“We were headed outside. We were deliberately breaking some rules. To us, Bird and them were like people who broke ground. We copied them religiously, but that was not the end; we didn’t sacrifice our individualism to do it. There were some on the scene who did, but we didn’t. We started to draw and paint, because we felt like that- doing things differently.”
– Muhal Richard Abrams
from “A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music,” (The University of Chicago Press: 2008), by George E. Lewis, pg. 28.
Returned yesterday from a trip to the East Coast to see my family, and visit New York to check out the Rauschenberg Combine exhibit, the David Smith retrospective, and the 20th century collection at MOMA. Got enough creative inspiration there to keep things moving for a while, which probably drove the composing I did while in Boston for a new quartet (with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Nate McBride on acoustic basses, Mike Reed on drums) that will perform at the opening night for the Immediate Sound series on April 5th.
Before the trip east there was quite a bit of Chicago based work. On the 16th of March, the final Pintura concert took place. It was quite fantastic to have a series of solo performances spread evenly over the course of a year; it gave me the first chance to focus on that kind of work in a long time, and being faced with the prospect of having to deal with those sets of ideas again and again was an essential challenge. The stylistic approach of the films that Richard Hull created for his visual work jumped radically for each performance, whereas it seemed to me that my ideas developed in a more linear fashion. This last installment, ‘Winter,’ was perhaps the most successful of the series, both in its individual parts and in their combination. Thankfully, all the concerts were recorded by Dennis Oshea and filmed by Paula Froehle, and Richard and I are going to meet over the next couple of weeks to decide the best way to organize the materials for a release. Right now we’re considering the idea of possibly working with a DVD format that will enable us to integrate the visual components with the music, hopefully in a way that somehow replicates the way that the performances worked.
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