7 May 2014


5/03/14: The second rehearsal with the new lineup of Made To Break took place, and I assembled the pieces in set length suites, the method of organization I used for most of the recent North American tour. We played a sequence of compositions down (Nick followed the flow of the forms extremely well), then I’d discuss details and organizational issues before we worked on the second “suite.” This covered ten of the dozen pieces that are in the current book, and we ran the remaining two compositions separately and called it a day. Nick’s approach to the hard edged pieces needed more development, Jasper Stadhouders had an ideal feeling for these compositions, but Nick’s playing on the more dub/funk based material was already completely strong, and his focus and progress during these rehearsals confirmed that my decision to make Nick a permanent member of Made To Break was the right one.

5/04/14: Because the MTB rehearsals went so well, I canceled the scheduled rehearsal for Sunday the 4th and instead went to the Art Institute of Chicago with Christof in order to visit the Christopher Wool and Christopher Williams shows. I liked aspects of both exhibitions but felt that they were not as mind-blowing as had been generally purported. The latest pieces in the Wool exhibition were my favorites. It’s clear from the titles of some of his paintings that Wool is a huge fan of music (such as the piece, Nation Time, a clear nod to Joe McPhee). The Williams show seemed to be put together so haphazardly that it hurt his artwork, completely diffusing Williams’ self-referential analysis of the photographic process and cultural histories. I left the exhibits feeling somewhat disappointed, and then went to look at the mid 20th century collection and was knocked out by Mark Tobey’s Untitled, 1965; Craig Kauffman’s Le Mur S’en Va I; and Jack Whitten’s Khee II. I keep going back and forth in my impression Gerhard Richter’s work. On this occasion, when I looked at the room of his paintings in the modern wing, I was for it again. Afterward Christof and I met Kate Dumbleton to watch a screening of The Case of the Three Sided Dream, a documentary about Rahsaan Roland Kirk by Adam Kahan. The film wasn’t as informative as I had hoped it would be and which used a standard talking head commentary, but much of the performance footage was incredible, particularly that of an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show which included Roy Haynes, Charles Mingus, and Archie Shepp playing Mingus’ Haitian Fight Song with Kirk’s band. Afterward the three of us talked about the AIC exhibits and the ups and downs of the the contemporary art world (with Kate and I in agreement about John Sparagana’s fine work).

5/05/14: Another rehearsal with Made To Break, where the quartet played through two sets of material in performance mode. Nick already had a stronger feeling for how to apply the organizational principles of the music in real time, going well beyond the basic execution of the parts. Christof continued to work with the iPad sound processing and may use this as the primary computer for his playing with Made To Break during the European tour in November. In the evening I went with Tim Daisy over to Michael Zerang’s new place, a large apartment he owns in a co-op north of Uptown and near the lake, to hang out with him, Christof, Dave Rempis and Lisi Schweitzer; a beautiful evening of both catching up and reminiscing.

1 2 3