November 10, 2015

svetlana ivanova live in stellenbosch

Filed under: music,stellenbosched — ABRAXAS @ 3:38 am


November 7, 2015

marietjie pauw and garth erasmus live

Filed under: Garth Erasmus,music — ABRAXAS @ 5:56 pm

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September 18, 2015

the spike orchestra – ghetto

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 11:55 am


September 13, 2015

rudiger meyer on unyazi

Filed under: 2007 - Unyazi of the Bushveld,music — ABRAXAS @ 6:04 pm

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first published here: https://rudigermeyer.com/notes/2015-09-05-21-56-32

September 1, 2015

south african jazz cultures and the archive

Filed under: Jonathan Eato,music — ABRAXAS @ 2:28 am

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more info is here: http://ev2.co.uk/jisa/research/content.html

August 29, 2015

sinners repent and save your soul – johnny clarke

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 1:23 am

August 28, 2015

south african jazz cultures and the archive

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 8:19 pm

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first published here: https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2015/events/south-african-jazz-2015/

August 25, 2015

Herbie Tsoaeli: Ke Hopotse Hae

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 2:27 am

August 21, 2015

david thomas tells it like it is

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 3:40 pm

Have Pere Ubu ever been burned by a support act?

A couple of times I’d think: “Hmm. Maybe we’d better tighten it up tonight.” But nobody burns Pere Ubu. That sounds arrogant, but nobody can touch us. You’ve got to have that belief or what the hell are you doing up there? Every time I go on stage, I feel the metaphorical ghosts of everybody that’s died in the pursuit of truth and knowledge in civilisation and art for the last thousand years behind me saying: “OK, boy. What have you got?”

read the full interview here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/23/pere-ubu-david-thomas-music-interview

August 17, 2015

Richard Maxfield Double LP Anthologies 1&2

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 5:03 pm

(double LPs released on Jan van Toorn’s Slowscan label in 2014 and 2015)

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Richard Maxfield (1927-1969) was an American composer of electro-acoustic and electronic music. Maxfield was born in Seattle and wrote his first symphony when he was still in high school. After having served in the US Navy for a year he attended Stanford University but soon switched to the University of California, where he studied with Roger Sessions from 1947 to 1951. After his graduation he was awarded the Hertz Prize, which allowed him to study with Ernst Krenek in Los Angeles and travel through Europe. There he met Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen and got in touch with electronic music. From 1953 to 1955 he studied in the US with Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt until a Fulbright Scholarship enabled him to return to Europe, where he studied with Luigi Dallapiccola and Bruno Maderna and met John Cage. Back in the US in 1958 he attended Cage’s courses at the New School for Social Research in NYC and a year later he replaced Cage, becoming the first American to teach purely electronic music. From 1960 to 1961 La Monte Young studied electronic music with Maxfield and soon became his teaching assistant. Young developed into one of the principal performers of Maxfield’s work. Maxfield’s most productive years were from 1959 to 1964, during which he completed at least 24 compositions. In New York’s first loft concert series, directed by La Monte Young at Yoko Ono’s studio in 1960 and 1961, Young presented two evenings of Maxfield’s work as well as concerts of the works of Jennings and other artists who were creating new and radical work at that time. David Tudor, Terry Riley, Terry Jennings, Dick Higgins and George Maciunas were some of the other artists with whom Maxfield worked. He was Musical Director of the James Waring Dance Company and his work was performed regularly in major concert series, at the Living Theatre, and for dances by Aileen Passloff and Paul Taylor. In 1967 Maxfield left his tape music, scores and equipment in the care of Walter De Maria. He moved to San Francisco, where he taught at San Francisco State College in 1966 and 1967. He moved to Los Angeles in 1968. In 1969 Maxfield, whose drug addiction was getting worse and worse, committed suicide by jumping out a window of the LA Figueroa Hotel at the age of 42.

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This first Richard Maxfield anthology released on Slowscan in 2014 contains early compositions for piano (1948-49) and wind instruments (1951), interviews of Maxfield and later compositions among which the famous 1959 ‘Cough Music’. The second Richard Maxfield anthology released in 2015 contains four compositions: ‘Electronic Symphony’ (1964), ‘Dromenon’ (1964), ‘Suite From Peripateia’ (1950-1961) and ‘Wind’ (1961). All recordings courtesy of Dick Higgins. See our Slowscan catalogue for more information and for other Slowscan releases, to which more will be added this week and about which more information is to follow soon: http://www.sea-urchin.net/audio-video/slowscan/

Fresku – Zo Doe Je Dat

Filed under: music,race — ABRAXAS @ 2:52 pm

August 14, 2015

south african jazz cultures and the archive

Filed under: Jonathan Eato,music — ABRAXAS @ 5:33 pm

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read the full programme here: http://ev2.co.uk/jisa/research/content.html

August 6, 2015

Kenny Wheeler – The Sweet Time Suite

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 12:15 am

August 3, 2015

on what is beautiful

Filed under: art,music,philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 10:49 pm

“The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
― John Cage

August 2, 2015

The Lute in the Attic–Kenneth Patchen

Filed under: music,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 5:41 pm

Kenneth Patchen w/ Chamber Jazz sextet – The Murder Of Two Men By a Young Kid Wearing Lemon

Filed under: music,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 5:39 pm

John Cage & Kenneth Patchen – The City Wears A Slouch Hat (1942)

Filed under: music,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 5:33 pm

Kenneth Patchen – Do The Dead Know What Time It Is?

