Gilbert Isbin: lute
Scott Walton: bass
1. Solace 2:32
2. Flutter 3:19
3. Panting 2:24
4. Soedansdochter 3:19
5. Unhinged 2:06
6. Embra 2:47
7. Oblique 3:19
8. Pensive 1:53
9. Along Green Ditches 3:21
10. Blooming 2:11
11. Weaving 3:41
12. Spatter 2:49
13. Knomish 2:42
14. Terpsichore 2:35
15. Recall 2:13
Tracks 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 and 15 composed by Gilbert Isbin
Tracks 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 14 composed by Gilbert Isbin and Scott Walton
Soedansdochter is a medieval Flemish folksong, arranged by Isbin and Walton
Recorded at Banquet Sound Studios, Sebastopol, CA, October 26 and 27, 2011
Recorded and Mixed by Darryl Webb
Mastered by Wayne Peet
Cover Photograph by Marie-Anne Ver Eecke
Special thanks to Marie-Anne Ver Eecke, Sophie Plassard, Jos Demol,
Larry Ochs,Bill Horvitz, Darryl Webb and Jeff Kaiser.
Gilbert Isbin plays an eight-course lute after Wendelio Venere 1592,
built by Dirk De Hertogh, Wolvertem, Belgium
© Gilbert Isbin and Scott Walton 2012. All rights reserved.
Over the past three decades, guitarist/composer Gilbert Isbin has released an impressive string of recordings for various labels. A few years ago, wanting a new challenge, he began studying the lute–not the most common jazz instrument, although its Arabian nephew, the oud, gains more and more recognition. I have always adored the sound of the lute, and it struck me that there is little modern music written for–and performed on–this marvelous instrument. Gilbert’s work is a significant contribution to the development of contemporary lute music. His compositions are both reflective and lyrical, infused with compelling melodies.
Contrabassist and pianist Scott Walton lent his stunning tone and superb technique to the well-received album Venice Suite (2003), recorded in Los Angeles with Gilbert, and violinist Jeff Gauthier. Since meeting at those sessions, Scott and Gilbert have teamed up for numerous concerts in Europe and the United States. Their innovative collaboration finds its inspiration in progressive jazz, classical avant-garde, Renaissance chamber music and even blues. The interplay between both musicians–which proves mutual respect–is remarkable, resulting in intelligent improvisations that capture the listener’s attention. The fifteen tracks on this album are in exquisite balance, revealing an unequivocal beauty. –Jos Demol, Jazz’halo, 14 July 2012
Steuart Liebig / MINIM
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.
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.
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.
Call and Response
Poems written and read by Dottie Grossman
Trombone improvisations by Michael Vlatkovich
1. If we lived on a mountaintop :44
2. The lady from Calcutta 1:05
3. What if another caveman 1:12
4. This poem is part cartoon :44
5. I’m grown up now :55
6. The hum of a place :58
7. In a sleep
In the dream
In recurring Cary Grant 1:34
8. Today I bought 1:04
9. In the canyons below 1:27
10. In the evening 1:33
11. There has been :44
12. Three Henny Youngman Poems 1:12
13. Dear Terre Haute 1:05
14. We waited the storm out 1:23
15. On a navy-blue night 1:29
16. Two about movie stars 1:34
17. The man who is more like
The murderer on his way 1:40
18. Ten P.M. 2:12
19. Six Short Cat Poems 2:04
20. The Man Who Loves His Job Makes A Poem 1:09
21. You make me laugh easily 1:27
22. Three Henny Youngman poems :58
23. Two appropriations 2:26
24. My hairdresser tells me 1:52
25. Daughter 2:52
26. In my pre-adolescent :46
27. Once upon a time 1:32
28. Two short ones 2:00
29. Three short ones 2:09
30. The weekend begins 1:35
31. Two in a row 2:46
32. Two about geography 2:02
33. Two more in a row 2:40
34. Two that seem to go together 1:19
35. …And three more Henny Youngman Poems 2:08
(c) 2004 Dottie Grossman and Michael Vlatkovich • Executive Producer: Jeff Gauthier
Art: Billy Mintz • Design and Layout: Jeff Kaiser and Dottie Grossman
Engineers: Garth Powell and Scott Looney • Best Boys: Garth Powell and Jeff Gauthier
Recorded: 6 March 2004, 1510 Studios, Oakland, CA
Recorded in real time with no overdubs or edits
A sampling of the poetry…
If we lived on a mountaintop,
the fog would rise up every night,
so thick you could run a comb through it.
Every morning would look like a barbershop,
with wet floors full of leftover curls.
The lady from Calcutta
is taking a breather
in the California sun.
She sits by the freeway
eating ice cream
and thinks that the freeway
is a kind of Ganges,
all foamy and shining with light.
Oh, lady from Calcutta,
you never had it so good.
What if another caveman
had my hands,
after they saw me
through my teens
and spent the sixties
Could somebody else
And would the tracery
of my lifeline
on, say, you?
This poem is part cartoon
and part injection.
I hope it has the clarity of wind chimes
or the bloody sparkle of broken glass.
I’m grown up, now,
but I still find
the way they bob
I don’t trust them
when the filtered light
cleans the empty beach
the desert hideouts
of dead Indians
and their toys.
The hum of a place
tells me everything’s working.
I love the electrical breaths
of us and our gear,
7. Three Poems…
In a sleep
ruffled by guilt,
I dream of my family,
They are so small
that I suddenly understand
their common nightmare,
and why they call themselves
by one name.
In the dream
as paper dolls,
each has its wardrobe
that can be moved
In recurring Cary Grant
Dream Number One,
he appears on Christmas Eve
to bless the animals.