Sunday, August 05, 2007

playing irresponsibly: a moderately weird situation

Just did a gig. The group / collective / band in question, for whatever reason, couldn’t get their numbers up. So I get a call: I get to be the outsourced labor.
In the end I only play for, I don’t know, five, ten minutes—one ‘piece’.

Weird feeling.

My playing of late has been divided between the solo context; ad-hoc, getting-to-know-one-another musical meetings; and reunions with old musical comrades. If you’re playing any significant duration of time (a performance that lasts, say, twenty minutes or longer), you really need to pace yourself. Especially in solo playing, it helps to be judicious with the deployment of atoms / gestures / lexical elements (a lesson learned from For Alto). And there’s a certain tactical advantage in holding your cards close to your chest in novel musical encounters.
On the other hand, the gig I just did (those five, ten minutes) was weird. Knowing that I had only a few minutes, knowing that I was unlikely to be invited back up on stage, I let rip—threw everything (well, not quite everything) out there. With all the chips on the table, I could afford to play a little recklessly. I mean, what did I have to loose?
Bizarre. Was that a responsible thing to do? Probably not, but it felt oddly liberating.

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