The Wire

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In Writing

Michael E Veal Portal

February 2012

Read about Michael E Veal's select web links. Veal's King Tubby Primer (illustrated by Savage Pencil) is in The Wire 337, his Dub: Soundscapes And Shattered Songs In Jamaican Reggae book is published by Wesleyan University Press.

Lawrence “Butch” Morris Why Lawrence “Butch” Morris doesn't have multiple awards and a contemporary concert hall dedicated to the performance of his music, is beyond me. With his “conduction” method (i.e. conducted improvisation), he has created a radical and visionary model of composition that fuses the best of the improvised and notated traditions, and moved them forward into one affirming perspective on what the 21st century might sound like, musically.

Critical Studies In Improvisation One way of moving the “jazz” discourse out of some of its rhetorical holes is by conceptualising the process of improvisation in a broader sense, which sometimes even includes engaging with non-musical phenomena. The current issue of Critical Studies in Improvisation grapples with improvisation as it is present in urban planning, athletics, dance, theater and other practices. For musicians and composers, these new understandings of improvisation in daily life can then be imported back into the musical domain, evolving the language from the outside.

Inconstant sol This site has been a fantastic resource for rare recordings, restoring several crucial angles to the history of new/free/experimental jazz. The vast majority will never (or never again) see the light of day commercially, so this site is truly a godsend.

Awesome Tapes from Africa There has always been a strong distinction between African music produced for the global and local markets. This site offers a tour of the latter sphere, with fantastic, rootsy music that would be extremely hard to find without actually taking a trip to the continent.

Eisenman Architects I often use the architectural discourse as a source of ideas for conceptualising jazz composition and improvisation, and Peter Eisenman is one of a number of contemporary architects whose methods for generating new and novel formal designs I find particularly inspiring.

Luciana Parisi & Steve Goodman Architecture is typically understood as the result of putting things together, but it could also be understood as a process of pulling things apart. In this essay, Parisi and Goodman use theorists such as Deleuze and Guattari to breathe new life and new angles into Gordon Matta-Clark’s coined term 'anarchitecture'. The language might seem to privilege entropy, but the inevitable result is a repertoire of new forms.

YouTube Search: “Chicago Footwork” A style of dance that developed out of what used to be called “Juking” in Chicago. When I first saw this, I assumed that the blurring of foot movements was at least partially the result of distortion in the video reproduction, i.e. that the dancers’ feet were simply moving too fast for the camera to accurately capture. When I saw it in person, I realized that they were actually moving that fast (!) while simultaneously bringing all the funk, attitude and incredibly elegant artistry. It goes without saying that the music for this style is hot enough to keep the dancers moving on an incredibly advanced plane, and abstract enough to keep them generating new shape after shape.

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