Guest directed by: Kathryn Ladano
GETTING MORE TALE #572: A Weekend at the Lake
A new summer, and new tech! My beloved BlackBerry Z10, bought over four years ago in early 2013, has bitten the dust. That Blackberry was responsible for most of my Sausagefest and Mike and Aaron Go to Toronto videos, not to mention the hundreds of photos it provided for this site. In that time, my BlackBerry required no service at all. So to all those who told me not to buy a CrackBerry:
My new weapon is a Samsung (not the kind that explodes) and so far I’m very pleased with it. This past weekend I had a chance to give its camera and video abilities a test run. Needless to say the quality of both exceeds my four year old phone. I was so happy with the quality that I decided to edit together a little video and post it for you. I’ve done this for a few good reasons:
- It’s another excuse to showcase the excellent music of Stealth, featuring Kathryn Ladano and Richard Burrows.
- I have a chance to give my Samsung a dry run before using it to create the 2017 Sausagefest video in July!
- This video ties in nicely with Getting More Tale #567: Creatures of the Night. I wanted to give you a feeling for what it actually sounds like at the lake, and I captured a bit of a nice rain storm. In this video you’ll get that, some nice crashing waves, and a raging river at near-flood levels. In fact the water level at our location on Lake Huron has returned to its 1980s level. Old-timers there always said the water levels rise and fall over decades-long cycles.
Please enjoy some of the music of Stealth, and the sounds of pure nature. Look for a cameo by my dad, up to no good prob’ly. Leave your comments below: What do you think LeBrain’s dad is up to this time?
Congratulations to Kathryn Ladano for winning the Waterloo Region Arts Award in the Music category!
Check out a review of Kathryn’s latest album with her duo Stealth right here.
For more information, please go to KathrynLadano.com
Way to go Kathryn!
GETTING MORE TALE #459.3:
2015 Year-End Lists, part 3 – yours truly, LeBrain!
I thought I had my top five albums down. I didn’t expect any changes, but then a couple respected writers started praising the new Def Leppard album. I decided, against my better judgement to go ahead and buy it. What can I say? Those reviewers were right. It’s a good album. Def Leppard 2015 cracked my top five list, necessitating a top six.
LeBRAIN’S TOP SIX(!) ALBUMS of 2015
LeBRAIN’S TOP FIVE TV SHOWS of 2015
I actually watched enough TV this year to make up a list!
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
4. The Big Bang Theory
3. Star Wars: Rebels
2. Better Call Saul
1. American Dad!
LeBRAIN’S TOP MOVIES of 2015
As far as I know, only one movie came out this year, right?
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2015 IN SUM
The high quality of new albums by returning bands continues to amaze me. The last band I expected a quality album from this year was Def Leppard. Of course, on the flip side of that, we have Bon Jovi who choked to death on pop dreck. Given what was coming out this year, and what the stakes were (a possible final album from Iron Maiden, the first Faith No More CD in 18 years), you couldn’t have realistically hoped for better than we got. Meanwhile on the new music front, it is hard to find a better debut than …listen, by Stealth. Not rock in any way, but more mind-expanding than anything else I heard in 2015.
And talk about high stakes on the movie front! The most anticipated movie of all time is going to be the most successful movie of all time, thanks to it pushing all the right buttons while moving the story into its next phase. Because of my wife’s health condition (epilepsy) I don’t go out to movies very often, preferring to wait for the blu-ray. Age of Ultron and Ant-Man pleased me immensely. But worth more than just an honourable mention is Mad Mad: Fury Road. Unlike Star Wars, Mad Max rebooted while going off into a startling new direction. It was probably the most impressive film of the year…but even so, my 2015 was only about Star Wars. Just trust me — see Mad Max: Fury Road. See it many times.
Finally: Rest in peace Lemmy Kilmister, Philthy Animal Taylor (that’s 2/3rds of the classic Motorhead lineup, wiped out), Scott Weiland, Chris Squire, Ornette Coleman, Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, A.J. Pero, Andy Fraser, and of course, B.B. King.
