes state that Transit is “a work that makes use of continuous discontinuity”. Pointe-aux-Trembles is a quiet piece comprised of high frequency sounds and is an impression of the refineries at Eastern Montréal’s. Zénith, as the name implies, is a Ligeti styled composition that slowly builds to a loud climax culminating with demonic mutterings. The final composition, Décap, is Dufort’s study of wrists and ankles and is for the Marie Chouinard dance troupe. It is quite impressive and I could swear that I heard samples from the Beatles’ Revolution 9 and Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma (the studio album). If not sampled, then Dufort duplicated some of the studio tricks used 30 years ago on these albums. [DIFFUSION i MéDIA, 4580, avenue de Lorimier, Montréal (Québec) H2H 2B5 CANADA, email@example.com, www.electrocd.com] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Marc Tremblay Bruit-graffiti (empreintes DIGITALes IMED 9949, CD 71:06) Bruit is French for noise, noise that is innocuous, bothersome, undesirable, and pointless. Marc Tremblay is a French Canadian electroacoustic composer who explores six interpretations of these aspects of noise on this album. The opening composition Vroum is an aural exploration of the automobile using samples of the Beatles (Beep beep mmm beep beep, yeah), car horns, car doors, starting engines, driving cars, etc. These are those mundane sounds we hear everyday brought into a new focus. The second composition Conte Sous La Lune is intended as an homage to childhood. It is a quiet piece with tinkling chimes, fluttering electronics, and infants laughing and bathing all sampled and processed. The third piece Résidus (clip dadaïste) can be quite revolting to some listeners. Tremblay plays with the sounds we hear in a bathroom: flushing, belching, farting, vomiting, washing, etc. and a bit more out there than Roger Waters’ Body Music Résidus builds to a toilet flush of major proportions, probably not something you want to have playing as dinner music. The fourth composition is Cowboy Fiction where Tremblay samples the soundtracks from the French version of Howard Hawks’ El Dorado, John Ford’s The Searchers, a cover of Hank Williams’ Rambling Man, locomotives, and guns. This is an ingenious blend of these sources that results in a dream-like vision of Hollywood Westerns with the White Man (John Wayne) taking the land by force from the Indian. The fifth composition is Ceci est un Message Enregistré, a sexy little number exploring the sonic realm of the telephone: ringing, hidden defects, dead-air moments, anonymous voices, and its decadent use for phone sex. The disc closes with L’Argent… Toujours L’Argent. This piece is a study of money as sound material and is more ambient/cosmic in nature than the other pieces. Bruit-graffiti is the perfect addition to your sound collage library. [DIFFUSION i MéDIA, 4580, avenue de Lorimier, Montréal (Québec) H2H 2B5 CANADA, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.electrocd.com] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Randall Smith Sondes (empreintes DIGITALes IMED 9948, CD 75:07) Randall Smith is an electroacoustic composer working in Windsor, Ontario. Sondes’ six tracks spanning four years of composing are condensed into an earjarring seventy-five minutes. Sondes is truly difficult music. Some compositions are for cello and tape while others are composed solely of sampled flute, violin, clarinet, and bass. At times harsh, but never melodic, this music requires a dedicated listener. If you are trying to concentrate on something else while Sondes is playing, forget it! If you like raucous, harsh, avant-garde music, Sondes is for you. [DIFFUSION i MéDIA, 4580, avenue de Lorimier, Montréal (Québec) H2H 2B5 CANADA, email@example.com, www.electrocd.com] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Kristoff K. Roll Corazón Road (empreintes DIGITALes IMED 9946, CD 74:12) Corazón Road is the musical diary of a trip the Yucatan peninsula and Central America. Using tapes he made during this trip, Kristoff processes them and combines the results with electronics. Amidst the flora and fauna of Central America, you also hear a Coke salesman, someone selling chiclets, a balloon vendor, etc. The result is an interesting travelogue of electroacoustic music at times restful and others energetic. [DIFFUSION i MéDIA, 4580, avenue de Lorimier, Montréal (Québec) H2H 2B5 CANADA, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.electrocd.com] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Robert Normandeau Figures (empreintes DIGITALes IMED 9944, CD 60:00) Clocking in at exactly 60 minutes is Robert Normandeau’s latest release of acousmatic music. The opening piece is Le Renard et la Rose (The Fox and the Rose). This is a concert suite composed from two sound sources: music commissioned for The Little Prince and the voices of the actors involved in the recording of the story. It is light and bubbly with laughter layered and processed through a chain of effects. The second piece is Figures de Rhétorique which combines tape and piano. It has a cosmic feel at times similar to early Pink Floyd and Stockhausen. The third composition is Venture, named after the 60s group The Ventures. But it is more than that. Venture refers to all the progressive rock music of 60s and 70s. Normandeau states that Venture is composed exclusively of fragments of that music. Unmistakably, there are bits and pieces of the Beatles’ Revolution 9 and Pink Floyd’s Grand Visier’s Party. I am uncertain of the other sources, but the resulting Venture is worth the price of this CD alone. Figures closes with Ellipse, a tape piece commissioned by Arturo Parra for him to accompany Normandeau on guitar. It sounds like heavily processed acoustic guitar scrapings, tappings, and noodlings. Or is it a swarm of angry alien bees? Figures is the high point for me of the recent empreintes DIGITALes releases. [DIFFUSION i MéDIA, 4580, avenue de Lorimier, Montréal (Québec) H2H 2B5 CANADA, email@example.com, www.electrocd.com] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Persona