Moving About, Humming,
Still Our Flowers are Blooming,
Under the Old Portcullis

CD Release, Press Release
Dan Plonsey

Keywords: El Cerrito music of, El Cerritan

I began to refer to my music as "Music of El Cerrito" around 5 years ago because the categories of jazz and new music seemed constrictive, pale, and unappealing. As a "Music of El Cerrito," my music doesn't have to answer to anyone's idea of what jazz, the avant garde, or any other genre "ought" to be. Also, I wanted to respond to the relentless plundering of the world for ever more exotic sounds from ever more "unusual" places, which (much as I'm a sucker for music from the new 3-or-4 B's (Bali, Brazil, Burma, Burundi), etc., like all the other KPFA listeners in the Bay Area) really bugs me, both for the imperialism of it all, and for the issue of: "why don't people realize that all this music is local to the people who actually make it -- not exotic at all -- and why, given that, don't all these avid consumers of distant music look in their own backyards for the music of El Cerrito?" And then I also had a fantasy that my music would be shelved in the World Music sections of music stores -- why not profit by hopping on the bandwagon? Anthony Braxton keeps saying that we'll make billions -- but then he laughs maniacally.

I think music should be about something. My latest release, "Moving about, Humming, Still Our Flowers Are Blooming, Under the Old Portcullis," (UNlimited Sedition, April, 2004) is about the relationship between the kingdoms of plants and animals. Some part of our consciousness comes down to us from our animal ancestors, and some goes way back to plant-hood. This hour-long piece attempts to trace consciousness through its billion-year history (more poetically than scientifically), using as tools: 1) an hour-long melody which runs straight through the piece, and 2) imagery reflected in the title: the metaphoric storming of Kafka's castle (which can't be entered by K, regardless of (because of?) the strength of his desire) by plants, through the process of blooming right in under the old portcullis.