Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Noise Orders

Noise Orders: Jazz, Improvision, and Architecture

David P. Brown
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 192
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Noise Orders
    Book Description:

    In Noise Orders, David Brown locates jazz music within the broad aesthetic, political, and theoretical upheavals of our time, asserting that modern architecture can be strongly influenced by jazz improvisation. Comparing artists and architects with individuals and groups in jazz—including Piet Mondrian and boogie-woogie, John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk—Brown examines how jazz can provide insight on how to develop dynamic metropolitan environments._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9595-9
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Speculative Leaps
    (pp. xi-xxxii)
  5. Chapter 1 Compositional Imperatives: Mondrian and Boogie-woogie
    (pp. 1-32)

    In the 1920s Al Ammons, Meade “Lux” Lewis, and other Chicago pianists developed a twelve-bar blues form that became known as boogie-woogie. It demonstrated their facility for articulating lefthand, syncopated, eight-bar-to-the-measure rhythms overlaid with right-hand melodic lines. Its basic character is evident in “Lux’s Boogie,” a piece by Lewis that could be, given its structure, continuous in form. Its recorded length was determined more by the limits of available technology than by an implicit progression in the music that would build to a concluding resolution. Resolutions instead recur at micro-levels. The piece is ordered by a repeated walking bass line,...

  6. Chapter 2 What Is the Body Supposed to Be Doing? John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk
    (pp. 33-60)

    Bearing multiple instruments, his blind steps measured with a cane, multi-reedist Rahsaan Roland Kirk crests a hillside to descend into London’s zoo. In the background a sustained pitch emerges and continues as the image cuts from Kirk’s seemingly chaotic and fragmented form moving across the fixed space of the camera’s frame to John Cage, the centering point of focus in a moving frame. In the midst of the visual swirl of the city behind him, Cage calmly, stoically, recites a series of questions from the book that he carries: “Is it high? Is it low? Is it in the middle?...

  7. Chapter 3 Now’s the Time: Temporalities of Louis Armstrong and Le Corbusier
    (pp. 61-88)

    In the 1940s jazz underwent a revolution in sound and practice. The development of a new music, bebop, was accompanied by a change in jazz musicians’ view of themselves. They ceased to consider themselves entertainers and more consciously asserted themselves as artists. Some of this changed sensibility is reflected in the tactical uses of naming by bebop-era jazz musicians, particularly Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” asserts a casual ease that transforms Charlie Parker’s six-month sentence to a California state hospital. Parker’s “Klact-oveeseds-tene” and Thelonious Monk’s “Jackie-ing” deploy onomatopoeia and “verbal nouns” respectively to deflect the ability of...

  8. Chapter 4 Function, Flexibility, and Improvisation: The AACM and Mies van der Rohe
    (pp. 89-118)

    Swing was transformed from an action to a form in 1935, when Benny Goodman’s band gained an enthusiastic reception in Los Angeles, the last stop on a failing coast-to-coast tour. In 1934 only the West Coast had been awake to hear Goodman’s radio performances broadcast live from New York at 1:00 a.m. And only Los Angeles had developed an audience excited by Goodman’s “hot” music, which was less favorably received in the rest of the country. Without the show in Los Angeles, Goodman would have returned to New York as a failure rather than as the king of swing, the...

  9. Conclusion: Diagrams, Conduction, and the Contemporary City
    (pp. 119-132)

    In Graham Locke’sForces in Motion, percussionist Gerry Hemingway provides an informative description of his various ways of reading and playing in relation to a graphic notation by composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, which Hemingway approximates in a sketch (Figure 44):

    Then there’s11OAwhere Mark [Dresser] and I play a pulse track,108B,that is nothing but numbers and lines that go up and down, with circular, wavy motions to them that suggest glissandos, dynamics, but could be anything—Anthony didn’t specify, he allowed us to make our own interpretation of what the shapes are. They’re interesting in that...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 133-152)
  11. Index
    (pp. 153-159)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 160-160)