Thursday, November 29, 2012

Billy Martin @ Shapeshifter Lab 11/16/12

It was a special night for Billy.  There was an art reception at 7 with a percussion show to follow at 9.  I got there at 9:30 and Billy and Calvin Weston were on stage, doing what they do so well.  They were actually my very first show at The Stone years ago and have a soft spot on my heart.  They played til about 9:50 and then Calvin left the stage and the 3 other members of Fang Percussion came to join Billy.  It was good stuff.  Billy summoned a few people from the audience with gestures to play the wine glasses with the band.  It was a great piece.  Then the extras left and Calvin came up to sit in with the band.  They did this awesome piece Billy said was inspired by Laos.  It reminded me of the Tibetan spiritual music I heard at the Brussels Musical Instrument Museum.

Next we got another Billy/Calvin duo improvisation that was as phenomenal as they all are.

After that was an awesome awesome piece inspired by the Fang Tribe of Africa.  Billy said they are amazing and he couldn't possibly replicate what they do.  It was a great piece.  After a while, he again summoned people from the audience, many people.  I would say about 20-25 were gestured to pick up an idiophone, the kind you hold in your hand and hit with a stick.  He then conducted them and it was great.

It all ended at around 10:40 and I loved it.
Billy Martin presents a night of percussion and art at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY on Friday, November 16. Dubbed "Festival of Percussion," Martin will perform new solo, duo and chamber works. For the duet pieces he'll be joined by the great avant jazz drummer G. Calvin Weston (Ornette Coleman, John Lurie's Lounge Lizards), while his percussion ensemble, Fang Percussion, will accompany him on the chamber pieces.

In addition to the musical performances that evening, the event will serve as the opening for Billy Martin's new art exhibit. Painting under the moniker illy B, his work on canvas, paper and wood, ranging from 24 x 24" to 48 x 60" oil, oil pastel and multi-media silkscreens will be on display. The art exhibit at Shapeshifter is scheduled to run from November 16 through December 22, 2012.

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