Sunday, May 13, 2012

Victoriaville Return: Recalling Bill Dixon

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville
Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada
Festival des Musiques de Creation du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Sagueney, Quebec, Canada

Later this week, I will return to the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville.  I will make the long drive north, following the same path we took two years ago with Bill Dixon.  So many memories are wrapped up in this trip, and I welcome the opportunity for the particular sort of meditation that a long drive alone affords.

I will be joining Michel Cote and his Maikotron Unit for two performances.  I first met Michel through Bill Dixon, when Michel joined us at the 2007 Vision Festival for the performance that became 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur.

Images of Bill Dixon at FIMAV 2010 by Stephen Haynes

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Improvisations VII: New Music at Real Art Ways

Improvisations VII
April 26, 2012
Real Art Ways
Hartford, CT

I first heard Kyoko Kitamura at Firehouse 12, performing with Taylor Ho Bynum's Spider Monkey Strings.  She made/makes an instant and indelible impression with her work.  Rick Rozie is a local hero, and chairs the principal bass position with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.  Years ago, he co-led the Afro-Algonquin with his brother Mixashawn.  At the time, Rick toured regularly with Anthony Davis in Episteme, and recorded with folks such as James Newton and Muhal Richard Abrams.  It is not often that we are able to see Rick in a creative context.  I'd wanted to draw Rick into our series for some time.

The music we created together was distinct from anything we've done so far.  The combination of Kyoko's voice, the language she uses and her approach to sound and narrative, alongside Rick's measured approach was dynamic in more ways than one.

I have asked Kyoko to return to Connecticut in June.  I will be presenting music for/with dance at Rachel Bernsen's New Haven studio, The Big Room, as part of the Take Your Time series.  Tubaist Ben Stapp and Joe Morris will join Kyoko, dancer Olivia Iliano-Davis and me.  We will share the evening with the wonderful Charlie Burnham and dancer Emily Coates.

Images of Improvisations VII by Byron Dean