Glen Whitehead Trio: The Living Daylights (PFMCD125)

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[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

Trumpets and Basses: Sanctuary (PFMCD108)

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Trumpets & Basses: Sanctuary
Trumpets: Danny Gouker, Jake Henry, Kenny Warren
Basses: Adam Hopkins, Will McEvoy, Zach Swanson

[playlist ids="1235"]

1. From Solid Ground (1:39)
2. Bubbles Rise (1:53)
3. From the Green Beneath (3:33)
4. (and) Ships Maneuver (4:18)
5. Quietly at Night (2:37)
6. Tremors Eventually Subside (8:41)
7. But Disquiet Persists (2:49)
8. The Birds Return (but they are not the same) (6:49)
9. Moments of Clarity (6:20)
10. Resolve into Complexity (6:21)
11. The Void Looks Wider than Before (8:38)

All music ©2017, Trumpets & Basses.

Recorded live at Cadman Congregational Church, Brooklyn (Courtesy of Brooklyn Studios for Dance) by Nathaniel Morgan on April 22, 2016.
Mixed by Nathaniel Morgan, December 2016.
Mastered by Wayne Peet at Newzone Studio, 2017.
Artwork and Layout by T.J. Huff.

pfMENTUM CD108
PFMCD108
www.pfmentum.com

Quentin Tolimieri: Piano (PFMCD105)

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[playlist ids="989"]

Quentin Tolimieri : Piano

1. pointslinesplanes 6:57
2. changing/same 16:04
3. shorty 1:39
4. green dolphin st. 5:07
5. fours and ones 7:39
6. different weights and sizes 4:27
7. well you needn’t 3:14
8. fin 9:30

Quentin Tolimieri: Piano

Recorded and mastered by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios, Brooklyn NY on 2 November 2015 and 23 November 2015

Album design by Scott Gaynor

Cover photo: Cookie Cutter by Allen Lai
Interior photo: 2014_02_06_lhr-ewr_391w_ by Doc Searls
Both images available under a Creative Commons Attribution license
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

All tracks © Quentin Tolimieri (ASCAP) 2015, except On Green Dolphin Street by Kaper/Washington, © Patti Washington Music/Shapiro Bernstein OBO Catherine Hinen Music/BMG Gold Songs OBO Primary Wave Songs and and Well You Needn’t by T. Monk, Regent Music Corporation. Used by Permission. All rights reserved.

pfMENTUM CD105
PFMCD105

Gilbert Isbin and Scott Walton: ReCall (PFMCD073)

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[playlist ids="532"]
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
Total 42:01

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

pfMENTUM CD073

PFMCD073

Phil Skaller and Danny Holt Duo: Music of Mark Dresser (PFMCD062)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="510"]
Phil Skaller and Danny Holt Duo: Music of Mark Dresser

1 Flac (5:12)
2 Flocus (13:09)
3 Para Waltz (10:48)
4 Digestivo (9:37)
5 Aperitivo (12:33)

Philip Skaller and Danny Holt: pianos, celeste, toy piano, melodica, percussion
All compositions by Mark Dresser (Del Dresser Music/ASCAP)
Arrangements by Philip Skaller and Danny Holt
Recorded October and November 2008 and June 2009 at Roy O. Disney Music Hall, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
Piano Technician: Alan Eder
Engineered by Steve Rusch
Edited and Mixed by Edmund P. Monsef at The Hacienda, Los Angeles, CA
Mastered by Jeff Kaiser
Artwork by Iva Gueorguieva
Graphic Design by Ted Killian
Executive Producer: Danny Holt
This recording was made possible in part by a Subito grant from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Composers Forum.
© 2010 Philip Skaller and Danny Holt

I was quite surprised when Phil Skaller approached me about recording a whole CD of my compositions in duo with Danny Holt. Though I had composed this music between 1994 and 2008 for my own groups, and arranged it for various formations, I had never imagined it for two pianos.

I’ve known Phil since 2002 when he was my teaching assistant at Hampshire College in an improvisation class. I introduced some of my tunes to the students and Phil, especially, devoured the music and its improvisational concepts. I had been hearing the praises of Danny Holt for years from Phil, but it was not until 2008 that I first heard this duo perform a suite of my compositions at UC San Diego. I was quite impressed and flattered by the wit, musical virtuosity, and pure improvisational fantasy that these two gifted young musicians brought to my music.

