Sounds Like Now
A blog by saxophonist Brian Sacawa
Archive for July, 2007
HGP + Du Yun performing at ArtSkate presented by Pramus
This past Sunday was the last day of Artscape, the largest free art and music festival in the United States, and the Pramus skate shop decided go guerilla and have an unsanctioned, impromptu concert on the sidewalk in front of the shop at the corner of Mt Royal Ave and Calvert St. As pictured above, Hybrid Groove Project was on the front lines, turning heads and making them nod. It was a nice end to the weekend’s festivities, which also saw HGP perform on John Berndt’s exciting and super-ambitious Exotic Hypnotic series (the events of which have been blogged wonderfully by new Baltimore transplant, composer and audio guy Devin Hurd, over at Hurd Audio).
Oh, and HGP isn’t the only thing on the streetsâ€”American Voices is now officially released.
You know how in the fall, a squirrel gathers all the nuts and food he can so he can get fat and survive the winter because he knows that there’ll be slim pickings for several months? Well, the summer is usually my time to do thatâ€”musically. The concert season is long and when I’m playing a lot, I really don’t have the time to do all the basic work on my instrument that I really should be doing. That’s why in the summer, when I have less concerts (or none at all), I like to get back to playing long tones, and scales, and intervals, and just basically taking care of all those things that I don’t get to spend nearly enough time on during the season when I’m constantly practicing music and getting ready for the next thing. The summer is base-building timeâ€”like the squirrel getting fat for the winter, I need to build up a pad for the coming concert season. Except I’ve been so busy performing, that I’m starting to feel a bit skinny.
So, you ride a great race. You stay out of trouble and tucked in the bunch. You cover a couple attacks to show that you’re willing to work and to avoid the post-finish line snide remarks (“Dude, that guy just sat in the entire time and didn’t work at all. What an…). You hammer to fight for good position going into the last critical corner, knowing that a touch of the brakes will end your race. You’re sixth wheel going into the final cornerâ€”in other words, perfect position. You know that you don’t have a sprinters’ profile so when you come out of the corner’s apex you rise out of the saddle and hit it hard, intending to bury yourself for the last 750 meters in hopes of surprising the sprintersâ€”your only chance at victory. But then your chain comes off and your race is over. Yeah, so that’s how it went today.
Hybrid Groove Project gets down at Monkey Town
Hybrid Groove Project provided the soundtrack in the excellent back room performance space/restaurant/lounge at Monkey Town in Billyburg on Monday evening. A huge thank you to everyone who came out, to Montgomery behind the board, who made us sound pretty and encased us in a four-wall video cage, and to Du Yun for her trip-hop vox and innovative guzheng stylings. A great big big up yourself is also due to NYC VJ Art Jones who shot some hand-held video footage of the proceedings. Some of Art’s video stills can be had hereâ€”stay tuned for moving images. Up next, HGP continues its east coast assault next week with a couple shows in conjuction with Artscape 2007 in Baltimoreâ€”Friday night we’ll be part of the Exotic Hypnotic series and late-nite Sunday we’ll be cleaning up the debris at the Pramus skate shop.
(Above photo credit goes to my lovely assistant.)
Monkey Town? This Monday at 8:30 p.m. Hybrid Groove Project plays in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The set will feature music by Jacob TV, Eve Beglarian, Philip Glass, and Erik Spangler, plus improv along with some Dubble8 originals. We’ll also be joined by ICE-cicle, trip-hop vocalist, and gu zheng master Du Yun. Bets are currently being placed about whether DY will roll around on stage. You’ll have to come and see for yourselves. Here’s some more info and directions.
This is from an older Radio Lab broadcast, but I just heard it for the first time today. Jonah Lehrer examines why the 1913 premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring incited a riot through the lens of neurology. Our neurons apparently have the ability to adapt to strange and new sounds. Now to just get people to listen.
Back from the ether to post one link. At least there’s evidence that I was writing during my unintentional month-long hiatus from SLN.
Honey, We Need to Talk…
NewMusicBox, July 5, 2007
I’ve already received several comments from NMBx readers and will do my best to address them all here at SLN.