Frances the Mute- The Mars Volta I would be absolutely nothing as a listener and as a Musician without this album. From the time I heard it six years ago to now, I still find something new and ineffable to listen to, to think about. Whether it is screaming guitar, running bass, funky drums, melodic strings, or the insanity of Cedric’s vocals, this album has kept me practicing and opening my ears.
Dreaming of Revenge- Kaki King In terms of releases, this is definitely Kaki’s outreach to the popular scene. The results are undeniably beautiful. By the fiftieth listen, I was still crying during “Can Anyone Who Has Heard This Music Really Be A Bad Person.” Her work is grade “A” in my book.
What’s Going On-Marvin Gaye Plain and simple, Marvin Gaye was one of the funkiest mother fuckers who ever lived and who ever died. Spiritual as balls, this album changed the way I looked at the post-Motown scene and the 60’s, early 70’s.
Shakti- John McLaughlin The “soul” reason I divided into Indian classical Music. The “soul” reason I divided into Zen. Music like this changes people.
Prog-The Bad Plus One of the scariest acts you will ever hear. It is a jazz trio that permits itself to be a concerto-trio. Bowie, Tears for Fears, Rush, and more.
Three Strange Angels-Peter Garland If you want to change the way you hear Music, repeatedly listen to “Apple Blossom,” and he rest of the record.
Solo Piano- Mad Rush I’ve never heard simpler, more introspective Music played by a human being.
“Music is the language of the Universe. By creating good and harmonious sound-vibrations, we should, therefore, extend and expand our mental horizons even while sitting quietly in our home instead of wasting time on cheap entertainment like cinema and TV, which besides making us addicts through systematic brain-washing and slow poisoning, adversely affect the clarity and transparency of the mind. By our noble thoughts, benevolent aspirations and harmonious sound-vibrations we are able to help even plants, flowers, birds and animals.”—
It was about the time that I realized that life, specifically mine, is meaningless that my death would mean absolutely nothing and everything I do would be absolutely permanent, I don’t remember my birth and I won’t remember the moment my soul leaves my body or when I come back to the great void that enraptures us all and it becomes apparent that this reality is not real and that this whole sake of existence, this worry and proliferation of nay-saying is really just a rejection of the truth that does exist, not only that we don’t die, but that death is completely unnecessary, death is as much of a trend as fashion or concert-going for bands nobody should be listening to but we’ve been conned into, and it all becomes a grand wazoo of alienation and determination, “sit back and enjoy the show,” the only real lesson we ever needed to learn was the one from ourselves, our carnal desires, the eats and feasts of our minds, of our stomachs, of our cocks and cunts, of our shits and pisses that excrete from our bowels and bladders: it’s all the same as our infinite struggle to become one with society, for popularity and punctuality and principality, it’s a joke and facade and a damn shame that we’re still dancing on our own graves, etching in the stone what we want said about us, but beyond that writing our own obituaries in red letters, blood letters, oaths to the one we called God or the Universe, when the wow of now is the only constant worth fighting for, speaking for, staking for, and we’re in front of the television growing romantic with minds that are pedantic in the case of everything, we want and bleed and masturbate and cum and suck and fuck, but none of these things wake us to the realness of experience, of the exuberance and entitlement and elitism of the non-regulation of the entirety of this moment, the Grand Design laid before us like answers to some exam we struggle to remember because it is so easy to forget and to forebode, but the truth is the reason we forgot is because we were asked to forget, to remember something of more importance that pertained at the time but was nonessential and convoluted to the point of extermination and our whole lives were looked upon like jokes of failed grades, but we knew that wasn’t us because those weren’t our lives but figments of our dreams, and we knew one day we’d be awake, it was a matter of choosing to wake up to our eternal work, to the job that would keep us out of the office and grinding corn to make planets out of atoms and molecules of damaged lives we pretended to live. It was all an excuse and now I am awake.
This piece is specific to the pseudo-classical part of the Yen-Yaw project. It involves twelve-tone rows and their various hexachords (with repetition in a minimalistical style). In basic, the piece is based off of all twelve notes in the Musical language and the halves (six note hexachords) of those rows created by transposition (changing the starting pitch but retaining the same distance between each note, i.e. intervals), retrograde (backwards rows), and inversion (flipping the intervals). In some ways, this is my salute to Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and George Crumb.
The story behind the piece comes from the pending release Invitation to the Sun, the Kerouac-esque story of an individual traveling to a foreign land. Much like looking at a painting, the individual sees a new sight in terms of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feels. To put it in essence, this piece is the feeling within those “colors” of each experience which highlight the many transitions and character differences (as well as tempo/rhythm).
The actor pulls the curtain himself.
You never know what fate might bring.
You can’t become the President without getting a little crazy.
Hear me out, killer.
