Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season. I know it's not very fashionable to enjoy this time of year, but no one ever accused me of being fashionable.
Item: Short show report[STOP]
The Dorothy Heralds played a show last week with Reason for Leaving and The Optimistic at Madison's The King Club. [STOP]
Fun was had by all.[STOP]
The Optimistic write cool songs.[STOP]
Reason for Leaving rocks.[STOP]
You're sad because you missed it.[STOP]
In other holiday news, I have to mention that I received a copy of the long out-of-print Arcana: Musicians on Music as a gift this year. For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of John Zorn, who compiled and edited this collection of essays. A number of the contributors have been hugely influential players in their respective fields, and not just to me! I was ecstatic to finally have a copy of the book, as I've been trying to track one down for years. I've just started reading and it's already been very challenging and revelatory.
Myra Melford's essay, Aural Architecture: The Confluence of Freedom has already inspired two new compositions. It's also helped me complete a piece that I've been working on for the past six months. The way in which she expresses parallels in her compositional processes with the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture has given me new faith in my attempt to directly connect my own literary influences with my music. She's also renewed my interest in actually studying Varese's techniques.
Bill Frisell, who is a huge influence on my playing and writing, contributed an essay entitled, An Approach to Guitar Fingering. Over the years Frisell has mentioned in various interviews some of the ideas presented in this essay. However, to have his thoughts collected in one place and presented with exercises and a few short etudes is fascinating. The etudes aren't difficult at first glance, but reveal the depth of his approach to the guitar with just a few attempts. I'm sure these pieces will become an integral part of my own study.
Other essays have been just as revealing. This book will undoubtedly become a constant companion for years to come. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking to expand their musicianship. Some of the writing can be pretty dense and may only reveal its value after much meditation, but those that have the desire to uncover its value will be rewarded well.