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The Goings-On

November 2019


October was a fairly quiet month in terms of rehearsing and performing, which left me plenty of time to catch up on movies, reading, and writing. I caught Robert Egger's The Lighthouse and Bong Joon-ho's Parasite in theaters, and also caught up on some older films via Criterion Channel (most noteworthy were Fellini's 8 1/2, Teshigahara's devastatingly bleak The Woman in the Dunes—h/t to Aaron Quinn for the recommendation!—, and Goodfellas, which was entertaining but not better than Godfather, I + II as some friends had asserted).

I consumed Patricia Lockwood's memoir Priestdaddy after encountering her on the internet (note in sidebar) and was also floored by Carmen Maria Machado's collection of short stories, Her Body and Other Parties, and plan to read her new book, In the Dream House. I've also been catching up on some recent and not-so-recent music releases, and wrote a bit about re-orienting myself in the deluge of recorded music for a guest post for the jazz blog Marlbank.

This fall's bounty of Endectomorph Music releases have been well-received; highlights include reviews of Dana Saul's Ceiling by DownBeat Magazine and The NYC Jazz Record, Dor Herskovits being featured on Jason Crane's podcast The Jazz Session for his own album Flying Elephants and Earprint's Easy Listening, and Earprint's new album being reviewed in All About Jazz.

I'm excited for The Sustain of Memory to come out this Friday, and we're celebrating with an evening-length performance (2 sets) of the entire double album on Friday, November 15 at The Jazz Gallery in NYC:

I don't have a particularly memorable soundbite for the motivations for the three pieces that make up The Sustain of Memory, but if I had to summarize, I'd say that "The Middle of Tensions" (composed most recently) was my attempt to push beyond my limits using dissonance (meaning both pitches and rhythms) as an expressive tool and to create a novel improvisatory approach to the classic quartet format; that "Circle, Line" (composed earliest of the three) was my earliest and most hyper-formal, plotted longer work that explores sonic depth perception (meaning also transparency and opacity of ensemble texture) through counterpoint; and that "The Rigors of Love" (written in the middle) was my musical painting of the feeling of meditation and breath practice in mid-2018, when I was working through some stressful non-music-related events.

That's probably more than you wanted to know, but fortunately that's all I'll say about the subject for now. I have to give a huge shout-out to the six other musicians who played on the gigs and recording (Adam, Dana, Walter, Simón, Matt, and Dayeon), and who learned collectively around 60 pages of music over the course of last year.

I was going to write more, but I'm planning on doing one more missive for 2019 in December (a possible tour in East Asia, New Year's plans, end of year/decade reflections, and so on). In the meantime, feel free to check the Goings-On page of my site for brief notes on featured upcoming shows if you're in the area. I'll be in touch again in not so long.


Coming Soon:

Thursday 11/7
—  6 PM  —

Sofia Kriger Quintet
at the Shrine

***Friday 11/15***
—7:30 & 9:30 PM—

Kevin Sun album release at
The Jazz Gallery

Sunday 11/17
—  8 PM  —

Juanma Trujillo
at Scholes St. Studio

Monday 11/18
—  6:30 PM  —

Happy Trio
at Lowlands Bar

Thursday 11/21
—  8:00 PM  —

Dana Saul album release at
The Owl Music Parlor

Tuesday 11/26
—  8:30 PM  —

Stephen Boegehold
at Bar Next Door

Sunday, 12/1
—  8:00 PM  —

Kevin Sun Quartet
at Twins (DC)

Friday, 12/13
—  7:30 PM  —

Kevin Sun Quartet
at the Lily Pad (MA)


—My introduction to Patricia Lockwood: this savage examination of John Updike

—Dayeon Seok has a new band called Covered in Peanut ButterCiPB.

—Alex LoRe's new album Karol is lovely, and I've been digging this track in particular

—A lot to think about in Zadie Smith's recent essay subtitled "In Defense of Fiction"

—I make a cameo in this music video for Peaceful Faces

—Recently on rotation: The Isley Brothers (thanks, Dana); recently-released Coltrane; and the electronic pop-ish Reid Anderson/Craig Taborn/Dave King

—On being critical of the things you love

—I'm perhaps irrationally proud of this, but I was an N64 controller for Halloween (thanks to Diane with assistance in painting/sketching)

I interviewed saxophonist Alfredo Colon for The Jazz Gallery's blog

Thank you, Marty
A.H.S. A.H.S.
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Kevin Sun · 155 15th Street · Apt 1D · Brooklyn, NY 11215 · USA

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