At Gallery 101 (g101) there was a music night with Clarinet Panic Deluxx of Toronto an Experimental Chamber group played. You can hear their album there.
Clarinet Panic Deluxx enjoyed music, acoustics, each other and were having fun as they played. Those of Gordon Korman vintage may remember Who is Bugs Potter? and the novel series of the drummer. Some of that wild controlled energy and swirling drumsticks playing all the drum kit at once was there.
The music went thru progression of tempo and mood. It made typical commercial radio music, in instruments and voice sound mechanical percussion and more repetitive than it is. This was sliding all around. It was interesting to see the electric guitar (which in the picture is all blur of motion).
You’ve heard the expression, one-butt piano where the pianist plays with the whole body and gets more expressive effect? That set this group apart in that they move with the music.
Both that band and the soloist left me rather without verbal ground to stand on. Completely outside my frame of reference for music.
I don’t know how to parse it but I know being transported when I feel it. I don’t know what they were doing. I know my face started smiling and my bones started melting.
The third act, as seen in the reflection on the art.
Keir Neuringer from Philadelphia did free jazz sax solos. He’s got a big web presence with a lot of ways to hear samples.
I don’t know what that music is. I realized that when I’ve said, “I like saxophone music” I meant I like the subset of sounds of clichés I’d heard. I realize that it’s like saying I like hearing singing.
He explored all the shapes of possibilities for sound it could make and of his own shape as he moved from crouch to back arch and each impacted his wind shape. The shape of his throat and diaphragm and lungs were made audible as he folded or unfolded. It was continually segueing in shape, sometimes plaintive as whales, sometimes breath and water sound, sometimes like a flute, some percussive. That piece was about 14 minutes long. It is dedicated to breath and his mother who died of lung cancer. He prefaced it with this. A number of his poems and meditations he had printed out poster size as well. He made the songs on album and CD and they’re online.
He also said that to make music isn’t about the study of sound and technique. Composing “is not about organizing notes but organizing ourselves.”
It’s the nth magical leap that knowing chord structures and instruments can’t take you. You may be able to get there without knowing anything formally or after it all.
I felt like some lucky bastard to be able to experience all this. In a way it seemed to be wasted on me. There are hundreds of people in the city who would appreciate this yet somehow we got to.
It’s a weird serendipity. If I hadn’t misunderstood it as a Richard Truhlar tribute would I have looked twice at names and words that mean nothing to me. If we weren’t slow off the mark, if we got Writers Fest tickets before they sold out, if we hadn’t decided to cut a spare key that night, if it hadn’t been a holiday Monday and some people set out their black box recycling on the wrong day, I wouldn’t have walked the path I did and picked up a book with a curious title that I happened to read at the gallery waiting for it to begin and wouldn’t have shown it to someone who had a meeting this week on that very subject. Life passed it thru me. And I wouldn’t have been exposed to this crazy incomprehensible yet beautiful music.