Gypsy guitar on Jazz Lib rary
I am listening to this programme with unexpected interest, having had previous misgivings as to its subject matter, while always having loved Django's playing.
John Etheridge is always instructive to hear on jazz guitar... just now he evaded the issue of the Nazi's permissiveness towards the Hot Club as, presumably, non-salient to the wider brief; but issues of this kind cry out imo for another programme. it would have been great to have Etheridge with Robert Wyatt, with his deep interest in gypsy culture, discussing alongside. Perhaps a case for another programme, under a different remit?
Very interesting and well presented programme, so a big and thanks, to Alyn and John. Much of the following for this kind of tradition reminds me of Trad - the difference being between those who remain "true to the source" in John's eloquent phrase - and who are therefore, for me at least, less interesting, much as I like the "style" - and those seeking to develop it further in various ways: John being among the latter - and it didn't seem to upset Stephane Grappelli, iirc from an earlier interview I taped when John talked about this - while clearly respecting the workmanship of those conscientious to the source.
I know I should stay in and listen to this but instead, in about 10 minutes' time, I'm off to make my first daring appearance at Cafe Oto.
They have a German trumpeter on called Axel Dorner as duet and quartet. I listened to the piece below on my laptop headphones just now and it made me feel slightly sick. I hope Cafe Oto has a bucket.
I went in on the way back from Sainsbury's, to see if they had tickets for the gig (band on about 8.45 pm) and as far as I could tell (at 7.45 pm), I was the only person there who wasn't either hiding in the kitchen (there were 3 of them stood behind a carboard sign saying, "Kitchen is closed") or what I took to be the 5 musicians.
Very kindly, the member of staff didn't laugh in my face when I asked if he still had tickets but, then again, he and colleagues were all looking what I'd describe as 'tense'.
Maybe the bucket's already spoken for?
Well, if you do insist on jumping in at the deep end right away....
This was a good deal louder than the one time I witnessed Mr Dorner was at an out-of-the-way place in the wilds of Essex, about ten years ago. There appears to be some sort of sound processing going on here, from what I can make out.
There were about 15 people in the audience, to my surprise - Billericay not generally being noted for its stalwart support for hard-core improv., more for being the first constituency result announcement at general elections, back in the old days. On that occasion, dressed entirely in black, but unlike Column 88 suporters back in the 80s displaying no swastika on his tie, the pasty-faced Mr Dorner restricted himself to low breathing sounds throughout, accompanied by Mark Wastell on cello, and Chris Burn, who performed inside and underneath an upright piano. The whole performance, which was improvised, concentrated on what is often referred to as "extended sounds", i.e. those produced from playing the instruments outside the normal conventions.
I can safely say that, for all the low level of volume, the music was extremely creepy - one of the very few occasions, apart from the first time I listened to Penderecki's "Dies Irae" and Region IV of Stockhausen's "Hymnen", when I was truly terrified, just by music. We didn't ask the 16-year old music student we'd taken along for the experience what she'd made of it!
Quite an achievement for three freely improvising musicians, playing for two hours at whisper levels!
Cafe Oto comes highly recommended
great selection of odd musics
and just over the road is one of the best (and most bizarre ) Chinese restaurants in London (in the old pie and mash shop)
hope you have fun
I have a story about Cafe Oto and bucket
John Stevens once said, re a particular improvisation, "When one musician stops, everyone stops". One could call that an Oto finish.
Er, where did I put my coat??
I find meditation techniques are very useful for this music/ noise (one man's music is another man's noise).
Originally Posted by hackneyvi
Many find it easy to meditate and clear the mind of extraneous thoughts in an absolutely silent environment. But I always remember attending a yoga/ meditation class where there was a great deal of activity - possibly roadworks - in the road outside. I was able to concentrate on the meditation exercise without getting annoyed and irritated with the external sounds.
I guess if one can just listen to the sounds presented, without expecting trumpet-type sounds, then at least it won't be a negative experience.
Me too - assuming (as I am) one treats the sounds as an unpredictable part of the listening environment one is concentrating upon. Which was the way in which the Spontaneous Music Ensemble approached performance... and many subsequent improvising groups. When the listening is as intense on the part of the listener in the audience, I believe that a common experience of a very high order is achieved.
Originally Posted by Oddball
Other kinds of avant-garde music can also be treated in this way, imv. I love this quote from the composer Roberto Gerhard:
"Attention - deep, sustained, undeviating - is in itself an experience of a very high order. There seems to be a direct relation between the quality of a work of art and the quality of the attention it elicits in the perceiver. We know it is the works which have held our attention most strongly, that we can bear to experience most often. The work to which I can listen again and again with ever renewed freshness of approach and a seemingly inexhaustible sense of discovery, is also the work which seems to prove my capacity for inexhaustible attention. This is indeed a happy match, and not a little mysterious. I certainly do not profess to know what it takes to achieve this rare captivation. Yet I have often thought that, when it does occur, it is as if the listener in his turn has been able to achieve a degree of detachment in the act of perception matching that of the composer in the act of origination. The listener's mind is emptied of all the petty preoccupations of the day; on exceptional occasions it may even succeed in temporarily suspending that feeling of separateness which we call our individuality. Detchment in the composer, matched by detachment in the listener,, thus results paradoxically in the strongest possible bond between the two.
"The social side of man has been defined as that part of the person which is entirely 'made up of other people', in other words, of borrowed patterns of behaviour, mostly unconsciously imitative. The feeling of being *different* - an oppressive feeling at most times - is perhaps what drove some people to become artists. Yet in that stage of perfect detachment which a great work of art can induce, both originator and perceiver seem, on the contrary, to find access to that part of ourselves where we are all essentially the same, but where the common ground lies far beyond the plane of superficial social conformity. I believe that is one of the major aims of every true work of art". ("The Composer and his Audience", Gerhard, R., in "Twentieth Century Music: A symposium", John Calder, London, 1960, Ed Rollo Myers, PP 55-56)
Last edited by Serial_Apologist; 19-06-11 at 18:36.
Link to I-player not working.
Ended up listening to J on 3 but had to turn it off in the end as it wasn't very condusive for checking contract amendments! Thought the Craig Taborn track was really dull but the best stuff was John Hollenbeck and Ray Anderson although the Charlie Hunter track was easily the most enjoyable. "Real " jazz!! The dreadful, freely improvised set was the killer - I think the gypsy jazz programme would have been more suitable for completing the work that I had brought home!