Bruce Friedman: O.P.T.I.O.N.S. / OPTIONS (PFMCD054)

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[playlist ids="476"]
O.P.T.I.O.N.S.
Lynn Johnston: clarinets
Ellen Burr: flutes
Eric Sbar: euphonium
Bruce Friedman: trumpet
Michael Intriere: cello
Andrea Lieberherr: violin
Emily Beezhold: keyboard synthesizer
Jeremy Drake: electric guitar
Rich West: drums, percussion
Special thanks to
Haskel Joseph: guitar and
Richard Kim: violin for their participation

Tracks:
1. Monochromatic Textures (MCT-1) 3:35
2. MCT – 2 with Solos 10:10
3. MCT – 3 with Solos 19:25
4. MCT – 4 with Duos 16:45
total time: 49:57

“O.P.T.I.O.N.S. is a collection of music notation symbols, both original and traditional that were designed and compiled with the intent of minimally guiding improvisation. The selection, order and interpretation of the symbols are left to the ensemble, hence the acronym O.P.T.I.O.N.S. — Optional Parameters To Improvise Organized Nascent Sounds.

For this recording, each symbol became manifest as a musical texture. Three of the compositions include improvised solos or duets. This ensemble gave two concert performances in the Los Angeles area. The O.P.T.I.O.N.S. CD is the result of artistic contributions made by this wonderful group of devoted musicians. While I did guide the project, the music’s evolution was very much a collaboration. I cannot thank the individual participants enough for their invaluable contributions to this endeavor.

–Bruce Friedman

Recorded at Architecture on March 26, 2005
Scott Fraser – studio engineer (recording, mixing, mastering)
P & C 2008 brucefriedmanmusic, BMI
www.pfMENTUM.com
Graphic notation by Bruce Friedman
Layout and design by Jeremy Drake

pfMENTUM CD054

PFMCD054

Scott Fraser / Bruce Friedman: Landscape with Figure (PFMCD031)

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[playlist ids="425"]
Fraser/Friedman Duo

Scott Fraser: electric guitar, reverb springs
Bruce Friedman: trumpet

Improvisations, Spontaneous Compositions & Interactions For Electric Guitar & Trumpet

1. As Visible Wind
2. Haste & Intent
3. Traces
4. Plumeria
5. Field With Sticks
6. The Cartographer’s Dilemma
7. Toolsville
8. L’ Ombre Dans L’ Eau
9. Furtive Gestures In The Silent Dark

Upon meeting at a recording session we quickly discovered we shared very similar backgrounds and experiences, and had listened to, and were deeply influenced by many of the same composers and musicians. Making music together was inevitable, with the primary question being how to combine the divergent timbres, idiomatic approaches, and attendant traditions that accompany electric guitar and trumpet. This collection is our answer to that query. All pieces were culled from live improvisations which took place over the course of many jam sessions throughout the ensuing year. We’ve done some minor edits to make things more concise & economical, but basically what you hear is what we played. There are no overdubs. – Scott & Bruce

Recorded, mixed & mastered at Architecture, Los Angeles
© 2005 Architecture, BMI
Produced by Scott Fraser & Bruce Friedman
Cover: untitled (3/8/99) watercolor © 1999 Cody A. Bustamante
Inside: detail, untitled (merman, 1994) water media © 1994 Cody A. Bustamante
Design and Layout by Jeremy Drake, evvt.com

pfMENTUM CD031

PFMCD031

Monochromatic Textures (MCT-1)

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“Monochromatic Textures (MCT-1)” from O.P.T.I.O.N.S. (Optional Parameters To Improvise Organized Nascent Sounds) by Bruce Friedman. Genre: Improvisation, Creative, Composition.

Traces

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“Traces” from Landscape with Figure by Scott Fraser and Bruce Friedman. Genre: Improvisation, Creative, Composition.

