Often, even when I’m not listening to music in my office, I’m listening to music. The stuff from down the hall, that is.
On one side is a space used by bassist Ben Street, a hero of today’s jazz scene. Street invites all manner of musicians in, just as in his professional work; best of all is when he’s working with Cuban percussionist Román Díaz.
Sometimes I hear the sound of hammered dulcimer, the primary instrument played by Dan Joseph, whose space is right across the hall from Street’s. Joseph’s wide-ranging tastes frequently draw me away from what I’m supposed to be listening to. I wander down the hall just to figure out what’s coming from his space, or to get a better taste of it. Often, I’ve never heard anything like it.
Joseph leads his own chamber group, The Dan Joseph Ensemble, and has collaborated with some of New York’s most adventurous musicians. A few weeks ago, he lent me a terrific book, “Deep Listening,” which was inscribed by its author, Pauline Oliveros, one of Joseph’s principal teachers.
In addition to his composing and music making, Joseph often writes about music and culture, for The Brooklyn Rail and NewMusicBox.org. Like me, he likes to talk about music, sometimes in public. He’s created one vital forum for such discussions—the music and sound series Musical Ecologies at The Old Stone House in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Joseph started the series in the fall of 2012, out of “my own need for more regular and substantive conversation with other music people,” he told me. “As the series has unfolded,” he said, “this conversation component has really become its heart.”
His next installment, Sept. 8, focuses on a musician who has long fascinated me: Peter Gordon. At Musical Ecologies, Gordon will present “The Ten of Wands,” a self-described “solo tone poem” with saxophone, keyboards, laptop and spoken word. The evening will begin with a conversation hosted by Joseph, and a reception will follow.
Here’s some more information on the series, and about Gordon: Continue reading “Dan Joseph's Musical Ecologies (Next Up, Peter Gordon)”