Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Time Comes

Artist In Blue Dress in front of 70" Square Drawing Black & White, 2012

When the time comes for change, it is hard to accept.
Too much of me has been decomposing and The Paradigm for Beauty has essentially run dry.

This blog originated with a design that it would last forever, or at least until I left the planet. It was built with the intention that the articles would focus on creative improvised music and all its ancillary conditions. For the most part, my accomplishments have been achieved with an occasional offshoot into my real job which is my visual art and how it is exhibited and created.

But I have to stop writing for the blog because it is imperative that I direct my energies elsewhere.

The page will still exist because every post attracts readers. 

And I might post references from other sources regarding my art from time to time.

Please know, dear reader, that I regret having to write this post, for I have enjoyed the connection. 

I have to engage in the process of re-connecting to myself, discovering new phases of life and loves.

Thank you.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Top Ten, 2014

  • Darius Jones, Oversoul Manual, AUM Fidelity;
  • Joe McPhee, Glasses, Corbett & Dempsey;
  • Wadada Leo Smith, The Great Lakes Suite, TUM Records;
  • Chad Taylor & Rob Masurek, Locus, Northern Spy;
  • Jason Roebke Octet, High/Red/Center, Delmark;
  • Matthew Shipp Trio, Root of Things, Relative Pitch;
  • Dave Rempis, Darren Johnston, Larry Ochs, Spectral, Aerophonic Records;
  • Billy Bang & William Parker, Medicine Buddha, NoBusiness Recods
  • Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp, Cosmic Lieder: The Darkseid Recital, AUM Fidelity;

  • Jason Adasiewicz's SunRooms, From the Region, Delmark.
  • Monday, November 24, 2014

    Darius Jones: Oversoul Manual, AUM Fidelity, 2014

    Language involves more than words, spoken or written, acted out or signaled; it defines however information is transmitted. Language is the vehicle for codifying communication processes that lead to a greater purpose. Humans do it. Animals do it. Plants do it. All living beings do it.

    Alto sax player and composer Darius Jones is no stranger to how to shape language. From his very first quasi-autobiographical recording, Man’ish Boy, he has bridged the gap between the real and the imagined and literally made them indistinguishable. It is in the fourth recording that relates directly to the three before it, Oversoul Manual, that Jones is realizing the dream originating with the instrumental Man’ish Boy (AUMFidelity, 2010), continuing with Big Gurl (AUMFidelity, 2011) and Book of Mae’Bul (AUMFidelity, 2012).

    Oversoul Manual (AUMFidelity, 2014) is a step beyond the pure musical adaptation of Jones’ story. It is the magical celebration of the ancient language of Jones’ invention, ɶʃ, “…an empathic language by the Or’genian people.” That celebration conveys the guts of his story. Jones’ creativity envelops an entire culture of love, women, boys, compassion and identification with Universal Truths. For without the latter, how else can the purity of souls be known or even alluded to. Jones, himself, egolessly constructs the epicenter of the culture which penetrates the ether, the netherworld, the alien world, the earth world.

    A group of four women, Sarah Martin, Jean Carla Rodea, Amirtha Kidambi, and Kristin Slipp constitute “The Elizabeth-Caroline Unit.” This “spiritual unit,” as Jones describes it, vocalizes a cappella fifteen verses of ritualistic beauty whose force is directed towards the creation of a child. The music ushers in a process of birthing that happens within Jones’ world, the one that is the implosion of the real and the imagined into one.

    The texture of the vocalization manifests an epitome of harmonics; high and low pitch balance; broken and uninterrupted vibrations; open and closed tones; and singular and unison lines. No verse is translatable, only symbolic. The language is syllabic. No dictionary comes with the recording, because it does not matter.  This glorious, evocative, albeit mysterious continuum of sound projects an enlivening, audibly sensuous, often trance-like roadway to somewhere that is essentially nowhere, which exists exclusively in the heart.

    copyright 2014 Lyn Horton

     Track listing:



    Sarah Martin, voice; Jean Carla Rodea, voice; Amirtha Kidambi,voice; Kristin Slipp, voice.

    Cover Art:
    Copyright 2014 Randal Wilcox

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Lyn Horton's Work: Interior Designer, Mary Douglas Drysdale: John Lyle Style Blog

    Lyn Horton fills this clean white wall with energy. This cool space was done for DXV, American Standard as part of their new product launch. Humm, like the sound of Mary Douglas Drysdale for DXV…….

    Lyn Horton: Installation Shots: Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Georgetown, Washington, DC, September, 2014

    Rebecca Cross, owner of Cross MacKenzie Gallery, makes final lighting adjustment on Lyn Horton's work.

