played last night at nuit blanche, at the model for a public space (speaker). essentially a giant spiral seating structure, with an open space in the middle. the rain was on and off all night, so the mud was all over the place. not much different than the winnipeg folk festival, really.
ben grossman and i played a 45 min set of improvised music with hurdy gurdy, effects and various percussion. i was astonished at how many people were around, and stuck around and engaged with our music—everyone from jazzheads to hippies to frat house guys and high school students. it was an incredible social experience, and i am beginning to see what certain schools of thought around improvisation are talking about when they speak of the political overtones of improvised music. for me, it is more about mindfulness and listening, the collective meditation that the music inspires and demands. i suppose in many ways this is the presupposition for the social/political interpretation of the act of performing free improvised music.
in any case, a tremendously gratifying experience. one of my favourite moments: after our first 1/2 hour performance, i asked when we ended and someone yelled out “seven in the morning!”.
stay tuned—i am going to be broadcasting some live improvisation, both solo and duo in the near future.