Meeting on November 15, 2018

Time: 3–5pm

Location: Fayerweather 513

We are pleased to welcome Michelle Yom (CUNY) for a presentation on Cecil Taylor’s solo music.

From Michelle:

My ongoing work on Cecil Taylor’s practice thus far involves asking whether movement between areas within a musical subject can itself become the subject of study.  Three aspects of my engaging with Taylor’s practice are tracked: listening for understanding which moves through phases marked by periods of transcriptions, reading Taylor’s writing on improvisation, and reconsidering the residues of findings from my past analytical endeavors.  I discuss the cryptic blues tonality in Tree of Life, the surplus of a beat as motioning agent, and ‘stiff bodied fingers’ (clusters).  Helpful phrases like ‘root of rhythm is central unit of change’ (Taylor, 1966) and ‘a-logical logic of the second time’ (Chandler, 2018) are used for functional comparison; for finding by demonstrating that the uneven movement in listening, reading, and writing about Taylor’s music, like Taylor’s music, is itself an improvisation.

Suggested reading:

Cecil Taylor, liner notes to Unit Structures
Cecil Taylor, liner notes to Air Above Mountains
(both sets of liner notes can be found here).
Nahum Dimitri Chandler, “The Coming of the Second-Time”:


Suggested listening:


“Period 2,” Tree of Life: