Remembering Tina Marsh

I’m saddened to read that Austin has lost one of its greats, vocalist Tina Marsh. Read the story here: Remembering Tina Marsh | Austin Music Source.

I only heard Tina sing a handful of times (always with the amazing Creative Opportunity Orchestra) and was never lucky enough to perform with her. I’m almost ashamed to say it now, but I’m sure Tina attended more of my gigs than I attended hers. I’m only almost ashamed, though, since this imbalance is really a testament to Tina’s full engagement with her community. I appreciate her quiet, reliable, affirming support more than ever now that she’s gone.

Steve Lacy came through Austin near the end of his life with George Lewis in the band. I remember someone asking George about his impressions of the jazz scene in Austin, or some such question. And George responded “Well, you’ve got Tina Marsh.” As if to say, “What more do you need?”

Go to http://www.creop.org/ to hear Tina again and again.

ASAC Presents Sublime Frequencies

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective presents Sublime Frequencies, film screenings and rare 78rpm records from around the globe from Ian Nagoski and Robert Millis.

Saturday June 20 @ 8pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
$5 suggested donation

Ian Nagoski (Black Mirror/Canary Records/Mississippi Records)

Robert Millis (Climax Golden Twins/Victrola Favorites/Sublime Frequencies)

Rare and unseen Sublime Frequencies (www.sublimefrequencies.com) films will be screened, with the director in attendance. This very special night will appeal to music lovers, film buffs, world scholars, those interested in South Asia, history fiends, and anyone with an eye for the beauty of uncovered cultural treasures from around the globe.

I wrote about Ian’s last visit to the Capital Region here and look forward to hearing him again. Sublime Frequencies’s releases have provided consistent inspiration and enjoyment, particularly Radio Sumatra.

Program:

India at 78rpm
Folk and classical music in India through the lens of the largest private collection of 78rpm records and dusty ephemera on the sub-continent.

My Friend Rain
Decay and rebirth and death through the endless Asian monsoon cycle. A collage of musical segments and tropical ambiance from Robert Millis and Alan Bishop.

Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan
A traditional Buddhist ghost festival from Thailand’s Isan province that features beautiful handmade masks, outrageous wooden phalluses, ceremony, ritual, dancing, and endless music.

Connecting Connections

I’m a long-time reader of Kyle Gann’s Postclassic, so a bit surprised that I don’t point more often to¬† the gems he posts. I couldn’t pass up his latest entry, though, since it pulls together so many figures of contemporary music and finds connections between them. Case in point is this quote about James Tenney:

Someday there will be a book on James Tenney, who studied with Varese, befriended Ruggles, argued with Partch, made psychedelic eletcronic music with Mort Subotnick, played in the ensembles of Steve Reich and Phil Glass, taught alongside Harold Budd, and taught Peter Garland, Larry Polansky, John Luther Adams, and Michael Byron, among many others. Tenney is a line wandering through American musical history, drawing a variety of unexpected connections. The people most central to American music, those who can’t be pulled out of the fabric without it unraveling, are not always the household names.

I can’t wait for that book on James Tenney; if we’re lucky Kyle will write it. Speaking of Kyle’s writings, he’s currently working on a book about Robert Ashley–another one of those wandering lines–who he quotes:

“The only thing that’s interesting to me right now is that, up to me and a couple of other guys, music had always been about the eventfulness: like, when things happened, and if they happened, whether they would be a surprise, or an enjoyment, or something like that… It’s about eventfulness. And I was never interested in eventfulness. I was only interested in sound. I mean, just literally, sound in the Morton Feldman sense…. There’s a quality in music that is outside of time, that is not related to time. And that has always fascinated me… That’s sort of what I’m all about, from the first until the most recent. A lot of people are back into eventfulness. But it’s very boring. Eventfulness is really boring.”

I find Ashley’s ‘eventfulness’ formulation to be useful. I’ve often thought of my music’s tendency toward uneventfulness (here here and here, for example) as related to landscape, particularly landscape painting or photography. My interest in field recordings and soundscapes both grows from that predilection and informs it.

ASAC Presents Tape Chants

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective presents Gregg Kowalsky and Ben Bracken from Oakland, California. Gregg will be presenting his Tape Chants project which involves sounds from cassette players distributed throughout the performance space. Tape Chants has just been released on Kranky Records.

Also performing are Fossils From the Sun (Ray Hare solo project) and Rambutan (Eric Hardiman solo project).

Friday, June 19 @ 8pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St. Albany