Banksy sure has “ball” hits Number 10 Downing St. | The Poke: http://bit.ly/940NeA # giving a masterclasses where they just want me to ‘talk about my music’ is like asking will ferrell to ‘be funny’ without a script. ugh… # damn the LAtimes print version has shrunk quite a lot since the last time i [...]
my new Alt-Classical EP is coming out in january and while i’m finishing up the liner notes here is the first track. click below for links to the download and score.
Fearless Leader 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.”
this piece was originally conceived as a modular improvisation (in the style of Terry Riley’s Tread on the Trail) but didn’t work as intended (modular improvisation and the resulting rhythmic syncopations didn’t mix well). the orchestration also went through quite a few revisions and for a long time i considered it the black sheep of my PBE repertoire. i guess it goes to show that sometimes you gotta stick with something until you get it right.
Fearless Leader (2006, revised Spring 2007)
clarinet, trombone, vibes, keyboard, electric guitar, bass guitar
download on soundcloud
this track is released via creative commons: attribution, noncommercial, and share alike which basically means to me feel to download, remix, mashup, deconstruct, etc… as long as you give me credit and don’t sell it. if you do i will have my critter army hunt you down and hug you until you change your ways.
a few weeks ago i thought i was actually done with the alt-c album. well… almost. i thought mixing was done and had a few tracks mastered and was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, that is before i started listening to the music on a variety of other sources (earbuds, car stereo, ipad [...]
a week ago i thought i was actually done with the alt-c album. well… almost. i thought i was done mixing had a few tracks mastered and was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, that is before i started listening to the music on a variety of other sources (earbuds, car stereo, ipad speakers). [...]
this recording has been a long time in the making and i have avoided blogging much about it until i knew i was close to being able to release it. a lot has happened since i started recording it in 2007, but in many ways that is the reality of making DIY music; you go ahead one step at a time.
as i have alluded to in a previous post i’m in the final stages of mixing and in general it’s very strange to be spending so much time listening to recording sessions that are from a few years ago. i feel like i’m spending all my time hanging out with a holodeck version of my band that i start up on my macbook every morning. the other day when i was talking to scott mcintosh (clarinet) i hadn’t realized that we really hadn’t spoken for a few weeks since i have been listening to him play every day.
the most surprising thing about editing and mixing music is the strange intimacy you develop with the performances. during the process you become aware of everybody’s musical strengths and weaknesses which goes far beyond our relationship as bandmates in rehearsals. it’s a strange place to be in, repeatedly listening to a single moment of time when in reality the all of the band have moved on with their life (i have to remind myself of that in rehearsals). as for editing and mixing my playing, having that kind of self awareness is problematic and is a big reason why i need to take a 3-6 month break between each stage of the process (recording, editing, and mixing) so that i can get some emotional distance from my own performance (and in general each composition). it’s not easy and i’m not usually happy with my trombone sound, but the good news is that on this album i finally have found a ‘good enough’ trombone sound where i don’t cringe everytime i hear myself play.
at this point of the summer it feels like i have been rehearsing every day (with my holodeck band) and i’m getting pretty excited as i get closer to taking this recording from ‘rehearsal’ to ‘performance’. i’m also looking forward to finally being in a place where i feel comfortable sharing more about my DIY process and the how this album was made
summer is here and i’m actually think it might be productive. it’s not like i don’t need the break, i’m just not that productive when i don’t have any real structure to my day. overall the last few years have been a little too much drama for me and it’s time to “get my house in order” (literally as well as figuratively).
1st up is cleaning out my garage and turning it into a rehearsal studio/performance space. over the last few years i have definitely outgrown my “office” and now that i’m teaching private students at the house i need a bigger space to work in. after editing and mixing three albums (not to mention most of the composing that i do at home)i also have to admit that i really need a change of scenery. even though i wasn’t writing that much music this past year i found it very hard to want to sit down at my desk to do anything creative so i ventured out anywhere i could think of as an alternative creative space (including different rooms in the house) and came to the conclusion that having a larger space in my garage should do the trick for now. it will also allow me to setup and properly practice with the all the gear i’m using with my “music for controllers” setup. instead making music through headphones i really have needed to spend the time figuring out how to play these pieces “live” and have come to realize it’s much more involved than when I just played trombone.
the main problem is getting a proper balance when you are mixing live acoustic instruments (trombone, voice) and controllers (kaossilator, drone/scruti box, buddha machine, ableton live, launchpad, etc…). i also have realized that mixing electric and acoustic instruments without sound reinforcement can be very a very disjointed listening experience in a live performance and in many ways my even though much of this music is not technically hard to perform my “practicing” centers around how to setup gear, mics, and amps which means that i have to pretty much be practicing/performing with a stereo/PA system to make my performances aurally make sense.