Happy New Year, everybody!
What is summer without a few trips to the cottage? This past weekend was beautiful and loaned itself to some photography and loads of music.
Below, you will find a video using a new track by Stealth, the duo made up of bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano, and percussionist Richard Burrows. The music is “point i” from their debut album, called …listen. Thanks to Youtube, you no longer have to just “listen”!
“Point i” suited the jungle planet in the photos. I was just playing around with my Star Wars Black Series 6″ figures and I wanted to show off my new IG-88 and Chewbacca. I got carried away and what you see below is the result. It was a lot of fun, which I hope you can see in the adventure!
Thanks to Kathryn and Stealth for permission to use the music. Pick up ...listen by contacting the artists at kathrynladano.com, coming soon to iTunes and Amazon.
I may not know much about new music (the genre), or much about playing an instrument, but I appreciated the listening instructions enclosed within the liner notes from Stealth’s debut album:
“…listen is intended as a moment in time for contemplation. The listener chooses the length based on various points within the experience. The album is intended to be heard as one track but can be divided based on your desired length of listening experience.”
It sounds intimidating, but listen is surprisingly accessible. The title is very apt. I decided to go all-in. The album is almost an hour, divided into nine unnamed segments.
Considering that Stealth is composed of percussionist Richard Burrows and bass clarinettist Kathryn Ladano, I was surprised the music was so smooth. Judging by a previous project both were involved in (a quintet called Digital Prowess), I expected Stealth to be a lot more random and schizophrenic. Plus, Kathryn Ladano and I share the same last name — she’s my sister. So I know a little bit about the nutso kind of music she normally liked to perform. Let’s just say that I saw Digital Prowess play Frank Zappa’s “The Black Page #2” in front of a crowd including a few seniors who may have wondered what the hell was going on.
That’s not to say Stealth isn’t challenging, but I think much instrumental music is challenging by its nature. There are some factors here that take the edges out a little. Richard Burrows performs a dual role: adding steady beats to help keep you up with what’s going on, and using percussion to create melodies and other special moments. Meanwhile, Kathryn Ladano creates interesting and rarely heard sounds from just a wind instrument, all the while maintaining a balanced accompanying role with the percussion. At no point do the two instruments interfere with each other. Sometimes you may have to ask yourself, “Is that sound I just heard percussion, or did she do something crazy with the bass clarinet?”
Improvisation similar to “point f” on the CD
The music evokes scenes in the mind. At times it’s a jazzy, gripping spy drama, at others a slow moving tour at dawn…you can imagine many images to go with this music, and I think that’s part of the point. The liner notes state clearly that listen is an interactive experience. It’s fairly seemless though can hear where the intended breaks take place. I think most listeners would want to break it down into bits, maybe half an hour at a time.
But like I said, I was fearless and went all-in for the hour. I found the album to be an excellent, always interesting journey. The duo format works splendidly and I hope Stealth re-convene for a second album. The percussion and bass clarinet are never up front as feature instruments as they are here. Lead bass clarinet? Turns out it’s a pretty versatile instrument once you’ve spent a couple decades squeezing noises out of the beast. There are noises called squeaks that are not considered “proper” in classically trained circles — they are considered mistakes. Kathryn Ladano has turned squeaks into music by mastering them, just as Ted Nugent has done the same with guitar feedback. As for Richard Burrows, my only wish is that the liner notes should have spelled out the different instruments he’s playing because there are a lot of different percussion sounds on the album. He’s excellent, and I especially like what I call his “jungle drums” on “point i” of the CD. Really enjoyable.
I’ve stated my bias up front, but I do truly believe that listen is a praise-worthy work. Sonically it’s deep, and very well recorded. Check it out and buy your copy by contacting the artists via kathrynladano.com. Coming soon to Amazon and iTunes.