|Concert Performances: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
[Leo plays "Shortwave"]
[Leo plays "Little Beaver"]
Thank you. This next piece gives me a chance to inflict -- yeah, it's time to look up and say hello and everything and welcome you here to the club, thanks for coming -- this gives me a chance to expose, to abjure, to ridicule, a flaw that I've discovered in classical theory, which has occurred to me after only reading music for the last six months. I don't know why it's taken everybody else so much time to discover this but, because it's in the same key, composers have claimed that you can use an interval like this [plays a discordant interval] and claim that it sounded just great. [While playing intervals] If you're in the key of -- that sort of a 7th on top of something or other. They're all in the key.
But what they're trying to claim is that anything that's in the key will sound fine with anything else in the key at any time. I think [this] is what they're trying to get away with. When they were confronted with the argument that they were trying to get away with something -- which is probably a confrontation that happened only in the nether regions of my own mind -- they had some slimy excuse, some cowardly withdrawal. And proof enough is the compositions themselves where they use these infernal passing notes, they're called, or passing tones.
[While playing two discordant intervals over and over again] Let's go to a Welsh burial tonight. Yeah. Oh god. Uhhhhhh. This is -- I'll modulate at least [continues playing] Ah. It's getting better -- that was Koyanisquattsi here. Their usual stunt was to play this interval so fast that you didn't notice it went by. And I claim that since they work it into the piece so deftly, as such a busy spot where you can't detect it, it's because they know it stinks, that it's basically a flaw in the theory and it's one everybody's ignoring. It's the Emperor's clothes. Well, I won't stand for it. Tara tara.
And I'll stop just before he commits his crime here because you might miss it otherwise. The interesting thing is -- it's in this section here [plays section from a classical piece I don't recognize and emphasizes discordant interval]. No, I didn't hear anything, did you? Excuse me, I must be going -- it's almost as [plays cowpoke rhythm]. There's another one in this tune -- which I am going to play. It's very hard to play of course. [Plays a progression of notes and stops]. And then if you had two days you probably couldn't figure what the next note would be in that progression [plays some more] Excuse me, that's another one. [plays a trill]. Although...OK... [starts playing classical piece]. Ooh. [Tunes and plays again]. [To soundman:]Could we de-high middle the guitar a bit on the DY? [Plays more of the piece and then laughs] Uh...well maybe not that much.
[Leo plays classical piece -- sounds like J. S. Bach]
Thank you. You're very kind, thank you. I'd like to play another one of these sorts of pieces. I last heard this at my uncle's funeral a few years ago -- Vern Soash [spelling uncertain, but it's pronounced Soh-ASH] was his name -- and a guy that I never got to know particularly well, but who claimed on several occasions when we had a chance to talk to each other, to have lived two lifetimes, and to be now in his second lifetime. And when I went to his funeral, instead of having him back there in the funeral pyre in an appropriate container with the mourners waiting to go in and so forth, he was out in the lobby of the funeral parlour. On wheels, out there, sort of at an angle to the wall, like a sand ashtray by the elevator. With a crowd full of relatives standing around trying desperately to act as though there wasn't a dead body right in the middle of their midst, let alone someone they know.
I thought about that for a long time. Nobody really ever came up with the answer to why he was out there. But I've decided, given the nature of this tune, which was coming over the speakers in the parlour there [plays theme from "Sleepers Awake" by J.S. Bach] -- the tune being called "Sleepers Awake" in at least several translations from the German -- that Vern was trying to set out on his third lifetime and he didn't want to waste any time coming all the way back out of the chapel back there. "Leave me out by the door, with my friends all around." That's expecting too much of a piece of music.
[Leo plays "Sleepers Awake"]
[Leo plays "Rings"]
[Leo plays "Tiny Island"]
[Leo plays "Mr. Fonebone" ]
Thank you very much. Thanks.
This is a tune that I wrote in an attempt to live up to my own attention span more or less. I've always had the theory that people only listen to a few notes in a given tune anyhow. Usually the chorus and usually about half of that. And that's what you really wait for and once it's past, you wait. Hopefully, another chorus will come around some time.
That habit has been disparaged by musicologists but I've found reason to take advantage of it and wrote a tune that is changeless from bar to bar. So it's as long as you want for one thing. It's a very flexible piece of music. I have to admit that in writing this thing according to plan, I succeeded beyond all my wildest dreams and created something so blandly hypnotic that I was soon the only person in the room getting off on the tune. Those are terrible situations where the performer is really having a great time and the audience can't understand why. I was -- I think my plan was transparent, you could see behind the little flurry of notes, the same flurry -- flurrette -- of notes, a gleet of notes. Anybody in here know what a gleet is? I'm not going to tell you, you can look it up. Depending on what dictionary you have, it either has one or two definitions: one is a discharge from a horse's nose, just to whet your appetite.
So this tune as a result has been changed. I now modulate in a couple of spots and I changed the time signature also. And that's a devastating move for somebody at this point in his career, to start changing time signatures. Four-four has been so good to me all these years, I don't know why I should start messing with it now. It really has too, I can't get enough of it.
It was a big problem that I had learning the guitar, because [plays E chord] that was the first thing that I dreamed up on it -- and E chord -- and that was enough right there [plays E]. And that's very seductive. It had me flat for, like, weeks. And I remember the next chord I had was [plays A chord] -- no, A would have been much more productive [plays G]. No, [it was] G. And immediately I knew that G was the correct key and E was just a sham. And between the two I could match the weather, match my mood. It held me up for a long time.
I'd better play this. It also has a pause in the middle so that I can look up and see if you're still with me or not. There may have been more than one reason for those passing notes.
[Leo plays "Mary"]
[Leo starts playing opening riff from "Ice Field"]
[To audience] Still here? It picks up now. But no more than this.
[Leo plays "Ice Field"]
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