Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cristhian Rodriguez @ The Stone 7/24/08

This was the perfect aftershow Thurs night. I was debating about Jason Hao Kwang at The Living Theatre and this solo clarinet/bass clarinet gig with someone I never heard of. I think I was in the mood for more clarinet.

We did get some awesome solo numbers, but this was quite a 1.5 hour show at The Stone.

I walked in and there was a guy sitting in a seat with a trombone and the setup was very elaborate. There were 2 setups with about 2 dozen wine glasses of various sizes and filled with various amounts of water. There was vibes with 2 triangles of different sizes hanging above and in front, a cymbal, and some blocks off to the side. There were also various percussion things behind the wine glasses. And a mic.

Cristhian went all out and invited many people to give us a little mini bang-on-a-can type show. He told us about each piece before we heard it and a lot was influenced by the bang-on-a-can marathon he went to 2 years ago.

The opener with all those instruments was a guy who did a score for a film using all natural sounds. He invited the vibe/percussion guy, a soprano sax, and another percussionist to try to recreate the music live with instruments. He also played and I wish I could remember the name of the piece, but I can't right now.

That was awesome and about 25 minutes. Heavy on the percussion with the soprano adding a lot. It was also black, which was great because it helped me notice the differences between that and the clarinet.

Then Cristhian came up and told us how he started as a classical guy and then he heard a record by Evan Ziporyn entitled "This is Not a Clarinet", which has music for clarinets. It changed his life. He played 2 pieces from that. I just discovered that one of the few Bang-On-A-Can CDs I have is Evan Ziporyn's "Frog's Eye". I asked the seller at the marathon to suggest a few that could be considered on the funky side and that was one of them. I can't remember it right now, but I know I liked the 3 that I got. Cristhian played the 1st one with the bass clarinet and the 2nd with the regular clarinet.

Next he had another bass clarinet come up and they did this great duo of his composition that was inspired when he saw 2 marimbas playing at the marathon. It was really awesome.

Then, he had a trombone quartet come up and play his composition he wrote for a saxophone quartet. It was great.

He did one more bass clarinet duo piece and a couple more solo pieces.

Every single moment was awesome. It ended at 11:30, which is the curfew for that place.

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