    Lyn Horton drawings: l: Three line characters, 2014; r: Strands, 2010.

    Lyn Horton drawings: l to r: Silver & Black, Gold & Black, Black & Silver, Black & Gold, 2014.

    Lyn Horton drawings: l to r: 25 Characters, 2014; (upper) Gold & Silver, (below) Silver & Gold, 2014;
    Maren Kloppmann ceramics: on pedestals.

    Lyn Horton: 70" Square Drawing Black & White, 2014.

    Lyn Horton drawings: l: 70" Square Drawing Black & White; r: White Characters, 2014.

    Lyn Horton drawings: 3 Sequential Series White & Black on Green & Rose 1-4, 2014.

    Lyn Horton drawings: l: (upper) Silver & Gold; (lower) Gold & Silver, 2014; r: Single Loopy Line, 7, 5, 3, 8, 2014. 

    Lyn Horton drawings: 9 White Characters, 2014.

    Enlarged Photo by Richard Laurie of Lyn Horton standing in front of one of her wall drawing installations in the window of Cross MacKenzie Gallery.

    Georgetown Gallery Scene Makes a Resurgence | The Georgetowner

    Georgetown Gallery Scene Makes a Resurgence | The Georgetowner

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Matthew Shipp: I’ve Been To Many Places, Thirsty Ear, 2014

    Since Matthew Shipp has known the piano, the way he plays it has inevitably changed. Not that he has refuted traditional methods or those derived from musicians who have influenced him; rather he has used all these methods as a means to break musical language barriers in order to merge with his intentionally vast expansion of the piano’s sound, so vast that he reaches into an unknown personal space and time.

    In his solo release, I’ve Been To Many Places, Shipp looks retrospectively at several pieces he has already recorded and filters them through the way in which his playing has developed.  These selections as well as improvised works constitute the album. Those unfamiliar with Shipp’s music would by nature hear the recording as all brand new, just as Shipp believes it is himself.

    On the whole, the music bears a relaxed, though beautifully pristine, feel. It isn’t that Shipp has tossed away many of the Shipp-isms which are recognizable in past recordings or performances.  Instead he has simply let go of the tension and tightness that sometimes informs his signature style.

    His journey on the keyboard is fluid, often moderating between mid-keyboard and treble pitches, not addressing many of the huge, heavy, black block chords that he is adept at integrating into his expression. The rhythms are always switching, especially noticeable in the standards, “Summertime” and “Tenderly,” and identifiable in Shipp’s compositions: for example, in the beboppish “Brain Stem Grammar,” the elegant “Waltz,” the delicate “Symbolic Access,” the quasi-swinging “Blue Astral Bodies” or the deeply moving “Life Cycle.” 

    Dissonance is often crucial to the musical discussion as is repetition, giving way to abstraction, the deconstruction of some tunes and the construction of others.  Coltrane’s “Naima” and Walter Gross’ “Tenderly” are hardly recognizable due to Shipp’s shift in emphasis on the phrasing of what we are accustomed to hearing. Most surprising is the pianist’s rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “Where is The Love?” and its rhythmically dilated reprise after the steadied, clutching, chordal “Light Years.” The insertion of “Where is The Love?” is surprising because Shipp throws in an aspect of “the popular,” not only for the reason that it reflects his recording experience, but also because it is a downright cool thing to do. Shipp is human, after all. And very cool.

    Shipp is a master of the piano. He will never let anyone forget it. And he will embrace every chance to make it known by surrounding his audiences with unusual approaches to the keyboard every time he plays. He knows that the universe is everything; that we are only atoms; and that sound is the never-ending expedition of the wave. The twenty-three seconds of resonance coming from the last chord of the concluding “Cosmic Wave” proves it.

    Copyright 2014 Lyn Horton

    Track Listing: I’ve Been To Many Places; Summertime; Brain Stem Grammar; Pre-Formal; Web Play; Tenderly; Life Cycle; Brain Shatter; Symbolic Acces; Waltz; Reflex; Naima; Where Is The Love; Light Years; Where Is The Love (reprise); Blue Astral Bodies; Cosmic Wave.

    Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano.

    This music review will be the last one that I will be writing. Since 1995, I have written well over five hundred articles about the art of music and its musicians. I have attended many concerts, listened to many recordings and have advanced my education in ways I would have never predicted prior to my engagement with the music. I know many musicians personally and love them all. Thanks to the musicians who have given to me freely and spiritually. And thanks to the record companies who have allowed me to open my ears with their recordings.