To kickoff a stellar season of creative, avant-garde improvisational music at the Music Gallery, I was treated to a triple double bill of forward thinking Avant Garde music performed at the highest order.
The first band was an intriguing duo named “King Weather”, co-led by trombonist Steve Ward and drummer D. Alex Meeks. In their performance, the trombone used clever sound effects to create unique soundscapes with his horn, while the drummer provides backbeats of free rock and contemporary grooves to make it exciting and loose.
The second band was another duo called “Not The Wind, Not The Flag”, co-led by Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia. IN their sonic set we see both musicians doubing on instruments (Colin on sax and guitar, Brandon on drums and long wood flute) while improvising and creating spaced out sounds that seemed otherworldly and futuristic. Interludes between the flute and the sax were melodic and peaceful, but when the drums came in with the sax it was full of raw energy, emotion, and full of intensity that grabs the listener and doesn’t let go until the end.
The headlining band, “Battle Trance”, is a four-tenor saxophone quartet consisting of saxophone players Travis Laplante (who also composed their main piece of the evening), Jeremy Viner, Patrick Breiner, and Matthew Nelson. In the beginning, there was a prepared silence that got the musicians and the audience centred and prepared for the sounds they will hear through this piece. Through four saxophonists they bridge the tensions of peace, chaos, rage and serenity while holding it on their own and making it sound uniquely composed at the same time. I also detected a very intense spiritual connection and experience to the piece, since the saxophone players appear to be reaching out towards God through their instruments and through their searches as avant-garde musicians.
A fine kickoff by fine three bands to kick of a year of creative music.
NOT THE WIND, NOT THE FLAG BANDCAMP:
TRAVIS LAPLANTE OFFICIAL WEB SITE
MUSIC GALLERY OFFICIAL WEB SITE
(NOT THE WIND, NOT THE FLAG)
(D. ALEX MEEKS)
(TRAVIS, PATRICK, MATTHEW AND JEREMY FROM BATTLE TRANCE)