The compositions represented on this CD were conceived as abstractions and deconstructions of known jazz forms and related idiomatic music. What Phil Skaller and Danny Holt have done is to deconstruct my deconstructions. They have taken my music in directions that I doubt that I would have ever conceived and in some ways, made the music more flexible and malleable.

The first track, Flac, recorded on “Aquifer” (Cryptogramophone), was originally designed as a rhythmically gear-shifting Klezmer-like tune that improvisationally develops from the material itself and returns to the theme. Phil and Danny’s version has a rhythmic and sound character reminiscent of both Conlon Nancarrow’s studies for player piano and John Cage’s works for prepared piano. The alternation of fragments of the tune and its improvisational implications comes in waves, yet a thread of the thematic materials is always present.
Flocus was composed for trumpet, voice, bass, piano and drums and recorded on “Force Green” (Soul Note). It was conceived as four independent lines, each in a different meter, which are layered one upon another and developed in collective improvisation. Phil and Danny’s version takes a different direction, introducing a more classical theme and variation approach, while each of the lines independently develops outside of the tempo grid. This interpretation, though referring to themes, transcends the materials and becomes a springboard for episodes of virtuoso invention and dramatic return.

Para Waltz was composed as a vehicle to melodically and harmonically improvise on a metric modulating jazz waltz. Danny and Phil’s interpretation takes a very different direction, initially eschewing the tempo aspect and focusing on a more spacious approach, layering the timbres of glockenspiel, piano, and piano harmonics. The temporal aspect isn’t highlighted until midway, with the introduction of cymbals demarcating the time. The thematic material is finally introduced whole and floats on out.

Similarly Digestivo, recorded on “Aquifer” and “The Marks Brothers” (W.E.R.F), was conceived to create a metric modulating twelve-bar blues in B-flat. My idea was to abstract the idea of ‘substitute changes’ traditionally applied to jazz harmony and apply it to the domain of tempo. Unlike the original, which has a single underlying tempo throughout, Danny and Phil’s version is freer, starting out of time. They eventually introduce the tune and the different tempos, but in the end, leave the form completely, in an expansive and satisfying way.

Aperitivo, composed for piano, bass, and voice, is an even more abstract version of the blues than Digestivo. Recorded on “Time Changes” (Cryptogramophone), this slower metric modulating twenty-four bar form in C minor doesn’t even articulate the ground pulse, creating a feel that is inherently looser and less polyrhythmic than Digestivo. Phil Skaller and Danny Holt’s version is an extremely inventive and expansive finale to the CD, utilizing pianos, toy piano, melodica, and percussion. Improvisationally, they’ve chosen an even more abstract approach, which alternates the gestalt of tempo changes of the head and a freer approach that abstracts motifs, melody, and an almost fugue-like beginning. At about minute nine the tune grinds into a vamp, modulates faster, and phases, juxtaposing shreds of the melody back into the vamp, and returning to the twenty-four bar head.

Hearing Phil Skaller and Danny Holt’s interpretations of my music is both affirming and inspiring. I am impressed with the combination of their virtuoso playing, interpretative skills, and pure musical imagination. I look forward to hearing what they do next.

Mark Dresser
September 2010

pfMENTUM CD062

PFMCD062

Michael Vlatkovich and Dottie Grossman: Call & Response & Friends (PFMCD060)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="501,503"]
Artists: Los Angeles Recording:
Dottie Grossman: poems
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone
Rich West: drums/percussion
Anders Swanson: bass

L.A. Recording 7/09: Killzone Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Corvallis Recording (indicated by *) 11/05:
Dottie Grossman, poems; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone;
David Storrs, drums/ percussion, toys; Jim Knodle, trumpet

Corvallis Recording: Califas Studio, Corvallis, OR

engineer: Wayne Peet
producers: Michael Vlatkovich, Dottie Grossman
front cover art: Billy Mintz
design: Ted Killian

