Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ornette's Free Jazz!

I just got back last night from Denver, performing for the first time at Dazzle (Denver's main jazz club) as myself in the leading role, with a double quartet put together to perform Ornette tunes. We opened with Lonely Woman, performed Free Jazz in its entirety and ended with Theme from a Symphony. It was a crazy concert, and I am listening back to it now and it sounds great! The mics I set up to record are in the perfect spot to hear one quartet in one and ear and one in the other, very nice stereo imaging. What blows my mind outside of having a great band, that played the hell out of the piece and was enthusiastic about it the whole time, is that there were a lot of people there! $5 door cover, and I made about $400, and the club itself takes a percentage of the door. So that means there was at least 80 people there (half i didn't know!) there to hear Free Jazz, in a venue/city that I am not known at all in! We did well enough to warrant the next project which is to change the band around and perform John Coltrane's "Ascension."

Concerts like this not only amaze me at how successful this music can be, but also give me hope that I can pursue the music I want to pursue and make it work. I just have to work at it and keep on the path. I feel very inspired right now!

Now a temporary project is to get together with some friends as a quartet and do a free improv reading on my Morton Feldman Second String Quartet notes.... I've already got musicians in mind to do it, so just gotta keep moving forward!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More on Cornelius Cardew

More Cardew! It seems there is a resurgence of Cornelius Cardew's work/live performances etc.... going on right now.I myself have not known about his work more than two years, but the more I search for it the more I find it. There is THIS incredible website with a lot of information on the AMM and their live performances. A lot of these bootlegs are found exclusively in libraries in London, so if I ever do make it out to England I'll be looking them up.

Speaking of London, the Institute of Contemporary Arts based in London put together the following performances/lectures on Cornelius Cardew as a two day symposium November 21-22 of 2009. THIS is a link to the ICA website's writeup on the conference. The videos include several Cardew collaborators, and are incredible modern day performances of his work. Most of the videos are around an hour long, so it's a lot of material that I just started to get through. Possibly down the road I will comment on them, as now I have only heard part of the Great Learning. More to come!

Cornelius Cardew Videos:

The Great Learning : Two great performances from taken from the Great Learning

Five Autumn 60 : Another collection of Cardew performances

Jamming Session : Lecture with panelists, personally I found it too dry, and not enough information on Cardew himself

Three Fourth System : John Tilbury's performance of some of Cardew's piano pieces

Two Scratch Orchestra : Panel lecture on Cardew, highly recommended!

Presentation of "If the Route" : Another good panel lecture!

The Final Decade : Nice lecture by John Tilbury and Rzewski performance of Cardew

And by the way, check out the Zorn link from the blog post before, they are adding more videos to it every once in a while, so it's becoming a bigger resource than I originally thought. There's a high quality live Claudia Quintet concert with Trevor Dunn on electric bass uploaded that is very much worth checking out!!