Filed under: music,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 5:31 pm

August 1, 2015

j. mia pistorius reviews stephanus muller’s nagmusiek

Filed under: literature,music,reviews,stephanus muller — ABRAXAS @ 12:02 pm

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this review first published in fontes artis musicae

Nagmusiek – 'n skending from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.

Art, Adorno says, is not culture. Culture is acquiescent, conformist, reflects the false consciousness of unity or totality. True art is confrontational, uncomfortable, exhaustingly engaged in an immanent dialectic with society. ‘The authentic artists of the present’, he writes, ‘are those in whose works there shudders the aftershock of the most extreme horror.’ This leads one to reflect on what kind of society one lives in and what the role is of the art that you practice (if it is art and not only culture), in this society. If this sounds vaguely familiar, it is because living in South Africa at this time (and here I explicitly do not mean the South Africa of anodyne American shopping malls and muzak), it should be.

Stephanus Muller
Contemporary South African INterfaces with Aspects of Adornian Musical Thought

keep reading here: http://kaganof.com/kagablog/2015/03/10/stephanus-muller-contemporary-south-african-interfaces-with-aspects-of-adornian-musical-thought/

July 19, 2015

diamanda galas – gloomy sunday

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 7:54 pm

July 18, 2015

the holy grail?

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 2:32 pm

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john fahey on composing music

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 1:27 am


Dear Ron,

Regarding fame, fortune and Oregon I do wish I had more money. As for fame, it can go to your head and you can become full of yourself. This I was always afraid of and so it didn’t happen to me. It began to happen to me once, way back around 1969. Fortunately I noticed it before anybody else did and I cut it out. So what I do is this –when I go to the venue, I become the entertainer John Fahey. But when I come off stage, I do not want adulation, I do not want to be worshipped. I just want to be treated like an average guy. So I refer to records by me as “Fahey records”, “Fahey music”, and so forth. So I don’t have to speak of MY, ME, I, etc. and keep talking about myself all the time, which bores me and everybody else.

While I recognize in the back of my mind that I am an occasionally brilliant guitar composer and arranger, innovator and player. I also know that I am not a great technician.

Perhaps that is why I manage to keep some humility.

So when people ask me how good I am, I usually cop to being brilliant, even better than that, but short of genius. But I say these things in an objective dispassionate manner because, you know, and I can’t explain why, but being one of the greatest guitarists in the world simply is not very important to me. Oh, but if you took it away somehow I would be very unhappy.

But not suicidal.

I know many inferior guitarists who are very proud of the fact that they are as good as they are, when in fact they are only moderately good. They parade around in their egotism with their groupies and fans and lord it over their worshippers. I do not even laugh at this like others do because the relationship between entertainers and groupies is pathological. As soon as the groupie finds out that you make errors in everyday life like everybody else does and that you are human, they turn on you and hate you.

This has happened to me.

It can hurt a lot especially in the case of girls. As you know, I am very fond of these creatures. Once upon a time I fell in love with a groupie, a Chicago girl, not knowing she was a groupie. The usual thing happened and it was very painful to me.

From a social perspective, I am looking for friends, not acolytes. Being worshipped is a horrible experience.

As for the source of the music, I believe it comes from the unconscious; that there is no such thing as talent. There is simply a lot of hard work and more hard work and after that, more hard work. I believe Thomas Edison said that.

The other thing in composition is opening up the unconscious. I am especially good at the latter because, as I told you, I was in psychoanalysis for eight or nine years. Most musicians I know cannot open up. They are too focused on the audience rather than on their own emotions, or they are too focused on technique or perhaps on both.

When I play, I very quickly put myself into a light hypnotic trance and compose while playing, drawing directly from the emotions.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that I am playing emotions and expressing them in a coherent public language called music. If you don’t do that you sound stiff and uninspiring.

Your friend,
John Fahey

first published here: http://www.johnfahey.com/roncowanletter.htm

July 17, 2015

john fahey – revelation

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 9:21 am

July 12, 2015

tim buckley – sweet surrender

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 11:04 pm

June 19, 2015

ornette coleman on improvisation

Filed under: music,politics,stacy hardy,unga dada — ABRAXAS @ 4:52 pm


Harmolodic = Highest Instinct

Something to Think About

When I speak of rhythm I’m speaking about the oxygen for the notes. The beat or the time is the constant format. It’s the mechanical part of motion. Rhythm is the freest part of that motion. The beat is the cement for the road. It’s the road that you’re traveling on; the road doesn’t necessarily ever change. Rhythm can be harmonic or melodic. Most listeners and players think of rhythm as the drums and think of non-rhythm as sound or words. To me they’re the same. You can be moved rhythmically or non-rhythmically.

I mprovising is a word used to express music that is not being written and calculated at the moment. Once I heard Eubie Blake say that when he was playing in black bands for white audiences, during the time when segregation was strong, that the musicians had to go on stage without any written music. The musicians would go backstage, look at the music, then leave the music there and go out and play it. He was saying that they had a more saleable appeal if they pretended to not know what they were doing. The white audience felt safer. If they had music in front of them, the audience would think that they were trying to be white. So that’s what I think about the word improvising. It’s outdated. The term doesn’t describe the musician’s individual struggle for expression. Usually the person improvising has to use some sort of vehicle to let you know he’s doing that. It’s a limited term. Memory has a lot to do with improvisation. People enjoy the music they’ve heard before, much more than the music they haven’t heard. To me that’s like memory. The same sensations that made them enjoy what they liked in the past, when it was the present, wasn’t memory. That was an experience.

from Free Spirits: Annals of the Insurgent Imagination (1982).

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