“I then began to compose a music dealing precisely with ‘inbetweenness’: creating a confusion of material and construction, and a fusion of method and application, by concentrating on how they could be directed toward ‘that which is difficult to categorize.’”
– Morton Feldman
from “The New York Schools of Music and Visual Arts,” (Routledge: 2002), edited by Steven Johnson, pg. 180.
April’s nearly over, time for the work in May. This past month was intense with work and change, mostly centered around the ACME Festival in Athens. On the hard side of things were the shifts in the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet: Hamid Drake was gone and Mars Williams walked out. Thankfully Paal Nilssen-Love stepped into the difficult position of both ” replacing” Hamid and being new to the ensemble by playing his ass off. The two concerts at ACME were great despite the personnel changes, thanks partially to the chance to rehearse during the days before the concerts in Athens. By the time we got to Austin after playing an additional gig in New Orleans the band was truly BURNING. Discussions about where to go next (would the changes in the lineup indicate what would be the last chapter in the history of the band, or would they be further steps in its development?) confirmed the passionate commitment of the rest of the ensemble to follow course and keep moving forward. One offshoot of the trip to New Orleans and Austin after Athens was the realization that it was possible to move the Tentet and most of it’s equipment in 3 mini vans, a much more financially feasible way for the group to travel in North America. With this information and a newly defined sense of purpose the group is already in the preliminary phase of organizing an extended U.S. tour in the spring of 2005. More news as it develops.
The ACME Festival was extraordinary, EVERY musician who performed played at their highest level, EACH group was astonishing. It would be easy and understandable to write this off as hyperbole on my part since I was the creative director, but if you can ask around you’ll get this praise confirmed: all the musicians came to PLAY. I thank each of them for making the music a complete success, I couldn’t have asked for better work. The festival was a beautiful 4 days exhibiting the state of the art in improvised music. I have to express my sincere thanks to Julie Powell and all the people (especially Erik Hinds) who assisted her in the logistics of trying to make the festival run- it was an extreme amount of work. There is talk of setting up ACME-2 for next April, my hopes are high to do a follow up.
© 2023 Ken Vandermark – musician & composer | Disclaimer