Non Grata System of Logic (Trottel Records tr064cd, CD 23:30) Persona Non Grata is an innovative Hungarian band that appears to have merged punk and progressive rock, very similar to how the Voodoo Glow Skulls have combined punk, school band instruments, and rock standards. System of Logic contains four relatively short, energetic songs. The first song Minimal has a pounding bass line that pays homage to Primus. The second song, A Guy Go Through the Zebra, has rapid drumming, staccato trumpets, and melodic chanting. The third song, Green Grass, is a slower tempo funky song with “a rich man’s wife”, “green, green grass of home”, and other rock song samples swirling through the mix of trumpet, drums, guitar, bass, and Hammond organ. The last song Reminimal is a remix of the opening track with a bit more emphasis on the drums and a lesser Primus feel. This band is definitely worthy of a much wider recognition outside Hungary. By all means seek this band out! [Berkecz Balázs (PNG), 7900 Szigetvár, Szt. Istvár Itp. 21, HUNGARY, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.tar.hu/persona/png.html , http://trottel.mentha.hu] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Trottel Monodream Fluid (Trottel Records tr063cd, CD 40:01) Trottel Monodream is another Hungarian progressive/psychedelic rock band that is relatively unknown in the US. They have been around since 1989 and have toured extensively throughout Europe: Hungary, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Fluid is the band’s ninth release. Consisting of violin, keyboards, guitar, drums, and bass, Trottel Monodream create and play progressive rock music with a Hungarian flair. Some songs are sung in Hungarian, others in English, and still others in wordless chanting. Fluid contains six songs: Fluid, Ikaros, Monodream, Movement, The End of the Dream, and Spider on the Clock. Jean Luc Ponty style violin playing is prominent throughout the disk, along side strong guitar and keyboards. This is excellent music and sure to be a hit with the progressive rock enthusiast. [Trottel Records, Budapest 1192 Kós K. 14, HUNGARY, email@example.com, http://trottel.mentha.hu] Henry Schneider – January 2001
Paul Eugene Beck – OF THE FOREST: Somehow, I don’t think these fantastic electric guitars would be found in the forest… but I surely can imagine hearing Paul (& crew) whoopin’ it up with acoustic strings, vox, percz & flutes in the deepest & darkest parts of a remote forest glen. For those who follow (& love) the energies that D.I.Y. (do it yourself) production generates – you OWE this musical experience to yourself! Beck has a beautiful lyrical style & a voice that sings them with enough conviction to get you wrapped up, but doesn’t come off (in the least) as “preachy”. The guitars lean (very) heavily towards acoustic folk-rock orientation… with some interesting touches & shadings in the country direction. Highly original & interesting music that will keep you listening for hours, days… years, maybe. I enjoyed this listen a great deal, with nostalgic mem’ries coming to mind of late ’60’s groups that helped us to imagine new tomorrows (the guitars sounded a LOT like the late John Denver)! ! This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! The CD willl hit the streets around the 6th of March, 2001. Contact at Red Lodge Records on the web, at www.yellowstonespirit.com or through Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org ) Rotcod Zzaj
Roberto Perera – IN THE MOOD: Smooth-latino-oriented jazz that features the absolutely stunning harp work of Mr. Perera. I was mightily impressed, & you (no matter how “odd” your tastes may be) will ride the same high waves when you listen (and watch, as he has a multimedia presentation on here, too) to the beauty he’s able to generate through his hands. The video presentation appeared to be limited to one feature song, & was a bit “murky” in the filming. The MUSIC on the video was fantastic, truly inspiring & wonderful, but I’d like to see a FULL DVD of his performances, with better video presentation. The CD tracks make for splendid listening, as well – aural displays of the vibrant energy that music brings to all aspects of our lives. This album would probably be “pigeonholed” somewhere betwixt “new age” & “smooth jazz” by many reviewers… but it should NOT be… just file it under “beautiful journeys”, & be forewarned that music like this can be addictive (in the good sense of that word). This gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, for all who love to hear truly inspirational music. Contact at www.headsup.com or via email to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Donald Walters – SECRETS OF LOVE: This splendid CD is a companion to author Walters’ book of the same name. It is relaxing & pleasant, with high energy for such a laid back compositional style. If you’re looking for something that RAWKS, you’ll have to go elsewhere – but who sez’ we have to be on th’ EDGE every moment? I suppose it’s age creeping up on me, & a desire to find music that helps me (daily) heal myself (since I can’t afford the doctor bills anymore). Lots of piano, some beautiful flutes & string sounds blend together to form an (almost) hypnotic experience. If you’ve been through heavy therapy, your leaders more than likely introduced you to music like this… &, we know, as soon as you got out the DOOR – you tossed the recording(s)… well – you SHOULDN’T have… but, if you DID – get back in touch with yourself & calmer spirits that pervade when music like this lovely album is playing. Gets a RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918… also via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
We WANT your announcements/links about great places for D.I.Y.’er’s… SEND us your links… e-mail to email@example.com Another thing that’s REALLY important for (all of ) you to remember is – WE review ALL your works! Snail for submissions is: Zzaj Productions, c/o Dick Metcalf, 5806 B Armour Dr., Lacey, WA 98513 So TELL every artist you know – SEND that Zzaj yo’ STUPH!!!!!!!
