New Director of Development, THREE new recordings, and an intern

Lot’s of news! ———————————————————— In this issue: * New Director of Development: Andrew Pask! * New recordings by: + The Glen Whitehead Trio + Andrew Raffo Dewar / John Hughes / Chad Popple + Guerino Mazzola and Heinz Geisser * AND…introducing our first ever intern: Nick Welch! ———————————————————— We are thrilled to announce that Andrew Pask is coming on board …

Glen Whitehead Trio: The Living Daylights (PFMCD125)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="1553"]

Glen Whitehead Trio

The Living Daylights

Britton Ciampa Drums • Scott Walton Bass • Glen Whitehead Trumpet

Improvisational structures inspired by natural phenomena that play with our perceptions of space, time, and place

The Living Daylights Suite (1-3)
1. Living Daylights Suite 1—at Time’s Place 05:02
2. Living Daylights Suite 2—Zenosyne 08:23
3. Living Daylights Suite 3—Apophenia 08:30
4. Heliopause 04:01
5. 42 Degrees 04:31
6. Bow Shock 05:49
7. Shedding Vortices 03:38
8. Involution Engine 06:22
9. Fissure Syndrome 03:54
10. Pearl of Swirl 05:50
11. Punktuation 07:44

Recorded at the Banquet Studios February 6, 2016
and July 21, 2016, Guerneville, CA
Engineered by Darryl Webb
Mixed and Mastered by Wayne Peet at Killzone,
Newzone Studio, Los Angeles, February, 2018
Photo Credit—Glen Whitehead
Graphic Design—Ted Killian
© 2018 Glen Whitehead (ASCAP)
pfMENTUM
PFMCD125

The Living Daylights
Composition Notes

The Living Daylights is based on concepts extracted from natural phenomena (most chosen, some imagined) that play with our perceptions of space, time and place, and rendered with improvisational frameworks constructed to enable many possibilities within the natural restraints of a conscious system.

These ideas were generated from my experiences exploring a range of natural environments over the last several years through my engagement with ecoacoustics and other research pursuits in immersive acoustic explorations across many different environments. These experiences are part of a broad interdisciplinary leap (on my part) as an attempt to find more passage between creative music practices and fields of acoustic ecology and ecoacoustics.  I see these fields as intimately intertwined. There are a host of people and organizations building new canons and research areas such as the Deep Listening Institute, the EcoSono Institute, and other related movements and organizations.  As my time in the field clocked more hours and locations – including many sites across Colorado and the great southwest, Alaska, Cape Cod, the Pacific southwest, Mexico, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Korea and more, I have become increasingly aware of the similarities between immersive activities surrounding intensive environmental participation, usually involving field recording scenarios and improvised music-making. The more one invests energy, time and intention to such immersive experiences in the world– the more phenomenal events occur – the world opens up to you. As in improvisation in theatre – the world says “yes.”  Connections come alive, mysterious interactions occur.

These works, and the two incredible musicians whom I have been so honored to work with on this project reflect such phenomenological experiences.  Scott Walton (acoustic bass) has been a key collaborator in my musical life, as equal a pianist as a bassist, he is a long-time colleague and simply one of the best musicians – as an inventive improviser, listener and performer – that I have had the privilege to learn from. Britt, to me, represents a younger, up and coming generation of insanely informed musicians.  His skill as a drummer and knowledge as musician is well beyond his years.  He possesses an uncanny ability to connect obscure subjects and histories within a deep understanding of the creative music world.  The magic of his playing is his ability to wield musical and sonic information into its the fullest possible context.  He’s also an “ex-student” of mine from UCCS – one of our very best.
An ensemble is an ecosystem with each member defining the community. In this “conscious system” individuals are free to roam and explore, while also being responsible for the whole – empathy is essential to create both meaning and form.  Self-reflection between the rewards of individuality and seeking shared common good creates prime musical real estate.  The thoughts and intentions of one person are internalized (and externalized) by the other members.

