Some news now about The Cannery and I played there last night. The ideas were so incredible, some planned and some not, and I even whipped my gurdy with its own strap. “Tell it to the judge.” Where to even begin…
Let’s say your a musician and you’ve joined this program. You can do things far differently than I but I set out to not just make music, not exactly anyway. I wanted to incorporate elements of theater. I love the 1960s and we deal here, a little bit, in Fluxus. Fluxus means Happenings, the unexpected, a bit of edge, which means, of course, reactions, which means improv.. The music can sound nice, sure, but it goes so far beyond mere sound or maybe redefines the word music.
The Cannery is near Castine, before Ellsworth, and seems to have an informal relationship to our program, not official and not formal, but a sort of this off-campus testing ground for musical or time-based ideas. Now comes the next point. By music I mean, more than just sound.
You know how art can be art meant broadly, like sound-art, site-specific art, ready-made art, and so on. Well starting now, I want to expand music to mean more than just musical sound. Last night we saw these light, aluminum tubes, a big shadow, tin cans, a trombone floating using rubber bands. So it is that music to me means sound, sight, and time. Music is time-based art. At least now in my own mind, art is, let’s say, objects and static ideas. Music, to me, is time-based experiences.
If you had been there last night at the Cannery you’d have seen/heard dancers stuck to the wall, a triangle solo, bashing sounds, clicks, chirps, a baby rattle, a delightfully creepy screen door!, an upside-down cymbal, a man talking through his flute, the trombone suspended and hovering/levitating, generally this sort of a floating, animated vibe, this sort of jazzy Miles-ish section on bone, gurdy skids, duets with vocals and gurdy, and the gurdy being whipped by its own strap. Finally a percussionist buried in tubes signaling that he was okay under there. “Are you okay?”
Our own Steve Norton played, always giving us that grounding that we all so much need in a pinch. Along with Julian, food, wine, an artist audience, Paul Sullivan even showed up suddenly. That’s all the news I wanted to share.