Allsound.org – Beautiful Sounds and Difficult Music. > > Allsound.org is a Slashdot-styled news and discussion forum covering the > gamut of experimental, fringe and avant-garde music and sound. Allsound > covers (in no particular order): Electronic music (in all of it’s myriad > subgenres), Free and Jazz Improv, New Music, Avant Composition, Sound > experiments and installations, Noise, Out/Post-Rock, Tools and Gear, > Aesthetics, Performance approaches, relevant Software (MAC, PC, and > otherwise), Homemade Instruments, Circuit Bending, Broadcast/streaming radio > and video, and more. Allsound is updated every weekday. > Stop by http://www.allsound.org and let us know what you think. Thanks, > –Eric Cook firstname.lastname@example.org Editor, Allsound.org
Just letting you know that the new and improved and accurate version of the
WOOWEB is up and running. The site features details, photos, links, an
online store, and shockwave music samples of all of the Cds from the
bands: W.O.O.REVELATOR, W.O.O., WORLD OF TOMORROW and FRIENDS OF MESCALITO.
Videos and MP3s will be added this spring.
So stop by and surf around, let us know what you think!
See you at the ABC No Rio benefit on Sunday, Feb 11 at 6pm.
All the best to you,
Hello and happy new year. We invite you to tune in to The SlipstreamPresents.com Radio Hour at any time this month to hear songs from all of our featured releases, including the debut album from Plutonium Pie, new music by Chris Korzen, ADotMays and Evil Bad People, more from recent releases by Jocexoxo, Laen Reeves, The Lucy Pinkwater Experience, and Spam Allstars, plus classics by Arlan and Sixo.
Thanks for listening.
The new issue of NCM is out. Featuring MANY reviews by David Cotner and some
by E. Wordsworth.
Next Issue: The end of February
Here’s my reply to Ken’s cc:
Happy holidays and all that rot!
Thanks for your note and kind words about my page; indeed the whole thing is a misunderstanding. You see, I had no idea that Shawn was hosting a radio show called the Sonar Map. If I did, I would have chosen another name! I did try contacting Shawn over
the years, including calling the station in Eugene, where the person who answered the phone told me that she had never heard of a program called the Sonar Map.
If you want to wade through my side of the sordid tale, I’ve included my responses to Shawn below for your own private perusal. Shawn’s responses are his own and you can get those from him if he wants you to see ’em.
Shawn is rightfully incensed, and I want to make the situation right. As an acquaintance of Shawn’s, and, now by dint of contact, mine, I want you to feel free to send me your thoughts about the whole mess. The last thing any of us needs is waste time f
ighting over two words.
First, my apologies for the laggard response. I’ve been mired in publishing the Dec/Jan Tentacle since mid-November.
You may or may not remember me much, but you might recall I’m fairly detail-oriented and somewhat long-winded, so I hope you’ll pardon my lengthy reply.
When our mutual composer pal told me he knew you and gave me your phone number, I got quite enthusiastic. I hadn’t heard anything from you since December of ’97 and the several subsequent emails I sent you were never answered, hence my eager message on
your machine. The last I heard about you was from a friend of a friend of a friend who said you had gotten married (which I already knew) and moved away (which was news to me but might’ve explained why you didn’t answer my email about the Olympia Experi
mental Music Festival in Feb ’98). I didn’t think my source (“my ex- knew that Sonar ‘zine guy…”) was too reliable, so I called information in Eugene.
