Set 2 23 megs
Here's a fresh and ultimately very satisfying WAO performance. The Orchestra for September included TQ Berg (v-bass and voice), Dennis Jolin (percussion, electro-uke, and voice), Ian McKagen (6-string and voice), Jesse Silvertrees (djembe, other percussion, and voice) Adrian Woods (percussion at the very end of set 2) and Me Woods (charango, trumpet, percussion, and voice). The Chai House had provided the theme "System of a Clown" for the evening and it was a great springboard -- both lyrically and, eventually, energetically.
By browsing the parentheticals in the list above, you can see there was quite a bit of instrumental diversity this month! It was also fantastic to have so many players adding their voices throughout the evening. Jesse (in his first -- and hopefully *not* last! -- NBP appearance ever) not only brought a new depth and solidity to the groove with his tasteful Djembe playing, but adeptly jumped right into the mix with great signals and vocals both. TQ, in the absense of "Filthy" on bass, gradually brought in more low end and contrapuntal rhythm as the evening progressed, building up the mass and momentum of the sound in a smooth trajectory aimed squarely at 10:00.
The first set featured a few bumpy patches, interspersed with sporadic brilliance. I perhaps took a little of the creative wind out of our sails by encouraging signalers to focus on structural -- as opposed to thematic/story -- signals. Usually we get our legs under us by charging off on a collective realization of something like "Bamboo-Lord Deals Robotussen". ...which is also fun! :) I was interested in bringing out more of the hard-shifting, challenging odd-time grooves that the WAO format is capable of. (I think my revised approach would be to encourage people to simply supplement any conceptual signals with a structural one.)
Granted, the structure of this show strayed a little further than I would generally like from the core strengths of the 'Acoustic Orchestra' format (mostly around the two goals of intentional-ambiguity/overlapping-threads and playing *through* the signaled-changes). But I realize now that this is mostly due to the gradual influx of so many great new players, and I think I should be able to easily bring some of those elements back with a simple review of the tools before the next show.
So, all that being said, many of the signaled changes still pack a nice wallop here, and many of the "songs" from this particular evening are unmatched in recent WAO history. Truly spontaneous, sprawling, and vibrant...ecstatic collective tributes to the concept of the moment! My personal favorite is probably the first set's "It Aint Easy" (starting at around 29 minutes in). The whole celebratory movement builds gradually against Ian's and my traded verses, with some spot-on clown-FX from Dennis gleefully slapping us in the face like a pair of size-22 shoes. And the brief second set is nearly all gold!
What was your experience of the flower-spray?