1. Benjamin Called (1:38)
2. I Wish (1:49)
3. Tumbleweed (:57)*
4. Early Wednesday morning (1:20)*
5. Veterans Hospital (1:18)*
6. Mendocino Coast 1967 (2:21)
7. Merry Christmas, Michael (1:12)*
8. Two Henny Youngman Poems (1:57)
9. This Winter (1:38)
10. Two Appropriations (1:39)*
11. The Two Times I Loved
You The Most In a Car (2:37)
12. Two Poems About Trucks (2:20)
13. Africa (1:29)*
14. Melting Pot (2:35)
15. Zoey Steps Out (1:18)*
16. Quotation (1:56)
17.Little Rock (2:03)*
18.Two More Henny
Youngman Poems (1:48)
19. Helicopter Noise (:50)*
20. This Is What I Do Best (1:33)
21. The People Who Hate Wind (1:22)*
22. Just Before (1:45)
23. Noon Concert (1:36)
24. Another Nose Poem (1:52)*
25. Definition of Happiness/
If I Were Directing This Movie (1:27)*
26. From Iceland (1:36)*
27. Alaska (1:49)
28. What Henny Youngman Loves
Most About America (:47)
29. Vince Salvino (1.16)*
30. Fortune Cookie (3:11)
31. Henny Youngman’s True
Confession (2:06)*
32. Sorry To Disappoint You (1:39)
33. Future Past (1:42)
34. Mark Weber-Type Poem (1:41)

Track 1

Benjamin called
from Long Beach Island,
New Jersey.
I said, “I can hardly hear you;
the ocean’s so noisy.”
He put down the phone
for a second
and screamed,
“Atlantic, will you please
shut up? —
I’m talking to Dottie.”

Track 2

I wish there was a town
called Nirvana
in Nevada.
It would be
a beautiful place,
in a valley,
where the only industry
was happiness.
Wouldn’t it be fun
to send a letter there —
addressed to
“Nirvana, NV”?

Track 3

Something is draped on a fence
until it is time to be tumbleweed.
In this room,
you are heroic,
tasting of summer and vitamins.
Step outside
and the tumbleweed rolls.

Track 4

Early Wednesday morning,
nobody’s kicked up any dust,
nobody’s made a dime, yet.
All the pet dogs
have left-alone faces.

Track 5

Veterans Hospital

The uniform white buildings
shine as pointlessly
as dead men’s teeth.
Here, everything is slower,
even southern,
as they dance to mark
the time between the palm trees
and forget in the clean cut grass.

Track 6

Mendocino Coast, 1967

Inland, where the grasses and grapes lived,
we could not have imagined
the rocks, the cold clouds —
the surf that would surround us
like a headache,
and those long tubes of kelp
like noodles
from another world
where, with the music of foghorns
and wind chimes,
even the kind moon
seemed dangerous.

Track 7

Merry Christmas, Michael

You remind me of a dolphin,
navigating the waves
with your own mysterious sonar
that sounds a lot like a trombone.

Track 8

2 Henny Youngman Poems

Henny Youngman On National Poetry Month

Henny Youngman hates National Poetry Month;
it gives him performance anxiety.

Henny Youngman To His Priest

Forgive me, Father,
for I have sinned.
I’m sexually aroused
by sacred music.

Track 9

This winter feels colder than ever,
or maybe I’m just more sensitive
these days,
when the wind is
a fire engine
and the moon is sinister
and blue.
I’m all bundled up for it,
stamping my feet,
drinking rum,
counting the days
until the yellow flowers.

Track 10

(two appropriations)

Tuna Fishing

“A March 22 “Outdoors” article
about tuna fishing
inadvertently identified an angler
as Rusty Johnson.
His name is Frosty Johnson.”

The Rhythm of Commercials On The Discovery Health Channel

Will a new nose help Wendy
rediscover her self esteem?

Track 11

The Two Times I Loved You the Most In A Car

It was your idea
to park and watch the elephants
swaying among the trees
like royalty
at that make-believe safari
near Laguna.
I didn’t know anything that big
could be so quiet.

And once, you stopped
on a dark desert road,
to show me the stars
climbing over each other
riotously
like insects;
like an orchestra
thrashing its way
through time itself.
I never saw light that way
again.

Track 12

Convoy

Tonight on the road,
the trucks are majestic;
they sashay like elephants
through the turns,
with jewels on their heads
and tails.