Since you signed your emails with it, I thought, like an idiot, “Mediaclast” was your real last name, so my call yielded no listed or unlisted number and proved fruitless. When Sonar Map #4 (or a note or an email about its status) never showed in early
’98, and the pages on efn.org were never updated, I assumed the Sonar Map was no longer going.
In any case, it was never my intention to piggyback my radio show on the Sonar Map magazine; I’m anti-copyright myself, but I made sure to credit you for the name (see http://www.eskimo.com/~foont/sonarfaq.htm In Netscape you can use “page info” to see
that the page has been up for awhile) albeit incorrectly.
Frankly, I would have never (re)started a magazine called the Sonar Map; after all, my lone review, Seattle distro, and one brief article made me at best a minor contributor. The ‘zine mentioned to you was the Tentacle (also on-line at http://www.tentac
le.org/ and available as a weekly email edition) a bimonthly magazine which you may have seen – the Tentacle Ink edition is distributed from Victoria, BC to Eugene, OR and many points in between. If you haven’t seen the magazine, I’d be happy to send yo
u a clutch of complimentary back issues.
Anyway, when I was offered the chance to do a radio show of adventurous music, I thought “the Sonar Map” would convey (and encourage me to maintain) the same open-minded adventurousness found in the magazine.
As you said, I did contact you about using the name for a radio show, but I assumed that your lack of response meant that you had disappeared or weren’t doing anything with the Sonar Map. You didn’t reply with a “No,” so I figured that even if you were
around, because you dug my anti-copyright “Three Camels for Orchestra” and worked hard to promote experimental musics, you would have given your blessing to use the name for a radio show in the same exploratory spirit of the magazine. You see, I had _no
idea_ that you were hosting a radio show called the Sonar Map. If I did, I would have chosen another name!
But the plot thickens. A year after I started my radio show, a dj friend of mine found two Sonar Map radio shows on the EEG database. I re-checked the Sonar pages on efn.org and found no mention of a Sonar Map radio show; our archived email corresponden
ce contained no mention a radio show either. Weird.
Yet when I looked it up on the EEG site, sure enough, we were both listed. There was no Sonar Map listed on the KWVA pages (it is now), but small stations don’t always have accurate web pages, so I called the station anyway and asked if they had a show
called the Sonar Map. Whoever answered acted as if I was crazy (“Sona-wha?”) and said “No”. Now that I’ve put in 2 years at a community radio station, I know better than to take a lone volunteer’s word as gospel.
When I left the message on your machine in early November, you are right: I did not mention the Sonar Map or much else besides my cd, but as a starving artist calling long-distance, you can understand my brevity. I did not mean it as a token effort. If
I thought you would be angry, why would I have called you? I have been far from furtive and made several good-natured efforts to contact you for your blessing.
Like you, I have been working hard to promote adventurous music; aside from hosting the radio show for two years, I have co-published the Tentacle magazine (I’m the “Ship’s Sturgeon”), organized several experimental music gigs (including a 7 day festiva
l in May of ’99) in Seattle, and mastered a couple of cds for some fellow impoverished musicians for free.
I understand your request for me to stop using “the Sonar Map” but I too am attached to the name and have some history with it. Last August, I decided that after 100 broadcasts I should register http://www.sonarmap.net/ and put pages with my music, writ
ing, and news of what I have been up to, including releasing a cd, “N30: Live at the WTO Protest November 30 1999” on the sonarmap.net label. The cd has been out for awhile and is supposedly set to be reviewed in several music magazines over the next fe
Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about a cd that has already been pressed, released, and sold to distributors, so perhaps we can make the best of a situation fraught with misunderstanding? I understand that you might be stunned and angry, but I
believe that Good lurks in even the worst situations.
What do you think about pooling our efforts? Distributors prefer labels with multiple releases and I am more than happy to share my press and radio contact lists with you. I envisioned the label releasing pressed cds and limited run CD-Rs of unusual mus
ic by unsung musicians whose music would otherwise never leave their homes. I have experience mastering cds (both experimental and, alas, mainstream) and would be happy to help you with your cd.
By working together, we could accomplish a great deal – even working autonomously in parallel – more than either of us could do while working alone. If my cd gets good press, it may make the road easier for both of us.
Whoa! I obviously misread your letter and saw friendly bewilderment when I should have seen veiled outrage.
I honestly can’t remember whether I noticed the ads for your radio show in the ‘zine. Keep in mind that the last Sonar Map ‘zine I read was in the summer of ’97. I was offered the show a year later in the summer of ’98. Even if I saw an ad for the show,
I probably forgot about it. I would not have been so boorish as to email you asking to use an already-taken name for my radio show! I wish you had replied to my email back in ’98 and just said “hey the name is taken” – none of this would be a problem!
