12 September 2008

Diamond Curtain Wall Trio (Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson): Tivoli, July, 2008


An excellent audience recording from this summer's European concert schedule; the music from this trio, in a set lasting just over one hour, is quite simply superb, with a sustained concentration and very effective use of electronics. (Recordings from some of the other concerts (Moscow & Besançon) were posted earlier on this blog);

Chiostro di Villa d'Este
Tivoli, Italy

2nd July, 2008

Extended improvisation (composition number not known) - 63'35"

Anthony Braxton - as, ss, sopranino, cb-cl, electronics
Taylor Ho Bynum - tp, flugelhorn, cornet
Mary Halvorson - el-g 


This comes from dime - many thanks to sdro for the recording and the interesting story that accompanies it.

21 comments:

Tantris said...

FLAC

http://rapidshare.com/files/144567823/ABDCW3_tivoli.part1.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/144569936/ABDCW3_tivoli.part2.rar

Scott said...

You are doing the good work here. These Diamond Curtain posts have been on extra heavy rotation. Amazing music. Thanks!

dalemcbdnl said...

THANKS TANTRIS!! Really extremely fine. Bynum and Halvorson are REALLY wonderful on this performance. Braxton too, of course (JUST LISTEN TO HIS PLAYING AROUND 12 TO 15 MINUTES IN!!!). Too bad Cent is reticent to appear on account of the the recent and all too common acrimonious skirmishes that come in response to his comments. He certainly has a uniquely astute talent to spot the multiple compositional bases for AB group improvs. It would be nice to get his perspective on what he notices here. HINT, HINT.... ANYWAY, I am bowled over by this one. Braxton just keeps doing it!! He NEVER ceases to amaze me. Smashing stuff!!!

Dale

centrifuge said...

yes, cheers for this tantris - i will download it in due course...

... and dale, thanks, that's kind of you to say so, though i haven't yet had any major breakthroughs in the (relatively few) dcw recordings i've heard ;-) when i have given this a spin or two i may have thoughts but it will probably be a bit late by then to post them here, regardless of whether or not that's still "appropriate" -!

i am looking forward to the music. this guy never ceases to amaze me, too... i may have mentioned this before...

lee said...

Tantris, thanks for another Diamond Curtain performance. I've been dipping the proverbial toe into these small-group improvs, but I definitely need to spend more time with them now. I second Dale's comment. Cent's blog has been a real "in" for me with regards to Braxton's music, as have the many fantastic performances that have appeared here.

bongomccongo said...

Thankyou Tantris. really enjoyed the last two concerts also. i 'm really enjoying this Braxton band. Mary halvorson is very fine especially.

ghostrancedance said...

Many thanks, tantris! I'll have to cruise back through the blog and pick up the other DCW3 concerts soon. Superb music!!!!!

wightdj said...

Indeed, kudos to Tantris. Leave no Braxtonian note unheard, please.

centrifuge said...

yeah, what a superb set... tantris, you weren't kidding about sustained concentration - !

for those who are interested, i did write up some impressions of this set at IYKWIS: http://tinyurl.com/4qzlqz

- will try and put up an mp3 conversion too in a day or two.

glmlr said...

While listening to this, a question came to my mind. How many of Braxton's disciples would, if blindfolded and played an unknown piece of his music, be able to determine whether or not they have heard a piece of "Diamond Curtain Wall" music or "Ghost Trance Music"? And if so, what, if any, are the differentiating criteria?

dalemcbdnl said...

Centrifuge, thanks for your longer reaction (at IYKWIS). Interesting responses and, I think, nicely articulated.

Hi glmlr. In my case I hope you will replace the word "disciple" with "appreciater." That is a LITTLE closer to my reaction to Braxton's "music" in general. AND, for me, since AB and his colleagues are improvisers and are improvising/composing over a very "flexible" set of compositional ideas (that's my perception of it) the "blindfold test" yardstick is sort of , well... irrelevant. To be sure, I can only speak for myself; but when I'm focused in on what's going on between AB and his collaborators from instant to instant I get the "connections" and the aesthetics (my own, of course) that go with the ongoing expressive stream. It sounds beautiful and stunningly personal all at the same time. That is really all that counts for me and, even though I wish I could figure out a way to explain all this convincingly, it seems I can only assure people that my enthusiasm is real. That I'm not just some elitist free jazz fanatic putting on airs. This performance had me on the edge of my chair the whole time. I realize that NONE of these comments address your question of making clear distinctions between GTM and DCW. I guess this is on account of my feeling that enjoying Braxton doesn't depend on regular testable parameters. That may be one of the reasons why I appreciate Braxton as much as I do. And, as I already indicated, I responded strongly to this Braxton Trio.

The following observations are a short person description of how I go about listening to Braxton's work.

