blog (category: music)
Cleveland's 3rd annual Ingenuity Festival is already a week past, and I haven't yet squeaked about it here. I wrote half an entry the week prior, intending to promote the fest and my part in it, but I was too tangled and busy preparing, and left it undone.
In Ingenuity's first year, I walked through the festival a few times and paused for some music. I spent a lot of time at last year's 2.0, digging great music/dance (DJ Spooky and SAFMOD beat me up,) art installations, and goodfun (get-down in the rain,) and did a brief Capoeira performance with Shakthi and Taliesin on stage with Moises Borges and his band.
This year we made a somewhat bigger Capoeira roda for the festival's opening Samba of 1,000 Drums parade, but that was mostly just a break for me on Thursday evening before returning to my cube at CleveMed for a late night, prepping software and devices for the next day's Cavani/FES/CleveMed collaboration.
Friends from the Cleveland FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) Center (Katie, Andy, Juan, and Dimitra) asked if CleveMed and I would like to work with them in a collaboration with the Cleveland Institute of Music's Cavani String Quartet. Over a number of months we experimented in acquiring EMG from the musician's muscles while they played (using CleveMed's BioCapture and Kinesia systems), and capturing motion data with FESC's equipment to generate model~animations.
Day-of-show -- at CleveMed in the morning and State Theatre in the afternoon -- was one of the most stressful I've known, but everything really just came together by evening performance-time, and both shows were about as good as I could've hoped. The members of Cavani are amazing musicians and people, and their delivery of Dvořák's "American" was beautiful. The devices and visualizations provided another (sometimes stunning) dimension to the music, as hoped. All of the projections, stage calls, queues, and speaking parts (probably the root of my greatest stress) went smoothly, as a result of focus, attention, and generosity from everyone involved.
I owe thanks in a lot of directions: FESC friends and colleagues, the Cavani musicians, the stage management and ops people at Playhouse Square, my supervisor, Craig, (both granting me this freedom and for life-saving pair-programming assistance in the final moments,) the rest of my conspirators at CleveMed for making top-notch tech, and Rich Weiss from Ingenuity for gluing us together with logistics and motivation.
I'm already looking forward to next year's festival, and forming vague plans for a project. The intersection of art & tech is one crossroads where I could set up shop, (or at least be happy just hanging out on the curb.)
I’m positively stunned at the blowback from business regulars about that chap giving his music away for free. Oldsters can’t understand the economics!
I’ll clue you in, THERE ARE NONE!
This is your worst nightmare. People who can follow their dream on sweat equity. Who with their computer and the money from their day job or mommy and daddy can compete with you. It’s like the North Vietnamese, all our military might couldn’t defeat individuals who would fight to the death. Same deal in Iraq.
It’s an eye-opener. That your model is IRRELEVANT!
YOU need to pay the mortgage. YOU need to go on vacation to the Caribbean. But the new musicians? They’re willing to sleep on the floor and eat ramen. Hell, they’re in their twenties, they’re not on the corporate track, they’ve got different ambitions!
Spot on, save for one thing... They're not the new musicians, they're just the real musicians, tooled up to take on the old-guard's shenanigans, and with a general public that's re-discovering quality.
Today was a gratifying result of my scheduled downtime for repair the first half of this weekend; I'm hoping not just momentemporarily.
Wedged between two experiments in physical communication and directed movement, this afternoon I was lifted above my seat's armrests at Severance Hall (Jazz on the Circle) by legend Ahmad Jamal. Like how. He would be hammering keys through the stage floor and out through my teeth, and know just how to reverse in half a bar and float everyone up to cloud melody.
But how transplanted from a smoky lounge club -- with heads raging and hollering, and the sound so compacted it drills into wall corners and echos in your eyepits -- to be a stage centerpiece under this cathedral ceiling where everyone's wearing their sunday best and must mind to clap at the right places, and sure there's a man a few rows away turning behind him to say I didn't pay twice thirty to have my darling hear your comments throughout the performance.
Nah, Severance is a beautiful venue, and the performance left little to ask for. I'm just a snot, and I like to call people phonies and lament my unhads.
Jewels are hard to find -- you have to dig.
-- Ahmad Jamal
Meet the newest member of the family!