I did not, as you say, wait until a month ago to contact you. My last email details my efforts. When you came up in conversation, I _asked_ for your phone number and finally had a new way to contact you, I called you promptly to make contact and hopeful
ly get your blessing.
Regardless, I should have also written to you too, though as you can tell, I am email-based person and figured the fruits (or lack thereof) of my emails and phone calls – especially to your radio station – would be sufficient. As I mentioned in my last
email, my source – a musician I happened to be talking to at the Oly Experimental Music festival in the Summer of ’98 and whose name I never knew – seemed dubious, hence the phone calls I made to information.
Rest assured that I never registered (or trademarked – that takes some dough) sonarmap.net as a business. As for making a buck off the name, I haven’t and won’t. Although the run of N30 cds is just about sold out, I am still thousands in the hole and wi
ll be for a long time! Like you, I create adventurous music out of love for sound, not for money.
The past cannot be undone, so enough explanations. I doubt you care about my side of the story, which, considering that you feel deeply wronged, I don’t hold against you. I want to set things right and end our misunderstanding. What do you think of the
Will you grant me the next month to gradually change my radio show’s name and implement a new one?
I will stop using the sonarmap.net domain. It will take a few weeks to set up a new webspace, as my host is gone until the new year.
I will not use sonarmap.net or anything related to that combination of words for anything – except to rue this misunderstanding!
You were young but old enough to have read the newspapers, to have turned in "current events"; where the child in school looked for truth in the news, and tried to say something about a statement printed on cheap newsprint.
There was the picture: men standing on a balcony, pointing...
The picture didn't make sense, couldn't make sense... the headline stated that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot, like Kennedy, only different.
The photograph didn't make sense, You could not tell who they were pointing at, was it the killer? Saint Martin? Their hands were pointing, trying to find truth in the air with their fingers, to help themselves understand that he was gone. Another fighter, speaker, a leader of empowered peoples, a great prophet of peace, all of that in one man and more, gone.
But you should have known then that newspapers were not there to help understand the truth. That search would have to be trusted in the men and women that would become missing... like Martin, Sister Diana Ortiz, who they tried to make missing, but she would not go away.
That picture and its memory haunts me today as I remember a time in life when the shackles of lies and repression were shaking free, where truth (at least the search for it) was coming out of a deep sleep. Those days known as the '60's, that others, even ten years younger than I struggle to understand. They seem to believe it was all about sex and drugs and rock and roll...you know, the stuff that newspapers sell...
The corporate news loves it that our youth can not comprehend the '60's. Loves it that the truth has been obscured, and will stay lost in the myriad lenses of history. They love it that even those of us who were there have been bombarded beneath mountains of falsity, have become confused in the race to keep up with the facts and the rent.
"Keep 'em runnin'."
They love it that their constant barrage of imagery has confused the young ones, who often stand in fear of culture, or in search of meaning in our postmodern identity. The onslaught lies keep them praying for money (their promise of security) and resisting a commitment to culture, because making a choice about money is easier than searching for the truth in art, a sermon, a handshake, an election...
So one can see the confusion and all that came with that photo even today. That headline photo of those men, crouching and pointing with their fingers. Those beautiful, yet terrified dark-skinned men, crouching. The corporate giants no doubt loved that photo: "Direct hit!" "Now we can keep them niggers running!"
Perhaps it's true. His death, and the death of so many others, have left us running. Running for sanity as the streets get more and more crowded. Running for sleep as the night fills with nightmares. Running for truth in the midst of so much corruption.
You can read corporate news forgetting to talk about Viet Nam, Bosnia, Iraq, (America's death solution to "repression", but what could be more repressive than murder?) or the death of Saint Martin. As if yesterday was something they created, and could take away easy, like tossing burnt toast.
One sees the posed homage to MLK, but rarely Malcom. One sees the Memorial Day gestures... One reads though the falsity of it, because every day is memorial day when truth lies cold on the altar and the death of freedom - a freedom from repression, from fear, and from corporate slavery - along with the death of Martin Luther King Jr. is what we all must mourn today.
Phillip Greenlief - Oakland, 01/15/01
"Trolley Cars & Freight Trains" copyright 2001@Mort
Trolley cars & freight trains.
Colorful carousels at night.
Clowns, tramps, hobos & kids
Where has freedom and
uncondemned laziness gone?
Work, work, work and no play.
Damn Mother Goose &
Damn Jack & Jill.
They should have played,
up that hill.
instead of fetching,
a pail of water.
"Index Cards" copyright 2001@Mort
Are there any index cards,
To find out,
where we left off?
To begin anew.
with, maybe a map.
Some route, some insight,
That we may never suffer,
a loss again.