I view the wide world of sonic and musical languages in this work as idiomatic – a respectful departure of what is usually commonly understood in contexts of free improvisation as “non-idiomatic” (from Derek Bailey’s definition).  To me, this is a resolvable contradiction.  Our language is saturated within the idioms of our instrumental backgrounds – acquired ear, technical and historic knowledge along with both innate and environmental influences.  How we wield our musical instruments is a fundamental part of our cultural “taskscapes,” a term used by Tim Ingold, originally “to bring the perspectives of archaeology and anthropology into unison” (The Temporality of the Landscape, 1993), “the constitutive tasks of the dwelling” that applies perfectly to instrumental and vocal play

 

Notes on the Tracks

The first three tracks make up a suite.  They were the first pieces recorded on this project, conceived and recorded as one unit, and in one take.  At Time’s Place is a play on words – we only ever really sense the presence.  In this open-ended tradition of improvised music, the phenomenological act of real-time musical creation gives us a unique way to access the past and the future, simultaneously.

Zenosyne, from the unique “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” by John Greene pinpoints a fundamental experience that had no clear term (in English, anyway) – the sense that time keeps going faster.  Such an example is at the very core of improvisational experience, and I like to imagine would be part of a future established aspect of music theory for improvisation.  I am reminded of many times when an improvisation seemed to take ten minutes, and forty-five minutes had passed.

Apophenia, the perception of patterns, meanings, or connections where none exists, is also a relatively new word although the well explored phenomenon itself is not. Its first use is credited to the psychiatrist Klaus Conrad back in 1958 in his catchy-titled Die beginnende Schizophrenie: Versuch einer Gestaltanalyse des Wahns, which translates to the equally scintillating The origins of schizophrenia: A Gestalt analysis of paranoia.  It is fascinating that this word should appear to be so recent when the actual phenomenon is so old and important enough to have been a lynch-pin for philosophical study through the ages.  In Natural History of Religion (1757), philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) wrote the following:

There is a universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object those qualities with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious.  We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice and good will to everything that hurts or pleases us.

There is one major qualification and difference of how this idea is utilized in this work.  This is a play on the imagination – the “random” discoveries that appear to have no connections, actually uncover true, previously unseen connections and relationships.  I cannot think of a better context for the illusively connective experience of improvised music.

The Heliopause (with its syntactic musical resonance) is the boundary where the sun’s solar wind meets the faint radiation of interstellar space and is no longer strong enough to push back the stellar winds of the surrounding stars.  This is the boundary where the interstellar medium and solar wind pressures meet and balance – physics working on a grand scale. Imagine, even with this distance impossible for us to quantify in scale in our imagination, that this line is definitive and slender where the distant finger of our incubator solar cocoon touches the rest of the universe– what a musical thought.

42 degrees references the connection of people and light reflected in the observations of – rainbows.  When we see a rainbow and its band of colors we are looking at light refracted and reflected from different raindrops at an angle of between 40 and 42 degrees at all points of view – whether one person is high on a hilltop and another hundreds of feet below.  Light orients to our visual lenses, our lenses orient the angle of light.

Bow Shock, also called a detached shock or normal shock, is a curved, stationary shock wave that is found in a supersonic flow past a finite body.  Shedding vortices (vortex shedding) is an oscillating flow that takes place when a fluid such as air or water flows past a bluff (as opposed to streamlined) body at certain velocities, depending on the size and shape of the body. Both of these phenomena, for me, connect with the wind “shock” that occurs inside and across a fast material with wind and brass sound production, and illuminate the use of creating sound vortexes in so many different ways in improvised music.

Involution Engine is a function, transformation, or operator that is equal to its inverse, only applies to itself and is a function of its own inverse. for instance, in medicine, this applies to the shrinking of an organ (such as the uterus after pregnancy) or philosophy and psychology a “turning in” on one’s self.  Musical phenomena in time also have similar phenomena but have been limited in concept, I believe, because of the hard-cast association with printed, scored notation – retrograde inversion, for example. The idea of a sonic involution works exquisitely in an aural, perceived identity, much like a physically created moveable object and is far more complex and four dimensional that can be adequately represented on a typical score (mostly).

