Monday, June 12, 2006

A great weekend of music

My ears are so happy right now. They had a full-spectrum overdose of great sounds that started Friday at Artists' Television Access in San Francisco.

Matt Davignon curated a show all about improvised film soundtracking, with films chosen by Sarah Lockhart, and featuring performers Myrmyr (Agnes Szelag and Marielle Jakobsons), Mr. Marauder & Luz Alibi, and a quintet consisting of Matt, Moe! Staiano, Lance Grabmiller, Konoko Ishii and David Michalak.

The music was amplified but not too loud, and all the players were sensitive and skilled improvisers. Best of all, the event was sold out and some extra folks were standing in the back of the hall, which I'm told is unheard of for gigs there. I really dug the show. Mr. Marauder/Luz Alibi's effort for the film "Vienna Action!" sticks in my mind because of the subject matter of the film (gluttony/animal rights) as well as their great soundtracking effort. The quintet's soundtrack to "Romance Sentimentale" was also a standout. It was very haunting and beautiful.

Sunday night was haunting and beautiful too. I went to the SIMM series concert at the Musicians' Union Hall also in San Francisco to hear the cellist Sue Schlotte, first in a duo with Gino Robair, and then in a trio with Garth Powell and Matthew Goodheart.

After a week of very loud sounds (including Tuesday's FestEvil), it was a cool contrast to hear an acoustic show complete with extremely quiet sounds that had the audience in breathless silence. I had managed to choose a seat right between two air conditioning vents and I was freezing cold, but I didn't dare pick up my jacket and put it on, because I'd have made extraneous sounds -- especially if my wallet chain clanked against something. (Gino told me later that if it had, he would have just taken the chain from me and started improvising with it. :) )

It's hard to describe what a treat it is to put your ears and heart in the hands of people who really know what they're doing, and have them deliver all that and more.

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