Wednesday, January 30, 2008

41. AFFZ CD: CHET GREEN: Solstice to Equinox (3:26)

Solstice to Equinox (3:26)

40. LEWIS SAUL: Being Born (4:00)

(1999/Alesis) (Track 19 on CD)

Being Born (4:00)

39. RON MOSES: Owny Woo (1:16)

More Ron Moses for ya!

This one requires a bit of explanation.

Ron is in tech support. This guy left a message on their answering machine, and Ron turned it into a work of musique concrète!

However, a disclaimer is in order. I found this on another site that hosts Owny Woo, and I'm quoting this person because I couldn't possibly say it better:

"...Working in the tech biz these days means working with people from all over the world. People whose native tongue isn't English. People who are doing me a favor by learning my language in order to communicate. Thus I generally don't believe making fun of their accents is nice. But we're all human and sometimes it can be really, really funny. So today I will point my readers to Owny Woo. A double order of giggles smothered in date sauce..."

Owny Woo (1:16)

And the "lyrics" --


"Uh hello, th... this is a Clyde?

Uh, I'm in a kleine sad uh (mm) centimeter uh software op.

But I'd a body would have um owny woo? Workstation had a match is a uh eyeball to connect date sauce.

That doesn't mean a where we can make a change."

Owny woo

Date sauce

Uh eyeball
Uh eyeball

Kleine sad
Centimeter date sauce
Kleine sad
Software op

Kleine sad
Hello uh eyeball
Owny woo
Owny woo

Kleine sad
Owny owny owny woo
Kleine sad
Date sauce date sauce

This is a Clyde?

Woo owny woo owny
Software woo owny sauce uh eyeball
Software woo owny owny kleine sad
Date owny date owny date date owny owny

Owny owny op woo woo op
Owny woo

That doesn't mean a where we can make a change.

If you like voice manipulation like this, be sure to check out this.

38. MIKE KENEALLY: Beautiful (MIDI) (4:19)

If you don't know Mike Keneally's music, do yourself a favor:

Start with this!

Or go to Mike's site and check it out!

The ninth track on Sluggo! is called "Beautiful."

I was so transfixed by this song that I did a MIDI of it.

Beautiful (MIDI) (4:19)

Monday, January 28, 2008

37. Me and Dave

I had the honor of working for Dave Brubeck, copyingª the score to his first orchestral work, "Truth is Fallen" in 1970. He came to Tucson with Danny and Chris a few years ago and my wife snapped this with her cell phone.

ª Before FINALE, ENCORE and SIBELIUS existed (or for that matter COMPUTERS!) ... Higgins ink with a special pen and nib onto vellum (onion skin) score paper ... tiny black dots, one after the other, 10 hours a day for six weeks.

36. LEWIS SAUL: Flow-ers (4:56)

Pronounced "flo-ers." Ones who flow.

(1977/AWE) (Track 4 on CD)

Flow-ers (4:56)

35. MASATOSHI SADAKANE: Trees Lining a Street (5:33)

Trees Lining a Street (5:33)

34. DARK HOPKINS: Cadenzite (2:06)

Cadenzite (2:06)

33. AFFZ CD: A.J. WILKES: Fantasy Garden Through a Child's Eyes (3:19)

Fantasy Garden Through a Child's Eyes (3:19)

Friday, January 25, 2008

32. FRANK ZAPPA: Orrin Hatch on Skis

From Guitar (1988). This amazing guitar solo transcribed...

Of course, it's not perfect.

Allright -- it's far from perfect! But you get the idea ...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

31. BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 28 for Piano, Op. 101

A detailed analysis of Ludwig van Beethoven's: Sonata No. 28 for Piano, Op. 101, including notated musical examples.

Ludwig van Beethoven deserves his reputation as one of the greatest composers of all time!

Today, I take a look at one of the most magnificent pianos sonatas ever written.

My favorite recording comes from my Complete Beethoven Edition, which appears to be out of print now.

However, most of the individual sets that make up the edition are still available. Here is the set of piano sonatas, recorded by the great Wilhelm Kempff in 1964. Although some hiss is discernible, it is never annoying. Kempff's interpretation is penetrating and insightful...

Opus 101, along with the two cello sonatas (Op. 102), ushers in Beethoven's "Late" period. From here on in (1816), Beethoven will produce masterpieces, one after the other. The music from this period is notable for Beethoven's unique innovations and deep spirituality (although he never loses his sense of humor!)...

