Bjork Brings It

Björk ‘Notget’ VR Teaser from Analog on Vimeo.

On 3 June 2016 Björk debuted Björk Digital, a virtual reality exhibit showcasing all the VR videos completed for Vulnicura thus far, including the world premiere of “Notget”, directed by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, at Carriageworks for Vivid Sydney 2016 in Sydney, Australia. She DJ’d the opening night party [98] and did the same when the show traveled to Tokyo, Japan on 29 June,[99] showing at Miraikan. During the Miraikan residency, Björk made history by featuring in the world’s first ever virtual reality live stream broadcast on YouTube. She gave a live performance of Vulnicura’s final song “Quicksand”, and the footage will be incorporated into the “Quicksand” VR experience to be released at a later date. Björk Digital is expected to tour the globe for 18 months with its next stop in Montreal. source: Wikipedia

via VOX:
You know you’re in for a good rant when the person delivering said rant opens with “dear little miss media.”

And when the ranter is Björk, well, buckle up.

On December 16, during a highly anticipated appearance at Houston’s second annual Day for Night music festival, the Nordic singer revealed Björk Digital, a five-room installation where attendees could walk through an art exhibit, immerse themselves in a virtual reality version of “intense footage captured from inside [Bjork’s] mouth,” and listen to a music set programmed and deejayed by the artist herself.

The scene, which saw Björk wearing a mask and deejaying from behind a screen of foliage, drew a mix of responses, ranging from positive to negative to “WTF?” from both audiences and music critics (“The crowd remained rapt and respectful but didn’t always seem to know what to do,” hedged Joey Guerra at the Houston Chronicle). And many of the negative responses also seemed baffled: Why was Bjork obscured behind so many ferns? Why didn’t she perform her own music? Was that even her behind the mask?

Björk had a few things to say in response. In a Facebook post on December 21 (as well as a shorter post on Instagram), the singer used her most recent reviews as a jumping-off point to speak out against gender biases in the music industry (as she’s occasionally done in the past). Björk dismissed critics’ flummoxed response to her DJ set, arguing that they’d held her to a different standard than male artists performing similarly experimental work

Classic from 2011:

björk – crystalline from Björk on Vimeo.

Bjork web | Bjork’s superb youtube channel

Guardian interview provides good context

Roach Burn

Steve Roach is a central figure on my own music. Between the support of Projekt, his own web site, and Bandcamp, the innovative ambient composer, player, producer, is–somehow–able to create lots of new music every year. His Bandcamp releases may be previewed in full at Bandcamp.

Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016

With respect to my own musical background, and so with regard for my own influences, Pauline Oliveros stood with Thelonious Monk as the second-to-none inspirations for my music. Although it is crucial to fold in the handful of other critical influences, the odd couple of Monk and Oliveros key the two driving principles, Oliveros’s deep listening, and, Monk’s absolute improv.

The first Deep listening Band record changed my musical life.


About Pauline Oliveros | NYT Obituary

Deep listening Institute

Deep Listening Institute (DLI) promotes the music and Deep Listening practice of pioneer composer Pauline Oliveros, providing a unique approach to music, literature, art, meditation, technology and healing. DLI fosters creative innovation across boundaries and across abilities, among artists and audience, musicians and non-musicians, healers and the physically or cognitively challenged, and children of all ages. This ever-growing community of musicians, artists, scientists and certified Deep Listening practitioners strives for a heightened consciousness of the world of sound and the sound of the world.

Tom Service’s Guide to the Music of Pauline Oliveros (2012) Guardian UK

Lesley Flanagan – my music all comes from the same process of throwing down a palette of sounds and then intuitively organizing them

Lesley Flanagan, singer, composer, instrument builder, sound conceptualizer, deep listener

4. How could we make sound improve our lives?

I think it’s about listening. I feel that when we take time to truly listen — to actively engage in listening to another person, to music, to sounds in nature and in cities, to all the many sounds in world around us — we give ourselves time to be present in our lives. That’s very meaningful to me.

Five Sound Questions to Lesley Flanagan – via everydaylistening.com

Interview at Disquiet

The Speaker Is Present – A Conversation With Lesley Flanagan (2016)

Lesley Flanagan Recordings at Bandcamp

Nous

Diane Birch is one of my favorite singers, oh, heck, she is my current favorite singer! Her new album Nous was released earlier this year, and is on Bandcamp. (I guess we’re sort of label mates in the new fangled version of not-really-a-label label mate.) Her youtube channel is worth spending an afternoon with. She is a terrific songwriter too.

