Thursday, April 3, 2014

2013 World Tour

I haven’t had a chance to say very much on the subject of last year's world tour. My first concert was in Toronto in March. I performed at Synesthesia II at the invitation of the organizers, FAWN Opera. There were many amazing performers that night and I was quite impressed with Sarah Gates’ inspiring performance on saxophone. Video of that concert has surfaced, but the stereo separation was not captured by the video camera, so the sound is not representative of what the audience heard.

This was not my best performance, unfortunately. The venue was interesting and delivered lots of ambiance; however, it did not provide a very large stage. Somehow, from the time I setup my equipment to when I made ready to play, my gear got tangled with other performer’s equipment and my headphones were damaged to the point that I was unable to use them. Luckily, the organizers were able to quickly get everything in readiness and I was able to perform the Canadian premiere of my meta-trombone.

In May, I travelled to New York City and had the opportunity to perform at Brooklyn’s Goodbye Blue Monday. This was the first time I performed my meta-trombone in a general setting where listener’s expectation were not biased towards the unusual. Unfortunately, there weren’t that many people at the bar that night and I performed mostly to a group of my friends. I had also been invited to play at ABC No Rio that same week; however that concert was cancelled due to other commitments by the organizers.

In July, I travelled to Paris to perform at the first edition of the Paris Loop Jubilee. This event was masterfully orchestrated by Emmanuel Reveneau and everything about this festival was superbly executed: the artist had free lodging a short metro ride from the venue; the venue was unusual and inspiring; the artist were provided with daily meals that were both copious and healthy; and all technical needs of the performances were met.

Above all, the lineup that Emmanuel brought together for his festival was eclectic and masterful. Not only did I have the opportunity to hear and hangout with old friends such as Rick Walker, Laurie Amat, Luca Formentini and Emmanuel Reveneau, but I also discovered some new performers worthy of a global following.
Luca and Rick getting ready to play in one of the three "voûtes" artists have taken over under the Tolbiac street bridge in the 13th.
I was fairly emotional during my performance, since only a few hours before my set, my wife showed up unannounced to surprise me! We spent a couple days together in Paris before I met up with my fellow travellers en route to Cologne.

The Cologne festival was organized by Michael Peters whom I have known for years through the geographical defiance of the internet, but met for the first in Paris, where he also performed at the Paris Loop Jubilee with Stefan Tiedje.

Michael Peters, Laurie Amat, Emmanuel Reveneau and Rick Walker standing in front of the yellow van that took us from Paris to Cologne.
Michael's backyard

Around town, neat Michael's house
Michael hosted Rick, Emmanuel, Laurie and I at his house near Cologne. Luckily, I had a day off before the concert to unwind and to appreciate the German countryside. I spent most of it reading and walking around the small town near Michael’s house. The next day we went to Cologne early to setup our equipment and to meet the other performers.
Emmanuel, Laurie, Steve Moyes and Amy X. Neuburg getting ready to play.

Cellist Steve Moyes making some last minutes preparations.

Laurie's rig.

Amy's rig.

Rick Walker's fun house.
Michael arranged a wonderful mix of German and international performers to play at his one-day event. We all shared the lofty stage at the Alte Feuerwache and we setup our equipment well in advance of the performances with the brilliant assistance of two highly competent technicians. As a solo performer, this was my most satisfying performance in technically ideal conditions with a large and receptive audience.

After all that travelling, I intend to spend more time at home this year. I’m reorganizing my basement studio to help me create three albums I’ve sketched out. The first will document my meta-trombone in a studio setting, the second will explore the sound of the Commodore 64’s iconic sound chip with musique concrète manipulations and the third will pursue some ideas developed as contributions to the Disquiet Junto. Finally, I will also have the privilege to contribute a track to Matt Davignon’s anniversary remix album celebrating 10 years of his unique approach to drum machines.

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