with all that being said (and after trying to mostly “practice” at other locations) the reality is that the setup and teardown of this technological spectacle (a few amps, mic/stand, laptop/keyboard stand/table, MOTU traveller(digital/audio interface), and 2 pedal boards) can take almost as long as the rehearsal so for the time being i’m going to be only performing solo or with whomever musicians that can make it to the 90042 for a weekly rehearsal.
after driving down to fullerton and back for the last 20 years for PBE and DIE rehearsals can really take it’s toll and at this point in my life i think it’s only natural to change things up and make music in a different way. to me it’s kinda funny b/c on one hand i know there are a lot of people who over the past few years have been introduced to my “Retrace Our Steps/PBE 1.0″ music who really wish i was making more music with the larger group and really like the strings/winds/rock band orchestration. there are also another group who have only seen the “PBE 2.0 rock band” (as we jokingly called it) and keep asking when that group is going to perform again. all i can say is that part of making alt-classical music is not really having the control to make those choices which leaves me to make music with the equipment and musicians that are available (and not continually banging my trying to fit a round peg in a square hole)
the good news is that if all goes well I should be performing on a regular basis soon. when and if there will be a PBE 3.0 is yet to be seen. right now one step at a time is fine with me.
this Thursday night (august 6th 2009) at Midnight with members of the Paul Bailey
Ensemble and the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble.
We also are still playing with the LANME this Friday night in Santa Monica. i have really enjoyed playing the last two shows with them and putting together this show is all about getting all these great musicians I know together in one place. After playing our first show together it occurred to how much fun it would be to do it with all my friends.
We will do a short rehearsal/soundcheck to go over the piece at 11:30pm
Thursday, August 6th
10:30pm load-in (ish)
11:30pm reh (10:30 setup/load-in
5930 York Blvd.
Highland Park (Los Angeles, Ca 90042)
SMAS (Santa Monica Art Studios)
3026 Airport Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90405
performing: “in C” terry riley
“principle of sufficient irritation” paul bailey
and music by patrick conlon, dan formidoni, evan ziporyn and marvin lamb.christina giacona, clarinet/musical director
kelly wakelin, soprano
james miller, baritone
patrick conlon, violin
audrey snyder, cello
kelly haley, flute
sarah edgmon, clarinet
scott mcintosh, clarinet
daniel formidoni, keyboard
nicolas smith, keyboard
paul bailey trombone
matt menaged, bass guitar
i was very happy to see that WNYC’s John Schaefer wrote a great review of Retrace Our Steps for the E-Music website.*
“Composer Paul Bailey winningly describes his ensemble as an “alt-classical garage band.” With 4 singers (two of whom also speak), strings, winds, piano, electric guitar, vibes, and electric bass, it’s as good a description as any. Retrace Our Steps is his “secular oratorio in 4 acts,” and while the opening notes of Act I and of Act IV sound like they might have come from Arnold Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night, the dominant musical references are to Philip Glass and Michael Nyman. Bailey’s pulsing, tonal chamber music is married to texts by Gertrude Stein, Guy Debord and Jenny Bitner. All four acts are highly rhythmic affairs, but each has its own character: Act I insistent, Act IV a more reflective cousin (a neat trick since the rhythm seems to be the same); Act II with a stinging electric guitar part leading the way; Act III with an elegant combination of vibes and rocking strings and guitar. Rather than providing a narrative in a traditional oratorio sense, Bailey gives us a series of aural snapshots dealing with isolation, alienation, and the irony of modern communication (that when it is so easy to communicate, it is still so hard to communicate effectively). A further irony is that this message is carried by some immediately accessible music; if the message is that instrumental rock and new classical music are not so far apart, that message comes through loud and clear.”
and last week WNYC recently replayed the original show that featured my music.
