Sunday, May 22, 2011

Consecutive Cloud-filled evenings

This past weekend I had the increasingly rare, for me, treat of playing two consecutive shows in different towns. Cloud Shepherd graciously invited me to play with them on Fri., 5/20 at the Subterranean Art House in Berkeley and Sat., 5/21 at the Felix Kulpa Art Gallery in Santa Cruz.

Friday evening's show also featured the amazing poet and keyboard player Will Alexander. If you get a chance to read his work or hear his music, do take it. He's amazing on both counts. His keyboard style is modal and compositional, quite trance-inducing. Cloud Shepherd played two improvisations. The energy of the group seemed a bit frenetic, especially on the second piece, where Will joined us on keyboard. Brian started the set walking around with a blinking light, offering it to the assembled audience.

Above: Cloud Shepherd set up at Subterranean Art House in Berkeley, 5/20/11

Saturday evening's show seemed much more pastoral and evenly-paced, sound wise. It seemed like we were able to take our time and let the music unfold with a bit more ease. That may have had something to do with the relaxing drive to Santa Cruz and nice, cold Guinness we imbibed upon arrival. The show stared off with Brian, Andrew, and Joe, all players in Cloud Shepherd, reading bits of their published poetry. Live poetry is great. If you just really listen, you will get the magical imagery that words can invoke within the mind. Nice. After the reading, Cloud Shepherd played one improvised piece. Its duration was about 25 minutes, but it could have lasted 3 minutes or two hours. For me, time stopped!

Above: Cloud Shepherd set up at Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz, 5/21/11

I really enjoyed the opportunity to play improvised music for two consecutive nights. Hopefully more chances for that will arise in time.

Above: Brian Lucas, packing things up for the night, 5/21/11

Audio from the jam with Will Alexander, 5/20/11:

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