I'm pleased to have a new article in the International Journal of New Media, Technology, and the Arts (2018, Vol 13 (1):1-6). This little piece stirs the pot more than it offers solutions to the slippery problem of how we talk about ontology--from a continental perspective, at least--and experimental works. It's always nice to get work out into the public sphere - even nicer to get feedback. Let me know what y'all think about this crazy "recombinant ontology" business, eh?
This is five years old now, but I want to give a signal boost to Jean Rohe’s “National Anthem: Arise! Arise!” As an American living (for the time being) in Europe, I am often asked about the state of the United States. What can I say? Before having come to Germany just two months ago, I had spent thirteen years as a liberal elite in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. My America was seemingly very different from that America that elected our current president. And from within my own liberal bubble, that which indeed has become the case seemed impossible. Don’t we all want radical plurality in our communities? So I thought. And so, apparently, is not the case.
Jean Rohe’s amazing “National Anthem” keeps coming to mind both for its honesty, beauty, and humility about the reality, rather than ideology, of America. I grew up playing music with her partner, Liam Robinson (the arranger/conductor in the video), in Green Bay, Wisconsin. And while I have not been terribly successful in making the connection in my own work between politics and sound, I continue to grow in my admiration for what he and Jean have and continue to do. They’re successfully marrying sophisticated and self-reflexive musics to several American musical traditions; songs that really sing and speak. It’s that kind of music that makes you smile and move while you’re hearing it, but think on it for days afterward.
Though I haven’t been in touch with them for some time, I am really feeling their music these days. Please check out their new record, Hunger. Gorgeous, thoughtful, and thought-provoking music. We’re lucky to have them.
AJ Kluth | Tenor & Soprano Saxophones
Chili Corder | Electric Guitar
Anthony Lopez | Drums
Nashir Janmohamed | Upright Bass
Recorded May 31, 2017 at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Recording Studio
Seth von Paulus | Engineer
Jose Carillo | Assistant Engineer
Mixed in Los Angeles by Anthony Lopez at The Block of Joy and Andrew Keller at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Recording Studio. Video courtesy of a broken Manhattan MTA screen circa 2012 found somewhere in the recesses of my laptop.
I’m happy to report that a short piece of mine called “Some Musical, Personal, and Theoretical Digressions Regarding ‘Music Without Handles’” appears in the most recent edition of the American Society for Aesthetics’ newsletter. First and foremost, this edition celebrates the work of the remarkable Peter Kivy. However, my contribution—while not explicitly related to Kivy’s work—details some of my current research into experimental music in Los Angeles, a few persistent questions it presents, and the methodologies I’m deploying to deal with them. Many thanks to David Goldblatt for the invitation to contribute! Download the newsletter at the ASA site or HERE.