Played a wonderful show at The ResBox Series, curated and hosted by Hans Fjellestad, at the classy Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.
Andrew Pask and Jim McAuley put in a cool first set culminating in a final bit of mayhem on a seven foot long 12 string instrument played by Jim with metal batons. A screening of Nightsoil followed, then my quartet with Motoko Honda, Emily Hay and Scrote. We performed Screen, an improv score by Fred Frith which involves each player cycling through an improvised figure in two measures of 5/4 and each player taking a solo turn. We followed with a game piece I originally wrote for Split Lip called Pass the Baton, which involves each player improvising either a long, slow, wide figure or short, fast, thin figure and passing it on to another player (or players) to ‘interpret.’ A pretty scored improvisation by Scrote titled Craving Beauty followed and we closed with a chaotic free improvisation. The night was capped off by composer Bruce Friedman (from whom I purchased a very kewl book called Notations 21, a collection of modern graphic music scores) and his cast of fine LA musicians interpreting a graphic score.
…played the Boise Creative And Improvised Music Festival this past weekend. Did one set as Strangelet (with John Hanes on electronics) and another as Prehistoric Horse (a new collaboration with John, LM, drummer David Grollman and cellist Valerie Kuehne). The Horse did a lot of wandering about Boise and had a lot of fun just hanging out. Our intense thirty minute set on saturday night started off an evening of incendiary performances by Emily Hay/Motoko Honda, Colter Frazier/Rob Wallace, Jim McAuley and Kribophoric.
The venue for the festival was The El Korah Shriner Hall (entertainment unto itself with a kick ass grotto-bar, prop room and fully costumed group portraits). Attendance was better than past years (it was free), but slim at times and there was the feeling that most of Boise had no idea or care that this was going on. However, the audience was polite, attentive and given what must have seemed like pretty confusing music to the majority, appreciative.
john hanes & lm
We attempted some guerilla promotion tactics during an outlandish visit to the 8th street pedestrian, which was mostly met with polite smiles and the occasional offer to stop by the festival. During the promotion blitz, we were approached by a photographer for Boisestyle.com – perhaps attracted by our thrift store furry puppet accessories (that he chose a picture of just me & my monkey over one of myself, the monkey, Valerie and her Wooly Mammoth puppet is baffling).
Boise is a vanilla kind of place. It’s pretty small and it doesn’t take long to walk back and forth across the downtown and we did so several times – not much else to do. We stopped in for pizza and beer at our favorite joint and discovered the salvation of the saturday late-night streetcart shawarma guy (doing our best to safely run the gauntlet of staggering frat-party drunks filling the sidewalk).
woolly mammoth & wylie monkey
All together an odd setting for such music. So how is it we end up back here in this high desert potato town playing crazy-ass improv and experimental music year after year? One: the performers. Many of the same players who made last year a highlight were there and it’s fun to hang out with them. Two: Kris Hartung & Jeff Kaiser . Kris is the guy who has made great efforts to put together the Creative and Improvised Music festival for four years running and Jeff has been responsible for curating and raising the level of talent. Bravo, guys.
Just returned from a week of shows with my pals Rob Price and David Grollman. It was a great run culminating with a show at the 3rd annual Boise Experimental Music Festival. I’ll be posting some more mp3s soon and lots of pics. Steady as she goes…
I’ve attended and performed at every BEMF and this one had some really great talent. Here is a quick synopsis…
It was an honor and humbling experience to twice hear acoustic guitarist Jim McAuley. His ability to perform outside music with varied instrumentation, utilizing interesting tunings and a fearless sense of composition were a revelation. Jeff Kaiser and I marveled at Jim’s ability to bring together traditional structures with avant garde techniques and composition. Jim plays melodies, he deconstructs harmonic form and he’s a badass soloist…but above all it was MUSIC. And I tell ya, sometimes these experimental festivals can test just about anyone’s definition.