Night Convoy

The trucks are wearing rubies in their hair.
They are like beautiful movie stars,
walking carefully in high heeled shoes,
making whooshing noises in the dark.

Track 13

Africa:
its vowels are so seductive,
I get dizzy.
I’ve no wish to deplete
the wildebeest,
I only wish to eat the wildebeest.
Last year’s skeleton crop
set a new record.
The air is succulent
with lions and mahogany.

Track 14

We were sitting around the melting pot
(which is what I call my hairdresser’s):
a Korean, a Vietnamese, and myself (the American)
discussing our homelands calmly
like three women anywhere,
with no mention of bloodshed or memories.
I told them I’d been reading
about Angor Wat
and the Cambodian jungles
where heartless nature
buried the ancient temples
and we all agreed
that could never happen here
in Santa Monica.

Track 15

At eight months old,
Zoey steps out,
wearing a new tooth
and a rose
in her purple hat.

Track 16

“I don’t own an exquisite way to move around in the night.”

Doug Benezra, 9/18/05

It occurs to me that,
when I die,
they might find the necklace
I dropped behind the bed
and wonder
how long it was there,
and whether I’d missed it.
But will they care
about my favorite color,
my long-range plans,
or my habit of searching myself
for signs of rust?

Track 17

“The town has several antique shops and fruit stands, in addition to restaurants and gas stations.“
…from the Little Rock, CA website.

Little Rock

No, not that one —
This one’s in the desert,
about a two hour drive from here
It’s the color of western movies
(blue skies, brown horses).
There’s even a mirage —
rare water and
big Medjool dates,
a fruit stand in the uncomplaining dust
on the way to Valyermo,
to Saint Andrew’s Abbey,
where the dead monks sleep
in the tight-packed earth
of The Holy Land
off the main road.

Track 18

Henny Youngman doesn’t understand
why camping is not permitted
on the cemetery plot
he just paid for.

Henny Youngman On National Public Radio

Once again, I made it through the pledge drive
without contributing a dime.

Track 19

When I remember
how quiet you used to be,
the helicopter noise
in my head
disappears.

Track 20

This is what I do best:
I phone you
and say Congratulations,
Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday,
Happy New Year,
How’s your sister?
Are you better?
Is it hot enough for you?
Thanks, I love you, too.

Track 21

The people who hate wind
are insulated, inland;
they wear hats to keep them safe
from
flying poems.

Track 22

Just before I killed that bug,
I had the guilty thought
that it might be you, reincarnated,
but I told myself that,
if you did return,
it would be as a much higher life-form,
maybe a hummingbird.

Track 23

Noon Concert

These frail, white widows
who get their hair done weekly
in tight curls,
like little flowers
bend their heads
until the applause
says it’s time
to be brave, again.

Track 24

If the bridge of the nose
is really the seat of wisdom,
yours is The Britannica,
edited by Einstein,
illustrated by Picasso.

Track 25

Definition of Happiness #302

Yellow plates on a black table,
and my new curtains,
dancing a tango
in the open window.

If I were directing this movie,
we’d be walking through clouds
wet as dogs’ breath.
Just a dot of pink, for excitement,
and no music, just ice where the wind was.

Track 26

Since she was from Iceland
and didn’t know any better,
she said, “I miss the green of the east.
It’s so yellow here.
Of course, at home, we don’t have any trees.
Once, in New Jersey, I could see Manhattan
across the river,
as if it was a picture of Manhattan.”

Track 27

Alaska

Once, I got into a taxi
whose driver wore a turban.
We chatted about traffic and travel
and he said he absolutely loved Alaska,
where he’d worked on the pipeline for five years.
He blushed when he told me, “You know,
I’m a Muslim. We’re supposed to pray
five times a day, facing Mecca.
But sometimes, when nobody’s watching,
I face Alaska.”

Track 28

What Henny Youngman
loves most about America
is that anybody can
grow up to be the Pope.

Track 29

We were all sitting around,
talking about what kind of animal
we’d like to be,
and Vince said, “A gorilla,
because they’re the most like us.”

