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Week 18 October 17-21

This week, my friends helped take over because I was totally sick as a dog!

Monday October 17th

Title: “900 Seconds” Feat. Batya Macadam-Somer

Batya played a pulse at 60bpm (1 pulse per second), then began a vocal improvisation involving rhythmically playful breath-based sounds, open vowel tones, and the use of graceful, ballerina-like gestures, with an explorative gaze toward the sky. As the improvisation developed, her cross-legged stance opened up as her energetic pace developed, utilizing hammer vibrato, and quite literally, hammering the floor with the palm of her hand. A few words like "yes, what, and how" came through her, developing her movement interpretation into pattering with feet, hands, and explorative dance through her spine. Her movements continued to correspond as a representation of her vocal embodiment, and her vocal exploration continued as a breakdown of phonetic play between words and sounds. At points, her improvisation involved ingressive vocalization. diatonic melodies, syllabic transformation, nasalized tones, more discovered words, and moments of facially expressed wonder and surprise. A delightfully fun improv to check out! View on Youtube ------>

Tuesday October 18th

Title:“Can You Hear the Sound of #15” Feat. Zane Alexander

Zane Alexander opened the doors to the street to play an intended ~15 minute guitar piece that came out at ~13min. The sound of his guitar competed with the sound of the neighboring 10AM Adams Ave. traffic flow, a delectable mix of intent care and moving automobiles (sometimes blasting music of their own). The first 5minutes were comprised of minimalist rhythmic steadiness and a harmonic palette that strikes me as both seated and reaching for something. Subtle tension and subtle release. Zane's piece transitioned from a pulsing flow into a few phrases of rhythmic ostinato at about the same time a car was starting and another drove by with music playing and windows open. The combined element of musically driving phrases and activity from the street was serendipitous.

Following a series of long chord tones, he began a section in 5, with groupings of three measures (one of the sounds of the #15). In the middle of this section, a curious man in a pink striped shirt passed by, gazing toward Zane as he walked onward to his next decided life moment. The piece then developed into a phrase of 5, 5, and 2 which were strummed loudly and comprised of a more dissonant start utilizing chunky, augmented and minor major harmony all culminating into a single tone that Zane began to sing, hold out, bend, and shape with vibrato over a range of harmonic changes on the guitar. The effect of this single, piercing note was that of a lighthouse beacon, cast across a changing sea. The piece ended in a chaotic frenzy of fast paced, whole tone bass motion across loud strums, after which, Zane immediately removed his guitar from his body, hitting the music stand with the tuning peg. He then mentioned the end of his piece was not written out. I am unsure of where the improvised portion begins.

Wednesday October 19th

Title:“Aaron Slater Illustrator” Feat. Janelle Dyan Cataldo

Seated on the stage with feet hanging out to rest on the sidewalk of Adams Ave. Janelle recited the story of "Aaron Slater Illustrator" by Andrea Beaty. Janelle's storytelling is engaging, physically expressive, emotive, and well-articulated. A young boy to whom Janelle is nanny is present at the performance. The story is of an inspired, young boy who overcomes self doubt through learning to embrace and take pride in his individuality. This performance is one of many examples of Janelle's drive and loving intentionality she shares with those around her. There is an abundance of beauty in the way she inspires both the audience and the child to which she is nanny through sharing this story.

Thursday October 20th

Title:“”What was I to you?" Feat. Matt Dibiase

I was supposed to rehearse and improvise with Matt, but I was sick in bed. It was going to be titled "All for a hat" because I was going to be fitting Matt for a hat he would wear at the Nov 11th show. That imagined hat has yet to be created.

Matt improvised vibraphone for 15minutes while a woman he used to date video taped him. I believe the title of the performance was inspired by this scenario. The elements of interpersonal relationships at play during a performance can make for magnificent moments of expression, highlighting tension, support, catharsis, and the unknown. All in all, Matt seemed deep within his auditory realm throughout his improvisation. The first three minutes were mostly comprised of development and gradual accelerando of ideas shifting between diatonic major and minor melodies harmonized over a pedal tone. Following a ritard, Matt opened the lid to another sound space made of rubato ascending arpeggios, exploring a variety of harmonic shifts that built toward a delightfully soft and trickling melodic phrase collecting us back at his initial, pedal tone sound space. You're better off listening to experience the rest. Matt is a highly accomplished and skilled improviser, musician, composer, and you will greatly enjoy his work. The only person in attendance this day was our videographer, Katie. They left the curtain halfway open, which initially bothered me to find out, since closing the curtain is an unwritten, ruled element of these performance pieces. Alas, I must now read into its meaning. A halfway closed curtain? Could be an unfinished chapter or a symbol of openness to space usually closed off. Perhaps for a moment, Matt or Katie thought of "what they could have been" to one another or the notion of vulnerably exposing a usually hidden secret. Half closed still suggests an unwillingness to be fully open. Of course, they probably just left it open because of indifference, oversight, or a time crunch. I never spoke to Matt about what his intention was with the piece and can only assume he was aware of the title written on the board and may have even came up with it himself.

Friday October 21st

Title: “screaming a lot" Feat. Katie Berns

Katie warmed up with some lip trill sirens and the door open to the space. She holds her belly, aware of her breath as she transitions into sirens on the vowel "Oo." There are an assortment of objects on the stage. Katie picks up her phone and screams "AHH." She then screams at the rotating floor fan, then alternates between screaming at and playing the kalimba. She picks up a vase of dried flowers, removes the flowers and screams into the vase. She screams onto the outside of the vase with it held away and pressed onto her mouth. She ponders briefly then screams into her own hat a few times in a row. She screams into her fanny pack. She smiles at passerby's. She then screams into her fanny pack again. She screams into a vocal book and onto the sticky notes within the vocal book. She screams onto a different page of the book, then tossing it aside. A friend enters through the door. She screams into the items inside of the piano bench to include folders and sticky notes. Lucy is here. She has the giant rubber duck. Lucy screams into the duck and leaves while Katie continues to scream. Katie screams into the djembe. Lucy screams into the djembe. Lucy is happy and says, "that's actually really nice." Katie screams into the djembe again. Lucy screams the words of the vocal book while Katie screams into the djembe. This description is hilarious. Lucy continues to scream the words of the book, and Katie begins screaming onto the outside of the book and onto the circle rug. Katie screams into the kalimba once more. They scream at one another. Katie removes the red beanie from Lucy's head and screams into the beanie. Lucy screams at Katie's shoes. Katie attempts to remove the object I have attached to the wall above the door frame, but says "no," then reaches for the guitar. She screams into the guitar. Katie leaves to grab another object. People begin clapping, but Katie comes back to scream into a jar. Then she gets the water jug and screams into it. I haven't washed that jug since then. Katie grabs the peace lily and screams at them. Lucy returns as Katie calls me. I get a call, sick in bed, saying "Katherine," and hear only screams from Katie and who I do not know at the time to be Lucy. Katie apologizes and asks Lucy if she sees anything good. They go outside to bring the bench into the studio. She screams at the bench. Lucy says "that's great. that's really great stuff." Lucy attempts to move something with her scream outside. They both clap for themselves and whatever audience may or may not be present. I am proud to be alive.

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