Monday, September 12, 2011

Free Jazz, Improvisation

The thing that I find fascinating about the Accidental Music Festival is that each evening is truly unique. I never know what to expect when I walk into Urban ReThink. This evening was unique to say the least. As sound technicians scurried and adjusted mics, I started blocking in my sketch. I was impressed by the drum set which was covered with decals. In itself it was a visual treat. Kris Gruda performed on guitar. He wrestled with the instrument contorting his body to the sounds produced. He experimented with how to create music. A glass was pressed against the frets, a drum stick banged against the strings. The water bottle at his feet became an instrument as he twisted it creating sharp plastic sounds. I loved when he used a kazoo and played it in a cup of water. That was music any dentist could appreciate.

Jill Burton performed vocals. I can't say she was singing since there were no lyrics. Her vocal chords were just an instrument to create experimental sounds. At one point she sounded like a whale at another like an Indian princess speaking in tongues. Part of me wanted to laugh and yet some passages were quite operatic. Lord knows I don't understand opera, yet it is considered art. Her throat howled like the wind, filling the empty room.

My favorite performance came at the end of the evening with Michael Welch on drums and Daniel Jordon on saxophone playing a close approximation of Jazz. Drum Talk was a solo performed by Michael and it sounded very much like a beat generation mantra. The sets were long and uncharted. Daniel introduced himself slyly saying, "It has been a long time since I've been the corniest cat at a gig." When the song ended, he thanked Urban ReThink for, "bringing real musical expression to Orlando in what is otherwise a f*cking wasteland. This evening allowed the artists to perform something new rather than reenacting what happened in the past."

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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