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This season has really cemented in my mind that suddenlyLISTEN is not just about concerts. Finally! It took more than several pints and a stern lecture from my friend Sebastian Lexer in London to help me to realize that building the community of improvisers is where sL can do it's best work. It took me feeling really great at 9pm on some Monday nights. Workshop night.

The core of our community work is the workshop. Tim Crofts and I meet up with anybody, I mean anybody who wants to come and play! It's amazing. We get together on alternating Mondays, usually in a big room at the Quinpool Education Centre in Halifax, (although this year we struggled with Monday snowstorms - and when schools are closed the QEC is closed.) We are very grateful for our space though, because it is large and open and because it is generously donated by the Halifax City Schools Music Department. Also amazing.

And we play, we do some things that Tim learned in Boston when he was studying there, we do some things I've respectfully borrow from Eddie Prevost and his workshop in the UK, and we do some Deep Listening-type exercises taught and inspired by Pauline Oliveros.

And we improvise, we take suggestions, anything is possible.

And people keep coming: some EVERY time, like Howard Harawitz, who is our senior member, sergeant at arms and freedom police guy. Whenever things get to analyzed Howard steps in and sets us straight! He's great, and I think carries the spirit of what we are trying to do along with Tim and me. Then there is Kels Joudrey, high school kid, wildcard and inspiration. He's an inspiration: shooting his mouth off, getting teased back and playing like crazy!

And the music is almost always beautiful. Sure there are duds sometimes, but often, really quite frequently, the music is miraculous: sensitive, energized and expressive. I'm amazed quite a lot.

So we get together, sometimes there are five of us, sometimes there are twelve. Usually there are eight, which is a great number, and a testament to the people, and to the need for this work even in little old Halifax.

It enriches me every time, and I really appreciate that. You should come!


2008/05/08 at 4:20 pm

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