145 – The Saints of God

Please turn your hymnals to number 145 and join with the clarinets in, “The Saints of God”.

Number: 145
First Line: The Saints of God
Name: NYBERG.
Meter: 8 8, 8 8, 8 8.
Tempo: Smoothly
Music: Berndt Mikael Nyberg, 1871-1940
Text: William Dalrymple Maclagan, 1826-1910

Clarinet Arrangement: 145-TheSaintsOfGod

A pleasantly minor, and old-fashioned hymn, especially considering its relative youth.

Especially unusual, for a Lutheran Hymn, in that it is 5/4, an “uneven” meter more common in folk music. On the other hand, not all that surprising considering the following information about the composer. (The following was translated from the Finnish language wikipedia.)

Berndt Mikael Nyberg ( February 7,1871Helsinki – January 11,1940Äänekoski ) [1] was a Finnish composer and poet who composed especially spiritual music.

Already in his studies, Nyberg collected folk tales from Southwest and Central Finland. He composed, in particular, spiritual solo and choir songs, school and children’s songs, singers and beggars in the choir book of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church . [2] The current hymnbook contains Nyberg’s hymn number 631, Oi Lord, if I travel a country . He has also written a script 342, so wonderful is the praise, the original Swedish-language words, spoken by Alpo Noponen in Finnish. In addition, Nyberg has translated some other, original Swedish-language hymns [3] Nyberg published in 1890 a collection of spiritual folk tales ( The People’s Gift to the Church ) together with Ilmari Krohn.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-07-21 Tenor and Fallen Angels

Tenor and Fallen Angels by Joe McPhee.

Ken Vandermark has written and spoken of this 1977 solo Tenor Saxophone album from Mr McPhee as crucial to his development as a player.

Endlessly inventive, yet not inaccessible, Mr McPhee uses noir-ish themes to launch his angelic flights into the open skies of free improvisation.

#JoeMcphee #Saxophonistry #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

2017-07-20 Bells for the South Side (Disc 2)

Bells For The South Side (Disc 2) by Roscoe Mitchell.

When we lived in Madison, WI, Roscoe Mitchell was a professor in the music department at the University of Wisconsin. He would frequently bring the groups he was involved in through town, and I was lucky to see many permutations of his sound.

We were also lucky to be close enough to Chicago that it was close enough to drive down and see many more concerts related to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The concerts documented on this recording were recorded as part of an exhibit, called The Freedom Principle, at the Museum of Contemporary Art celebrating the contributions of artists associated with the AACM to world culture.

Roscoe Mitchell, and the AACM, have been a huge part of my musical mind space for many years, and this release is a sort of summary of his work, from what has passed, to what is to come.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #RoscoeMitchell #CraigTaborn #KikanjuBaku #JaribuShahid #TaniTabbal #WilliamWinant #JamesFei #TyshawnSorey #HughRagin #BellsForTheSouthSide #AncientToTheFuture #TheFreedomPrinciple #MCAChicago

2017-07-19 Bells For The South Side (Disc 1)

Bells For The South Side (Disc 1) by Roscoe Mitchell.

At some point, during the first track on this album, “Spatial Aspects of Sound”, I found myself asking, “What differentiates a discrete series of sound events from music?” Which reminded me of a workshop I attended with Ben Goldberg, where we talked about using silence, as well as sound, with intent, in your playing.

#RoscoeMitchell #CraigTaborn #KikanjuBaku #JaribuShahid #TaniTabbal#WilliamWinant #JamesFei #TyshawnSorey #HughRagin

144b – For All the Saints

Please turn your hymnals to number 144 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “For All the Saints Who From Their Labors Rest”.

Number: 144 (Second Tune)
First Line: For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest
Name: PRO OMNIBUS SANCTIS (SARUM).
Meter: 10 10 10, 4.
Tempo: Broadly, with spirit
Music: Joseph Barnby, 1838-86
Text: William Walsham How, 1823-97

Clarinet Arrangement: 144b-ForAllTheSaintsWhoFromTheirLaborsRest

This is another rather harmonically modern hymn arrangement. Very close, almost dissonant harmonies, with an unusually lingering resolution.

Considering it’s composer seems to have been rather fond of Wagner, I guess this isn’t a surprise.

Short Name: Joseph Barnby
Full Name: Barnby, Joseph, 1838-1896
Birth Year: 1838
Death Year: 1896
Barnby was a composer, conductor and (like his father Thomas Barnby) an organist. He entered the choir of York Minster at age seven, and was an organist and choirmaster at twelve. In 1854 he went to London and entered the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied under Cipriani Potter and Charles Lucas. In 1856, he competed for the first Mendelssohn Scholarship. When the examinations were over, of the nineteen applicants, he was tied for first place with Arthur Sullivan. After a second test, Sullivan won.

Barnby was organist at Mitcham, St. Michael’s, Queenhithe, and St. James’ the Less, Westminster, before he was appointed to St. Andrew’s, Wells Street, where he remained from 1863 to 1871, establishing the musical reputation of the services. From 1871 to 1886 he was organist of St. Anne’s, Soho, where he instituted the annual performances of Bach’s Passion Music according to St. John, with orchestral accompaniment. In 1867, Messrs. Novello, to whom he had been musical adviser since 1861, established Barnby’s Choir, which gave oratorio concerts from 1869 to 1872, when it was amalgamated with the choir formed and conducted by M. Gounod at the Royal Albert Hall, under the title of the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society (now the Royal Choral Society). The same publishing firm also gave daily concerts in the Albert Hall, 1874-75, which Barnby orchestrated.

Barnby conducted the St. Matthew Passion in Westminster Abbey in 1871. He was appointed precentor of Eton in 1875, a post he kept until 1892, when he succeeded Thomas Weist-Hill as principal of the Guildhall School of Music.