Nous is a tour de force.

I discovered her on Daryl’s House.

Her admixture of the tamber of Carole King, Carly Simon, and Dusty Springfield results in one of pop’s most beguiling voices.

He Sailed Over

“He sailed over, he wouldn’t fly.” Cleveland Plain Dealer journalist Jane Scott, quoting David Bowie’s wife.

David Bowie’s American debut took place at Cleveland Music Hall on September 22, 1972. I had graduated from high school on the far east side of Cleveland four months earlier. I don’t recall why there were so many of us still around, but, nevertheless, Jamie Cohen had supplied a group of us with passes to attend the after party at the, I believe, downtown Sheraton.

None of us were in anyway fans of Bowie’s music. That said, I managed a record store, Music Madness, on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, and the owner, Marc Epstein played the shit out of Bowie’s new record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. By that September, I had heard it tens of times.

My own tastes echoed the folk-rock foundations laid in by my musically worldly friend Jamie, whose father started and owned the Disc Record Chain. 1972 was a good year too: Little Feat (Sailin’ Shoes,) The Band (Rock of Ages,) Ry Cooder (Into the Purple Valley,) Grateful Dead (Europe ’72,) Bonnie Raitt (Give It Up,) Brinsley Schwarz (Silver Pistols,) Manassas, Richard Thompson (Henry the Human fly) were just a few highlights. Still, we were hardly hipsters. My social group was full on into the cosmic cowboy artifice etched for us by the cover of The Flying Burrito Brothers’s The Guilded Palace of Sin.

And that was the sensibility we marched into the Sheraton with, on a chilly September night. The bouncers did throw one of our own down the stairs. Other stories unfolded.

Nobody caught a glimpse of Bowie.

Over the years I heard a lot of Bowie. The Man Who Fell to Earth is one of my top twenty favorite movies. Bowie is probably the best example of a musical giant who is not in my own subjective pantheon.

***

David Bowie and Michael Jackson and Prince are the great auteurs of post-hippie era pop. RIP Mr. Bowie.

Sharp Rock

Courtney Barnett‘s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit came out in March last year. I got to it in late April. By May it seemed to me that unless Wussy delivered something unbeatable, Barnett’s second album would rule the roost.

She write indelible songs and delivers them directly. She helps me understand the younger generation.

Courtney Barnett web | Facebook
Courtney Barnett Pitchfork
How Courtney Barnett’s Thoughts became 2015’s Sharpest Debut

Avant Gardener is from 2013. Courtney is from Australia.

What Sussan Deyhim Is Up To

(Film by Eric Minh Swenson) Dawn of the Cold Season refers directly to Forough Farrokhzad’s collections of poems “Let us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season” 1974, one of the most discussed books of original writing by an Iranian literary figure. This poem is the poet’s brave admission that she has passed on from the vibrancy, beauty and joy of youth and is inescapably deteriorating into old age.

Sussan Deyhim, the Iranian-American artist (in music, word, and image,) remains vital.

Ancient soul music.

Lost Bayou Ramblers

Because the accordion is intrinsic to zydeco, Andre Michot of the Broussard Louisiana’s Lost Bayou Ramblers doesn’t pick up his lap steel enough for my tastes. But when he does. . . sweet.

Louis Michot – Fiddle & Vocals
Andre Michot – Accordion & Lapsteel
Cavan Carruth – Guitar & Vocals
Eric Heigle – Drums
Korey Richey – Bass

Brian Eno Has a Year

highlife

Brian Eno & Karl Hyde – High Life at Warp Records

Brian Eno wins Giga-Hertz Award for contribution to electronic music
Producer and musician takes home €10,000 for his lifetime of ‘musical transgression’ at prestigious ceremony

Brian Eno Net

Brian Eno Tagged on Soundcloud

Brian Eno Music on Facebook

Eno & Hyde’s High Life is, for me, one of the highlight’s of the year in electronic and experimental music. Obviously the recording contains a bounty of wonderful sound, yet what really brightened my appreciation was learning that the duo made the record in five intense days of dedicated collaborative experimentation.

This reminds me of how I work. Although Eno is more a spiritual influence over thirty years rather than a direct sonic influence, some of the rough experiments for my next records are somewhat Eno-esque in their being unfinicky, ambient, experimental outputs.

