A little Artistic Director's report on our concert last Wednesday evening.
The build up to this concert was longer and more involved than ever before, bringing in our partners from Dal, dealing with local rehearsals, coordinating communications and learning software and testing of our network connection, was huge. I love computers, audio gear, and live sound way more than the average person, but having real expertise around took a huge load off my shoulders. I can safely say I had no idea of the complexity of the technical aspects of this show, and I could, most definitely, NOT have handled it!
So the concert happened because of Karl, Steve and of course Chris.
Well the internet part anyway....The cello, I can usually do that, and Anne and Christoph and I did together! We had a great time in rehearsals, really luxuriating in the sounds we could make together, as well as making good plans about how to pull this all off with minimal rehearsal with Chris. (We had no idea HOW minimal!) We had some really great discussions and made some beautiful sounds.
Of course, we had zero success with a complete link, until about 7:55, (after 3 separate attempts) but cool heads prevailed and we succeeded in an only slightly compromised network connection, because of some problems on Chris' end. (2 channels instead of four, but we got the effect of the speaker spread, thanks to crafty mixing by Steve.)
So we assumed there would be minimal rehearsal, but didn't foresee ZERO rehearsal, which as far as I can tell is the norm for telematic concerts! but our scores carried us through, and some of them worked well.
People clapped, asked questions, and walked away happy I think.
Each concert sL produces and plays is a learning opportunity/experience for me - I guess I plan it that way.
What did I learn this time? lots...
Don't assume there's going to be rehearsal in a telematic concert. Plan for two nights, as Chris is teaching us!
Get professional help. Yes THAT kind, but also the help of experts. technicians that act and react so calmly that failure hardy seems like defeat! Also ask for help from institutions, they can make big issues for a small organization seem pretty easy to sort out.
Scores (meaning the structured improvisations we devised for this show) are a challenge for me. To interpret the score while staying anchored in listening is hard, and something I may want to learn more about. I still revert to a classical music headspace when I see a score. Suddenly, mistakes are possible, which is one of the aspects of music I'm trying to escape from in my improvisatory work. I will try to learn more about the grey areas in "right and wrong" which exist in these sorts of structures, and find success even when there is deviation from the plan. What is easy for me, is playing open with great listeners, and forming structures in the moment. I believe deeply in that process, and feel a great satisfaction from that work.
I learned again the power of listening, and that even with the challenges of collaboration over distances, the stress of "will it work?", the work and coordination of production, all the possible distractions: listening in the moment carries us through. (Thanks for that Pauline Oliveros, you didn't invent it, but you sure refined it!)
I was reminded that I am a cello geek, 4 cellos is still the best sound!
Finally I felt proud of being an astronaut, as Chris calls us: testing new possibilities, collaborating in a new way, shrinking those distances to milliseconds. suddenlyLISTEN will do this again, because it's a fascinating way to collaborate. because I want to make it bigger, with more connections, (and of course more risk!) And, of course, because we proved we can succeed at it.
Dec 4, 2009 at 15:57