Jeff Albert interview parts 3-5

Here is the rest of the interview with Jeff Albert, trombonist, music student, Open Ears curator, composer.

Part 3- The Albert-Ankrum project; The Naked Orchestra; Davis Rogan and Peter and the Wolf; meeting other creative players on the new orleans music scene; the impact of playing with Michael Ray and diversity of style; the differences between the academic perspective and music in "the real world;" more on Chicago music and relationship with Jeb Bishop; the performance venue vacuum that allowed for the Open Ears series to start; whether anything has happened as a result of Open Ears- (here he really delves into the series); what is necessary to make a creative music venue successful.

Part 4- Electronic music and current Ph.D work at LSU; influence of electronic music on his acoustic/ trombone improvisations; music concrete; stockhausen; childrens' perceptions of electronic and creative music; subject of dissertation; programming a computer to improvise; how Jeff listens to music and how that has changed over time.

Part 5- Communication with audiences; the different subjects involved in his writing; experience playing with drummer, Hamid Drake; playing with drummer, Marcello Bennetti; thoughts on European improvisational styles.

Interview with Aurora Nealand

Aurora Nealand is all over the current New Orleans local scene.  She seemed to emerge out of nowhere.   Some of her appeal is  that she has a humble nature, coupled with a fiery attack when she plays, and a real fearlessness about sitting in and getting involved.  She plays solo performances with a gas mask and an accordion. You'll see her playing soprano sax and clarinet exchanges with herself at Pres. Hall with The Royal Roses (see earlier post on front page.) You'll see her playing duos with pianist/composer Tom Mcdermott.  These are just a few of the interesting things she gets up to.  I have seen her under deeper cover than that, and been amazed at how easily she blends in or stands out.  She reveals a lot here about where she is coming from and where she wants to go.  She also talks a lot about the various communities and social scenes that currently surround some parts of the local scene.


Part 1- Rory Danger & The Danger Dangers, what Aurora understands about the phase she's in,  escape from the feeling of need for approval, engagement in the traditional jazz scene, exposure to Wendell Brunious and Leroy Jones, Preservation Hall, search for ways to use study of traditional or older musics for personal expression.  

Part 2- beginnings in music, studying electronic composition at Oberlin, early biography, The Jazz Vipers, the challenges of the mentality fostered in students in jazz education, early experiences of the music scene in New Orleans, graduate school in Austin for composition, interdisciplinary/ collaborative/experimental performance, at The Jacques Lecoq school, early experiences sitting in with new Orleans bands, Ben Schenck and Panorama Brass Band, Vavavoom, the appeal of the accordion, theatricality in her music, issues of communicating with the audience in the current "trad" scene, what is the appeal of "retro?", sexual dynamics in the vintage/retro scene, relationship of fashion to the gigs, formation and communities around music and comfort.

Part 3- What interests her about the groups she is currently working with, Michael Watson, challenges of getting bookings, chazfest and Rory Danger & The Danger Dangers, playing with Spencer Bohren, the hype man, the invention of the Rory Danger persona, Rockabilly and its image, more on sexual role restriction.

Part 4- working with Why are we building such a big ship? and what she loves about Walt's writing, authenticity, current songwriting and composition,  where she is headed, teaching and teaching and busking tours in Europe, qualitites and qualifications in her teaching, graphic scores, Morton Subotnick, music concrete, Shostakovich, Britney Spears, Pop music and peoples taste, original music and frustration with the classical scene.


Interview with Mark Bingham- studio engineer, musician, composer, sonic adventurer, studio owner and founder(Piety St. Studios)

 Mark Bingham talks in depth about some key times in his life in music.  A lot came to light in this interview and, although we have been friends for years, I learned a lot of pieces of information that made sense of some parts of his life and work that I didn't realize.

Mark's contribution to New Orleans's music scene starts back in 1982.  Most of this interview deals with stuff earlier than that.  Even though it's a long interview and has a lot of information, a lot was left out due to time limitation.  Mark is a real good anecdote dropper- very useful in this format and we may get into a 2nd interview to tackle more impressions of the diversity of artists he has worked with. 

Part 1 deals with early recording experiments in high school, discovery by the music business, electronic music, early approach to song writing, Los Angeles, university life in Indiana, and association with composer, Iannis Xenakis.

Part 2 continues on to describe being an A&R man at Elektra records, The Doors, Bruce Botnick, The Holy Modal Rounders, Peter Stampfel, Bulgarian music, the marketing of authenticity, initial perceptions of the New Orleans music scene, the move to New York after LA.

Part 3- The New York scene in the early 70's, more in depth about Peter Stampfel, the creative impact of speed, commissions for dance companies, funding, drum machines, "crazy art bullshit", getting sick of NYC.

Part 4- The actual "secret" training to be a producer in LA, "technical" recording versus responding to the situation at hand, what makes a good studio, New Orleans musical myopia, encountering racial division in New Orleans music, Allison Miner, working for Rounder records, reinforcement of bogus New Orleans mythologies, brass bands and the growth of the players in them, why people are interested in Piety St studios, producing now, current ideas, difference between recordings of the past and present, what stands out.

Recorded May 24, 2011 in the dining area at Piety St. Studios.