Alt-Classical (2011)

What is Alt-Classical?

DIY, open instrumentation, alternative venues, mix of amateur and professional performers, music lies somewhere between art music (music meant to be contemplated) and pop music (music meant for mass consumption).
Alt Classical EP (2011) by pbailey


Fearless Leader, (2006, revised 2007)
was partially inspired by a quote from the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti: “ Now there is no taboo; everything is allowed. But one cannot simply go back to tonality, its just not the way. We must find a way of neither going back nor continuing the avant-garde. I am in a prison: one wall is the avant-garde, the other wall is the past, and I cannot escape.”

An Eye for Optical Theory (Michael Nyman Cover)
It is interesting to note that the although all of Nyman’s music from the Peter Greenaway film The Draughtsman’s Contract was derived from a Purcell chaconne, the ground bass (on which this piece is built) was subsequently discovered to have been written by a lesser-known contemporary of Purcell.  This arrangement uses most of the melodic materials from the original piece, freely combining them to create a bizzaro world second cousin of the original.

Life’s Too Short (2006)
is a lighthearted meditation of life, death, and nihilism based on the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche (iconic German philosopher) and John Sinclair (Los Angeles based writer).

Cheap Admiration (2005)
Is loosely based on a harmonic deconstruction of Sonata Ciacona by Johann Pezel (1639-1694) who worked as a musician in Germany and was promoted to town stadtpfeifer (band director) in Leipzig in 1670. Later in his career he applied for and was turned down for the job of Cantor of St. Thomaskirche, a job that J.S. Bach would hold 50 years later.

myinnersatan (2005, revised 2006)
started as a cross between counterpoint exercise and a contemplation of the soul crushing emptiness of desk work.

Principal of Sufficient Irritation (originally titled 11/25/05)
is three sections of five melodic/ostinato gestures that can be performed in endless variety. in rehearsals a unique roadmap and orchestration is decided upon and explored during the performance. The title is based on an interesting concept in P.K. Dick’s “Ubik”.

Undone (The Sweater Song)
Weezer cover FTW!

Paul Bailey Ensemble (PBE)

is an alt-classical garage band that plays the music of a variety of living and dead composers. The group was created in 2002 as DIY forum outside the usual and limited channels of art music presentation.


released 16 February 2011
Paul Bailey, Trombone
Bruce Gallego, Electric Guitar
Eric Hendrickson, Keyboards
Scott McIntosh, Clarinet
Ryan Nunes, Vibraphone
Carl Stronach, Bass Guitar
With Special Guest Piano
John Marr on “Undone (The Sweater Song)”

Life’s Too Short Vocals

Nicole Baker, Mezzo Soprano, Spoken Word
Sean McDermott, Tenor
Paul Cummings, Bass

Life’s Too Short Graphic LIbretto

Recorded, Edited, and Mixed by Paul Bailey and Marlon Luna
Mixing and Mastering Consultant/Coach/Head Cheerleader Jon Brenner
Recorded at California State University Fullerton, Swing House Studios Hollywood, and Because They Are Dead Studios, Highland Park

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One Response to “Alt-Classical (2011)”

  1. [...] I hope you’ve gotten the Paul Bailey Ensemble album alt-classical by now.  It has a frakkin Weezer cover.  What’s taking you so long? There are many good [...]

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