2017-06-27 Hazel

Hazel by Æthenor.

The defining feature of this release by Æthenor is the drumming of Mr Noble. Guitars, vocals, and keyboards shimmer in and out of phase, Calder-esque, while Mr Noble’s propulsive drumming rumbles on underneath. Enjoyable.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #Æthenor #Aethenor #StephenOMalley #DanielOSullivan #KristofferRygg #SteveNoble

134 – Father Most Holy

Please turn your hymnals to number 134 and join with the clarinets in, “Father Most Holy”.

Number: 134
First Line: Father Most Holy
Name: CHRISTE SANCTORUM.
Meter: 11 11, 11 5.
Tempo: Unison, in moderate time
Music: XVIII cent. French Church Melody
Harm. by R. Vaughn Williams, 1872-1958
Text: Latin Hymn, cir. X cent.
Tr. Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936
Text and harmony from THE ENGLISH HYMNAL, Oxford University Press

Clarinet Arrangement: 134-FatherMostHoly

Fortunately, the Bass Clarinet is back at home, as this would have been a tough one to tackle on the Sax. Far too many notes below Bb. In addition, it’s a complex organ arrangement meant to accompany a unison choir or congregation, so in many places there are 6 notes sounding at once. A six part sax choir might sound good in theory, but in practice, it’s tough.

Anyway, this is a lovely arrangement by the famous English composer, R. Vaughn Williams.

Ralph Vaughan Williams OM (Listeni/ˈreɪf ˌvɔːn ˈwɪljəmz/[n 1] 12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer and folk song collector. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over nearly fifty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.

Vaughan Williams was born to a well-to-do family with strong moral views and a progressive social outlook. Throughout his life he sought to be of service to his fellow citizens, and believed in making music as available as possible to everybody. He wrote many works for amateur and student performance. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties; his studies in 1907–08 with the French composer Maurice Ravel helped him clarify the textures of his music.

Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his very wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. Among the most familiar of his other concert works are Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and The Lark Ascending (1914). His vocal works include hymns, folk-song arrangements and large-scale choral pieces. He wrote eight works for stage performance between 1919 and 1951. Although none of his operas became popular repertoire pieces, his ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing (1930) was successful and has been frequently staged.

Two episodes made notably deep impressions in Vaughan Williams’s personal life. The First World War, in which he served in the army, had a lasting emotional effect. Twenty years later, though in his sixties and devotedly married, he was reinvigorated by a love affair with a much younger woman, who later became his second wife. He went on composing through his seventies and eighties, producing his last symphony months before his death at the age of eighty-five. His works have continued to be a staple of the British concert repertoire, and all his major compositions and many of the minor ones have been recorded.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-06-26 Addis

Addis by Xavier Charles & Terrie Ex.

This record starts with a few moments of natural sounds. Birdcalls, muffled conversation, sound of the breeze, remote traffic, livestock. Slowly the musicians come in, imitating the background sounds and playing as elements in the larger soundscape. I love this idea. That music is part of nature and the environment, not separate from it. Or maybe, nature IS art.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #TerrieEx #XavierCharles

133c – O Trinity of Blessed Light

Please turn your hymnals to number 133 (Third Tune) and join with the Saxophones in, “O Trinity of Blessed Light”.

Number: 133 (Third Tune)
First Line: O Trinity of Blessed Light
Name: ILLSLEY.
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Slowly
Music: John Bishop, 1665-1737
Text: Ascribed to St. Ambrose, 340-397
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1816-66

Saxophone Arrangement: 133c-OTrinityOfBlessedLight

Final setting of St. Ambrose’s Poem, “O Trinity of Blessed Light”.

I mean, when else do you get to use “Paraclete” in a poem, other than on Trinity Sunday?

Paraclete (Gr. παράκλητος, Lat. paracletus) means advocate or helper. In Christianity, the term “paraclete” most commonly refers to the Holy Spirit.

O Trinity of Blessed Light,
O Unity of princely might,
The fiery sun now goes his way;
Shed thou within our hearts thy ray.

To thee our morning song of praise,
To thee our evening prayer we raise;
Thy glory suppliant we adore
For ever and forever more.

All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
lAll glory, as is ever meet,
To God the holy Paraclete. Amen.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

133b – O Trinity of Blessed Light

Please turn your hymnals to number 133 (Second Tune) and join with the Saxophones in, “O Trinity Of Blessed Light”.

Number: 133 (Second Tune)
First Line: O Trinity of Blessed Light
Name: AETERNA CHRISTI MUNERA.
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Rouen Church Melody
Text: Ascribed to St. Ambrose, 340-97
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66

Saxophone Arrangement: 133b-OTrinityBlessedLight

Rouen, apparently, is an city in France, and the capital of Normandy.

