Bruce Arnold and John Gunther's Group "Spooky Actions" CD "The Music of Webern.

Music of Webern


Bruce Arnold—Processed Guitar

John Gunther—Woodwinds

Peter Herbert—Bass

Tony Moreno—Drums

A new take on Webern’s Music

When Anton Webern was composing his Five Canons on Latin Texts, he probably wasn’t thinking very much about American improvised music. Yet formal harmonic structure is the original essential European contribution to the character of jazz. And while much of the mainstream of jazz repertoire is still mired in the harmonic concepts of Tin Pan Alley, Spooky Actions, a New York based jazz quartet, have found inspiration in the discipline and muted palette of twelve tone music.

Improv that reflects the composer’s compositional toolkit.

In their debut CD “Spooky Actions, Music of Anton Webern” the quartet plays through note for note transcriptions of the Five Canons op. 16, as well as the Five Movements for String Quartet, op 5. They then improvise over the pieces. Rather than taking extended solos, the ensemble uses a sensitive and informed interaction to create original music based closely on the spirit and form of the written work.

New orchestration brings new life!

It is astonishing to discover how suited the sonorities of the jazz quartet of drums, saxophone (and flute), electric guitar and bass are for 12-tone music. Indeed, the ears of listeners accustomed to these sounds will find that they are a kind of Rosetta stone; the pristine, compressed structures of Webern’s music take on new clarity and attractiveness, making for extremely accessible listening.

The origins of “Spooky Actions”

The band’s name comes from the phrase “spooky actions at a distance.” This was how Albert Einstein described the phenomenon of two seemingly unconnected, disparate objects that nonetheless exert a powerful influence on one another. Spooky Actions, the band, certainly personifies this concept, showing how vivid improvisations can be derived from music that is often thought of as “etched in stone.”

Excerpts from 5 Movements for String Quartet:

  • Movement 1:
  • Movement 1 Improvisation:
  • Movement 2:
  • Movement 2 Improvisation:
  • Movement 3:
  • Movement 3 Improvisation:
  • Movement 4:
  • Movement 4 Improvisation:
  • Movement 5:

Excerpts from Funf Canons:

  • Canon 1:
  • Canon 1 Improvisation:
  • Canon 2:
  • Canon 2 Improvisation:
  • Canon 3:
  • Canon 3 Improvisation:
  • Canon 4:
  • Canon 4 Improvisation:
  • Canon 5:
  • Canon 5 Improvisation:

Get Music of Webern…today!

Status: In stock, physical CD ships in 24 hours. Digital downloaded MP3s are available for immediate access.


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About Muse Eek

Muse-Eek Publishing Company is a publishing house with a broad focus on music education. Muse-Eek also publishes fine art and poetry books, and has its own record label, Muse-Eek Records. Our online presence, specializes in the publication of music workbooks, video courses and sound and video recordings that teach the foundation of good musicianship through groundbreaking and innovative methods along with traditional methods that have been taught for centuries. These historic methods date back through centuries of great musicians and educators. To see these interesting relationship please see Bruce Arnold's Music Education Genealogy Chart which tells you a lot about the where many of his educational ideas took root and some of the educational pillars that are evident throughout the books you find on this website. The Muse-Eek Records catalogue contains a diverse selection of music much of it by Bruce Arnold in collaboration with some of today's best players in classical, jazz, rock and avant-garde music. These are available in CD, DVD and mp3 formats. We believe in a working relationship with our music education customers; they are free to interact with the author after purchasing a book to help them through any material they don’t understand or which they need further clarification. We also have a member's area which contains a wealth of free information to help a student understand music at a deeper level and access additional files for our books. Many of our books offer cutting edge ideas regarding ear training, guitar technique, rhythm and time. These methods have a proven track record. Our main author Bruce Arnold has taught at some of the most prestigious music schools in the world, including Princeton, Dartmouth, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, The New School and NYU. Along with Mr. Arnold's publications on the website he has also written books and appeared in educational DVDs for MelBay and Truefire. Over the years Mr Arnold has used his experiences with his students to develop a program that can elevate a musician's ability to world class caliber. If you have questions about any of our books or recordings please send us an email. Along with general questions about either our record label or our publishing company we also welcome questions to help a student choose the proper materials to reach their goals. We have over 300 products to help you learn any style of music and to develop your musicianship to its peak. We also make recommendations for practice schedules for students who use our methods to get the most out of their study time. This, along with personal interaction with Bruce through email, nurtures the student's ability through a closely monitored situation, ensuring there is no wasted time or misunderstanding.