Motti, Lazzaro, and Django

The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch (Swiss, 2018) is a coming of age story, Motti’s single marital status of existential concern to his mother, who tries to set him up with any number of, for Motti, unsuitable but available girls whose mothers are equally concerned about the marriage status of their daughters. But Motti has hisContinue reading “Motti, Lazzaro, and Django”

We Are Sorry For The Delay

I had answered my ringing house phone to a recording. I put the phone on speaker, set it down on the counter, and waited for the caller to come on live. The recording continued, as if with indefinite intent. I opened Garage Band on my laptop and recorded the message, later adding the other tracksContinue reading “We Are Sorry For The Delay”

Songs Without and With Words

“Music as discourse (jazz) doesn’t work,” John Cage said. “If you’re going to have a discussion, have it, and use words.”[i] Cage’s claim might have met with some disagreement last Wednesday evening, when around 100 jazz and book festive fans filled Classic Piano’s small recital room for the launch of Lynn Darroch’s new book, “RhythmContinue reading “Songs Without and With Words”

Old Blue

An instrumental guitar version of the old folk song, “Old Blue,” recorded impromptu using Garage Band on the laptop, two tracks, each recorded using Telephone Vocal, then copied and pasted twice, for a total of six tracks, the pasted tracks each using a different Garage Band library voice (including Deeper Vocal, Dublin Delay, Surfin’ inContinue reading “Old Blue”

Back Story Folk Guitar

This Yamaha Red Label FG-180 guitar was probably built in 1969. The woman in the guitar store next to the Loyola Theatre in Westchester said Jimmy Webb had been in the week before and picked up this very Yamaha and played a few chords. She couldn’t believe I’d never heard of Jimmy Webb. It wasContinue reading “Back Story Folk Guitar”

On Discussion

What is there to discuss-ion? “Music as discourse (jazz) doesn’t work,” John Cage said.* “If you’re going to have a discussion, have it and use words.” As both a jazz and Cage fan, I’ve often reflected on the paradox, for discourse, “running to and fro,” seems an accurate description of jazz, with or without words.Continue reading “On Discussion”

“jazzskin”

“jazzskin” is an old, handmade chapbook (1973, 17 pages – click on photos): The “poetry occurs” idea is a riff off John Cage, whose book “Silence” (1961) begins with “The Future of Music: Credo”: “Wherever we are,” Cage says, “what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listenContinue reading ““jazzskin””

Where the Palace of Wisdom is Loaded with Vice

John Lancaster’s review of The Road of Excess, Marcus Boon’s book on writing under the influence, appeared in the January 6, 2003 New Yorker, and the review provides an effective, short introduction into drug use in writing as well as the journalistic impulse to too easily categorize, stereotype, and generalize. Associating addictions with occupations simplyContinue reading “Where the Palace of Wisdom is Loaded with Vice”