Saturday, August 29, 2009

Woodland Acoustic Orchestra (August 2009)!

Set 1 57 megs
Set 2 19 megs
Bonus: aWoods Solo Set Opener 18 megs

Here's an unusual and -- I think -- very successful WAO show featuring TQ Berg (6-string and voice), Filthy (fretless bass), Johnny Greene (dumbek), Bill Wolford (banjo and 1-string bendy thing), and Me Woods (guitar, voice, trumpet, and miscellaneous percussion).

As we were playing, I think many of us were oscillating back and forth between complete absorption in navigating the gentle musical chaos and thinking "wow, this sure has been chaotic for a while now!".   As such, in spite of the glowing reviews from several listeners, I wasn't sure whether it was as strong as our average show, but now that I've heard the recordings I'm a complete convert. Rhythms, melodies, lyrics rise and fall amidst a loosely-organized, constantly collapsing and overturning musical babble. Each thread seems to emerge, gently pull on some neighboring tangles and then unwind back into the mass of soft colourful yarn. The maturity and active ears of each musician are on full-display as they patiently respond to each other without forcing any particular groove or motif to the forefront. The general patience with inconsistency allows layers and layers of overlapping and loosely-connected patterns to build and shift against each other. This is advanced listening to be sure, but not so easily dismissed as wankery in my opinion.  In the second set, things became more conventionally stable but still great.

So, I think I'll leave it at that for this one. As always, I encourage you to add your own thoughts below in the comments section. Oh, and one more thing: Many of the "signals" written up on the white-board by the various band members were unusually conceptual and even pleasantly risky...just so you don't give me too much of the credit (or blame ;) for the somewhat questionable lyrics!

No comments: