B R E S K I N T U N E S 2000

I am probably not ever going to play the changes to Autumn leaves or Girl from Ipanema for you. It's not who I am. Or even play a melody twice in quite the same way. Not what I am after - it's akin to "contact improv" for me, not ballet or tango.

I am not being judgmental - I recognize that the western world is primarily populated with people who think that karaoke is music, and that symphony orchestras and folk groups and jazz combos and rock bands all play music. And I agree - they do. And what I want to do is something barely distinguishable from music to most listeners but scarcely able to be called music by most musicians. So I am not claiming that what I am doing is music and what they are doing is not.

But what I want to do with my instrument is definitely something other than what most musicians are doing. Nobody ever said I was designed to be easy to play with from the point of view of the Karaoke crowd.

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Eszter Gavalier's 2001 portrait of me in Conte Crayon, drawn from a 1998 photo by Katherine Keller. BTW: I know I don't usually look this good - I only look like this when I'm in love.

The MP3 files are surprisingly clear on this system at rates as low as 32 kbps, but I'm putting them up at 96 Kbps (downloadable if not streamable) and 32 Kbps (dialup streamable) and I could certainly put them up at 128 Kbps as well.

MP3 encoding at 32Kbps streams in stereo with a 5.6 Khz hf cutoff to Windows Media Player over my 49.33 dialup connections. It sounds significantly better to my ears than the Real Audio files I put up between 1996 and 2000, and the files are smaller. The 96 kbps "standard" MP3 format used by CD stealers has an >11 Khz high frequency cutoff, which is probably wasted on anyone who has ever run powertools, or played electric guitar.

Let me know what you think.




REASONABLY NEW STUFF - Recorded as recently as 04-19-2002!!!

Two Duets with Sylvia Heins in 32 kbit/sec MP3.

These are almost like complete recordings with proper fades for endings. They are typically under 5 minutes long and under 1.5 MB files.

Sylvia called last spring and offered me a chance to play at a poetry reading at the UpStage, to provide atmospheric noodlings for a show called "The year of Living Poetry" and it totally made my day.
We have been flirting with the idea of playing together for several years, since Emanuel was in town. She plays passionate and intelligent piano, and she is really fun to look at. First time I met her, over lunch at the Silverwater bar, right after she got here from Crested Butte, she asked me point-blank why she would want to get to know me. I answered 'cuz the inside of me is as beautiful as the outside of you, which I am sure was the wrong thing to say, because it sounds like a pickup-line, but it seemed right at the time.

When Emanuel was here and we were playing at Upstage a lot, she would come listen and sometimes sit in. I really wanted to play with her from the beginning, but it really took years before our paths got close enough to create space to let us give it a try. First "gig" we played was the opening of the all-natural shamanic trustafarian healing clinic in uptown. It was a deal, I would play a whole show of her stuff at the UpStage from charts, if she would play a show of gloves off full-monte improv with me at the opening. And it was totally delightful. We were playing stuff that passed for massage music, live, while people were getting deep-tissue massages and deep colonics and all that other newage non-medical "healing".

Sylvia Elan Blues.
I really don't think I play the blues very well. I have been playing it exactly the way I do now for about 35 years without getting any better at it. What happened was that Jimi Hendrix really made some progress - extended the "meme - and then it just sort of died there, and although there were definitely some slippery riffs that I wanted to learn that people like Danny Kalb had, it was pretty clear that in order to learn them it I would have had to sit in front of a TV for weeks on end, burning them into my fingers, or sitting propped against a wall in some flophouse, shooting speed or junk. And I just didn't want them that bad. When we went to Maui in 1986, I sort of got reinterested sitting around playing with Charlie Musslewhite, but the truth is that I'd rather play Jimmy Webb songs than Jimi Hendrix and besides, if you really want to listen to someone play the blues - there are masters to listen to, like Alice Stuart.

If you want more bandwidth, let me know.

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