Sunday, January 13, 2008

Day 4

OK, it took me three tries to log in...I must be tired!

Today was mostly about hearing music.  A couple of good sessions; at 9:00am (damn...) there was a research presentation on Blogging and the Jazz Community.  Ken Prouty did some good research, including blogs such as Greenleaf and Be.Jazz.  During the Q&A we had a good discussion about the vibe in academic circles regarding blogs as a valid research source.  Granted, he is one guy and can not speak for the whole of the academic world, but I was encouraged by his thoughts.  He feels that artist blogs are great resources for students.  I worry that some of the more conservatively minded will let the "Peer-Reviewed" thing get in the way, but if a student is researching, say, trends in contemporary classical composition, what better place to start than with something like Eighth Blackbird's blog?

The think I like most about this conference is how much new music I get exposed to.  The SOCAN/IAJE Composer Award performances piled on even more inspiration.  The emerging award went to Andrew Jones and the established award to Fred Stride.  Props to the Paul Read Orchestra on stellar performances.

This evening I caught a set by the DMB Quintet.  3/5ths of this group (Ian Froman, Mike Murley and Jim Vivian) was at The Rex last night with Lieb.  Add to that David Braid on piano and Tara Davidson on Alto/Soprano and you have the group.  With the exception of Froman, these are all cats I was totally unfamiliar with and probably would have remained so.  I am so glad they played here. The compositions were very interesting, utilizing sectional writing, different orchestrations away from the horn(s) with rhythm paradigm, and deep, deep playing.

The closing concert was very forward looking:  
Francois Houle Octet - I once heard Ellery Eskelin speak about the time feel in free music being more related to momentum than pulse and I definitely caught that tonight.

Les Projectionnistes - These guys were great, there was a bit of a Zappa vibe but they really reminded me of some bands I used to listen to in the 90s like Mr. Bungle.  I hate describing someone's music in the context of someone else; these cats were very original - as the bone player said "we don't play jazz, we play music".

Finally, Barry Romberg's Random Access Large Ensemble - I am totally repeating myself, but this killed too.  

All and all - I am exhausted, both physically and mentally.  Overall, I think IAJE did well with presenting creative music.  I really dug getting to know what I am sure is just the smallest bit of the Canadian jazz and creative music scene, I have a lot more music to check out and I look forward to learning more about all of these cats.  Safe travel to anyone going tomorrow...


Ken Prouty said...

Hi Greg,

Sorry I didn't get over here sooner, but the life of a professor is always busy (that's just my stock excuse for being lazy...)

Thanks for the note and the positive feedback about the paper. I wish we'd had more time to talk after the session, but that's the way conferences are. You're right on in your comments about academia's seeming discomfort about blogs - I think we get so hung up sometimes on peer review that we forget that there's a lot of really good writing out there. That's the great thing about blogging - you can hear from lots of people that you wouldn't normally think of, and I think that can only be a good thing. Sure there's a lot of negative stuff as well, but intelligent people can usually sort through that (and frankly, it's our job as teachers, especially in musicology, to help students figure out the difference). This is especially true as more and more musicians start blogging themselves. This is the kind of connectivity (or "community") I was talking about in the paper that I think has been largely missing in jazz discourse until very recently.

Keep in touch...I'll certainly be in contact with you as my book project gets ramped up to talk about these issues some more.


Gregory Dudzienski said...

Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts. It is encouraging to hear that blogs are getting some serious attention in academic circles. I enjoyed speaking with you and I look forward to speaking with you about the book.