 I came up with Fissure Syndrome through pure free association upon listening to the results of this piece several times.  As it turns out, it is a kind of an Apophenia in of itself, as this term lives in the medical world as, superior orbital fissure syndrome (also known as Rochen-Duvigneaud syndrome) is a collection of symptoms caused by compression of structures just anterior to the orbital apex.

For Pearl of Swirl, am fascinated by the perception of sound as physical moving substance or phenomena. To me, this conceptual mega-world is in its infancy and a signification of the music theory and creative methodologies of the future of music.  Pearl of Swirl, here, references Pearl Swirl, a rheoscopic fluid created specifically to see the movement or currents in liquids. Its purpose is scientific in nature, yet, it carries commercial tendrils with trademark statuses and “secret ingredient” branding. It is at once a vital substance category for the science of fluid dynamics and other related fields in order to visualize currents, aerodynamics, turbulence, convection and other phenomena (a not so subtle nod to my father, an award winning physical oceanographer, fluid dynamicist and a very creative one, at that).  On the other side of the coin, pearl swirl is also a novel commercial ingredient added to shampoos and other liquids for the purpose of a non-functional aesthetical “swirl” effect. This duality embodies the inescapable, almost satirical relationship between science and commerce in our culture today.

Punktuation – ‘Nuff said and done

—Glen Whitehead

Michael Vlatkovich: Mortality (PFMCD091)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="569"]
ensemblio:
michael vlatkovich: trombone
dan clucas: trumpet
jill torberson: french horn
bill plake: tenor sax
david riddles: bassoon, flute, soprano sax, clarinet
andrew pask: alto sax, bari sax, bass clarinet
bill roper: tuba, bombardondino
harry scorzo: violin
jonathan golove: cello
tom mcnalley: guitar
dominic genova: bass 
wayne peet: piano, keyboard
carol sawyer: voice
ken park: all percussion

[NOTE: do to a printing error, track 4 was left off the package. What you see below is correct.]

1. adeptly disguised as chairs and tables the audience listened quietly — 9:08
2. as quickly as it came — 6:31
3. or do you have change for a $20 — 5:25
4. out of the wall and into the night — 5:27
5. sometimes a red nose and big shoes aren’t enough — 2:33
6. mortality — 11:32
7. hiding out as a verb — 5:49
8. goodbye — 7:06

© 2015 julius ivory music, ascap
music composed m vlatkovich
recorded 2014 wayne peet engineer
edited mixed and mastered sept. 2014
front photo chuck britt
back photo bill roper
design jeff kaiser

pfMENTUM CD091

PFMCD091

Michael Vlatkovich: VLATKO (PFMCD085)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="558"]
VLATKO

subjective experience in a commercial free zone

michael vlatkovich: trombone, compositions
tom mcnalley: electric guitar
dominic genova: electric bass
john “Vatos” hernandez: drums/percussion

1 motely mountebanks 7:48
2 in the interest of only those concerned STOP 8:17
3 strodaad 7:54
4 sometimes always 8:34
5 if only maybe were a probability 3:43
6 knowers don’t know so guessers guess 8:35
7 saint something or our lady of whatever 6:05
8 undoug fug = -(doug unfug) 8:57 total 59:53

recorded tomsonics los angeles, ca. March 19 & April 3, 2014
editing & mastering April 7, 2014
engineer tom manasian
design chuck britt
photography tom manasian
all music Julius Ivory Music ascap ©2014

pfMENTUM CD085

PFMCD085

Michael Vlatkovich Quartet: You’re Too Dimensional (PFMCD077)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="539"]
Michael Vlatkovich Quartet
You’re Too Dimensional.

