Friday, February 10, 2012

Butch Morris @ The Stone 1/29/12

I'm back from Ariel & Shya Kane's Costa Rican immersion course in self-discovery.  It was amazing and I'm glad to have a couple of rare Mondays off from the outstanding Monday Night Alive workshops.  It was tough to choose between this and RUCMA, and I win either way.

I paid and then noticed the orchestra consisted of about 10 vocalists.  I'm so glad I didn't know ahead of time or I may not have gone.  It was awesome and I was so glad to see this rehearsal in action.  They were preparing for an upcoming event at The Living Theatre - a memorial celebration of the poet, filmaker, and photographer Ira Cohen.  Each artist had pages of text in hand.  Most was spoken, but there was a little bit of singing here and there.  I see from the listing that it was a chorus of poets.

It was great!  I enjoyed what I heard and it was awesome to see Butch work with the orchestra to create this unique work.

Sometimes, he would cue in one reader for a bit and then another to read something else, and often more readers were introduced.  They were instructed to blend in and be aware of each other - to play together.  The 1st was the dominant, but told not to overpower and to include the others.

Sometimes he would have one or more repeat a phrase another was reciting.

There was still room for improvising, just like there is in his instrumental orchestras.  Often, it was how they spoke the text.

There was also something called shadowing, where the shadower would have to listen and follow very closely what the shadowee was reciting.

They were reading Ira Cohen's works and words written by others about him.  I certainly got a little more insight into him as a result.

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