Three and Out: Aktuala

http://youtu.be/k7N6nLJax20?list=RDk7N6nLJax20

Aktuala – syncretic acoustic world music ensemble from Italy, from the early seventies; . . .at times somewhat in the vein of Oregon, but much more trance focused

Wikipedia | Complete debut (youtube)

via Vers du Silence Blog (‘A’ list music exploratorium)

Abdullah Ibrahim Gems on Youtube

Ekaya 2014
Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya (2014)

Here’s a selection of some of the best Abdullah Ibrahim youtube videos. If you’re reading this, I hope you take 60 minutes of your valuable time to give a listen to the artistry of Dr. Ibrahim. For people who happen to be especially sensitive to, and receptive of, the sound the human spirit makes when it is channeling extrapolations of the eternal mysterious formulas, remember the insight of Inayat Khan,

There is nothing in this world which does not speak. Every thing and every being is continually calling out its nature, its character, its secret; the more the inner sense is open, the more capable it becomes of hearing the voice of all things. What we call music in our everyday language is only a miniature, which our intelligence has grasped from that music or harmony of the whole universe which is working behind everything, and which is the source and origin of nature. It is because of this that the wise of all ages have considered music to be a sacred art. For in music the seer can see the picture of the whole universe; and the wise can interpret the secret and the nature of the working of the whole universe in the realm of music. (Inayat Khan)


Torino Jazz Festival 2013
28 April 2013

Jazz Piano Festival, Kalisz, Poland
December 9, 1984

Abdullah Ibrahim (piano)
Carlos Ward (alto sax, flute)


Full concert set featuring Ekaya, from 2011
*horrifying ad to skip over at beginning*

1968 NDR-Hamburg (G), Abdullah Ibrahim (p) John Tchicai, Gato Barbieri (reeds) Barre Phillips (b) Makaya Ntshoko (d): Jabolani (= “Joy”) (poster) I guess there is no other known earlier TV-clip from Abdullah Ibrahim than this 1968 clip and wonder why it isn´t already uploaded. Same to be said about the following clips of general interest from Michael Naura´s German Jazz-TV series in the early 1980s.

Wow!

bonus: half of African Piano, Sackville

Two Views

aiatp

The music of Abdullah Ibrahim has many similarities to that of his early mentor and constant inspiration, Duke Ellington. His playing is characterized by that strong hand and decisive touch, stark chords and cavernous voicings; there is plentiful structural use of trills, arpeggios, and vistas of space; there are insistent stride lefts, resonant pedal tones, bold and rugged landscapes of unforgettable, unimaginable lands, especially evident in solo performance. In a broader sense, there is the prolific pen, the indelible live impressions, the massive integrity.

…As Abdullah Ibrahim has said: “I am not a musician. I am being played.” That’s a little like Duke, in a wry self-interview, asking himself, “Besides God what sustains you?” and answering, “Not besides. How does one manage without God?”

Fred Bouchard; excerpted from the liner notes to Africa: Tears and Laughter

aimmlogo

None the less the black man’s African music inevitably suffered, in his white world, a sea-change more radical than this: for it came into contact, and then conflict, with the musical manifestations of the New World, particularly as exemplified in the white hymn and march. The hymn offered a substratum of western tonic, dominant and subdominant harmony; the march provided also the four square beat of military discipline: and these elements became, in musical terms, literally a prison against which black modal melody and polymetric rhythm beat -violently, yet not in vain, for from tension is generated ebullience. Combat may lead to liberation; pain may heal.

The story inherent in his music is indeed the story of Africa. The Township phase is childhood and adolescence, and escape into euphoria; the American phase grows up to confront tension and anguish, personal, social, religious and political; while the African phase is reaffirmation, both because it musically reintegrates the seemingly contradictory aspects of his experience, and also because it is a direct imaginative statement of Moslem belief.

Starting from barrelhouse blues, enriched by Ellington’s symphonic sonorities, and tautened by Monk’s brittle pianism, he honky tonks the barrelhouse train into jungle or desert, handing the music back to his ancestors. The sharper the juxtaposition of opposites the more positive is the effect: snatches of African tribal ditties and communally pounding drums meld with British missionary hymns and sanctimonious-sounding European chord sequences to generate not only corporeal virility, but also spiritual ecstasis. Black ostinati interact with white evangelical harmony and flower, through the catalyst of American jazz, into a regenerative experience that overrides time and place. The most African movements prove, pointedly, to be also the most universal.

Within the ragbag of races and conventions that make a global village, the disparities of straight line and circle, reconciled, forge new life in an act of praise…balanced on a razor-edge between hazard and hope.

©Wilfred Mellars, excerpted from the notes to Autobiography (Plainesphere)