Rouen (French pronunciation: ​[ʁwɑ̃]; Frankish: Rodomo; Latin: Rotomagus) is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries.

The population of the metropolitan area (in French: agglomération) at the 2007 census was 532,559, with the city proper having an estimated population of 110,276. People from Rouen are known as Rouennais.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-06-23 ExEyE

Ex Eye by Ex Eye.

A Colin Stetson solo concert a couple years ago was one of the loudest concerts I’ve ever seen, and he was wearing a Liturgy t-shirt at the time, so Ex Eye’s direction isn’t exactly a surprise.

However, the challenge of fitting Stetson’s sax concept of extended arpeggiation into more traditional heavy metal frameworks is apparent on some of the tracks. That is, no matter how loud he plays, harmonically, he fades into the background under the weight of guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums.

Less traditional tracks, like “Anaitis Hymnal; The Arkose Disc” are where Ex Eye, and Stetson, shine.

In any case, an excellent album, and I’m looking forward to seeing Ex Eye next week at The Chapel here in SF.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #GregFox #ShahzadIsmaily #ColinStetson #TobySummerfield #EXEYE

133a – O Trinity Of Blessed Light

Please turn your hymnals to number 133 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “O Trinity of Blessed Light”.

Number: 133 (First Tune)
First Line: O Trinity, O Blessed Light
Name: O LUX BEATA TRINITAS.
Meter: Irregular
Tempo: With movement
Music: Plainsong Melody, Mode VIII
Arr. by Ernest White, 1899-
Text: Ascribed to St. Ambrose, 340-97
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66

Saxophone Arrangement: 133-OTrinityOfBlessedLight

There were a lot of challenging thing with this hymn. In the Tenor Sax parts, the lower of the two spends pretty much the whole song on the lowest few notes of the saxophone. It is very difficult to play those quietly and accurately. And when it isn’t on the bottom few notes, it inexplicably jumps up to G sharp from those notes. The whole thing was basically a pinky nightmare. The lower Soprano Sax part is challenging, well, because all you are doing is basically holding one note for l0-12 beats, over the whole of the phrase. The melody part isn’t bad, it proceeds mostly stepwise up and down, but it is in 4 sharps.

Aurelius Ambrosius (ItalianSant’Ambrogio [ˌsantamˈbrɔːdʒo]), better known in English as Saint Ambrose (/ˈæmbrz/c. 340 – 4 April 397), was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was the Roman governor of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, before being made bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374. Ambrose was a staunch opponent of Arianism, and has been accused of fostering persecutions of Arians, Jews, and pagans.

Traditionally, Ambrose is credited with promoting “antiphonal chant”, a style of chanting in which one side of the choir responds alternately to the other, as well as with composing Veni redemptor gentium, an Advent hymn.

Ambrose was one of the four original Doctors of the Church, and is the patron saint of Milan. He is notable for his influence on Augustine of Hippo.

Under Ambrose’s major influence, emperors GratianValentinian II and Theodosius I carried on a persecution of Paganism.[23][24][25][26] Under Ambrose’s influence, Theodosius issued the 391 “Theodosian decrees,” which with increasing intensity outlawed Pagan practises,[24][27] and the Altar of Victory was removed by Gratian. Ambrose prevailed upon Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius to reject requests to restore the Altar.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-06-22 Chicago Tenor Duets

Chicago Tenor Duets by Evan Parker / Joe McPhee.

The stars in my saxophone constellation from my teens into my twenties were: Johnny Hodges/LesterYoung -> John Coltrane/Eric Dolphy -> Evan Parker.

I’d always see Joe Mcphee’s albums on HatArt at the record store, but for some reason he didn’t really enter my area of interest. I guess he didn’t get as much press in the magazines I was reading at the time.

I was missing out, and am trying to make up for my oversight by listening to more of his recorded output these days.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #EvanParker #JoeMcPhee

2017-06-21 Tie the Stone to the Wheel

Tie the Stone to the Wheel by Evan Parker / Seymour Wright.

Saxophone duos between UK free improv titan Evan Parker and his disciple Seymour Wright. So I basically spent the drive mentally cataloguing which sounds I knew how to make on the saxophone and which sounds I did not. One of them is really good at extended flutter tonguing, which I can’t do very well.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #EvanParker #SeymourWright

2017-06-20 Asian Fields Variations

Asian Fields Variations by Louis Sclavis, Dominique Pifarély, and Vincent Courtois.

Theme and variation in folk and classical-ish modes by a clarinet, cello, and violin trio. Louis Sclavis is one of my favorite living jazz and improv woodwind players. His tone and thought process on clarinet and bass clarinet are impeccable. And bass clarinet & cello are the peanut butter and chocolate of instrumental combinations. Wonderful.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #LouisSclavis #DominiquePifarély #VincentCourtois