Or at least win a round or two.
Before we go down for the count.
"Rampart Seas" copyright 2001@ Mort
Rampart Seas must part.
Hallowed trees turn to rot.
Man turns to ashes.
Eternity does not begin, nor end.
INTERVIEW with Ernesto Diaz-Infante
(In which our improvising amigo improvises his INTERVIEW… be SURE & pay close attention to his quotes, interwoven through the Q&A… QUITE revealing…)
a - fire e - air i - water o - salt u - earth
beuys will be beuys: pt.1 the coyote complex 02.17.01
the elements of one's vocabulary:
wax milk farms and mountain springs
food (chocolate, sausage, gelatin, margarine, butter) a camera near all the time
grease six plastic bottles
felt (a fabric of wool mixed with fur, hair, cotton or rayon fibers) eleven lightweight clear plastic spoons
wood white noise from a space heater
metals (the negative energy of metals) sound of an acoustic guitar
--ernesto diaz-infante, san francisco, california usa
Madness is man's desperate attempt to reach transcendence, to rise beyond himself.--Abraham Herschel
Zzaj: Since you've just come back from a rather extensive tour of the east coast, how do you feel the "improv" scene on that coast "stacks up" against the west coast environs you're living in? Is SF different, in it's musical environs, for instance, from NYC?
edi: For me, it feels that the scene in San Francisco is a little more laid back than New York. I like the weather better on the west coast. Everything seems to move quicker in New York. I was playing more with people mostly everyday--sitting in jam sessions, recordings, going to shows. I like the public transportation better in New York and everything seems to be more dense and compact. There are definitely subtle stylistic differences between both environments. New York tends to be grounded more in the 'free jazz' traditions. But there's more diversity on the west coast. It's a nice contrast to have the opportunity to be exposed to both environments. I've certainly learned a lot from both.
artist + star = astronomer
Zzaj: You've turned out a LOT of (different kinds of) music in the last 3 years or so, Ernesto. Is the "energy" level (just) up, or do you see yourself "backing off" on releases in the coming year?
edi: The creative energy levels are high!!! I've been on a very active music schedule lately, gravitating to all these creative people. So, I feel I'm just getting started--stretching-out a bit. I'm getting more comfortable on each project exploring sound and structure to my fullest capacity. Pushing myself in different directions, taking a lot more risks. I recorded three new recording projects in New York City, during my east coast trip in November, slated for release in 2001 are the Chris Forsyth/Ernesto Diaz-Infante Duo (electric/acoustic guitars); Blasie Siwula (sax) Jeff Arnal (perc) and Ernesto Diaz-Infante Trio (acoustic guitar); and Rev99 with 99Hooker (sax, poetry), Akio Mokono (G3) Chris Forsyth (electric guitar), Ernesto Diaz-Infante (acoustic guitars). There's also an upcoming recording session in Ojai, California, with Ventura improviser/trumpeter Jeff Kaiser and Brad Dutz (percussion); Richie West (percussion); Scot Ray ( trombone); Jim Connolly (bass) and myself (guitar/piano) which will be the follow-up CD to the critically accliamed Pith Balls and Inclined Planes CD). Plus local bay area projects including a recording project with bay area musicians Lx Rudis (keyboards/bass/electronics); Andre Custodio (electronic/percussion/voice); and myself (guitar/violin/voice); A recorded project with visiting Viennese musician Boris Hauf (saxophone/G3) and bay area musicians Damon Smith (contrabass); John Shiurba (guitar); Scott Looney (electronics); and myself (prepared piano); and an upcoming recording session with ex-Chicago bay area improviser Bob Marsh (cello) and myself on (acoustic guitar).
Art is not there to provide knowledge in direct ways. It produces deepened perceptions of experience...Art is not there to simply be understood, or we would have no need of art." Joseph Beuys
Zzaj: Since you've got a "high level" of musical education, what advice do you have for "ear musicians"? Is formal training more (or less) important than just perfecting "what you have"?
edi: hmmm...I really don't think about it in those terms. I just create and I try to be acutely aware of form and balance. But having a music education has helped me be more focused and critical in a constructive way. I'm just chiseling away everyday gathering/absorbing/processing more info, organizing ideas, shaping form into some gratifying result. But sometimes I just roll tape and play with real-time. Or sometimes I take a long walk and calculate every detail, thinking through, envisioning how I want to approach something--play guitar, compose the next measure, record a track. etc.
