Sunday, May 09, 2010

New Language Collaborative

Outpost 186
Cambridge, MA

A week ago, I had the pleasure of returning to Boston for an evening of music with The New Language Collaborative.  I have known the members of this trio for some time.  Glynis Loman and Syd Smart I met during the mid-seventies at Bennington College.  Eric Zinman was a later Bennington-related connection, as he arrived there after I departed for Manhattan.  All four of us connect with the creative and pedagogical orbit of Bill Dixon.

The notion for this collaboration sprang from a large ensemble event that Eric put together with Jason Zappa.  Citizens Orchestra was offered as a tip of the hat to Bill Dixon and took place at Outpost 186.  I ended up contributing some music for the chamber orchestra and conducting.  While you would not imagine that one could fit a small chamber orchestra in Outpost 186 we did, and the intimacy of the space along with the mix of local/regional players made for a memorable evening.

As is often the case, we wondered aloud how to continue the work in a manner that made sense.  While Eric has subsequently re-convened the orchestra and aims to make it a going concern, I suggested a return in a smaller context, focused on pure improvisation.

What a delight to be enfolded by the energy of this ensemble!  Reconnecting with Syd and Glynis was wonderful (some things really do improve with time!) and Eric made me want to reconsider my stance regarding working with the piano.

images by Emile S Tobenfeld, PhD

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