11 March 2012

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The work with the Resonance Ensemble starts Saturday afternoon in St. Johann, the group rehearses for the first time in a year, Mark Tokar reuniting with the band and sight reading bass parts that were used for our new album, “What Country Is This?” (Not Two). Things go well overall, but there was clearly a lot of work left to do before the first concert of the tour on Sunday night, closing ouT the artacts ’12 festival. I didn’t play during the Saturday evening program so I could just listen and enjoy the great music. 1st: Clayton Thomas effectively led a large student ensemble through a series of texture & sound based structures; 2nd: Phil Minton was featured with the group, Exit Eden, performing a set of adventurous Pop songs; but things really kicked in for me with the 3rd group: Barrel (Alison Blunt, Ivor Kallin, Hannah Marshall), a string trio from the UK that was completely fantastic, playing a beautiful series of improvisations that truly surprised and communicated; the music concluded with Cactus Truck (John Dikeman, Jasper Stadhouders, Onno Govaert) with guests Dave Rempis and Jon Rune buy without prescriptions Strom- the group suffered a bit from muddy sound, but their energy was real and Onno Gavaert’s drumming really knocked me out, completely inventive and driving. Sunday the 11th was a busy day- Resonance meeting at 11am to rehearse and soundcheck; followed by another great evening of concerts: 1. Mars Williams, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, and Tim Daisy in a superb trio setting, quite amazed that they had never worked together before; 2. Waclaw Zimpel and Wolfgang Reisinger played a very effective and wide ranging duo; 3. I missed the multi-media performance of Moonphases because I was discussing material with Resonance before we played. The ensemble’s set was strong, the two rehearsals helped pull the group together (we played the sequences used on the Chicago recording because they were familiar) and the audience response was exhilarating. The whole artacts ’12 experience was really special, an incredible combination of great hospitality (aside from the leather skinned, soap eating owner of the hotel where most of the group stayed), and extraordinary music (many groups and performers I had never heard before!). Another band, another season- Fire Room in Poznan: