Saturday night I had a gig in Crouch End, at a venue called The Loft – which isn’t actually a dedicated ‘venue’ but is an apartment belonging to Jenni Roditi, a composer, singer and musician who uses her flat as a venue. It’s spacious, beautiful and acoustically lovely.
I was invited to play by Rowland Sutherland – the genius flautist who has played at the Recycle Collective before now. The non-me part of the gig was a new quartet that he’s a part of with Alwynne Pritchard – voice, Thorolf Thuestad – laptop processing and Roger Goula – guitars.
My set followed on from the end of the football (apparently bad things happened to England – ah well), and went very well. I was slightly concerned that my stuff would be a little to pop for the audience, given the contemporary composition theme of much of what happens at the loft, but the portrait of Joni Mitchell on the wall gave much encouragement, as did the hearty applause of the audience. All in, a very well received set, with much positive feedback.
Mytle’s set was a mix of composed stuff, improvised stuff and mangled-beyond-recognition standards. I have a hard time with post-Schönberg classical singing – so much of it sounds like the soundtrack to encroaching mental illness (I think this is largely due to me relating so much in music to the process of personal soundtracking, whether playing or listening – it’s all about providing a soundtrack to the world…) – There were moments I really enjoyed, and it was all expertly done (all four musicians are hugely talented), but I did come away feeling slightly traumatised by it. Maybe that’s the intention? I’m certainly not averse to being left confused or upset by music, or any other art.
Anyway, ’twas an enjoyable, fascinating evening, in a lovely venue with a very warm audience. Great stuff. This kind of house concert happens a lot in the US, and I hope it catches on here (if you have got a big room in your house, and a lot of music loving friends, and want to organise a gig, please do drop me an email…)by