You’re standing on the wrong stage.
Sometimes it’s harder to let people live.
Listen up, killer.
This country is pumped.
A monopoly on power, money, and interests.
The reward? Heaven Smiles.
See into the future.
This nation will be the focus of concentrated fire.
But it still won’t die.
Figure it out, killer.
I’m not dead.
Blood flows through * again.
The UN Party and opposition party are holding meetings again.
Don’t expose the nation’s shame.
Topple the young members of the UN Party.
Open the forbidden door.
Your mission is to bury the dark pages of history.
If you do, paradise awaits you.”—
I couldn’t even finish it. David Sedaris’ sarcasm and “wit” is as entertaining and amusing as mud. I wish I could remember who recommended this book so I’d know not to trust them with future recommendations..
The complete text analysis of Killer7. 56 pages of wisdom on a video game. For that, I have to say this may have been the first and singular ground-breaking game in terms of story based on the reality of politics.
I wish I could say I am, but I am not a true mathematician. Holfstadter has me interested in Typographical Number Theory, but the last math I was diving into was basic Calculus. Maybe sometime soon, but not at the moment. What about you?
We find ourselves in trying times as Musicians. Scrapping for gigs, moments to perform, time to practice, etc. We try to develop in a world that’s simultaneously way ahead of us and ages behind us. There is a constant power struggle between traditionalists and the contemporary evolutionists puts a lot of the Artistic perspective at a standstill. “That’s not Music.” “This is real Music.” Yet, we let popular Music dominate our ears and refuse to create what we want to hear.
Thus, the point of Yen-Yaw: a craving, an unquenchable desire for the path of the new and reformed (and informed). As much as I love popular, jazz, classical, etc., what’s been done has been done. That’s not to say we shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon, quite the contrary: we should be pushing the fabric of what has been done to what we are currently doing. People like Steve Reich and Brad Mehldau have the right idea.
Here’s some beautiful Music.
Deal with it. Don’t ask me again.
I don’t care if they played it that way, we’re doing it this way.
Yen-Yaw is my hope and designation for a contemporary Music society in Florida in some ways. In others, it is the pursuit of my Musical endeavors in whatever shape they come, from neo-classical to neo-jazz. In essence, it is a genre I’ve marked Hybrid, as to avoid confusion, really. It’s the Music of guys like Mehldau and Avishai Cohen, Steve Reich and Philip Glass, something between a popular art form and very intellectual craft, without pretension.
Yeah, I see what is going on, but there is something you’re getting at. We don’t know what it is either, but this like a conversation leading somewhere particular. This is a philosophical discussion that is no longer post-modern, but finding the missing essentials that were grazed over when the discuss seemed to contradict itself. Wayne Shorter’s most recent quartet has the right idea as well, performing intensely beautiful and evolved Music. The same with John McLaughlin’s “4th Dimension,” and Chick Corea’s “Five Peace Band.”
We have to work twice as hard as Musicians of this age. We have to know the foundations like solid rocks know the Earth below them. We have to work a million times harder as Artists to really define what it is we are doing.
My goal with Yen-Yaw is to simultaneously abolish and introduce ideas. No longer should “timbre” be a staple of a band, but a character. Chromaticism should be the invited dissonance, not the centrality unless this is stated from the start. Our Music shouldn’t be defined by its sound, but by its culture. I think inherent to the conversation of a group to an audience is the particulars of genre in their performance. If we’re stuck within a genre, we’re pigeon-holed. Too broad, and we don’t understand how to invent a purpose. The medium becomes the grounds.
And it’s my hope to form this somewhere in Florida, to reinvent the Music scene. I can’t do it alone, obviously. And I hope to save a few eggs rather than break them. The breaking should occur for the ice. I want there to be a reputation around these parts for New Music. Or maybe just different.
This was a nicely blended, somewhat mellow and seemingly quite finished recording by Abdullah Ibrahim with Carlos Ward (alto sax, flute), Essiet Okun Essiet (bass), and Don Mumford (drums) called Zimbabwe. Interspaced with non-originals were four Ibrahim compositions, most of which were inspired by the imagery from Ibrahim’s South African roots.
Recording information: Studio Bauer, Ludwigsburg (05/29/1983).
Photographer: Gerhard Koch
:: Abdullah Ibrahim: Soprano saxophone, piano :: Dollar Brand: Soprano saxophone, piano :: Carlos Ward: Flute, alto saxophone :: Essiet Okon Ossiet: Bass instrument :: Don Mumford: Drums
01 Kramat [6:37] 02 Guilty [5:09] 03 Bombella [6:26] 04 Don’t Blame Me [3:30] 05 Zimbabwe [5:27] 06 It Never Entered My Mind [5:02] 07 For Coltrane, No. 11 [10:08]