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PLONSEY Dan - Open Door
Open Door

Fy 7015

Newtone Records

1 CD

DAN PLONSEY in the linear notes of the Cd writes: "Of all the fields of study, music has proved the most resistant to modern ``scientific method.'' The door remains open to traditionally idealistic thought, dreams, and mystery. The voice of the saxophone is the voice of desire. Still, I had trouble coming up with a satisfactory title for this recording. This is the second of three volumes of music for (mostly) multiple saxophones, all played by myself. (The first is ``Ivory Bill,'' on the Music & Arts label.)
In addition to the saxophones, you will hear fragments of keyboard and voice, a bit of bird and traffic noise, and sounds of garment workers and their tapes of Vietnamese and/or Chinese music down below the recording studio.
Underlying the music is a collection of loosely related images, like the categories in a game show: small people on small worlds, frantic with desire for something other than what they know; melancholy mechanized garment workers; an accidental depiction of intergalactic pizza delivery; things that rhyme with ``Dolly;'' animals' shadows; and the beauty of flocked wallpaper. The characters responsible for translating these images into sound have the intelligence of a child, an alien, or perhaps a small pig.
Improvising music, we learn that our attention must be tuned to the most subtle and distant sensory input: subliminal sound and ghostly impressions of motion are the cues which guide spontaneous composition, just as the small voices from the edges of society are the ones which will have the strongest impact upon the world tomorrow. Making this recording, I worked with sounds coming from the above and below, along with all the imperfection of my playing (strange to hear it so clearly, and so oddly reinforced by the layering!). On a couple pieces, I didn't listen to anything much at all. I would like to acknowledge the compositional assistance of producer Myles ``Earl Wacky'' Boisen, who performed real-time processing on the keyboard / saxophone / voice interludes."

Dan Plonsey was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1984 he has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned a BA in math and music from Yale University (1980) and an MA in composition from Mills College (1988). He has studied with: Anthony Braxton, Martin Bresnick, David Lewin, and more briefly - though having a large impact - Roscoe Mitchell and Terry Riley. Plonsey is the composer of over 150 works for large and small ensembles, his most recent significant commission coming from Bang on a Can (premeired May, 98). He is the resident composer and frequent librettist for El Cerrito's Disaster Opera Theatre Company (13 one-hour operas since 1994), the co-founder of two composers' collectives (New Haven's Sheep's Clothing and the SF Bay Area's Composer's Cafeteria), the journal Freeway (and co-editor), and the weekly Beanbender's creative music concert series in Berkeley (since March, 1995). Inspired by Sun Ra, Charles Ives, and the dada-ists, his compositions often "arise from the drama of conflict: at least two ideas, one sensible and one absurd, set in motion together or against one another... Other compositions, more surreal in nature required the invention of imaginary worlds which have developed music that is in some ways remarkably similar to our own, but which operates under a very different logic."

Plonsey also plays in the following ensembles: Spirit Park, The Great Circle Saxophone Quartet, The Manufacturing of Humidifiers, John Schott's Diglossia Ensemble, Ben Goldberg's Brainchild, Steve Horowitz's Mousetrap, Eugene Chadbourne's west coast version of Insect & Western, and Wavelength Infinity (a band which performs only the music of Sun Ra).

PLONSEY Dan from Felmay Shop


All saxophones and keyboards by Plonsey. Recorded 1997, 98, and 99

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