Monday, July 15, 2013

Rob Mazurek Solo

Saturday afternoon I headed over to Corbett vs Dempsey for a solo concert by Rob Mazurek.
About 40 or so people turned out on a beautiful Chicago afternoon. I'm not that familiar with Mazurek's work so I approached this performance with a pretty clean slate.

The set was one long piece/suite of solo Cornet, Percussion, Electronics, and Voice. If I were to hear any of the movements in isolation I probably wouldn't have thought much of it. But joined together they created a work that unfolded wonderfully.  

Starting with a single pitch repeated, moving through blurs and splattering from cornet interspersed with percussion (mostly in the form of various shakers) an interlude on wooden flute, building to a wall of sound courtesy of swelling electronics, cornet, and eventually a giant shaker, cutting off to end with the breath of Mazurek. 

As an improviser I took away a couple of things in particular. 
Dynamics - From a whisper to a roar. Sudden changes as well as crescendo/decrescendo.
Space - Silence was embraced, especially early on and between movements. It was very much part of the performance.
Pacing - The performance was not rushed.
Texture/Density - As the wall of sound grew denser the cornet playing simplified, a nice contrast.  

In a couple of weeks CvD will be exhibiting works by Peter Brotzmann - I must add that to the calendar.

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