In 1878, Barnby married Edith Mary Silverthorne. Also that year, he helped found the London Musical Society, becoming its first director and conductor. Under his baton, the Society produced Dvorak’s Stabat Mater for the first time in England.

In 1884, Barnby conducted the first performance in England of Wagner’s Parsifal as a concert in the Albert Hall. From 1886-8 he conducted rehearsals and concerts of the Royal Academy of Music, of which he was a fellow.

Barnby was knighted in 1892, and in the same year conducted the Cardiff Festival. He conducted the festival again in 1895.

Barnby’s compositions include an oratorio (Rebekah, 1870), a psalm (The Lord Is King, Leeds Festival, 1893), an enormous number of services and anthems, part songs and vocal solo, trios, etc. He also wrote a series of Eton Songs, 246 hymn tunes (published in one volume in 1897), and edited five hymnals, the most important of which was The Hymnary (1872).

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-07-18 BLIMMGUASS

BLIMMGUASS by SAXRUINS.

I’ve been following Japanese drummer Tatsuya Yoshida for quite a while now and few of his (many) projects are as intriguing to me as SAXRUINS. His drumming combined with the multi-tracked sax stylings of Ono Ryoko is an astounding thing to hear. Simply imagining the work that went into a single person recording all the sax tracks on this album is, uh, daunting. So much detail!

On a practical level, Ono Ryoko’s sax arrangements give a more open feel to Yoshida’s compositions. As if Frank Zappa had been run over by the Magma tour bus with John Zorn at the wheel.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #TatsuyaYoshida #YoshidaTatsuya #onoryōko #OnoRyoko #RyokoOno #RyOrchestra

144a – For All The Saints

Please turn to number 144 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in, “For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest”.

Number: 144 (First Tune)
First Line: For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest
Name: SINE NOMINE.
Meter: 10 10 10. With Alleluias.
Music: R. Vaughn Williams, 1872-1958
Text: William Walsham How, 1823-97
From The English Hymnal

Clarinet Arrangement: 144a-ForAllTheSaints

This one is written with the congregation singing in unison for the first section, while the organ plays parts, and the second part with the congregation singing parts. So I couldn’t resist doing something similar. I changed the arrangement up a bit to be unison parts with organ, a capella parts, and then a return to unison with organ accompaniment.

I wrote out the organ parts and exported a midi file for them. Imported it into garageband, and then recorded the clarinet parts.

Here’s a short biography of R. Vaughn Williams from the Ralph Vaughn Williams Society Webpage.

Ralph Vaughan Williams is today fully established as a composer of the utmost importance for English music. In a long and extensive career, he composed music notable for its power, nobility and expressiveness, representing the essence of ‘Englishness’.

Vaughan Williams was born on the 12th October, 1872 in the Cotswold village of Down Ampney. He was educated at Charterhouse School, then Trinity College, Cambridge. Later he was a pupil of Stanford and Parry at the Royal College of Music, after which he studied with Max Bruch in Berlin and Maurice Ravel in Paris.

At the turn of the century he was among the very first to travel into the countryside to collect folk-songs and carols from singers, notating them for future generations to enjoy. As musical editor of The English Hymnal he composed several hymns that are now world-wide favourites (For all the Saints, Come down O love Divine). Later he also helped to edit The Oxford Book of Carols, with similar success. Before the war he had met and then sustained a long and deep friendship with the composer Gustav Holst. Vaughan Williams volunteered to serve in the Field Ambulance Service in Flanders for the 1914-1918 war, during which he was deeply affected by the carnage and the loss of close friends such as the composer George Butterworth.

For many years Vaughan Williams conducted and led the Leith Hill Music Festival, conducting Bach’s St Matthew Passion on a regular basis. He also became professor of composition at the Royal College of Music in London. In his lifetime, Vaughan Williams eschewed all honours with the exception of the Order of Merit which was conferred upon him in 1938.

He died on the 26th August 1958; his ashes are interred in Westminster Abbey, near Purcell. In a long and productive life, music flowed from his creative pen in profusion. Hardly a musical genre was untouched or failed to be enriched by his work, which included nine symphonies, five operas, film music, ballet and stage music, several song cycles, church music and works for chorus and orchestra.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

2017-07-17 Bill Orcutt

Bill Orcutt by Bill Orcutt.

Solo electric guitar recordings of theme and variation on various American songs.

From Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman through to Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner, largely Orcutt takes intervals from the songs and creates melodic variations on their themes over the chords. Jazz, in other words, but not. Compelling, original, and moving.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #BillOrcutt

2017-07-14 Nefertiti the Beautiful One is Come

Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come by Cecil Taylor, Jimmy Lyons, and Sunny Murray.

One of the key recordings of Cecil Taylor’s career, and one of the key documents of “Free Jazz”, the concerts recorded at Cafe Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark in November of 1962 are the first recorded expressions of the true vision Taylor would pursue (and continues to pursue). Astonishing and beautiful. To have been in the audience!

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #CecilTaylor #JimmyLyons #SunnyMurray

2017-07-13 Jazz Advance

Jazz Advance by Cecil Taylor, Denis Charles, Steve Lacy, and Buell Neidlinger.

Continuing my investigation into Cecil Taylor’s early work, with his recorded debut from 1956. More interesting, than compelling, you can hear Taylor is still working out his concepts. And the rest of the band is trying to figure out, “If he’s playing THAT, what do we play?” The forms, at least in terms of time, are largely respected by Taylor, but the content of his solos often strays. Lacy is primarily playing Bebop runs over the changes. And the rhythm section is keeping time and walking the chords.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #CecilTaylor #DenisCharles #SteveLacy #BuellNeidlinger