A place is not a place. I want to make a case that it’s the people with whom you share a moment in time at a place, that define a place. If there is a name for the space between people and how that space is enriched by a shared mission, I am looking for it - like how an interval defines the distance between notes. I would like to call that space, a place.
I first went to Flagstaff, while still a graduate student to attend a convention in 2002. The orchestra played a movement of what I was planning to be part of my dissertation. It was then that I met Bruce Reiprich, one of the conference organizers and a professor at the local university. Subsequently, Bruce has invited me to the university two more times: for a residency and for a keynote lecture. When I visited for the residency, I met Owen and we performed together. When I returned this past spring (March 2020) to present a keynote address on Music and Social Justice, Owen suggested that we record with his group and we play a concert together. This is how I met Rob and Euen.
Creation myths are destruction myths and vice versa. Years ago, for a piece, I imagined a fictitious creation myth of a Polynesia people who don’t exist. Eons after atomic bomb testing had ravaged their homeland, the people of an atoll piece together building blocks of a society. What they remember from their ancestors is how the world was destroyed. And their music will be noisy and weird and free of all the given givens we normally ascribe to the word, “music.”
When improvising, I often describe what I am aiming for in group performance as the complex soundscape of a primitive village of the future. I want to thank Owen, Rob, and Gene for helping to locate the place, my primitive village of the future: it’s Flagstaff, with you guys. And if there is a word like an interval or a chord to describe harmony and a certain gravitational force of good will between people, then Bruce and Owen, are grounding fundamentals. You have been the reason I have kept coming back to Flagstaff. Thank you, and hope for more occasions to make music.
Nonessential Records is the subsidiary record label and archival recording project under the Interference Series based in
Flagstaff, Arizona. The label aims to record and produce high-quality sonic objects, in both physical and digital formats, of featured artists in the Interference Series throughout its season's programing and beyond....more
The mallet percussionist and improviser's solo debut is flush with nostalgic melodies and stirring dissonances—a rich, experimental universe well worth exploring. Bandcamp Album of the Day Jan 15, 2021