Sunday, October 05, 2008

infinite microtonal universe

Last night was dal niente's fundraising party. Our conductor often calls us a drinking group with a music problem, which is not all the way true but we do tend to party well together. We just have that kind of chemistry, or something. But anyway, the party was held at the gigantic art-ridden 12,000-square-foot loft apartment where our flute player lives; the "living room" is two stories tall and easily houses (as it turns out) a full ensemble and a fairly sizeable audience. Also a set of silks, because (with Connie, the flautist, this kind of event is unavoidable) after the group played there was an act by an aerial performer. The concert started with two pieces played by our main saxophone player, the first of which was called Beat Me and the second of which was called Hard (different composers). Then we had small groups playing Radiohead arrangements. I played with a group doing Dollars and Cents, and then I listened to another group play Nude. Then the aerial artist, and then just regular party stuff. Oh, except for Connie telling some pretty filthy jokes in front of the whole crowd over a microphone. That was a little intense. Supposedly after I left the band String Cheese Incident showed up to have their after-concert party there as well, but I bowed out early because, well, I've spent plenty of time somewhat-to-more-than-somewhat drunk with dal niente and I didn't really want to sleep on a couch and Connie lives far away. It was a good time, though, and hopefully we made lots of money. On the ride home the sax player questioned me about my feelings on armpit hair (including my shaving habits), whether I thought Sarah Palin was hot, told us all that he meets girls on Jdate (a jewish dating website, and he's Japanese), and asked the guy driving us home if he'd been circumcised. This sounds obnoxious, but in the moment it was really goddamn funny.
So that was our party. If you live in Chicago, our concert is next Friday the 10th in Curtiss Hall at the Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan) at 8 PM. We're playing a program of contemporary Italian composers including Donatoni, Scelsi, and Sciarrino, and we've been getting a lot of good press. A Tribune critic recently called us "the best local cutting-edge contemporary music group you probably never heard of" and we're going to be TimeOut's Critic's Pick for next week. Just to give you an idea of what this concert will be like, here's a rough translation of some Italian from the flute part of the Sciarrino: "Draw the audience into an infinite microtonal universe using your big mouth." Who could resist that?


pulley-whipped said...

congrats! that all sounds awesome. i have to go to a wedding otherwise i'd be there. damn straight people :)

ammie said...

Yeah, it's pretty exciting! I feel like I'm here for the start of a group that's actually going somewhere, and it's really a cool thing to witness. Thanks :)

Rosiecat said...

Very cool indeed, Ammie! I'll have to ask you about the details of this Friday night gig...maybe I could go!