Thursday, February 28, 2013

Demolition Duo "Academic" Tour Begins

Demolition Duo Rehearsal
Administering my RACC project grant for the Demolition Duo is a lot like booking a tour: there's a lot of coordinating times and dates with multiple professors at the various schools. What I've generally found is that it is often difficult to fit us into a school’s regular curriculum, especially as we try to combine different classes together in one place and time! However, since this undertaking is funded by a RACC project grant, there’s no need to negotiate fees or wait for the cover-charge tally at the end of the night!  Actually, this arrangement works well for everyone, the schools, their faculty and students, and we creative-class-types. Without some of the monetary struggles often associated with playing free improvised music, Ken and I can focus more on the artistic aspects of our duo. Here are two audio clips of our last rehearsal on February 23rd (demo duo reh 2-23a and demo duo reh 2-23b): 

Though not included in the grant (RACC only funds for Portland's tri-county area) Ken and I are starting our 2013 college tour with a performance at Western Oregon University on Thursday, February 28th, at 7:30pm. Our future engagements include Reed College on March 29th, Lewis and Clark College on April 5th, Clackamas Community College sometime in May, and our final workshop-performance will be at Portland State University's summer jazz clinic in July.

I look forward to seeing how each visit develops through the collaboration of  jazz, ethnomusicology, composition, and classical performance programs. Improvisation is an element of all of these disciplines in one way or another, so it makes sense that the Demolition Duo’s visit could break down artificial barriers between academic studies (jazz students here, classical performers here, musicologists over here). So in some sense, I feel that my main objective in this project is to get students and faculty from these different areas together in one room to experience how improvisation can enrich their musicianship and scholarship. I hope our visit inspires a classically trained pianist to jam with a straight ahead jazz trombonist, new musical ground is discovered between a virtuosic bebop saxophonist and a “noise” guitarist, or that a musicologist may consider the potential role of improvisation in composition in his or her next paper. 

As March begins tomorrow, it seems timely to mention that Ken and I will be performing for Portland's March Music Moderne festival
We'll actually be performing separately on a concert of solos also including Danielle Ross (dance) and Madelyn Villano (violin). Here's the info:

The Creative Music Guild presents: A Series of Solos (March Music Moderne)
March 12th
The Gallery at Port City
2156 N Williams, Portland, Oregon 97227
8pm, $7-$20, sliding scale

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