A woman named Judy generously offered a 1969 Balwin Orgasonic Organ on Cleveland's local Freecycle email list last week. Freecycle.org is a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. I was lucky enough to catch the offer, and to have Andre and his vehicle to help pick the beast up yesterday. It's a beautiful instrument, and in phenomenal condition.
Vegetables and Jewelry. and Adjectives.
We will rock the paint off the walls. Thanks Judy... best Mothers' Day present ever.
I'm digging on the iTunes Music Store RSS Feed Generator.
- Generate RSS feeds for genres of music you enjoy
- Subscribe to them in your newsreader
- Browse newly release albums in these genres as they come out
- Click to open album in the iTunes Music Store
- Preview 30 seconds of each song
- Buy & play a song if you like it (or use your favorite p2p client to steal it)
I want one.
Conor gave me the ticket for the Foo Fighters concert, so I told him I enjoyed the show very much, but I lied. I wasn't impressed with the band, the music, the acoustics, the crowd -- anything, really. And there wasn't enough energy to make it exciting. But I enjoyed exploring the inside of the convention center and connecting hotel while Conor waited out back. He was hoping to catch the band as they left, accompanied by some ~18 year-olds sporting t-shirts that hinted they had probably either been to a previous Foo Fighters concert, or been to a store that sold Foo Fighters apparel.
We and the ~18 year-olds were un-forcibly forced to leave the premesis after an hour or so in the cold; told that the band had left immediately following the show.
They were probably about to come out, everyone agreed.
Bastards, everyone agreed.
We caught a cab back to our hostel. The ~18 year-old who caught a drumstick at the end of the show, (to make a pair with the other he had at home,) was not leaving. He was staying. He was going to talk to Dave Grohl.
I'm here at one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world, but unfortunately, my circumstances prevent me from enjoying it as much as I could:
- The big and semi-big names here all go for 25 euros.
- We couldn't find a place in Cork to stay, so we're 35km out, in Kinsale -- a nice town, but the last bus from Cork to Kinsale leaves at 9:45... just as much of the festivities are beginning.
- I've got this danged marathon on Monday, so I have to make sure to get to bed early, and happily watch everyone else have their Guinness.
But it's been fun getting to know the south of Ireland, and I've seen some quite good performers that were on the free circuit today and last night. Tomorrow morning to Dublin, and Monday the big race!
Well, this weekend was somewhat of a bust. I was pretty hyped to go to Creamfields on Saturday, a huge dance music festival near Dublin. An Irish girl from my hostel and I left early on Saturday morning and caught the train to Dublin, then a bus out to Punchestown Racecourse, where the festival was being held. We met up with some of her friends, and wandered from tent to tent, checking out the DJs. Long story short, my friend wandered off ("momentarily") to find another friend we were supposed to meet, and she and I didn't see eachother until we were on the train the next morning. Which would've been fine except for the fact that I was under the funny impression that we should try to meet back up since we weren't sure where we were going to stay that night, and we had come to the show together. Well, anyway, she met up with some other friends and had a blast while I spent a few hours at the Meeting Point, chatting with people. I gave up and salvaged the end of the night, propelled by Seb Fontaine's beats, and found a hostel in Dublin to crash at. I don't mind being ditched so long as I am made aware that I should go fend for myself and not worry that the ditcher is not going to have a place to sleep, and I don't waste quite a few euros and a rare opportunity to see some really good music happening.
Being the third caller to a radio show on WRUW won me two seats at the Dave Douglas New Quintet concert tonight at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art as part of the Tri-C Jazz Fest. The fivesome was hot as hell, especially not the bassist. Four of the fivesome were hot as hell. I sat on a piece of cloth that pulled tight when the two dual legs of my unbacked chair were unfolded, about 15 feet directly over the saxophone player's head, looking through the railbars that enclosed the opening to the second floor above the stage. The saxophone player's playing was hot as hell. So were the stage lights that were 2 feet in front of me. Find me the setlist -- they hit on something from Birth of the Cool -- which, I can't remember now -- maybe Budo. The rest of the tunes, I think, were originals, except for an arrangement of a Rufus Wainwright tune called Poses. The encore was incredible.
Walked through some of the museum before leaving; some cool pieces -- a lot of minimalist stuff in their current Painting in Zero Degree exhibit. My favorite pieces, besides a bright-orange carpeted floor and wall, were works by this Fabio Kacero fella -- with these deadly designs on rounded-edge metallic-looking wood things. Bwaaah.