Bryan Stearns - guitar
Bryan Stearns - guitar
Bryan Stearns - Shur Pro Mdern, Orange head and cab, electric bass, drums Dan Stearns - recording mix
as it says, Rawguit solo Bryan Stearns
CIRRUS and PILEUS The sun was trembling on the edge of the ridge Winter was alive I watched it sink onto the open lake silver and green and gold and black wheeled like a pathless wood Having lashed some undiscovered shore Heaven crashed against the pier in the gardens of the moon In this rain of iron the angles sing, Of fire of ice of blood of density and velocity and shattering and avalanching -du-du - du - du du - du-du - du- du - du - du. du - du-du- In the shallow frozen water turns a great blue sun, CIRRUS, PILEUS! like the seasons passing one by one in elliptical orbits around the sun (whistle) at aphelion (whistle) Mem'ries are time that you borrow to spend when you get to tomorrow here comes the setting sun, the seasons are passing one by one Du - du - du - du-du - Review of Jacob Barton's 17 equal piano concert -- mclaren, Thursday, November 9, 2006 PART I - THE GIANT INTERGALACTIC RAZOR-FANGED OCTOPUS Dan Stearns' "Cirrus and Pileus" presents us with a piano accomplishment to a classic art song. The piano accompaniment starts off with high energy, and a female singer pitches in to overlay the piano's rapid figures with a gliding melody. Dan Stearns has put a video of the performance of this piece up on YouTube, which is of course inaccessible to most us, since we don't have $100 per month (or up) to pay for broadband internet. This means that most of the population can't access Dan's video, or, indeed, any of the video of the concert. So the rest of us must make do with mp3s. Dan's art song uses piano work which at first sounds like something you'd expect from early modernism; then the piano breaks into a radical change of piece and starts what sounds like hokeytonk ragtime. The piano shifts back and forth between these two styles unpredictably -- ragtime or something like it, and what sounds like early Walter Piston tonal modernism. The singer's melody floats over the top of the piano writing, tying it together. Overall, I found this art song effective and impressive. It did require some mental gear-shifts at first, once you realized Dan was going to change styles on you in the piano writing every few measures. This kind of postmodernist bricolage technique became popular with revanchist tonal composers like Jacob Druckman back in the 1970s, when they got sick of atonal serialism and decided to try a different musical path. Initially reviled and subjected to the usual smear tactic tactics and hysterical name-calling, po-mo musical collage experts like Druckman gradually became accepted into mainstream serious music, and now that the atonal cul de sac has been abandoned, they're part of the contemporary serious composer's bag 'o tricks, recognized as an essential staple of modern compositional technique. DAS LIED VON DER ERDE? OR DAS LIED VON DER NERD? To those of us familiar with Dan Stearns' other music, this piece of quasi-Schubertian/ragtime collage came as one hell of a shock. Dan Stearns has for years specialized in industrial-type noise-scapes with bits 'n pieces of sonic "objets trouves" thrown in. I had always thought of Dan Stearns as an industrial music composer with leanings toward 19th century art music...but now, hearing this composition and its expert piano writing and the dexterous vocal writing, I may have to revise my judgment. Maybe Dan is actually a 19th century art music guy with industrial noise music urges. In any case, once you get past the stylistic gear-shifting, it's a great piece. I've listened to it a number of times. It holds up well, and does that hardest of all tightrope walks -- it manages to do something comprehensible (which is to say in some way musical familiar) yet sounds fresh and new at the same time.
dan stearns - all microtonal and fretless guitars, bass, keyboards, piano, drums, percussion, midi constructs, drum machines and other noises 3-Handman - turntables Jim Capone - clarinet
Bryan Stearns guitar over backing track