Late Advent Miscellany

– I’ve been listening to the Andrew Hill album Point of Departure. It’s an all-star session, with Eric Dolphy, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, Richard Davis and Tony Williams along with Hill on piano. The music is richly polyrhythmic, thanks both to Hill’s writing and to the contributions of the performers. Dolphy’s playing is simply electric – there is something so alive in his playing – and Williams is endlessly and astonishingly inventive. The track called Dedication captures the emotional impact of the blues without using blues vocabulary.

– Mary Mackenzie and Heidi Williams have wrapped up the recording sessions I recently mentioned. But I want to add some words of acknowledgement for piano technician Anne Garee who made frequent crucial adjustments to the Fazioli, and for producer Peter Henderson and engineer Paul Hennerich – Heidi describes them as a “dream team”, and reports they knew just how to draw out of the musicians their very best.

– if you are in need of a little holiday humor, try re-visiting this and this.

How to Write a Symphony in 10 Steps

My longtime friend and colleague Daniel Dorff sent a link to a helpful webpage that offers guidance on writing a symphony. Lots of interesting insights, may eliminate the need for a theory textbook when classes resume this week.

Danny will be one of the composers having new pieces done on this coming Sunday’s Dolce Suono concert. My contribution will be this little flute duet.

[UPDATE: my WordPress stats tell me that a great many people come to this page as the result of what is probably a well-intentioned Google search, so I feel a need to point out the third item in the list of tags below.]

“Quiet, Andres, it was the Freemasons” – Wozzeck, Act 1

WordPress gives you all kinds of neat stats to let you know how your blog is faring in the world. (By the way, Secret Geometry recently passed 16,000 views!!) This includes what search terms people are using to get to your blog. Here is a screen grab of the search engine terms stats for today:

So, the first item, I assume, means somebody is trying to rip off Chinary and get some free sheet music – nothing novel about that, sad to say. But note the second item. Pierre Boulez, a Mason? Doesn’t that at least give you a moment’s pause? Might that not explain something about the history of high modernism and the post-war avant-garde? Didn’t you always suspect there were connections between and among Boulez, the CIA, Die Zauberflöte, the Trilateral Commission, integral serialism, Mary Magdalene, and the pyramid on the dollar bill? And if you didn’t have these suspicions, well, why not? Because they don’t want you to, right? Now, go back and re-read Ligeti’s analysis of the first book of Structures with all this in mind…