"The Story of an American Composer"

Discussion on George Russell the man, and his written and recorded music.

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George Russell: The Story of an American Composer

Postby bobappleton » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:45 pm

This biography arrived in my hand today - and to prove it, a picture:
http://www.4shared.com/photo/3fz93seQ/GR_story.html

b
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Postby bobappleton » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:53 pm

Biographer Douglas Heining's comments from pages 313 and 314 about the relationship between the Concept and current neuropsychology research is followed by "Russell's decision to block through his estate, any future editions of The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization becomes all the more unfortunate. The need for more research both scientific and historic implies that its future must lie in the hands of its most gifted students." This may explain why Volume 2 has not been published.
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Postby bobappleton » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:09 am

On the first Living Time recording with Bill Evans, Sam Rivers, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, etc, etc... a quote from Dave Bargeron "this music (was) organized in such a way that none of us had ever seen before, and the pieces separated into events with roman numerals, subset of that areas, subset of that ABC within the areas. And coordinating all of these various functions for the very first time, George developing a technique of conducting this way, random events that would last a time span rather than a certain amount of measures."
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Postby bobappleton » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:09 am

Carla Bley, page 161: "I happened to take a piece of music to George Russell and he looked at it and he said, 'This is fantastic. I want to record it.' So he saved my life. At that moment, I was about to become a seamstress."
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Postby bobappleton » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:44 pm

p 81 - 82 on Stefan Wolpe "Russell is quite specific in identifying the Jazz Workshop album 'Lydian M-1' and All About Rosie as examples of compositions that used Wolpe's ideas and influence... Russell provided his comments for a centennial memorial publication for Wolpe. 'Wolpe and the two principles that stuck with me* and his forceful being are part of me now, and they always have been, and always will be. He's alive in those of us that he touched.'"

* "the two things that impressed me, that caused me to think in a new way, were his theory of the rate of chromatic circulation as a means of destroying any tonical integrity and the principle of thirdless sound." (from Perlis, Inteview with G Russell)
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Postby bobappleton » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:51 am

p 298-299. Ben Schwendener: "All systems and methodologies, within equal temperament, are embraced in the Lydian Chromatic Concept. The Concept simply offers an objective organization of all the tonal resources (melodic and harmonic) available. It's up to the musician to arrange or combine any selection from these elements in a way that fulfills the creative aim... You can either choose from a methodology, or you can choose from natural elements and their "modes of behavior," (which) as George puts it, allows for direct access to your own essence... referring to that unified code of being... that expresses one's individuality"
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Postby bobappleton » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:04 am

p 310 "...Natasha Spender has noted 'all scale systems are based on the octave, which suggests a neurological factor.'* How else would it be possible to explain both the octave of 'Western' equal temperament and the Indian octave of twenty-two semitones or different individual responses to music? The approach Spender explores acknowledges three dominant approaches – music as a set of arbitrary conventions (based on David Hilbert's view of mathematics), as a Platonic description of an existing reality, and as a property of the mind (based on Noam Chomsky's theory of language). Of these, George Russell's view is obviously closest to the second."

* Natasha Spender, "Psychology of Music," in Oxford Companion to the Mind
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Re: "The Story of an American Composer"

Postby guitarjazz » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:12 pm

I can't wait to read that book. I knew about George's interest in Gurdjieff after attending the seminar in the '80's. If you look at the new edition you'll find Gurdjieff's influence present , especially in the last few pages.
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