No real full-time “gigs” coming up – I’ve been concentrating on finishing up the “StormSound” Cycle. Only one movement left to go; the last – and it’s almost done too. All the parts have been sent off to their respective musicians, and I’m currently trying to organize rehearsal times.
I am, however, planning to play live a couple of times before the Big Concert. First up, is, tomorrow: the next open mike at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church. This was quite a venue last time (the first time) I played there; this time I’m planning to do a version of “The Psalm” for pipe organ and prerecorded electronics. It’s something a drone-minimalist piece, so I’ll see what happens when I play it live…
Drone minimalism has gotten some very negative reactions from others when I’ve played it for others, though it’s never been any drone minimalism that I’ve written myself. Though I find these reactions bizarre and inexplicable, they are as frequent as the other side – those who think it’s the best music ever done – and the negative responses are, as negatives tend to be, much more extreme than necessary. One conversation (about a piece by Phill Niblock) ran something like this:
The critic: So that music is trying to say that you can just play one note and call it ‘art’.
Me: Well, no, but I suppose you could, in theory, compose a one-note piece.
The critic: You could also put a cross in a bucket of manure and call it ‘art’.
At this point it was pointless to argue – simply insulting the music without listening to it is the same as refusing to have a serious conversation about it. Implicit in the comments of the “critic” is that the piece did in fact consist of one note, and that this would have been a problem even if it did. It reminds me of the time (this is actually true!) that a high school student decided to break the teacher’s boom-box rather than listen to a piece of drone minimalism in a class!
Anyway, as always at open mikes, I’ll play one of my other styles as well.
Another upcoming gig is something that I’ve been invited too: next Thursday (April 14th), there’s something called “Music for the Peoples” at the People Republic of Koffee (coffee shop), 1718 12th Ave., Seattle. I haven’t been there, but it looks fun. The first set is a band (including Beth Fleenor, among others) and the second is “open to anyone interested in improvising”. I’ll join in that second set if possible. If they have a piano, I’ll play it; if not, I’ll bring along the dulcimer, a slab gong, or something else worth making noise on. (A disclaimer: see my 11/11/2010 posting for a review of a free-improv open mike…)
The third upcoming gig is the May installment of the Seattle Composers’ Salon; as always, a set of various composers’ new works, and discussions following the music. There are several pieces scheduled (there seem to be more than the usual four or five), so I have an eight-minute slot. I’ll do two 4-minute fragments from “Nature Lives in Motion”, the first of the “StormSound” pieces. As always, the Salon is at the Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, 50th and Sunnyside, Seattle.
(This posting is on 4/7/2011; 44 days until the first performance of the complete "StormSound" Cycle.)