Sunday, August 29, 2010

this weeks micro concert featured pieces written for two tuba. pretty amazing sitting in a little cloak room with two of those going. but it was interesting as a bass player, hearing composers writing for two bass instruments. it was decidedly different from the previous three weeks; two violins, two accordions and a day with mostly supercollider on a mac with trumpet. those other instruments are obviously instruments that produce mostly higher notes. higher than basses and tubas. most of the works for tuba were decidedly less dissonant than the works written for those other instruments. i wonder if the composers found it difficult, as i have, to do more challenging chordal stuff with bass. higher dissonant notes can more easily sound interesting. whereas dissonant bass notes tend to just sound bad. wont bore you non-musician types with why that is but it does seem, to our ears to be so.

highlight for me was a piece by jacob sudol. managed to do some of that low dissonance with musicality and had a nice balance between being challenging and just being pleasurable to hear. my favorite musical balancing act. actually i think that balancing act applies to art and culture writ large as well.

have a good sunday. did you know that god took this day off because he was beat after creating the universe. all-powerful but he got tuckered out. who knew.

Monday, August 23, 2010

today i was thinking about my adolescent contempt for authority. i think that by and large, it was then mostly just about my wanting to be left alone to do what i pleased. mostly. i found fault in those with positions of authority basically because i wanted just cause to challenge their authority when they tried to get me to do something i did not want to do. again i will say mostly because i am not cynical or shallow enough to believe that it was my only motivation. there was a good amount of hypocritical nonsense that needed policing as well. which brings me to today. that spirit is still alive in me today. my instinct is still to bristle when i perceive, correctly or not, that someone is telling me what to do. a silly blend of adolescence with middle age, i know, but it is so. but i think that the true questioning of authority is something akin to that impulse but certainly not limited by it. i have learned over my lifetime that there exist many fewer authorities in the world than one expects to find when looking at the world from childhood. good mundane case in point. i am in a bicycle shop trying to buy a bike for and with my wife. as usual i am full of questions. i really enjoy asking people questions on topics about which i know very little and they know a great deal. learning. its a good thing. so im asking about old classic schwinn beach cruisers, how often one should grease a chain, when did the sort of low rider bicycle culture get started etc. and at a point i realized that he was just making shit up to fill in the gaps in his knowledge. he never once said that he just did not know. therefore he is entirely unreliable. this is a common strategy for people assuming positions of authority. they fear that if you see that they dont know everything then you wont believe anything and most importantly wont believe in the validity of their authority. of course no one knows everything. when someone does not ever say that they simply do not know, that is a good indication that you should definitely begin questioning their authority. when one begins to develop the ability to ask good questions of the world, and to reason well with the answers given, then one finds a considerably smaller amount of authorities. but then again who the fuck am i to say?

oh and for further reading i recommend christopher hitchens book "letters to a young contrarian". thats all for today.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

dismiss this as looking for silver linings around dark clouds (it might be dismissable anyway because i have done no fact checking) but i was remarking to belle that someone had tweeted that arcade fire is the number one record in america. maybe it was pitchfork. not sure. either way, she thought it remarkable that a band of obvious quality had the top spot. that is remarkable, i believe. but i also wondered if that wasnt a symptom of the fact that less people are buying records these days. one might think that the quality of bestsellers would rise as sales dropped. dont know if they have or even how you could measure that but...i figured that if less people are buying, then a larger proportion of them will be real music fans. those of us left are really here because we love music. are we distilling better taste out of smaller quantities of buyers? separating the wheat from the musical chaff? i dont know. does it matter? it might. i dont know that either but thats what i was wondering as i was waiting in line for my afternoon caffeine bump.

Sunday, August 01, 2010 might have thought that i had finally, after numerous threats, really quit this blog thing. i do remain unconvinced that the directly connected blog tweet facebook thing is right for me. might be. just not sure. but for now i remain. and i have a new, at least temporarily, convincing reason to be here. i thought i would periodically upload some music i create here at home. no studio. no engineer. not even another musician (at least for now). i want to devote a day every couple of weeks to doing what my wife anabelle and i have been referring to as 'momentary music'. i have terrible trouble tinkering and overthinking things to death. with my momentary musics i will not do that. i will devote no more time than a day to any of them and i will then post them here; warts and all. these things will probably be all over the map stylistically because that is how my mind works and that is how i stay interested. i am not an engineer so the recording quality will be scruffy at best. so be it. so without further ado, i give you moment 1. a short piece put together with bits of weberns spare masterpiece called 'five pieces for orchestra', ives' 'trio for violin,cello and piano', george benjamins 'ringed by the flat horizon' a couple of snippets from david lynchs film 'mulholland dr.' plus a little of my own nonsense.

so make of it what you will. there will be more. this one was a small joy for me to make and is a homely little beast that i ultimately find charming. it is a little droplet to add to the unrelenting firehose of media that comes at you all the time these days.

one more thing. this doesnt mean i will stop making solo records. but for that i need near endless hours of tinkering,obsessing, rewriting and, of course, overthinking. i will also be involving other folks and engineers, mixers, etc. and they cost money so i will be asking you to buy something to help me pay them. but for now its on the house. see you again soon.

Moment1 Take2 by ericavery