Friday, May 20, 2005

Magic Chicken

Theresa Wong and Philip Greenlief have made an album together called Magic Chicken. It features their woodwind and cello artistry, plus spoken words, which always gets my attention. Gender balance in a new music endeavor also always gets my attention. You can find out more about it at

The recording is stripped down and very much like a live performance, but I was struck while listening to it by how much I wished it actually were a live performance. All their usual expressiveness and dynamic range were there but there's so much to improvised music (and high-complexity new music that isn't improvised) that isn't audible. I wished I could be there to see them making eye contact and see their gestures and their feeling.

And that brings me to the fact that we've got many live performances every week here in the Bay Area, presenting our music, and more often than not only a handful of people will show up. Bottom line, performers need audiences. I'm not the first to say that and I won't be the last. I'm also not just talking about me and my concerts. If there's music you like, and it's not on the radio, griping about it not being on the radio is a waste of time. Guaranteed, somebody is out there, probably in your own home town, making the music you like, and it's hypocritical of you not to support it by being there.

Speaking of improvised/not improvised, I stand corrected by Ferrara, who says the piece I liked so much in his Forms Of Things Unknown show wasn't improvised after all. He says it was all laid out and the bass clarinet solo was written down. :)

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