Tuesday, September 13, 2005

DC Improvisers Collective at True Vine, Baltimore

On August 26, the DC Improvisers Collective (DCIC) performed at a great little record store in Baltimore called TrueVine. To keep their neighbors happy, they have a funny rule that drumsets are not allowed. Our drummer, Ben Azzara, came up with a novel solution that involved a snare drum, one cymbal, bongos, and a variety of shakers and other small hand percussion instruments.

Turn out was, well... let's say it was an "intimate" performance. It was hot that night, and pretty humid in the store. I was pretty unhappy with my own performance, although the rest of the group sounded good. I haven't listened back to the recording yet, but I think I made a mistake that I often am guilty of: playing it safe. I was really reluctant to take risks and try things that I wasn't sure if I could pull off. I think our best work happens when we're all taking chances and simultaneously dealing with the results in real time. Lately, I think that's when free improvisation really works in performance, so I have to remind myself to go ahead and take a leap of faith in performance. It seems that I'm more able to do that in rehearsal, when there's less pressure - if something fails there's no harm done, but on stage... I'm concerned that the audience will figure out that I'm in over my head with this group.

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