15 December 2012

Threads and Branches

Henry Threadgill, god bless him, has become by no particular fault of his own both the patron saint of the tuba in creative music and the source of too many shallow comparisons made by name-dropping idiot savant hipsters anytime they hear a tuba in creative music. I very much enjoy his work, but I can't claim to have been influenced by it in the least and can't for the life of me figure out what it could be about my music that makes people think of him other than the fact that there is almost always a tubist or two doing more than just sitting there looking lost.

Back in Minneapolis, the more frequently I played out with Milo Fine, the more I realized what a ridiculous range of references people would drop after the shows. I know that Milo takes pride in bringing lots of musical streams together in his groups, though not at all in the ways that turn of phrase might imply to most people, and he was generally amused at all the ground people were accusing him of covering. It does make you realize, though, that our ability to draw connections is profoundly limited by what we know, and if there's anything at all to be said for the kind of pursuit of knowledge for its own sake which I've mostly eschewed to this point in my life, I suppose this is it.

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