In 1989 Braxton told me that he regretted his youthful assertion (in the late 60s) that his goal was to take the emotion out his playing. He felt that, even after 20 years, writers and critics and many traditional jazz fans were still stuck on that statement and that he'd probably never live it down. He related that a critic, writing about a recent duet performance with George Lewis, was of the view that he (Braxton) was "still trying to take the emotion out of his playing." What BRAXTON felt was that "George and I left EVERYTHING on the stage." He was sure that they had given one of the most emotional and thrilling performances of their careers. I think the "intellectual" tag for Braxton kind of resembles some critical comments about Coltrane's later work. That it was "angry." Never mind the intense (not angry) compositions being referred to had titles like "A love Supreme." Similarly, I think some of the common claims that Braxton's works are "overly intellectual," or "cold and sterile" are incredibly wrong. His music is complex and challenging but I feel it is extremely engaging and very powerful. With this particular Braxton set, the emotions I felt were in the realm of joy. I also saw humor coming through all the focused intensity.

Don't get me wrong glmlr, I think your question is a good one - for most musicians. I just think that especially with present day AB the "muse" is just the starting point. Once this guy and his conspirators get rolling it's all about "sounds" and the creative instantaneous interactions between them. The concepts may still be at work in the musician's brains but it is really up to me as a listener to tie it together. Braxton's "music" depends much more than a little bit on the "ears of the behearer."

Finally, I have to admit that I felt privileged to get a copy of this wonderful concert. A really big thanks to tantris for this post. But I already said that... And, of course, I hope everyone who down loaded this post will find their own way to enjoy this fine trio music. I would say it's worth the effort.

Dale

Tantris said...

Dale; great post. My reaction to the music seems to be very similar to yours. The Iridium set was for me a tipping point, when I realised that there was something going on here which broke through much of the institutionalised and 'safe' new music that goes the rounds today.

I'm really pleased that this concert has had such a good response - all credit should go to sdro who taped and seeded this on Dime.

glmlr said...

Dale: Thank you for your thorough, and eminently honest, reply. I respect listeners' passions as much as performers'.

Anyone (else) care to tackle the original question? Personally, I find it very relevant indeed. That's why I asked it.

dalemcbdnl said...

glmlr, I think it MIGHT be illuminating to ask the musicians themselves. Bynum has a blog, "Spider Monkey Stories," which you can click to from his web site: http://www.taylorhobynum.com/ ...He would undoubtedly be able to give you some clues on how HE thinks one could distinguish (in compositional and musical terms) DCW from GTM. But, sense he's always busy now, it might take a while for him to get back to you AND, this is a big AND, I suspect the answer would abstruse at best. I will read, with interest, what anyone else has to say when they tackle your query; BUT in the end I figure I'll be saying "what in the world is this person talking about?" Perhaps this is a contradiction with my usual interest in discussions but I have never really found attempts at verbally elucidating the "Braxton" aesthetic particularly clear. In fact, when I consider how strongly I react to Braxton's music (much of the time, anyway) it is ironic that I ALMOST prefer to be in the dark about his concepts etc.

BUT HEY, answer away somebody. As I said, I'll read with interest.

Dale

glmlr said...

Dale: Thanks. I'm not sure it would help to ask the musicians ... because to them, it would not be a piece of unheard, unknown music. Braxton, however, might or might not have an answer!

centrifuge said...

dale, i couldn't agree with you more about the emotional content of b's playing. but where a critic has made up his mind... etc.

fwiw i have yet to hear a piece of gtm which could not be identified as such within the the first two or three seconds. (of course this would not necessarily be true if the blindfold test began "in media res".)

Tantris said...

Hi glmlr; I'm not sure that I could distinguish GTM from DCW. What I do hear, though, is music that is archetypal; the musical language seems to absorb and reflect multiple sources in multiple ways, and by colliding pieces together, you end up with something that is more, much more, than the original material. That's what I hear, anyway! Separately, I don't find Braxton's written commentary on his music particularly helpful.
Cheers, T

1009 said...

mp3@320:


http://www.megaupload.com/?d=D7VV9G84

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this.

Can I tell the difference between GTM and DCW? This year, possibly : GTM is always focussed around a long, repeating, winding line and the DCW has the Supercollider stuff in it. I'm sure there's more to it than that; just as I'm sure the distinction will become moot as DCW practices get collaged into future versions of the Braxtoverse (or whatever it is we can call it). As far as I can tell, it keeps evolving by exploring techniques and then allowing them to be dropped in to other situations.

I see from the discography that the Moscow set (at least?) is going to come out on Leo. I guess we just stay tuned (any word of a UK gig any time soon???).

Brian

Rod Warner said...

Thanx! Been getting deeper into Anthony B these last few years - especially after I saw him live a couple of times - stunning music! And these recordings just confirm his stature for me - one of the true greats...

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