"There's no such thing as bad publicity." P.T. Barnum
Zzaj: You've often told me that (more or less) "all press is good". Do you still believe that? Is "negative press" something artists should be very concerned about?
edi: No, not at all. Bear in mind, not everyone is going to like your music. C'est la vie! That's life. The bottom line is that it's very important not be afraid to send out promotional materials (CDs) that will help you to compete with major and independent labels in capturing/developing the attention of the media the public. These materials help introduce your recording, provide information about you and your music, and arouse curiosity which can induce people to write about, play, or buy your recording. I've been on the other side of the fence as music director of a public radio station (KAZU). There's is a lot of product out there, it's frightening! So you have to be smart, driven and quick on your feet to get your music played or reviewed--creating the buzz, the hype. The follow-up is extremely important concept or else your CD gets buried in the pile of other CDs out there at the same time.
"The whole process of living is my creative act." Joseph Beuys
Zzaj: As a sort of "mental drill", can you name off all the artists you've played/performed/recorded with in 2000?
edi: Jeff Arnal, Dan DeChellis, Bruce Eisenbeil, Chris Forsyth, Pat Harman, Boris Hauf, Steev Hise, Bill Horist, Bret Hart, Mark Kissinger, Paul Hoskin, Jeff Kaiser, Bonnie Kane, Bob Marsh, Dick Metcalf, Donald Miller, Kurt Newman, Nmperign, Dan Plonsey, Blaise Siwula, Damon Smith, Jack Wright, W.O.O Revelator, Stan Nishimura, Akio Mokono and 99Hooker.
"Whoever uses the spirit that is in him creatively is an artist. To make living itself an art, that is the goal." Henry Miller
Zzaj: With your "composed" work(s), do you actually score the material out first, or after?
edi: On my 'composed' works, I notate everything out in detail. It's great working this way because I have more time to map out what direction I want to explore. Everything is very calculated and thought-out I'm currently working on a large-scale chamber work, Glandelinia, for voices, woodwinds, brass, percussion and string trio. It's heavily loaded on extended techniques, sound-oriented material, music inspired by the creative spirit of outsider artist Henry Darger. There's less and less melodic, rhythmic or harmonic development and more emphasis on the essence of pure sound--an extreme minimalist approach. These pieces are for me not the public. I am also composing a new installment in my series of location-based journal-pieces for solo piano entitled, San Francisco Journal, a large scale work which combines my art drawings, music and random poetry.
"I am interested only in expressing the basic human emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on..." Mark Rothko
Zzaj: Who are your most profound musical influences? Why? How do/have they influenced the music you compose or improvise? If you had a chance to play with one "famous" musician, who would it be?
edi: George Antheil, Derek Bailey, Pierre Boulez, Anthony Braxton, John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Charles Ives, Harry Partch, Eric Satie, Giacinto Scelsi, Arnold Schoenberg Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sun-Ra, Cecil Taylor, Edgard Varese, Anton Webern, Iannis Xenakis, and LaMonte Young have all inspired me at one point in my life. But I think American composer Morton Feldman has made the greatest impression on my work because he created this new sound world that he kept to himself untainted by European methodology. A pure, instinctive and simple way of working with sounds unhindered by pitch and harmonic relationships. I've also been inpired by all my peers that I've worked with and their dedication to this art form/music language that we share together. If I had a chance to play with someone famous it would either be Derek Bailey or Los Amigos Invisibles: the new sound of the venezuelan gozadera.
"I do not invent my best thoughts; I find them."--Aldous Huxley
Zzaj: Do you have any difficulty moving between the composed works on keyboard (that I've heard you play) & the improvised/out guitar works? Is it an extreme mental transition, or a pretty comfortable fit?
edi: No, After several years of discipline and practice, I'm very comfortable in applying both methods of organizing sound. In my latest projects I've been consciously blending both worlds in a very subtle manner.
"It is only well with me when I have a chisel in my hand."--Michelangelo
Zzaj: With the focus on D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) that my 'zine has, it's only fitting that I ask you... do you think that (much) D.I.Y. music suffers from "low production values"? Is that a terribly important thing, or does the "energy" for the performance count more?
edi: I believe the end result content is more important than the process or the presentation. The D.I.Y approach can be an expensive habit. But it's absolutely necessary, there's no time to be wasted lying on your bed daydreaming the big moment (after you mailed your demo like a 100 places) the A&R rep is going to send you an email or give you the 'your signed' phone call--This 'pie in the sky ' thinking is dangerous and totally leads to depression (I should've..I could've..). One works with the resources and tools one can afford or budget. What's more important at the end of day is what on that tape, CD, CDr, DVD etc. The rest is the finishing touches that help the reviewers, DJs, and the buying public get excited about your product.
"Great music is not for the masses." --Ralph Shapey
Zzaj: Along those same lines, what advice (as a composer, performer, improvisor & organizer) do you have for players out there who may feel like they've been (sort of) "left out"? Is "persistence" the route to take, or is it more important to "back off" for a while, find one's "joy spot" in the musical arena, & then pursue that with all due vigor?
edi: Remember the 3 Ps: be persistent, pleasant, and professional. And be extremely self-reliant as possible. Make things happen. Create the buzz and just keep at it 24/7!
