Wednesday, June 23, 2010

how to bow

Photos Maya took of the Nakatani/Hunsinger/Cambre performance, including her getting a quick lesson on singing bowls.

Tatsuya Nakatani, Rob Cambre & Bill Hunsinger @ LSU School of Music Recital Hall
Gran Turino
Bob Dylan & the Band, The Basement Tapes
Tatsuya Nakatani, Primal Communication

Decades from now, when Maya is wistfully trying to remember that first improv concert she attended, I will be able to point my withered hand to this blog post. Gran Turino was a pretty weird movie for Jerri and I to stay up until 1:30 watching but then that's Clint Eastwood's particular acuity: making a great, stupid, flimsy, late night movie where he kicks people's ass a lot. As for the Basement Tapes, who knows what brought that on.

The concert was sublime. We arrived late just as Nakatani was sawing away a set of gongs making a shuddery, engine-like roar, as if vast turbines were revving up. That dissolved into calmer explorations of the gong and his scattered kit. Maya and I went up to talk to him during the intermission and I mentioned that she is an aspiring drummer, so he invited her up on stage to check his stuff out, even showing her how to bow a ringing out of his assortment of singing bowls.

The trio involved Rob coaxing little quasar pulses out of his guitar pedals, Bill hilariously and thoroughly molesting his upright bass (at one early point, he stuffed a plastic tube in one of the soundholes and blew a giant fart sound out of the thing, pictured above) and Nakatani recreating a sped-up Three Stooges skit on his kit: things falling, being tossed and slammed, exploring a giant hole in a busted cymbal with a stick while scraping it across a snare. All three players, besides being masters of their curious musicalities, approach their art with wonder, which is a rare thing to come across. It was what you call a beautiful noise. Maya stuck it out until 9 but the info overload + the three hours of swimming before the show took their toll and we left a little early, so I don't know what else happened. Thanks to the surprisingly big crowd, we might get to do these kinds of things again sometime.

Ed. to add: Maya told me on the way out that she liked the trio better than the solo piece because "so much more music was happening," which is what we all want, I think.

Hunsinger and Nakatani are doing dueling sets at a house party on Rittner St. tonight here in Baton Rouge and tomorrow the percussionist is performing in a duo with the affable neo-Beat guitar destructor Donald Miller (Borbetomagus), sharing the bill with with legendary free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee and the Thing (minus Mats Gustafsson) at the Big Top in New Orleans. Any one of these gigs will clear the leaves from your gutters.

I stupidly forgot my video camera, but this performance from 2009 will give you a hint.

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