Wednesday, 12/30/09

Musicians (and composers) fall into two camps: less-is-more and more-is-more.

The less-is-more camp may, in turn, be divided into the less-less-is-more and the more-less-is-more.

And the less-less-is-more . . .

Jon Hassell and Maarifa Street (Jon Hassell, trumpet; Peter Freeman, bass, laptop; Hugh Marsh, violin; Steve Shehan, percussion, laptop), live, Serbia (Belgrade), 2006

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Want more? Here.



. . . Jon Hassell’s ideas and techniques have so thoroughly permeated lo- and hi-brow contemporary electronic music, albeit often in a third or fourth hand way . . . that it’s difficult to think what contemporary music would sound like without his influence. . . . there’s categorically no doubt that Hassell has had as an important effect on contemporary music as Miles Davis or Jimi Hendrix or James Brown or the Velvet Underground.—The Wire


reading table

More on John Berryman (12/28/09): Here Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Philip Levine recalls John Berryman (also Robert Lowell) as a teacher at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

He [John Berryman] took that class with a seriousness I had never seen before. . . . He was entrancing. He was magnetic. . . . He had a marvelous sense of humor. . . . He really took this seriously. He was a great teacher. He was the greatest teacher I ever had—and an inspiration.—Philip Levine

Philip Levine, live, England (Aldeburgh), 2009