Thayer gives us an interesting anecdote about Beethoven's fascination with using the German term "Hammerclavier" in place of the Italian "Pianoforte" which had been in use for centuries throughout all of European musical culture.

"...The suggestion had gone out that German composers substitute German terms in music in place of Italian. With characteristic impetuosity, Beethoven decided to begin the reform at once, although it seems to have involved the reengraving of the title page of the new Sonata. He wrote to Steiner [one of his publishers]..."

"'After individual examination and taking the advice of our council we have determined and hereby determine that hereafter on all our works with German titles, in place of pianoforte, Hammerclavier be printed; our best Lt. Gen. as well as the Adjutant and all others concerned will govern themselves accordingly at once and put this order into effect. Instead of Pianoforte, Hammerclaiver, -- which settles the matter once for all. Given, etc., etc. by the G[eneralissimu]s on January 23, 1817.'"

"Beethoven was in doubt as to the correctness of 'Hammerclavier,' thinking that it might better be 'Hämmerclavier,' and said the matter must be referred to someone versed in languages"
(pp. 667-68).

In any case, it was not this sonata, but the next (Op. 108) which ultimately earned the nickname "Hammerclavier."

I will not post Kempff's performance -- I do not violate copyright law -- but I am posting a MIDI that I sequenced for this purpose:

BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 28 for Piano, Op. 101 (MIDI by LS) (19:21)

February 1, 2008

Today, I am posting a new performance of this sonata, with the performer's permission:

Morgan Eiland, a young man in his early 20's who is graduating from Northwestern University's School of Music. This performance was part of his senior recital, which took place on November 30, 2007. It is an extraordinary performance (I dare you to compare to it the Kempff -- it is that good!)

BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 28 for Piano, Op. 101 -- FIRST MOVEMENT (Eiland) (4:01)

As Cooper notes:

"...The opening movement has the textures of a Bach prelude at the start ... and begins on the dominant, producing a sense of tonal ambiguity that is only gradually resolved..." (p. 252)

Moving along, Beethoven cadences on the dominant, still withholding the first root position tonic chord from our ears!
Beethoven syncopates the rhythm, one of his favorite tricks -- and still no tonic chord!
Finally, after much gentle teasing, Beethoven delivers the craved root position tonic chord (shown in red):After another short reprise of the syncopated section, Beethoven crescendos to a fortissimo diminished chord and then gently brings the movement to a delicate close.

BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 28 for Piano, Op. 101 -- SECOND MOVEMENT (Eiland) (6:24)

An extremely detailed and technical analysis of this movement.

A good clue to Late Period works: Beethoven trying out new forms. This interesting March takes the place of what would normally have been a minuet or scherzo, and traditionally as the third movement, in classical sonata form.

In addition, the key signature of F Major is far removed from the A Major tonic!

After the above theme repeats, Beethoven lands in A Major -- sort 0f (see the above analysis for details).
This section is spine-tingling:

First, note the weird rush of dotted rhythms which culminate in a forced-sounding pair of eighth-notes (Bar 3), establishing D-Flat Major (even more distant from A Major!). Then that magical passage (Bars 8-11) with the sustain pedal depressed...

After a repeat back to the "Sort-of-A-Major" section, Beethoven lands firmly in B-Flat Major for the B section of this movement -- a calm from the jerky dotted rhythms of the first part, with flowing eighth-notes:The way Beethoven gets us back to the beginning of the March again is also magical:
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 28 for Piano, Op. 101 -- THIRD MOVEMENT (Eiland) (2:53)

BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 28 for Piano, Op. 101 -- FOURTH MOVEMENT (Eiland) (8:24)

The third movement (A Minor) is quite short, quite slow and heavily profound. It ends with a mini-cadenza on the dominant, which segues right into:A reprise of the first movement! This is also a regular feature of Beethoven's Late Period (think the beginning of the Fourth Movement of the Ninth Symphony where short phrases from all three earlier movements are recalled.)

A series of trills leads to this vigorous 2/4 theme:Much working out, a repeat, and then Beethoven begins this amazing four-part "fugato" in A Minor. I have color-coded the four parts, in order to clearly show the entrance of each voice:

Again, note Beethoven's unusual approach to the harmonic template:

The first entry (bass) is in A Minor (black).

