Monday, December 10, 2007
Earlier this year, my friend Pete Cherches put together a mini-history of downtown NYC music from about 1971-87 for NYU's Fales Library toward which I contributed some minimal amount of references. This evening, Pete led a panel discussion on the period with Jon Gibson, Don Christenson (who I didn't think I knew--he drummed with the Raybeats and Contortions among others, but I actually do have him on an album or two), Butch Morris and Elliott Sharp. Pete's work can be found here.
Each of the musicians gave a brief personal history (sometimes not so brief) followed by some discussion and Q&A. It was fairly interesting even if much was stuff I already knew. Sharp and Morris were wryly amusing. But Gibson said something early on in his talk that made my ears perk up a bit. He was describing his years as a student at San Francisco University and mentioned coming into contact with contemporary classical scores around 1960, including some by Cardew. I was interested in learning about the fact that the work of a young, obscure British composer had managed to become known on the West Coast that early.
At the reception, I was lucky enough to have a long conversation with Gibson about his encounters with such music in the 60s, including hanging out with Cardew and Tilbury, etc. I monopolized him for about 45 minutes, I'm afraid, but he was entirely gracious about it. And not a single mention of Philip Glass! I spent long enough there that it was too late to walk down to the Knit to catch the English set, which I regret but, that's the way it goes. Last time they were here, my wedding anniversary got in the way, now this. I'll catch them one of these years.
Oh, and my apologies to the fellow who came over and said hello and about whom I totally blanked for a minute. I think we met at the ErstQuake over on Church St a few years back? But it took my a while to place you and I still can't remember your name, really sorry about that. If you're reading this, please drop in and ID yourself to save me future embarrassment. Sorry!
Newly arrived and not yet listened to:
Jed Speare - Sound Works 1982-1987 (Family Vineyard)
Nils Henrik Asheim/Paal Nilssen-Love - Late Play (PNL)
Lasse Marhaug/Paal Nilssen-Love - Stalk (PNL)
and six, count'em, six things from our good friend Cor:
DJ Cor Blimey and his pigeon
WhistleLight (solo Fuhler)
Slee (solo Fuhler, piano)
Tcod (solo Fuhler)