Rich West: Mayo Grout’s Known Universe (PFMCD055)

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[playlist ids="478"]
Rich West

FEATURING:
Tony Atherton
Ace Farren Ford
Bruce Friedman
Paul Green
Emily Hay
Eric Johnson
Haskel Joseph
David Kendall
Steuart Liebig
Jill Meschke
Walter Zooi

1. I’m a Cockroach; Adapt, Adapt – part one 18:05
2. Short I Am 3:22
3. On Her Wrists She Wore Her Interest 10:09
4. Newness 5:13
5. I’m a Cockroach; Adapt, Adapt – part two 6:28
6. Five-Lane Parasite 5:47
7. ES-1 10:33
Total Playing time: 59:43
© 2009 Book Crazy, BMI

1 and 5 recorded at Architecture, Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 21, 2003
mixed 2003–2006, Scott Fraser, engineering
2, 3 and 6 recorded at Architecture sometime in 1995
mixed 2003–2006, Scott Fraser, engineering
4 and 7 recorded at Rick Cox’s studio above John Carter’s in Los Angeles, CA, sometime in 1991, Rick Cox, engineering
Editing by Phyllis West
Emily Hay: flute 1–7; voice 4
Bruce Friedman: trumpet 1, 5
David Kendall: bass guitar 1, 5; electronics 1
Haskel Joseph: guitar 1–3, 5, 6
Ace Farren Ford: vocals 1
Tony Atherton: alto sax 2–4, 6, 7
Steuart Liebig: bass guitar 2–3, 6
Eric Johnson: bassoon 4, 7
Walter Zooi: trumpet 4, 7
Jill Meschke: keyboards 4, 7
Paul Green: bass guitar 4, 7
Rich West: drums 1–7; subjected to voice 3
Layout and design by Jeremy Drake

Of
AG.

The jet-like whirring sound started again. Neighbor Riley was angry but knew that going over to Grout’s house would be a futile journey. Didn’t anyone else on the block hear the world’s-end racket? “I’m just doing some work,” Grout had yelled when Riley had first complained. Then, three days ago, Riley had summoned up the courage to bang on the garage door with his fists. Grout had popped his head out of a side door. “What kind of work?” Riley had asked. “Just some power sawing. I’ll be done in half an hour.” Of course, it had gone on much longer than that. This time, convinced that any plea for quiet would send Grout into a rage, Riley called the police, feeling his chest tighten as he punched in the numbers. “It seems you’ve been using a lot of energy, sir, and we‘d like to know what it‘s all about,” said the patrol officer. After the initial obligatory round of yelling for civil rights, Harry Grout had invited the two cops into the garage to see for themselves. Within a month ten reporters called, then a mystery-man got very interested in the project, and Grout was able to convince some very rich investors to procure private equity interests…

(Please purchase the CD To see how the story finishes.)

pfMENTUM CD055

PFMCD055

Rich West: Heavenly Breakfast (PFMCD035)

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[playlist ids="435"]
Rich West: drums, accordion, pieces
Dan Krimm: electric bass
Bruce Friedman: trumpet
Emily Beezhold: electric piano, korg ms2000
Lynn Johnston: saxophones, clarinets

1. Bloomsday
2. A Performer’s Objective Is to Put Everyone to Sleep
3. You Never Want to Tell People You’re a Scent
4. Le Petomane
5. Detritus or Treasures
6. Death Pledge
7. Glenn’s Conducting

all compositions by Rich West, © 2006 richwest recordings (bmi)

Design and Layout by Jeremy Drake
Recorded April 18th and November 27th, 2004
Mixed March 24th, June 2nd, and June 10th, 2005
Mastered August 2nd, 2005
All at Catasonic Studios by Mark Wheaton

Notes:

Heavenly Breakfast is a novel/autobio by Samuel Delany about
communal living but it reminded me about how happy I was when I
would visit my friends’ cooperatives in Santa Cruz. The food was
vegetarian and excellent. The meal would cost a dollar and I’d help
either in the kitchen or at the dining table. And then the circular
massages. It definitely takes a certain type of person to be involved in
those things on a day-to-day basis.

I was not one of them.

– Rich West

BLOOMSDAY
I could say I based the form of this tune on the structure of James Joyce’s book Ulysses – but I didn’t. It’s more about getting progressively more wasted on an eventful Bloomsday (June 16th) on the UC Santa Cruz campus in 1984. I came to a classroom full of joyous Ulysses fans drinking Irish whisky, enjoying another full-length all-night reading of the tome. Brendan, in his tenth year at the university as an undergrad, was trying to finally finish a B.A. in philosophy, preferably before a heroin overdose. He was sitting front and center, absorbed. He got up and read for about a page.