The second entry (tenor) is in C Major (red). Normally, in traditional fugue-writing, this voice would enter in E Minor!

The third entry (alto) is in D Minor (blue).

The fourth entry (soprano) is in A Minor (fuchsia).

This is all well developed. The little theme is continually deconstructed until we reach a big climax.

Beethoven was always fascinated with the continual improvement of the pianoforte. At this time (1816), a new piano had been built with a new low note added -- "Contra E" -- and the composer immediately put the note to good use, marking the actual note with the words "Contra E" below it in the music!
Beethoven returns to A Major and recapitulates. Some soft murmuring in the low bass, and he closes with pounding A Major chords.

An excellent page detailing the creation history and musical content.

A working theory concerning the relationship between this sonata and the "Immortal Beloved."

30. AFFZ CD: RON MOSES (DISGUISING GODIVA): Real Good Friend (0:56)/Dumb (4:17)

Here are two songs that I'm in love with, from the AFFZ CD.

Ron is a deep thinker with a beautiful voice.

Real Good Friend (0:56)

Dumb (4:17)

Go here and and click on "Ron's Music" and check out the other tracks from Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, as well as lots of other goodies. This guy is an amazing songwriter.

29. LEWIS SAUL: #14 (2:23)

Another sneak-peek at my new CD ... although this is not finished (obviously -- i.e., the last bit). Can you tell I'm going for an 80's kind of sound here? Like my previous post, these tracks have not yet been mixed.

#14 (2:23)

28. AFFZ CD: NIK LOWENBERG: Tribute to Frank R. (Dillusions of Grandeur) (4:26)

I don't know who "Frank R." is, but this certainly is a nice tribute to "Frank Z."!

A lovely guitar solo, soaring over a rhythmic vamp. Gradually, the guitar disconnects from the underlying rhythm. Very nice. The ending goes into "spacey" territory and ends with a polite "thank you" for listening!

Tribute to Frank R. (Dillusions of Grandeur) (4:26)

27. PATRICK GREEN (AQUARIUS): Triangle (4:22)

Another guy I met online and swapped CDs. This guy is really influenced by the '73 Zappa-era (think Dinah-Moe-Humm) -- but he does it so well!

I discovered quite a bit of distortion when I uploaded these tracks. But it's so good, try to ignore the unwelcome noise:

Triangle (4:22)

You can buy this CD here.

You can access the lyrics to this song by clicking on "Read more!"


That day in May, I was outa control
There was a pair o' tweezas drivin' at the seat of my soul
They had the tiny lightnin' flashin' all around my head
A New York minute we was grindin' up and down my bed, they said
Triangle, triangle, triangle
Huffin' and a-slidin' down le tour de moi
And with a camera to record our little valse-a-toi
They watched my greazy vezzelina twist in agony
On bulging geometric pillows made of EXTACY
Well things got really down and dirty when I grabbed the phone
Yeah, the pilot of this rendezvous began to moan
The drowning witch between the pillows gladly pulled the chain
And when the flight attendant finished, this is all she claimed she claimed
Triangle, triangle, triangle
Now the paratropers landed in a two by four
Yeah, my carpet was invaded they paraded my door
What they uncovered must've been a terriblizin' sight
Cause I was quickly hauled away on the "extendered" flight
Well I was pleadin' for help, but no one seemed to care
That burnin' jet was goin' down, my ass was stuck in there
They tied a plastic-coasted+bracelet to my grueling fate
That's when the cosmic ship arrived
But it was much too late
All along the shoulder line
Holdin' on to the breaking vine
I heard the curse, the devil's sign
So a word to the bland and mechanistic jerks
Who take whatever they can to make their body works
Well when your mind is the slave then maybe you should know
That you don't feed no microchip when he's about to blow
Triangle, triangle, triangle

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

26. LEWIS SAUL: The Stained Glass Music Man (5:32)

Another track from WA. This was written for my best buddy, John G., who is a fantastic guitarist (he once played with Link Wray), as well as a terrific stained glass artist. John taught me how to do MIDI back in 1990. He moved away from Tucson years ago and I miss him terribly.

Oh yeah, he also did the cover art (above) for WA.

(1990/AWE) (Track 10 on CD)

The Stained Glass Music Man (5:32)