Track 30

Fortune Cookie

You are going to look exactly
like your father —
one of those draped,
semi-ecstatic old Jews
you see framed
on the mantel
in grandmothers’ houses.
Like him,
you will lapse into Yiddish,
throwing your hands up
in mock surrender.
And your lips will move
when you read,
and your children will
imitate you.

Track 31

Henny Youngman’s True Confession
(thanks to M.B.)

I think that, if I were to talk to a rabbi,
he’d listen and all,
but then we’d just end up
with him asking me
to explain the Internet.
I went to a palm reader,
said, “I’m in love with a straight guy
who can’t love me back.”
She said, “Why would you
want to do that?”
I’m, like, exiled,
all the best people are.

Track 32

Sorry To Disappoint You

As the elder in your Chinese house,
I have almost no wisdom to offer:
A few books, a few poems –
I’m not sure there’s anything else,
except that I once shook John Coltrane’s hand,
and sex in the morning is more fun
than cereal.
The rest you already know.

Track 33

Future Past

If I had stayed asleep
I would have missed
the fun of speaking English,
the quiet satisfaction
of appointments kept,
the way dreams change
when you try to describe them.

Track 34

Mark Weber-Type Poem

So my latest rejection comes from Iowa,
about a week before Christmas:
“Thank you for allowing us
to consider your work…”
I picture the writer
at a desk overlooking a corn field.
There’s a droopy plant
on the windowsill
and a volume of Yeats or Keats
nearby.
It has been a tough day,
and here I come,
galloping into that landscape
with my palm trees and deserts,
coyotes and surfers.

pfMENTUM CD060

PFMCD060

Hal Onserud: Hal 2008 (PFMCD056)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="480"]
Hal Onserud: bass, vocals, ocarina

Colter Frazier: tenor saxophone

Rami Gabriel: guitars, percussion

Rob Wallace: drums, percussion, vocals

Tracks

Looking Out the Window
7:35

Homespun Yarns
5:24

How Aware Are You
3:08

Clean Slate
7:18

Crispy Critters
4:52

Take Over
6:06

Five Dees
4:52

Greens and Blues
6:25

It’ll Be Okay
10:06

Hortense
3:51

Homeless Guy
3:51

Population
5:29

Shadeless Tree
5:41

pfMENTUM CD056

PFMCD056

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

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[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

Steuart Liebig / Stigtette: Delta (PFMCD033)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="429,431"]
Steuart Liebig/Stigtette

Ellen Burr: Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo
Andrew Pask: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Sara Schoenbeck: Bassoon
Steuart Liebig: Contrabassguitars (prepared, applied tools)

hector 2:11
kprs:
mahoning 2:30
alchemy 8:49
light cloud, dark cloud 5:24
1956-j no.2 3:51
dynamite’s dionysian dance 5:08
cold green mystery 4:43
our lady of the illuminated hand 5:52
seven dreams about time 14:07
render 4:50
secret one-hand shake 4:24
knowledge is gravity 5:11

all music copyright steuart liebig/sisong music (ascap) 2005
recorded at newzone studios, mar vista, california, 28-29 may 2005, by
wayne peet. mixed at newzone studios, june-august 2005, by wayne peet
and steuart liebig. mastered by wayne peet.
artwork and layout by steuart liebig
photos by ken luey

” kprs” is a suite played as four discrete parts; “seven dreams about
time” is seven parts played as a continuous whole.

hector
Written as an hommage to Hector Berlioz and inspired by his writing for woodwinds.

paint
A four-part hommage (mahoning; alchemy; light cloud, dark cloud; 1956-j no. 2) to four of my favorite painters: Franz Kline, Jackson Pollack,Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still.

dynamite’s dionysian dance
Inspired by Frederick Neitzsche’s “Also Sparch Zarathrustra.”

cold green mystery
After a line in the “Thousand Nights and One Night” – –
also known as “The Arabian Nights” – – describing the sea.

our lady of the illuminated hand
A little requiem of sorts.

seven dreams about time
Based on a book that explains Einstein’s theories of time through fictionalized accounts of his dreams.

render
My idea of a musical illustration of the concept of
“render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s . . . ”

secret one-hand shake
A basic rhythmic idea stolen from a piece by
Herbie Hancock.

knowledge is gravity
An attempt to write something inspired by a little reading about String Theory.

pfMENTUM CD033

PFMCD033