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Joseph Clayton Mills: Music Inspired by Kafka

Lots of great records gets overlooked at the end of ever year, as everyone busies themselves with year end lists. The Patient, by Joseph Clayton Mills is definitely one of those records. It was released right at the end of 2013 as best as I can tell, and I’m not sure it’s been made available in the States since it’s released, but it looks and sounds fascinating. Here’s the info from Entr’acte:

“During his final illness (tuberculosis of the larynx) at the sanatorium in Kierling, Kafka was not supposed to speak, an injunction he obeyed most of the time. He communicated with Dora Dymant, Robert Klopstock, and others by scribbling notes on slips of paper. Usually these notes were mere hints; his friends guessed the rest.”—Max Brod

Inspired by and incorporating fragmentary notes written by Franz Kafka on his deathbed to communicate with friends and family, The Patient draws from the texts of these conversation slips for specific imagery, textures, mood, gestures, and instrumentation. The score—essentially an index of suggestions to guide structured improvisation—was initially performed at Chicago’s Experiemental Sound Studio in the fall of 2012 by Olivia Block (piano/walkie-talkies/objects), Noé Cuéllar (accordion/psalter/cassette player/objects), Steven Hess (percussion/cassette player), Joseph Clayton Mills (electronics/cassette player/objects), and Jason Stein (bass clarinet). Recordings of that performance were subsequently augmented, rearranged, and assembled by Mills into the finished album. Additional material provided by Megan Rodgers and Seonaid Valiant.

A sound sample is available via the label’s website, here. There’s also a short trailer for the album on Vimeo, posted by by Mills. I’ve embedded that below.

The music sounds excellent and everyone involved is incredibly talented, which is enough to make me want a copy. The A5 book that accompanies it and the Kafka connection put it over the top. Not a lot of info about the book on their site, but from what I can tell it includes some of the quotes from Kafka and is at least 40 pages long (check the images on the website).

Copies are currently available via the label, and should arrive at Erstwhile Distribution shortly. Don’t sleep on it. Looks like only 200 copies were made.

[vimeo 68893391 w=640&h=480]

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Broadcast 04: The Jazz Thing, Part 2

sun_ra-sun_raysBelow are three links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my November 10th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until November 24th, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one.

This represents the second part of my free jazz/avant jazz/jazz show. I had the chance to start a little early this week, so the first few songs are a little different from what comes after. But they follow the improvisational character of the show just as well. You’ll have to fast forward to about the half-way point of the first link to hear those songs, as I came on right after a Boston College basketball game.

Any questions or requests, send me an email (see the about page).

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: November 10th, 2013 – Hour -.5, Hour 1, and Hour 2

  1. Dickie Landry, “Fifteen Saxophones” from Fifteen Saxophones (2011) on UNSEEN WORLDS
  2. Eli Keszler, “Cold Pin 1” from Catching Net (2012) on PAN
  3. Greg Kelley/Olivia Block, “Some Old Slapstick Routine” from Resolution (2011) on ERSTWHILE
  4. John Coltrane Quartet, “The Drum Thing” from Crescent (1996) on Impulse/MCA — originally released in 1964
  5. Archie Shepp, “Yasmina, a Black Woman” from Yasmina, a Black Woman/Poem for Malcom (2013) on CHARLY — originally released in 1969 on BYG Actuel
  6. Roland Kirk “The Inflated Tear” from The Inflated Tear (1968) on ATLANTIC
  7. Sun Ra, “Outer Nothingness” from The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume One (2010) on ESP-DISK — originally released in 1965
  8. Peter Brötzmann/Han Bennink, “NR. 7” from Schwarzwaldfahrt (2005) on ATAVISTIC — originally released in 1977 on FMP
  9. Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, “The Little Suite” from Sound (1996) on DELMARK — originally released in 1966 – song was titled “One Little Suite”
  10. Albert Ayler, “Holy Family” from Nuits de la Fondation Maeght 1970 (2002) on WATER — originally released in 1970 on Shandar Records, in two volumes
  11. Eric Dolphy, “God Bless the Child” from In Europe Vol. 1 (1989) on PRESTIGE — recorded in Copenhagen, 1961 – released by Prestigue in 1964
  12. Evan Parker & Joe McPhee “They Both Could Fly” from What/If/They Both Could Fly (2013) on RUNE GRAMMOFON
  13. Eric Dolphy “Oleo” from In Europe Vol. 1 (1989) on PRESTIGE — “Oleo” written by Sonny Rollins in 1954
  14. Ornette Coleman “Doughnut” from Town Hall 1962 (2008) on ESP — originally released in 1965