It occurred to me fairly late in the process of putting this improvised opera together to ask Wayne to herd us cats via conduction. In retrospect it seems so obvious. Conduction is a term used by the late great Butch Morris to describe the process of organizing a group of improvisers via a complex system of over sixty hand gestures. I had the extreme honor of being asked by Wayne to join a group of about fifteen perfomers (including Beth Fleenor and Paris Hurley) to work with and learn from Butch for an intensive week. It was a life-changing experience that caused me to hear and think differently about music.
Wayne's own approach to conduction is his own development and adaptation. His group, The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble has just released an album called At The Reception. It is a melding of written and improvised music. Here is the track titled Ironbound. Beth and Ivan can both be heard on this one.
There is so much to say about Wayne Horvitz. He represents the upper echelon of composer/performers not just in Seattle, but anywhere. He is a pianist, electronics artist, improviser and club owner (The Royal Room - only three years old but already a cultural treasure in Seattle), composer and big-time collaborator. He is a teacher of composition and improvising and has spawned countless great ideas for projects with all kinds of musicians, students, dancers, videographers...the list goes on.
A couple of years ago, Wayne asked my trio (Trio Pardalote) to record a bunch of his short pieces in a cold, dark and damp bunker at Fort Worden - a number of artists participated in the same project, some of them even descending into the enormous Cistern (replete with 45 second reverb) to record their improvisations. Wayne mixed and processed everything and the result is a wonderfully uncategorizable album called 55: Music and Dance in Concrete. There was also video and dancing, but that isn't on the record.
I have been playing Wayne's music for many years now in different configurations, and this my first creative project that he is helping me with. Much gratitude.
Photo by Daniel Sheehan.
Please take a look at Wayne's website to find out about his countless albums, collaborations and projects. We are so honored to be working with him.