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LOG - 34


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1 March 2009 - PRISM Quartet and Music From China, Meyer auditorium / Freer Gallery, Washington, DC... This contemporary music concert was titled, "A New World of Sound". Unfortunately, I missed the first piece, "Chinatown," by Ming-Hsiu Yen. I would've liked to have known if it evoked any sense of a Chinatown (as I've been to a dozen of 'em in North America).
  The piece I liked the best was by Lei Liang for PRISM, "Yuan for Saxophone Quartet (2008). It made use of extended techniques, which are the sort that improv musicians tend to use -- what I would call plosives, dry blowing, and more percussive sounds... There was even a phrase that sounded like a freight train horn doppler effect.
  The problem in combining the 2 groups (saxes and Chinese instruments) is that the Chinese stringed instruments were usually no match for the boomy saxophones. The former needed to be miked or amplified quite a bit to be heard amongst the latter.


4 March - Nightline program on ABC tv airs a piece on the resurgence of vinyl records in the U.S.: http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7011708


7 March - During the NY Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee broadcast of Madamma Butterfly, someone mentioned that Puccini had visited NY Chinatown (mustíve been during his trip to NYC in 1910?). Apparently, the place left a lasting impression, as years later the panelist said he sought inspirational material from there while he was working on his last opera, Turandot. Apparently he'd written to someone asking for something (music? photos?) from Chinatown.

Liz Meredith & Ayako Kataoka and Tatsuya Nakatani, Red Rm., Baltimore, MD


10 March - Saxophonist Rudresh Mahathappa was the guest on today's Fresh Air, a public affairs and culture radio magazine on NPR. (It's produced at WHYY 90.9 FM, Philadelphia.) Here's the link:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101644613


13 March - Music from Japan: "Tradition E-Novation": Mari Kimura (violin/electronics), Mojibei Tokiwazu V (shamisen/voice), and Tomomi Adachi (voice/electronics); Meyer auditorium / Freer Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, D.C.

The first picture shows T.A. using a gesture apparatus attached to his hand, that he uses to shape vocalizations.
Simmilarly, M.K., in the 3rd photo, is wearing a mesh glove in her bow-hand which contains sensors (accelerometers?). Their motion is interpreted by a computer program and output as electronic sounds. I'm afraid the effect wasn't that distinctive to my ears. (Maybe I was sitting in the wrong place.)...


14 March - "El Suprimo! 6 years in the biz party": Mopar Mountain Daredevils; Metro Gallery, Baltimore, MD... Jack Moore (kybd./tape machine), Cotton Casino (synth./vocals), Bob Sweeney (bass), Bill Turney (gtr.), and Derrick Hans (drums)

  (Cotton Casino used to be a member of the Japanese acid rock/noise group, Acid Mothers Temple.)


29 March - While roaming through my local Ikea, today, I heard what sounded like a Japanese pop song I'd heard before. It sounded like one that Marie' Digby covered in her recent album of Japanese pop, but I couldn't tell who was singing.


3 April - Girlyman (based in Atlanta), Cellar Stage / Faith Community Utd. Meth. church, Baltimore... great 3-part harmonies on original songs... Each voice is not very distinguished, but collectively, they dazzle!

The 2nd picture shows a woman aiming her cellphone at the group so that her daughter in Maine can hear the song she requested.


Pictures of swag or merch... the 2nd shot shows someone filling out an order form for an audio copy of the gig (I think the roadie said that the recording equipment used was ADAT.)
The 3rd pic is of a scolding sign posted on the wall of this multipurpose room. (Perhaps the sound of chairs being dragged across the floor has often disrupted other things going on in the church.) The only thing missing on the sign is a warning, that if you do not comply, then you will not go to heaven.
Finally, there's a group photo with a fan who's seen them 5 times - each time in a different city or state.


4 April - happyfunsmile (based in New York City), Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC...


The last picture is of Bill Bahng-Boyer. He's holding a san hsien, which uses snakeskin (python?) for its soundbox. The pic before that is of a larger Okinawan instrument, that's similar. (Requires a bigger snakeskin.)


5 April - BettySoo (from Austin, Texas) and Give Way (from Edinburgh, Scotland), Cooldog house concert, Kenton, DE...

You can tell Korean American BettySoo is a true Texan. She wears cowboy boots. (Or is that cowgirl boots?)

Give Way is the Sisters Johnson. That's Fiona on fiddle (she seems to have a chin for the violin), Kirsty on accordion, Mairi on piano, and Amy on drums. (BTW, Mairi and Amy are twins. I'll bet they make money on the side, being subjects for twin studies.)


9 April - Last night I was watching a profile of composer, Philip Glass, on PBS tv. At one point, he talked about studying with Nadia Boulanger (famous French composition teacher) and Ravi Shankar (sitar guru): "She taught through terror and he taught through love. The collision of their intellects happened inside of me."


16 April - Detroit airport (DTW), McNamara terminal... I rode the overhead Express Tram to the center stop, got off, and walked past a store selling Motown merch(andise).
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