I was a little afraid when I saw the bagpipes and realized I didn't have earplugs with me. I saw them last minute and I was pretty interested to see this, so I decided to stay and give it a chance.
I'm glad I did. It turns out there ARE ways to make bagpipes quieter, Watson had various corks and stoppers and even a plastic cup. He did get loud at times, and so did everyone else. I never thought it was painfully loud, like that last time I saw bagpipes at The Stone. http://terrismusicblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/stone-72608.html
This show was awesome. I was front and center, with a very direct view to Waterman. I found my main attention was mainly on him, with just some peripheral attention on the amazingness of everyone else. It was so interesting to watch him. He was making a lot of noise with the cello and various pedals. All kinds of interesting things, like blowing into the F-Holes and numerous other ways of playing this very old instrument.
Now, I was focused on each of the others at various times, Waterman just took up more of my attention time-wise.
This was the first time I noticed Ches's extra large, extra-flat silver cymbal. I feel like it is probably usually there, I just didn’t register it. He gave it a lot of attention during one part of the 1st long, very intense piece.
There were a couple of points where Andrea reminded me of Skerik when she was playing the accordion. She had a lot of pedals and one made similar sounds to what Skerik sometimes does in Garage a Trois. She also blew me away at one point with this sound that I can’t describe, but it was very low, somewhat like a bass, but also very different. She was mainly on the laptop with electronics adjunct and that was quite interesting.
After the long amazing, very intense piece, they decided to do one more short and delicate piece. The bagpipes started it off. He had all the pipes stopped up and it was very interesting to see that it mainly was an air sound. He eventually had some off, some on and I was very intrigued with him.
I’m glad I made it to that. These 2 weeks curated by Jennifer Charles are very interesting.
Andrea Parkins (laptop, electric accordion) Alex Waterman (cello) David Watson (bagpipes, electronics) Ches Smith (drums, percussion)