Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jim Ivy's Tangled Bell Ensemble at Avalon Island

The In-between Series is held at The Gallery at Avalon Island (39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida) features unique musical acts in the art gallery when one art show has come down and another is about to be mounted. In May, the gallery hosted Jim Ivy's Tangled Bell Ensemble. The performance used the early 20th century poetry work of Japanese author Akiko Yosano as inspiration for the performance entitled “Midaregami" (Tangled Hair). Jim, who performed on saxophone and acted as the conductor, assembled a cast of 11 members. Many of these performers met for the first time that evening.

Though structured, since there was sheet music, the evening also featured mystical and haunting improvisation. Several Buddhist prayer bowls and a hanger found their way into the music mix. The Japanese lyrics added to the my site of the orchestrated store that unfolded. Wires flowed like tangled hair from sound boards and the electronic signals were mixed by a sound man working on his laptop. When the singer stepped up to the mic, the piece felt operatic in scope.

Improvisation shifted from one band member to the next with unexpected twists and turns. Ivy let loose on his sax in a joyous explosion. However, much of the performance was abstract and tinted with sadness. 

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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