Monday, August 8, 2011

Brass Bonanza (Part 3) - Words on Music

2 of my favorite people in the world are Taylor Ho Bynum and Stephen Haynes. I have seen Taylor perform numerous times (especially during his years at Wesleyan University) and enjoy talking/socializing with him and his wife, the fine teacher/choreographer/dancer Rachel Bernsen.  While I have seen and heard Stephen play on a number of occasions over the years, we have yet to spend much time talking - he does not live that far away so I really have no excuses.

Both are brass players, with Bynum specializing on cornet and Haynes on trumpet.  Both play "new", "creative", improvised music and do so with a sense of discovery, intensity and joy.  Yes, their music can be "noisy" and challenging at times for the listener but is presented in ways that offer an intimate look into the creative process.

Both men can also write (very well) about what they do and how they got to be the musician/person that they are today.  If you take the time to visit, you can download music by Bynum's various ensembles, you can read about his involvement with Professor Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation, his "acoustic bicycle tour" (from whence the picture on the left came from), his work with FONT (Festival of New Trumpet Music) and so much more. The Internet gives musicians/composers a forum for their views and helps listeners/audiences connect and learn, all of which is very important if this music is to grow.

As for Stephen Haynes (pictured left), go to where he has begun to write (again) about his 3+ decades in creative music.  Both he and Bynum studied with trumpeter/conceptualist Bill Dixon (1925-2010) and Haynes writes eloquently about his time spent learning and playing alongside him.  The blog also looks at what Haynes is doing today and I, for one, look forward to reading more about his many and varied "gigs."  Scroll down through the offerings from 2010 and read about the Real Art Ways "hit" with Bynum and the fine young percussionist/person Tyshawn Sorey as well as his Trio with Joe Morris and Warren Smith, an ensemble known as Parrhesia. 

Give a look at both of these musicians and follow their lead to learn more about the worlds they travel through.  You may never understand or really enjoy the music they create but you'll get quite an education on their creative lives.

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