*i’m not sure what is going on but it looks like Act II hasn’t been uploaded properly on the emusic site. If you have had problems and have downloaded an incomplete track please email me and besides giving you a link to Act II, i’ll also be happy to send you a special “surprise”.
and of course you can download the whole album right here for free at anytime
Retrace Our Steps, Act 1
Retrace Our Steps, Act 2
Retrace Our Steps, Act 3
Retrace Our Steps, Act 4
(download graphic libretto)
(download Graphic Libretto and Mp3′s)
this year has also been a pretty big change for me personally. last fall (for a variety of reasons) it was in my best interest to put the pbe on indefinite hiatus. the simple answer is that i wasn’t interested in the long rebuilding process after carl stronach (nyc in 2007) and bruce gallego (stockton [...]
pbe spring 08 (l-r, bruce gallego, john mahr, ryan nunes, pb, matt menaged, scott mcintosh) just got back from by my guitarist, bruce gallego’s (far left) going away party. all of his other musician friends were there and we all felt like his mistresses were meeting together for the first time. he was the [...]
latimes music critic chris pasles is one of the 80 people either taking a buyout or being fired. http://tiny.cc/c8HEd Be the first to like. Like Unlike
from a performers point of view this weekend’s RealNewMusic 2008 festival was one one of those rare events that was a joy to participate in from start to finish. no backstage drama, rivalries, one-upmanship or back handed compliments. walking in to soundcheck and seeing scott mcintosh (pbe partner in crime) playing in john mahr’s group [...]
RealNewMusic 2008 Saturday, June 21, 2008, 7:00 pm Tickets $10.00 / $7.50 / $5.00 (students & seniors) The Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts Whittier College, 6760 Painter Ave., Whittier Box Office: 562.907.4203 Google map to the Shannon Center featuring: PBE is an alt-classical garage band that plays the music of a variety [...]
i just got done updating my custom google maps of the la county homicide statistics from 01/01/2008-06/14/2008. since the beginning of the year there have been 362 homicides in los angeles county. View Larger Map so far this year the homicide rate is actually down 5% for the year. this time last year there were [...]
Minimalist Music Theatre (originally aired May 20, 2008)
“Hear some music theatre pieces on this New Sounds show. Listen to Philip Glass’s recent release “Waiting for the Barbarians,” adapted from the novel by the South African writer and Nobel Prize Winner John Coetzee. Also, there’s music by Paul Bailey – his post-minimalist music theatre piece “Retrace Our Steps.” He describes it as a four act vocal/instrumental spectacle based on texts by Gertrude Stein, Guy Debord and Jenny Bitner. The “alt-classical garage band” Paul Bailey Ensemble performs the work. And more.”
its been a good run since the middle of april that culminated in two great shows this weekend at REDCAT. for me it was very strange to be backstage without a trombone in my hand (or any instrument at all) it was easier to keep the laptop and kaossillator plugged in onstage, but i found [...]
REDCAT Spring StudioMay 17 & 18, 2008, 8:30 pmRoy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater631 W 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 The latest edition of REDCAT’s ongoing performance series brings together a dynamic range of six emerging and established Los Angeles artists to launch new projects, investigate new forms and experiment with new ideas. Curated by [...]
as i said before requiem for a high homicide enclave is my attempt to make sense of the latimes homicide report. i first encountered the blog, comments and maps reading about the death of los angeles high school band member michael pena and reading his story it brought back a lot of memories that i [...]
Today at 4pm I’m going to talk with Martin Perlich about my REQUIEM FOR A HIGH HOMICIDE ENCLAVE and its source material; the latimes homicide report, blog comments and google maps on KCSN 88.5 (05/14/08) Be the first to like. Like Unlike
after another long day of composing and video editing the wife unit looks over and states “its an addiction, right?” i nod silently in her direction and realize its probably a good time to stop for the day. although we have been married 15 years, i don’t think we have had the conversation that followed. [...]
since i can’t seem to find this anywhere on the interwebs i will repost this. its from alan rich’s new blog (soiveheard.com) which seems to be down… soiveheard#2 by Alan Rich Wallpaper Endangered: According to one survey or another, anywhere from 30 to 50,000 people listen to classical music all day. That number can include [...]
i just heard from martin perlich that next week’s pledge-drive at KCSN has been canceled and this probably signals the university wanting to change the format and ship all the programming to a syndicate like minnesota public radio. most of this town is already run from elsewhere, we have seen how that is working with [...]
i’m it. and since i’m done for the night i can play along with this meme… 1. pick up the nearest book. ok, on my left is my full bookcase… that’s shooting fish in the barrel. many a book i could pull show how “serious” i am. (ohh… rameau’s treatise on harmony would make me [...]
tonight april 23 2008, 8pm csuf recital hall d.i.e (diverse instrument ensemble) cello, keyboard, clarinet and electric bass lloyd rodgers director selections: assorted madrigals caccini nicole baker, mezzo-soprano soloist assorted counterpoints costanzo festa chaconne in g minor henry purcell Be the first to like. Like Unlike