Dreams of Life

I recently came across two films worth mentioning here. Transes follows the Moroccan group Nass el Ghiwane during a tour in the early 1980s. Nass performs Moraccan chaabi music influenced by the heavily hypnotic Gnawa genre, hence the titular “trances.” They play with the frenetic energy of early Stones to their rapturous crowds. Director Ahmed El Maanouni captures spectacular live performances […]

Irv Teibel’s Music of the Future (1969-79)

UPDATE 12/16/15: Are you a fan of Irv’s work? Want to collaborate or share your personal story of discovering the environments series? Drop me a line at jonathaneennewton [at] gmail [dot] com. Exciting projects in the works. UPDATE 10/8/14: I’m now working with Syntonic Research, Irv Teibel’s label, to sort through his papers and recordings […]

Manifest Minimalism

The the manifest destiny of American music is alive and well. While conductor Michael Tilson Thomas presents his American Mavericks programs dedicated to the unbridled creativity of composers from Ives to Monk, sound artist Dan Deacon engages his fans by crowdsourcing his own light show. Without generalizing the diversity right out of the avant-garde, I’m confident the ideas of expansiveness and innovation are embedded, […]

I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One

I’m currently reading Kay Larson’s fantastic Where the Heart Beats, which highlights the impact of Zen Buddhism on post-WWII classical music. The fact that Larson is a practicing Buddhist, in addition to a respected art critic, makes this book an especially unique compilation of biography and personal history. It’s structure often references John Cage’s posthumous “dialogues” with Erik Satie when […]

Not Like the Others

Musical genres don’t mean a thing today.  In a long lost era, they might have helped record labels and stores (remember those?) categorize music, but since Y2K they’ve simply closed peoples minds and ears more than opened them.  It’s not that I think music is above nomenclature–obviously philosophers don’t believe thought is beyond words–but music should define […]