A PERFORMER’S OBJECTIVE IS TO PUT EVERYONE TO SLEEP
“Come to my gig,” I tell my girlfriend. “You can take a nap.”

YOU NEVER WANT TO TELL PEOPLE YOU’RE A SCENT
Right?

LE PETOMANE
I’ve thought of dedicating a whole cd to him. I would be the stand-in for
the famous actor who would play him in the full-length movie. I’d need a
voice-over, though, as I’m really an unpracticed amateur. Did you
know I was once the model for a Butthole Surfers concert promo poster?
Taken by Steve Callis, the police were looking for the photographer and
producers who put out this smut, this photo of a woman’s groin. Ah, pride.

DETRITUS OR TREASURES
In chipping away, a fantastic and unfortunate thing happened.
A 20,000-year old fossilized bug came loose as Mr. Big was digging.
It lodged in his corneal area. A trip to the hospital and some tweezers later, his eye was red for several weeks.

DEATH PLEDGE
See the Latin word “mortgage.”

GLENN’S CONDUCTING
There was a great series at the Kabuki Theatre in San Francisco in
1983 on Fridays. The first one I went to was Glenn Branca
when he had his big guitar group with the sympathetic vibration string
instruments and the drummer played an anvil. You really couldn’t
hear those sounds on recordings, not the way he intended anyway.
I noticed that if you mixed peach brandy and sat in the front row you’d
have involuntary regurgitations. It was LOUD, and freaky because
of all those sympathetic vibration highs. Mind-blowing, psychedelic, and
he had a program so you could read about it in very academic language.
Right?

pfMENTUM CD035

PFMCD035

Rich West: Bedouin Hornbook (PFMCD016)

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[playlist ids="387"]
Rich West Bedouin Hornbook

Chris Heenan: bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Bruce Friedman: trumpet
Jeremy Drake: electric guitar
Scot Ray: eb tuba
Rich West: drums

1. Bugge 11:20
2. Tribology 6:34
3. Twang 14:41
4. Tread 8:22
5. Friends of the Vacuum 9:00
6. Tychai 1 and 2 7:25
7. Curly 4:10
8. Furcifer 6:44
Total Time 68:16

All compositions by Rich West
©2004, Richwest Recordings, ASCAP
Recorded April 29, 2002 and March 12, 2003
Recorded and Mastered by Scott Fraser
Mixed by Rich West and Scott Fraser
at Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
CD Design and Layout by Jeremy Drake and Jeff Kaiser

“The sad thing about L.A. is that it’s hard keeping people in the same room for extended periods of time.”
— Rich West

The title is from a book by Nate Mackey, which I haven’t read. However, in the spirit of Richard Meltzer’s infamous “previews” of bands to whom he’s neither listened or talked prior to writing about them, I’ll concentrate on the nomadic implications of Bedouin (from Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language); nomad, “a member of a tribe, nation or race having no permanent home, but moving about constantly in search of food, pasture, etc.”, and suggest that this band is composed of nomads as only an L.A. band can be. Luckily, Rich West was able to get them in the same room at least long enough to produce this exuberant album. It’s not just that the tunes (he says, “everyone had a hand in some of the arrangements”) are strong and interesting (shades of Igor Stravinsky, Frank Zappa, Nino Rota), the playing — both written and improvised — is, too.

A surprising variety of moods and textures is developed, ranging from the inviting and theatrical “welcome to the show” feel of Tribology to the especially attractive Gyuto-Monks-meet-Fellini scenario on Twang. The sounds are oddly appealing in some non-traditional ways (murky trumpet, bell-like guitar). When it’s all over, you feel as if you’ve been someplace new. I can’t imagine any other five players who could play this music and make that happen. This is music that knows the difference between self-expression and self-indulgence, for which we should all be very happy.

— Dorothea Grossman, Los Angeles, CA, October 2003

pfMENTUM CD016

PFMCD016