Friday, November 13, 2015

Phil Minton, Torsten Muller NOW society event

Amazing set earlier tonight in a little room attached to/ next to the CBC building tonight, with the ever-delightful vocal improviser Phil Minton, from the UK, joining Dylan van der Schyff and Torsten Muller on drums and bass, respectively. Minton is every bit as good as he was the last time I caught him, with the only conflict of the night arising from the desire to close your eyes and listen to what he's doing versus the compelling need to watch his dynamic, expressive face/ body as he does it. So privileged to have seen him in half a dozen contexts over the years! But Dylan and Torsten were fantastic too; van der Schyff in particular seems to have added a LOT to his repertoire since I last caught him, maybe seven or eight years ago now; or else I wasn't appreciating him fully back then, because he approached the drum kit with all the creativity and commitment of, say, Paul Lovens (or any other star of the form). A very tiny group of people braved the rain for this; I'm feeling sick - am actually writing this while sitting up between bouts of puking and diarrhea - so I only caught part of the evening myself, but it was a real treat (and I was glad to share it with my girl, too, who had never seen vocal improv before)...

Truth is, I haven't really been attentive to the improvised music scene in Vancouver in recent years; cuts in arts funding and various venue changes seem to have shrunken things down a bit, plus I've been on a rather different musical kick, spending a few years catching up with heavy metal and revisiting the music of my suburban youth. I'm still not really THAT hungry for improvised music, truth be known - its place in my life has changed - but I'm still happy to know that tonight marked the first in a series of events that are planned via the NOW Orchestra INsphere sessions; see more here. I believe these are all going to be free or by donation, too, which is nice. I'll be keeping an ear open.

By the way, Phil performs again this weekend, I believe, up in Roberts Creek, also with Torsten Muller and - what, the Young Canadians' Barry Taylor? That's interesting... Sunshine Coast avant gardists should rush to the show.

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