Michael Vlatkovich: Compositions, Trombone
Jim Knodle: Trumpet
Phil Sparks: Bass
Greg Campbell: Drums, French Horn*

(05:05) 1. various manifestations of thwart & opine for curved bill thrasher & toy piano in 4 parts
(02:48) 2. no candy for the wagon full of devils
(08:15) 3. the curious intensity of a refrigerator defrosting *
(04:24) 4. wishing for 2 at 5/3
(06:26) 5. mOOn jOOiia
(10:04) 6. blue peepers
(06:25) 7. the static equilibrium of the values of savagery
(06:50) 8. i liberate monsters
(02:32) 9. balance out of life out of balance *
(06:32) 10. fools drunks & angels
total 59:37

Recorded in Seattle 2-2-13 Doug Hare – Engineer, Sonarchy Radio
Edited, Mixed & Mastered 5-01/02-13
Wayne Peet – Engineer, Newzone Studio, Los Angeles
Chuck Britt – Design

pfMENTUM CD077

PFMCD077

Michael Vlatkovich Quartet: ALiveBUQUERQUE (PFMCD045)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="456"]
Michael Vlatkovich

Christopher Garcia: drums/percussion
Jonathan Golove: electric cello
David Mott: baritone saxophone
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone/percussion
Compositions:
1) Black Triangles, Yellow Corn, and Pink Medicine Drops 12:28
2) Poem on a Banner 9:53
3) Blue Fragments 7:28
4) Once In A Blue Moon A Decent Wolf Comes Along 9:23
5) Every Second of Every Minute of Every Hour 17:36
total: 57:02

Recorded in concert- Outpost Performance Space May 19, 2003
Recorded and mixed- Manuel Rettinger
Edited and mastered- Wayne Peet
Sculpture artist- Justo Xuana
Photos of sculpture-William Roper
All other photos- Mark Weber
Graphic design- Chuck Britt

Surely we have arrived Nefertiti. Such luminescence. Our
audience brings us forward, carrying our transcendence.
Our fate. This music like mercury silver hot upon the wheel
cycles out tentacled delicate flux rotating matter, solar,
nebraska, consonance in this tangential place ye shall
know as New Mexico. How many years has this composer
borne such honesty? The river it flows upon is specific.
Yet nothing about it holds the musicians down. There is
chance, and probability, and negotiation, and a compass
in case anybody wants to look. The delta can be treacherous
at certain times of the year. O Nefertiti how calm you are
in the center of this music.

18june03
mark weber
Albuquerque

pfMENTUM CD045

PFMCD045

Michael Vlatkovich: Across 36 Continents (PFMCD030)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="423"]
Michael Vlatkovich: Trombone, Percussion
Rob Blakeslee: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jeff Kaiser: Trumpet
Jill Torberson: French Horn
Michael Powers: Bass Trombone
Mark Weaver: Tuba
Rich Halley: Tenor Saxophone
Kurt Peterson: Alto Saxophone/Tenor Saxophone
Alan Lechusza: Bass Clarinet
Chris Lee: Drum Set, Vibes, Percussion
Mark Weber: Narrator, Track 5

1. 5 Why Zee 1 3:53
Soloist: Vlatkovich, Kaiser, Halley, Lechusza
2. I Have These Tears 6:17
Soloist: Blakeslee, Peterson, Lee
3. Asking How Tiny Screams Rust Thousands Of
Times Beneath Enormous Rocks 7:07
Soloist: Powers, Halley
4. 8 5:31
Soloist: Blakeslee,Vlatkovich
5. Be Careful 1:54
Soloist: Vlatkovich, Kaiser, Torberson, Weber
6. 9113 6:20
Soloist: Vlatkovich, Kaiser, Torberson, Peterson, Lee
7. It’s Too Much To See Things Any More Clearly
Than One Must See Them 10:20
Soloist: Kaiser, Vlatkovich, Blakeslee, Halley
8. All Of You None Of Us Know 2:56
Soloist: Halley

Music Composed by M. Vlatkovich, (c)2005 Julius Ivory Music, ASCAP • Poem Composed by Mark Weber
Recorded and Mastered by Sean Flora, Rocket Science Recording, Portland, Oregon
Color Photos by Harlan Goldberg • B&W Photo by Charles Britt
CD Design and Layout by Jeff Kaiser

PFMCD030

PFMCD030

Steuart Liebig / MINIM: Quicksilver (PFMCD023)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="405,407"]
Steuart Liebig / MINIM

Quicksilver

Ellen Burr: Flute, Piccolo and Alto Flute

Jeff Gauthier: Electric 4 and 5-String Violins

Jeanette Kangas: Drumset, Percussion and Vibraphone

Steuart Liebig: C, Eb and Prepared Contrabass guitars

1-23: Mosaic – (51:38)
24: Chrysanthemum – (15:37)
25: A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise – (12:21

Copyright 2004 Steuart Liebig/Sisong Music (ASCAP)

Recorded April 2002, by Wayne Peet
Mixed June and October 2003, and March and July 2004
by Wayne Peet and Steuart Liebig; all at Newzone Studios, Mar Vista, California

Jeff Gauthier plays 4- and 5-string electric violins made by Rich Barbera, and a bow made by some dead French guy.

