Friday, August 31, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Music Improv

SUNDAY AFTERNOON MUSIC IMPROV featured musicians from Central FL, Jax, and Miami. The session was on August 18th from 3-7PM at Urban ReThink (625 E Central Blvd, Orlando). When I arrived, Dan Reaves and Lucy Bonk were performing on stage using electronics and a wide assortment of found objects. Lucy used several kitchen bowls, using them like gongs. Dan's instruments were gathered on a sheet of corrugated steel. He used a foot pedal and a dial with his right hand to modulate the electric sounds which sounded like someone scanning a short wave radio for a signal. Several large nuts on a screw were turned and he had a cow bell, a brass bell which he would use for percussive effects. The performance was on the edge of absolute dissonance. At times the beat and rhythm was mesmerizing to sketch to. When they were done, the electronic sound persisted making it hard to know when, or if, to clap.

Four musicians set up on stage with more traditional instruments. They were Dan Kozak, Kris Gruda, Jim Ivy and A.S. Herring. They had a game show spinning wheel which could be spun to decide if the piece performed would be a solo, duo, or quartet. Large foam dice would be rolled just to pick which musician would spin the wheel. A laptop displayed a visual representation of the next performance but I never got a glance at the screen. Various sayings were used to inspire the performances. For instance one was, "Life is a lamp flickering in the wind" and another was "The fallen flower never returns to the tree." It was a fun idea to help structure the improvisation adding chance and luck into each piece. Perhaps ten to fifteen people were in the audience with new arrivals all the time. As I was getting ready to go, Chris Belt who organizes the Accidental Music Festival ran into the room drenched head to toe from the rain. Nothing will stop people who want to experience something new, cutting edge and different in Orlando.

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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