"...You are an authentic member of society to be destroyed; the spirit of the beehive speaks though your mouth and moves through your actions. You are as useful as I am, but you don't realize how useful your contribution is to society that sacrifices you." --Che Guevara, Motorcycle Diaries
beuys will be beuys: pt.2 the coyote complex 02.17.01
cloth what do you keep?
rope what do you know?
loudspeaker honey in your coffee
tape recorders an icy evening sky
skeletons a silver spoon to stir the coffee
dead and alive animals what do I need to do?
objects (boxes, pianos, air pumps, charis, fences) a paper clip on the night stand
electric lights left & right
chemicals four boxes high
straw remind me
I’ve no idea how far “George W.” will follow in his daddy’s boot-steps, but it’s clear he & the rest of his C.I.A. supporters (yes, thee election WAS a C.I.A. plot… totally rigged, without regard for ANYthing the people might want/need) believe it’s time to “make Americans feel good about themselves. Which means it’s time to start another W-A-R.
Without war, politicians have no axes to grind… their boring and useless lifestyle (think of a leech, sucking blood day-in & day-out) would have nothing to justify their existence without war.
Why do I believe it’s a “war cycle”? Well, just stop & think (outside of the sound bytes) for a moment… for the last 8 years, even if you discount the “Clinton spin”, we’ve had focus on just how productive & healthy the economy CAN be… reg’lar folks like you & me weren’t RICH (we never WILL be in a society controlled by politicians (the goons) & religious wackos (the REAL controllers), either), but we weren’t DESTITUTE, either. About 20 days before George W. moved in to the White House, his spin factory began to weave webs on the airwaves about how rocky the economy was… that gas prices were out of control (yeah, since he & his cronies elected to do NOTHING about trying to keep them under control). Talk of Saddam Hussein as an “the monstah” (don’t get me wrong, he IS a bad, B-A-D guy) began to escalate…
Your counter-argument will probably be that Clinton whanged a few missiles over Saddam’s way, too (in his first few months in office)… & yer’ not wrong, but it didn’t scare me as much – because we all KNEW Billy boy was just usin’ that to cover up a situation where his PERSONAL missile had wound up in the wrong missile silo (somehow). The difference (in my estimation) is that Clinton was palatable as a politician because he gave the people credit for enough intelligence to EXPECT he was a liar… to KNOW he was a leech… to have FOREKNOWLEDGE of his abuses of power. I’m afraid George W. honestly BELIEVES he’s telling us the “truth”.
Zealots (as politicians) for any cause are the most dangerous people in the universe. In this country, it’s even worse, because politics (in this sound-byte driven media environment) is totally based on spin… you never (can) have any REAL sense of what the “person” is really all about. Politicians are the scum in society who were taught that people NEED their opinions… that the average Joe isn’t ABLE to think for him/her self… & that the handiest tool a politician has for “getting spirits up” in this country is some good ol’ population reduction (?religion/war?). Of course, they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong… ANY person who was brought up in an environment where you could talk about the slaughter of hundreds of thousands over your morning sausage & eggs will have little regard for the true pain of war. Some of them would argue that they were “in the war”…. and, of course, some of them WERE… but if they had REALLY learned anything from their time in the jungle – they would be FIGHTING against the idea that any central body could/should be allowed to inflict such suffering… that 300-500 people can sit in a stone building in D.C. & decide to dump TONS of bombs down on folks just like us – KILLING, MAIMING & BLOODYING them… when the REAL target is another nutcase who believes the SAME thing.
What we NEED to do is equip Congress, the White House & every other government building in the nation with closed circuit TV… set the cameras up so that those 300-500 folks can ONLY talk to themselves. Establish laws that make it a DEATH PENALTY offense for a politically inclined person to ever speak publicly. & NEVER let them OUT! Imagine it… a national mental asylum! How grand it would be… every wacko in the land locked in a self-fulfilling loop… they would TALK themSELVES into suicide… while YOU & ME & every other average Joe learned the benefits of self-reliance and NO war!
When the call comes from George W. to go over & fight in Iraq (& it will, in the next year – I believe)… we need to all (just) LAUGH at him! Send him an email or make a call… TELL him that he no longer represents anyone & that his opinions do NOT count… after all, WE didn’t elect him – THEY did!
Is any of this rant based in a sense of reality? Uno’s? Probably not… I mean, I’m just wingin’ it… just IMPROVISING! Now – THERE’S a scenario (for my next rant)… a Congressional hall full of IMPROVISORS, eh?
C’ ya’, volkz!