When I was picking my notable releases of 2013 list last week, I was sure to include Dennis Johnson’s November on mine. Released early in the year, I really didn’t see anyone else pointing at this gem of the ocean. As Jim Neighbors used to say, surprise, surprise…Monday night Steve Smith also picked it as his best of 2013 Classical for Time Out (he also writes for the NY Times).
I made it a point to let Kyle Gann know about it on his blog.
David: “I included it in my notable releases of 2013 a few days ago on my blog.”
Kyle: “Well I expect that from someone like you. And no, I don’t mean that sarcastically.”
He has a good point. I have a history of listening to this sort of music. Not a real big surprise, sometimes I need other people to explain these things to me.
I met Dennis Johnson one Saturday afternoon about fifteen years ago, had a nice little chat. He didn’t have too much to say about music, he was staying at La Monte Young’s Dream House, visiting. I babbled on enthusiastically about my adventures in discovering microtonality.
Kyle also mentioned his transcription of Harold Budd’s Children on a Hill…a recording of the original recently showed up on uTube, I made the connection with his writing about it here. People should be performing and recording Harold’s music. Now. Don’t wait until later.