The second concert in the “New Music in the Library” series was a hundred-percent improvement over the first. For one thing, the poster hadn’t been removed, and they announced it over the library’s intercom system. (A minor set-back did occur. I got there early to set up the slab gongs, only to realize that I’d forgotten to bring some of their components – and simultaneously remembered that I’d forgotten to take the Lao mountain harp with me to the concert in Snohomish last Thursday,10/14/2010. It seems to be impossible to play both the Lao harp and the slab-gongs in the same concert…!)
I played two improvised pieces, both on the hammer dulcimer. One was a solo accompanied by prerecorded slab-gongs; the other was a duet with Bruce Greely on bass clarinet. The latter was the longer. He said he was an amateur, but his playing denied this. He filled the air with sinuous melodies interspersed with the deep, smooth chuckling and squeaking sounds that only the bass clarinet is capable of producing. (A sax can do similar, but not in as mellow a manner.) I used the dulcimer mostly for percussive and drone effects, along with some sparse plucks on the Lao harp.
So it looks like these concerts are (slowly, to be sure) taking off. The next will be in Lynnwood, next Wednesday; then I’ll put them on pause during the holiday season and resume in January.