Labor day weekend already. Really? As slow as I took this summer, I’m still surprised its gone so soon. That means life is about to pick up in my little music world.
And I’m so excited, feeling better in tune with the effect of music on us humans. I don’t know if I understand better per se, just observing more and filing the results. turns out subways stations are a great lab to listen and see. A few months ago I wrote a piece based on hearing a cellist in the subway. Then a few days ago, I missed an L train, already late to where I was off to. Seeing I had to wait 10 minutes for the next train annoyed me but there was this music. A big tall guy with a baby face strumming a guitar singing tunes from Soundgarden, Nirvana, etc. The now quiet platform gave me a seat on the bench not too far from the guitarist. He went into ‘Creep’ from Radiohead. He just strummed the chords but he slowed the tempo down considerably and sang the words plaintively. Those words soared and expressed what we all feel we are at times. I’m glad I had on shades because I choked up. Gradually people moved on to the platform and were just as mesmerized, opening their wallets. In silence. Me too. I’m still carrying around his version of ‘Creep’. Anyone who thinks music doesn’t matter could observe these happenings. The molecular structure of the structure you’re in changes shape when music is played within it.
Having some time this summer made it easy to appreciate this more. Its so important to step back and observe when I can, living in NYC makes that hard. I relished this time since I know it’s going to get busy in what seems to be an exciting period full of new stories and of course I’ll share them here! For now, I’d like to let you in on some news and what’s in store for the rest of the year.
Next week, I’m headed to Berkeley, CA to teach at the JazzSchool. It will be my FIRST time to the West Coast to perform and teach a workshop – you can check out all the info here. The West Coast has offered up a warm welcoming mat, rolled out with a feature in the San Francisco Chronicle by esteemed journalist Lee Hildebrand. It’s online now and you can read that here! I’ll be playing with bassist Lisa Mezzacappa & guitarist John Finkbeiner – playing some originals and free improv, for sure. The following day, on September 11th, I’ll run a MasterClass talking about the “Creative Option” for vocalists. There are some spots available. Check here for more info.
Shortly after I head to Germany for a mini “Breezing Blues through Germany” tour with pianist Christian Bleiming, we play a couple clubs and make an appearance on the Coesfeld Jazz & Blues Festival as well. I’ll meet musician/composers Ab Baars and Ig Henneman in Amsterdam to start working out the music of the Invisible Blow, the tour I’m so honored to be a part of in November 2011. The Invisible Blow is a celebration of 20 years of the Ab Baars Trio( with bassist Wilbert DeJoode and drummer Martin van Duynhoven), presenting new compositions by Ab Baars inspired by: William Carlos Williams, Charles Bukowski, Hans Faverey, Anneke Brassinga, Aischylos, Joyce Carol Oates, Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, Weldon Kees, Robert Creeley, Seamus Heaney. We’ll tour Europe making stops in Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Romania and the Netherlands. We record the project at the end do for release at a later date. Ab Baars has one of the most gut-wrenching tenor tones, full of brass and knuckles. And as a composer, his music is some of the most inspired I’ve heard for keeping the urgency of the ‘free’ while writing melodies that outline the structure beautifully. It’s going to be a thrilling musical ride in which I’m sure I’ll learn a lot, be challenged and inspired. Learn more about what the Invisible Blow is about, the tour and where we’ll be here.
In between the European forays, I’ll play in the Anthony Braxton Festival, a 4-day extravaganza from October 5-8, 2011. I’m in The Ghost Trance Choir on October 7th and the World Premiere of Trillium J on October 8th! All happening at Roulette. The programming is incredible, so many sides of Anthony Braxton will be on display. How cool is that? In addition, Trillium E, the first recorded opera of Anthony Braxton’s will be released in October 2011. Learn more about that and all things Anthony at the Tricentric Foundation.
The Evolving Music Series will be back up and running in October as well, still at Clemente Soto Velez but temporarily housed in the 2nd floor theatre until mid-November when we resume the Series in the Gallery space. Also check out InGardens, starting up in September through October for the third year in a row. Bring creative experimental music to some of the city’s community gardens. Keep up with both events here. Later in October, Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnink comes to town and we’ll continue to develop the trio started at MusicOMI in 2010 when we were fellows (along with UK bassist Dominic Lash). We’re calling it ReDDeer. We’ll explain in person why! Please check the PERFORMANCE page on the FV website for firm DEETS.
KAISO STORIES had a great review in Cadence by Jerome Wilson, where he says “Victor is proving to be one of the most extraordinary vocalists on the scene today and here she comes off as actress, sorceress, and temptress, working an area of rough, declamatory improvisations in the tradition of Jeanne Lee and Abbey Lincoln but with her own burning passion and galvanic force.”
Thanks for reading. Here’s hoping that the tracks you’re making are yours as much as possible. Love and music.