Keeping Up

The ongoing process of keeping up with the blog continues. But meanwhile, and as per the usual, I’m keeping up with music everywhere, and the words continue to spill out in other places. To get everyone caught up (including myself), here’s what’s been going on since my last major post:

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  • I spent a couple weeks in the Czech Republic, most of them in the city of Ostrava, at the Ostrava Days 2015 festival of new music and classics of modernism. I wrote a long article on it at Music & Literature, and a long editorial on it at the Rail. What is missing from both is how so much of the experience there is spending time with other musicians and composers, talking with Bernhard Lang about King Crimson and Miles Davis, for example, or coming back with CDs from — all of which I recommended:
    • Martyna Poznanska played some of her sound-collage electronic music and gave me her excellent CD, Listening East. You can hear a generous amount of her work at her Soundcloud page, and buy her music at Bandcamp.

    • Cellist Jujo Laitinen was outstanding in the festival, playing Tristan Perich’s great new piece Formations, as well as a beautiful, late night performance of Saariaho’s Petals. You can listen to excerpts of his playing at his site, and order this fine CD he gave me, Cello, Voice and Sampler.
    • And thanks to Christopher Butterfield, I came home with a handful of CDs of music by Rudolf Komorous, a strangely obscure but wonderful composer, still teaching and writing. This stuff is hard to find if you are outside of Canada, but do keep an eye out for performances and recordings.

  • I wrote a feature in the September Rail on tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger, and the rugged and involving music he’s making is now out on his CD Pivot: Live at the 55 Bar. This is one of the leading jazz releases of the year.

  • My new year, i.e. the New York City classical music season started again last month, and you can catch up with my reviews at the New York Classical Review site. These are ongoing, so check back regularly or grab the RSS feed—as I write this, I still have four more concerts to go this month, and who knows what awaits in November?

  • As I’ve written before and can’t write enough (your mileage may vary), my first book, on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, is out this Thursday, 22 October. I have a handful of book events lined up, where I’ll be reading, playing some music, talking about the man and the record, and of course signing books. First one is Monday, 26 October, 7 p.m., at Book Court in Brooklyn. You can keep track of them all at this blog.

  • Finally, this week is also Bitches Brew week over at the 33 1/3 Books site, where I’ll have posts all week long on topics on and around Miles Davis, with hours and hours of music on playlists and some amazing videos of the man. Plus a review of Don Cheadle’s movie on Miles, Miles Ahead. The first playlist is here, five swinging hours of Miles and the music in and from his world, from the 1930s up through summer 1969, just before the album sessions. Enjoy, and check out the rest. I’ll be there all week.

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