Monday, October 10, 2005

More Duo Shows with Daniel Burkholder

This past weekend, Daniel and I performed our short duo improvisation as part of Joy of Motion’s 29th Anniversary Concert. This was the first time we’ve done it since I bought a wireless system for the guitar. Now I have no excuse for staying the corner of the stage while Daniel is dancing all over the place… scary.

From what I can tell, we kinda rocked the house. Now that I’m moving around on stage, I can’t always see what Daniel’s doing, so I don’t really have a clear sense of what the performance looked like to the audience, but it felt good, and we got lots of positive feedback.

I had alligator clips on five out of six strings, so I couldn’t play much pitched material. It was mostly percussive “prepared guitar” sounds, with the guitar loud and distorted. On both nights, I took the strap off the guitar so I could move it around more – mostly to imitate gestures that Daniel was initiating. This also freed up the instrument so Daniel could literally take it away or lead me in one direction or another. While on stage, I have my pockets loaded with the various implements I use for the prepared guitar sounds – like pencils, dulcimer hammers, paintbrush, a metal slide, and the vibrator. During these particular shows, I didn’t have much chance to dig around in my pockets as I was playing so it was mostly slide, dulcimer hammer, and fingers – but I did do some playing with the vibrator both nights. It’s hard to resist; when the guitar is distorted and turned up so loud, it really makes a tremendous grinding wall of sound. Also, it doesn’t require much movement on my part, so I can generate a ton of noise while the movement on stage is winding down.

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