I start where I am and do what I can, practicing in my inner hearing and on the trombone what I can do, refining it and hearing it as clearly as I can in the time that I have available to me. I show up on Saturday where I am, giving the best that I can, intending to respond during the concert to what the other musicians are doing and hopefully, to the music itself.—Craig Shepard
By all rights, this should have been last Friday's post. Alas, and onward. Following an impressive initial event back in early March that included an Eva-Maria Houben piece I'd really like to hear again, the new Music for Contemplation series returns for another program on Saturday, April 5, at the lavishly appointed, structurally impressive Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 229 North 5th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Featured on the program is a single piece, Peckinpah Trios, a 2004 composition for three instruments by Dutch composer and Edition Wandelweiser co-founder Antoine Beuger. The recording posted above, from a Listen/Space performance in 2009, features the Peckinpah Trio—saxophonist Christian Kobi, trombonist Craig Shepard and guitarist Beat Keller—after which I presume Beuger named his piece.
Shepard, himself a Wandelweiser Group composer, is the common thread between that performance and the new one, which finds him playing alongside fellow Music for Contemplation co-founders Ty Wilcox on saxophone and Dan Joseph on hammered dulcimer. Whether you plan to be there or can't attend, Shepard's thoughtful, extensive essay about preparing the piece is well worth reading.
Shepard maintains a lively schedule filled with fascinating events; you'd do well to keep an eye on his website. And if you don't yet have a copy of his wonderful Edition Wandelweiser CD, On Foot, you should track it down promptly. (The sequel, On Foot: Brooklyn, is due in fall.)
Having posted and promoted this concert in Time Out New York, I received an earnest entreaty to help spread word about the house rule: namely, the concert will start promptly at 8:05pm, and there will be no late seating – all in the name of promoting genuine contemplation, so don't muck about.
There's another Wandelweiser-related performance coming up in New York City – and, wouldn't you know it, it's also on Saturday. Performing under the auspices of an Unsound Festival showcase at Issue Project Room, Norwegian percussionist Håkon Stene will perform ricefall (1) by Michael Pisaro. It's part of an impressive all-percussion concert that also includes sets by Hubert Zemler and the quietly dazzling Sean Meehan with Ben Manley.
And hey! Since it's a 3pm matinee, you can catch it and still get to Williamsburg by 8:05pm…