Chance Encounters

I was pleased, at my November 20 lecture at Goldsmiths College in southeast London, to meet fellow blogger Tim Rutherford-Johnson, in attendance. He says I met him at a Goldsmiths appearance several years ago, but I hadn't remembered him from that time because he hadn't yet become a famous new-music blogger - in fact, no one had yet heard the word "blog." Tim flatteringly describes my talk in … [Read more...]

The New Celto-Dutch Aesthetic

OK, kiddies, gather around, it's time to reap the benefits of your uncle Kyle's globe-trotting. I'm back, having paid $50 US to carry an extra 10 kilos of new CDs onto the plane in my suitcase, not to mention the box of CDs that I paid good Euros to mail home from Dublin. I must now be considered southern Columbia County's leading expert on Dutch and Irish composers, and so I pass the expertise on to you via … [Read more...]

Courting Disaster

LONDON - I've heard a lot of music in Europe, but the concert I was most excited about, that I'd planned on hearing months in advance, was the premiere of my Dutch composer friend Renske Vrolijk's Charlie Charlie. To hear it, in fact, I had to leave England between lectures and fly, then train it, back to Den Bosch in The Netherlands (a town whose more official name is S' Hertogenbosch, and no one was quite able to explain why it has two names). Let it be some small window into the logistics of my journey that it was cheaper for me to fly back … [Read more...]

When Geniuses Collide

[Update below] DUBLIN - One of the best things I've done in Europe was spend 25 bracing hours with one of my composer heroes, Charlemagne Palestine. I'm astonished to have had the opportunity. I had heard stories of Palestine from the early '70s on, but never heard a note until 1994, when his old Shandar vinyl disc Strumming Music was finally released on CD. I had come to figure that he was a legend whose music was lost to history, but since 1994 more than a dozen Palestine recordings have appeared, some of them old archival recordings, others … [Read more...]

Last Stand

DUBLIN - Henry David Thoreau's wonderful dictum: My life has been the poem I would have writ, But I could not both live and utter it. will have to be modernized: My life has been the blog I would have writ, But I could not both live and update it. I've been living rather than blogging, but I can pause long enough to announce that I will be performing Custer and Sitting Bull - perhaps for the last time ever, if I have anything to say about it - tomorrow night at 8 in the Printing Room at Trinity College in Dublin. Ireland. Along with a couple of … [Read more...]