I’m still coming down from a dizzying week with my beloved comrades in Wrack realizing (at last) …Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire, my Chamber Music America 2012 New Jazz Works Commission inspired by the early novels of Thomas Pynchon. A rip-roaring premiere at the Outsound New Music Summit was followed by two more concerts in West Hollywood and Sacramento, then two days recording with certified Supergenius Myles Boisen. I couldn’t be happier with the results, and man oh man I can’t wait to get this music released on CD.

Meanwhile, for posterity’s sake, here’s a round-up of all the potentially interesting contextualization that’s surrounded the project thus far:

  • email interviews on CMA’s Sounding Board and KZSU DJ Craig Matsumoto’s blog
  • a long-winded (but not too embarrassing) video interview with Rent Romus of Outsound
  • a kind and extremely Pynchon-centric review of the West Hollywood performance
  • and, as long as I’m at it, a purple-prosed paragraph about What Thomas Pynchon Means to Me that, for perfectly understandable reasons, thudded to the cutting-room floor in the CMA interview above:

…What first reeled me in was the character of McClintic Sphere in V. I distinctly remember sitting in English class, snickering geekily and patting myself on the back because I ‘got it’ – I knew that his white saxophone was a not-so-subtle reference to Ornette Coleman. And it just keeps going – Gesang der J√ľnglinge gets name-checked, and Wozzeck, and Webern’s death‚Ķ But that’s exactly Pynchon’s game: daring you to succumb to paranoid systems. There’s a dimension of reading his work that’s like firing a blunderbuss into a barrel of red herrings. No matter what your field is – rocket science, colonial history, organic chemistry, hermetica and the occult – he somehow knows just enough of your specialist knowledge to ensnare you in webs of ‘Kute Korrespondences.’ Of course you’re going to try to connect dots and discern patterns in his noise, because that’s what human brains are wired to do. And of course you’re going to find those patterns, because everything is buried somewhere within the static. And it may very well be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s The Truth.


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