“Getting Weird” at the Evening of Improv with Corsano, Lewandowski, Hennies, Wilson, and more
The night began with Jenae Lowe on the saxophone, alongside Ailís Clyne crouching over a keyboard, perched on her heels. The tone was conversational— Lowe’s saxophone had a dialogue with each instrument and contact-mic’d object Clyne played.
It was a perfect opening for a night of experimentation and wonder. With a contact mic and a cello bow, Clyne managed to make a tambourine breathe. Lowe was also pushing the boundaries of her instrument, pressing the keys of the saxophone to create percussion.
Clyne and Lowe were followed by Bobby & Tara, a futuristic duo creating ambient music through improvisation on percussion and hand saws. Tara used cello bows to play a hand saw, producing a sound similar to a theremin. Equally as important as the sound and music, the movement in the performance was captivating. The way Bobby & Tara moved around and with their instruments deepened the performance, whether they were bending a saw or methodically brushing cymbals.
The final group to take the stage consisted of Annie Lewandowski on electronics, Sarah Hennies on vibraphone, and Brian Wilson and Chris Corsano on percussion. The chemistry between the musicians was undeniable, as they worked and sounded like a compound machine, each of them building upon each other.
To call it organized chaos would condescend the thought, instinct, and artistry of the musicians. Within the percussion section, strong jazz influences could be heard. On the vibraphone, Hennies made the most of her instrument and used her mallets in new, creative ways, and Lewandowski led the ebb and flow of sound with her electronics improvisation.
Throughout the show, the audience was able to experience the life-cycle of a song. The sound was constantly evolving, making it a perfect show for those who like to think through and about music. It was a fun, smart, strange, and downright mesmerizing night of sound to challenge our perception of music.