9 April 2012

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Back in Chicago for about week. My work on music consisted of preparing for a solo concert that took place in Milwaukee at the Sugar Maple on Sunday the 8th; and transcribing more of Adrienne Pierluissi’s songs, then running arrangement sketches with her on the 9th to make sure I’m going in the right direction for what she’s hearing on her pieces; felt that the work and results on both of these projects went well. The Milwaukee show brought up parallels to the solo concert I did in Brugge a few weeks before: both took place at superior bars that focused on beer and were transformed into performance spaces on occasion (the last time I played in the front room of the Sugar Maple was July, 2011, in a duo with Terrie Hessels), the organizers of both venues are incredibly supportive of the artists and work hard to bring music they’re interested in to their community, the audiences at both shows were very focused and enthused. I kept to the approach I’ve been using for solo concerts since the beginning of this year- no “script,” just trying to develop a performance as it’s played in real time- and it feels that continuing to work this way on the format has been the right choice. In Milwaukee I explored a variety of musical possibilities, moving through tempos and intensities as seemed right over the course of 2 shorter sets of music; and I used some anecdotes to “buy myself time” when I needed to catch my breath or realign my thinking, stories about experiences with Han Bennink, John Tilbury, Paul Rutherford, and others that impacted me and were connected to my playing the afternoon of the show. In addition to writing more songs (there are a total of about a dozen which are part of the cycle of pieces she’s putting together for this album project), Adrienne Pierluissi has been painting a ton since the last time I visited Milwaukee, a series of 6 or so very large canvases as well as a number of others, so many shifting sets of imagery- quite remarkable to be around all her creative activity, a major source of inspiration when I’m back in the Chicago area. Recently discovered the work of photographer, Ernst Haas, and picked up the incredible Steidl book, “Color Correction.”

http://www.ernst-haas.com/