Jeanette Kangas (formerly known as Jeanette Wrate) plays
Paiste cymbals exclusively.

Steuart Liebig plays Fodera Basses, uses the Raven Labs PMB-1,
and uses Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats strings (C basses) and Fodera roundwound strings (Eb and C basses).

Live Band and dancer (Belinda Cheng and John Dowell) photos by Anthony Cheng. Band rehearsal photos by Belinda Cheng.

Cover photos/montages by Steuart Liebig.
Thanks to David Poelman for digital assistance
Layout by Steuart Liebig and Jeff Kaiser.

Thanks Leslie, Anya and Aron.

“Mosaic” is a piece made up of 23 miniatures based on haiku. “Chrysanthemum” is a single movement of 14 parts. “A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise” was written for a collaboration with choreographer Belinda Cheng for the Auricle Dance Company and premiered on 17 November 2002.

NOTES:

Mosaic: 23 Miniatures After Haiku

The idea for a piece comprised of a group of 23 miniatures for small improvising ensemble has been one that I had kept in the back of my mind and in small sketchbooks for some four years. I envisioned an ensemble in which I would be able to utilize some of the “prepared bass” and less “bass-like” techniques that I had been using for a number of years. Additionally, I wanted to write for some less-usual (for me) techniques for both tuned and untuned percussion and a standard melody instrument. Finally, after many years of languishing as only sketches, these miniatures were written in a fairly short time.

There were a few catalysts for this seemingly sudden turnaround. One was that I had just finished a long-term writing and recording project that consisted of four long-form pieces (now released as Pomegranate, on Cryptogramaphone Records) and, still feeling the creative ferment from that experience, needed the opportunity to do much shorter pieces that were formally less involved (though, as whole group, the overall structure does have some formal complexities and is pretty long!). The second was the decision to move from a trio setting to a quartet setting, thereby opening up more orchestrational possibilities. Third, I decided to base the pieces on haiku; rather than choosing specific poems, however, I chose to base the pieces on some of the syllabic rules of haiku—while hopefully achieving some of the brevity, feeling and wonder that one experiences from reading this sort of poem.

As such, these 23 pieces are all based on the number 17—a piece may have 17 measures, thematic material made up of 17 notes, etc. The overall piece is structured to have a solo piece (four) for each member of the quartet; a duet and trio for the different possible groupings in the quartet (six and four, respectively); and nine pieces for the full quartet. I tried to have contrasting sections and parts that referred back to other parts of the overall piece and to evoke differing moods and emotions throughout.

A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise

This piece was written as part of a collaboration with choreographer/dancer Belinda Cheng. The title comes from a passage in the novel, Art & Lies, by Jeanette Winterson. The piece itself is broken into two major sections. The first is a sort of unfolding that the phrase suggested to me. The second is a more pictorial setting of the action in the book: three people (the characters Handel, Sappho and Picasso) on a subway, each with his/her own thoughts.

Chrysanthemum

This piece is based on the structure of a sonnet: 14 lines of 10 syllables each. In this case, I have “cells” of 10 notes (stated at the beginning and end as two 5-notes chords) that I have treated in a more or less serial fashion in 14 discrete sections. That is, each written section of the piece uses only those 10 original notes, though they are reordered or split between the various players. Again, I have split the quartet that performs the piece into some of its component parts: each player gets a solo and there are four trios, the remaining six sections are for the full quartet. Again, I attempted to have contrasting sections. Whereas Mosaic is played in 23 sections with breaks, this piece is performed as one continuous whole.

pfMENTUM CD023

PFMCD023