Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Oakland Flip

Last night the Flip Quartet got its second performance. John Hanes, Suki O'Kane, Karen Stackpole and Moe! Staiano formed an all-star lineup. This time we did a 24-minute version (two complete circles) to see if it worked out better than the premiere, which at three times around and 36 minutes seemed a bit too long. We all agreed when it was done that 24 minutes was a good length.

We had 12-channel, quadraphonic sound courtesy of Austin Space from KFJC who was amazing.

After experiencing two Flips I have to say I like the exploratory periods before and after the performance just as much as the show itself. It's so much fun seeing the improvisers trying out all the objects and instruments as they first arrive, and seeing them jam impromptu-style when the show's over.

Here are some stream-of-consciousness highlights:

1. John gargling in the West quarter.
2. John bringing an e-bow for the stringed instruments. Genius!
3. John also bringing a bridal magazine for the East quarter. That was just weird.
4. Karen applying a hand-held fan to a slide whistle in the East quarter.
5. Suki bringing Dina Emerson's wine glasses for the West quarter.
6. Me bowing things in the South quarter before the show when nobody was around. That was fun. :)
7. Every time Moe! played the violin in the West quarter.
8. Moe! flipping stuff over, like the score encourages him to do. He has so far always remembered that.
9. Austin bringing a small accordion for the East quarter.
10. A cell phone going off right at the end of John's opening set as if to punctuate it.
11. Me basically standing around grinning like a fool while the piece was going on. I can't imagine ever getting tired of it.
12. Somebody who was not a performer grabbing the squirt gun from the West quarter and shooting at the artwork on the walls of 21 Grand! I hastily confiscated the weapon and hid it as my life flashed before my eyes. Luckily no artworks were actually hit. The squirt gun thereafter didn't get used until the very end, when Moe! shot it at the wine glasses. That worked out nicely.

And after the Flip I played my solo set in honor and memory of Leigh Ann. This was the part I had been most nervous about, and I feel like it went well. The audience seemed into it. I hold out the hope that Leigh Ann was into it, too.

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