Homewood Studios Events Archive
May 17, 2014
Jean-Brice Godet (France) and Davu Seru (Saint Paul) Live At Homewood Studios
Long-time friend of Homewood Studios, artist and musician Davu Seru, (who played regularly with Milo Fine during the decade of Improvised Music concerts in our gallery), has invited noted French instrumentalist Jean-Brice Godet to play with him on Saturday evening.
Expect the same unexpected as with the Improvised Music concerts. Expect to be challenged to listen in ways you never thought possible.
Music sculpting begins at 7p. Suggested donation $5-$10.
fiddleback ferns outside unfold in evening light. making a sound, if you put your ear down close, like breath soughed through a clarinet. the earth endorses this unfolding with percussive bursts aimed up from below toward (not yet visible) stars. these stars, like notes of music floating in the dark air, are home to the same lucid threads of DNA infusing us all ~~ plants & planets, creatures & constellations...
from across the wide water and out of the distant darkness wanders a tugboat sound, a klaxon sound, a taxi horn bleat blaring and skreaking toward the unknown. the frenzy of wandering, the disquiet of wanting that thing as yeet unmet but longed for ~~ the note miles davis sought night after night inside his horn...
when a breeze stirs the maple branches, there is a quiet clatter. branch on branch delicately, deliberately. in another world, gentlemen tip their hats to ladies as they pass on the sidewalk. all around us these two worlds throb. riots of different order. a lesson in the quantum notion of parallel universes.
like water rattling down rain-soaked hillsides, sounds slide from his instrument in descending levels of intensity until only the hint of a drumstick striking the edge of a cymbal remains - a match being drawn across a strike patch in the darkness.
the drumwork and the reedwork become indistinguishable for a moment ~ fluttering brushing breathing ~ before each resumes its original voice. the ensuing dialog moves rapidly into the sky. reednotes enclosed in percussive bursts. drumnotes, in turn, given wings by the reedwork.
it would be weather. could be an auditory analog for what goes on outside our hearing range as winds mores moisture around our planet.
the voice of the duck from peter and the wolf. swimming, anxious, on the pond. the emotional voice. the buried one prokofiev could not write into the score for fear his own angst would surface. and claim him.
reedriff after reedriff. while the drums listen. high register rills punctuated by single base notes anchoring the premise. in terms of dance, this moment is african. a whole village, women children men, lifting their feet in a frenzy of dust. the air in this room filling with the smell of good red african soil stirred by dozens of ignited feet.
base clarinet"s shell as drum traps. finger-snapping the keys. echos leaping
out of the silver bell, up to the ceiling and down, like rain, onto the drumheads.
raking the keys with a block of wood. brushing the instrument's teeth. davu sustaining the tapdancing with a simple heartbeat. now and then. telegraph message on acid. chain links rattling against stone. the metalwork giving way to rill of cymbals cracking the air. chinese gongs invaded by a a swarm of lightning bugs crashing into the cymbals the way lemmings leap over the abyss into the noisy sea below.
the patience of a clock's pendulum. with a hitch in it. inertia keeps it moving. hiccups offer the unpredictable. openness to the unexpected keeps us listening.
after the slightest of pauses...a shift. plaintive and distant notes, alone in their flight, like great white herons lost at night, come from far away. come toward us bearing news of their mother's love. footsteps. slow and measured. touch the earth. out of the luminous dark comes, not a thing, not a shape, but a feeling. opposite of longing. a comforting. a sense of arrival. of cradling. like moonlight falling on still water.
atavistic sounds. prehistoric noise. unconcerned with politeness or reputation. each of us knows them. each has heard them before ~ in the darkest back rooms of our psyche. how do we decide to run toward these disquieting cacophony? how to embrace them, knowing in this embrace lies safety? lies an honest look in the mirror. at last.
without this willingness to go toward rather then away from what lurks inside our fears we are lost. no fluxus energy. no wild longing. no spiraling toward the necessary center. no fearlessness necessary to survive the descent. anyone can measure the seven levels of dante's inferno. not everyone can return ~ ears ringing, heart pounding, eyes watering, wearing a beatific smile ~ to deliver the news.
the vast and hulking white dish suspended in the wilderness in arecibo, puerto rico, picks up a new signal. unlike any of the celestial noise from the past thirty years. laptops hum and whir below ground. outside, the spider monkeys go silent. unusual for sunset, when the monkeys usually chatter at the coming dark and ask who will stand watch against predators. at this moment all of them, and all of the birds for that matter, pause, eyes reaching toward the darkening firmament. something sings to them. something speaks a new language they know but have not heard for generations and for centuries. and none of this is the least bit troubling to the forest creatures. only to the computers, and their attendant scientists, ensconced in their air-conditioned chambers below the giant white dish aimed at the sky is their any disquiet.
who will begin? eyes back and forth. where to pick up the thread? and which thread? the unknown? the duck? the surprising? who cares? let's go! taxi horns on 5th avenue. pedestrian angst at the lateness of the hour. scads of to do lists blizzarding through the windy canyons of the city. the clouds. the darkening day. the last light before sunset. and then the birds get into it. charlie parker birds. charlie mingus birds. the exotic birds in the zoo at the edge of town. loosing their voices into the smattering wind. ready to hold court with all comers. until...a synthesis occurs. bold confrontations morph into turbulent agreement. "let us discourse together...in a way not taught in the college of music." but necessary to our survival. necessary to unearthing the sense of the sacred, with which we all ~ creatures great and small ~ long to connect. necessary to knowing the ways in which we think create a prison cell. and the only way out, to freedom, is a conference of agreement, a cacophony of assent, a rattle of joining voices inquiring into the name f[of the long-sought unknown.
prospecting for light. pushing stones aside. peering into the damp darkness below each stone. watching the earth open up. feeling the opening vibrate under our feet. leaning over that noisy abyss without fear. giving assent to falling. listening to the heart within flicker. flutter. the breath leaping every which way. then...letting go