This week, we are thrilled to host T&C/Racer co-founder and longtime friend, Aaron Otheim. Aaron is a keyboardist, composer, and teacher. He performs with Heatwarmer and collaborates with several area choreographers and directors including Kate Wallich, Carl Lawrence, Jeffrey Fracé, and Janet Stimson. He is known for his intricate arrangements and orchestrations with groups such as Speak and Burn List, appearing also as a guest contributor with Mega Bog, iji, Slashed Tires, and Tomo Nakayama's Grand Hallway. In summary: Aaron is an amazing talent who gives so much to this community, and it’s a rare treat to bring him into an intimate space like this to perform. So please come out this Sunday at 8pm to take it all in! In the mean time, read on below for a preview of this session’s ideas and goals.
Theme: Quietness and Spacemaking
“Somehow, nearly all of my beginner piano students, especially the really young ones, fancy making the same joke when we first start talking about dynamics: I’ll ask them to play a note as softly as possible, and, perhaps after a try or two, they’ll push a key with such slight force that the hammer fails to strike the string, quipping afterward with a grin that the note was too quiet to hear.
I love moments in music that make me lean in, question my ears, or even hear things that aren't there. Judith Hamann's amazing sets at Woodland Theater and Racer Sessions a couple weeks ago did this. Most often, these experiences occur at in near-silence, though deep grooves, rich orchestration, and splinter changes in tuning can conjure ambiguity and imagination.
My hope is to, on Sunday, unlock this shadow world during my opening set for solo piano, synthesizer, and effects. For the session that follows, I encourage improvisors to find this place by being mindful of the space they are taking in respect to others. Opt for a quiet voice that makes space for everyone to speak.”
- Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Vrioon
hallucinatory soundscape via close miked piano decay plus electronics
- Linkwood - Love Lost
phantom colors found in deep breath phrasing with changes in filter
- Laurie Spiegel - Drums
monotonous rhythmic trance make ghost melodies
- Dolores Catherino - Sentience
slight adjustments in tuning according to Catherino's "polychromatic" theory cause tectonic shifts in harmony
- Actively listen out for the quietest member(s) in the group and ensure your volume permits them to be heard clearly by everyone.
- Harness louder sounds if that feels like the best way to assert a new idea or drive the music forward, but do so purposefully and temporarily.
- Encourage intensification or development via alternate means, such as:
- changes in duration, pacing, articulation, timbre
- deliberate silence, waiting for a meaningful and noticeable time to begin playing again
- responding to or making space for your fellow improvisers as they introduce new ideas