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Day 1 in Toronto

mmm espresso.......

I woke up this morning to beautiful coffee at Jim's place. It is such a pleasure to begin the day in such a style! I was pretty blasted on caffeine when I climbed on a packed streetcar, (reminding me of another reason why I'm so happy in Halifax) and headed to Pui Ming's place for rehearsal. Our first playing together was lovely and gentle. We worked on PM's suggestion of pinpointing a part of our body and playing from that energy. PM's work in craniosacral therapy has really informed her recent work, and we decided that we would share our organ or body region choices with the audience and invite them to focus on the same place with us, hopefully creating a room filled with the same energy! The idea that the audience is an integral part of the performance, feeding the music with their reception (or rejection) of it, is one we all share. It could be a wonderful piece I think. It's exciting to be making music in a new way, and feeling really affected by that particular focus. So after a few different combinations of organs, including one piece where we all played from different regions (I chose the digestive system, perhaps preemptively) we paused for Thai food. Okay, life on the road can be pretty good, actually....

Erin and part of her setup

I see eating and coffee drinking as important parts of rehearsal. Every connection an improviser can make with fellow collaborators feeds the music, so lunch was yummy and informative! The afternoon was spent playing with other forms, and dealing with program possibilities. We discussed the pros and cons of a concert with and without intermission: constant focus versus giving a break to the performer and audience; preventing strain on performers and audience versus one big blow and send us and them home! With some collaborations a real pattern of music emerges, (long pieces or short ones, lots of variety, or a definite common aesthetic) but this isn't yet clear with us. We decided to let the performance space help to decide what we do. I'm sure it will.

Pui Ming at her circa 1890's Steinway

So what do we sound like? The music can be quite serene as I predicted it might be, but there is also room for more intense sounds too. I was telling Erin that I have fought the impulse to play too melodically over the past several years, as I feel it is too comfortable a place for me, so I think I'll be offering both lyricism and cacophony! We were rhythmic too, which is nice, locking a bit of groove a couple of times, which is a first for us I think. I like to know what to expect, and I also like to be surprised. I know this trio has the potential for some fun surprises and I can't wait to enjoy them. Next stop Gallery 345!

Mar 6, 2012 at 21:47

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