There's a slew of things that happened the night of 1/15/10...most of which I was oblivious to. I was stuck in my own call and response world, catching glimpses of performance from my collaborators that I just had to shake my head at, in a good way...like a double take, you know the kind where you're a little shocked and you can't quite find the proper response. That's the way I felt anyway. I was stuck in an unrehearsed performance.
All my collaborators are great showmen and they also happen to possess a skill in handling the guitar. I've seen them on many nights, many bars with many drinks and it has been my perception that they have magical abilities.
It was good to see other people with this magical ability in the audience and they affirmed my thoughts that Smoke in the Cockpit worked...the idea was sound (pun intended).
Some of my favorite quotes of the evening:
Paul Ha - “It looks like the Grand Ole Opry”.
Paul was responding to the pre-performance equipment arrangement as in Susan Schultz’s picture of guitars lying against amplifiers. Though I’ve never been to the Opry I think the guitar is fundamental if not iconic to the Opry much like it is in my work.
Sara Tolch - “Sure...I’ll go see Robert’s new band...”.
Sara has been a friend for a number of years once she entered my life through her marraige with Andy Tolch. My wife Susan relayed this little gem of a quote after our performance and it could speak to the look on Sara’s face when she realised that maybe this band wasn’t what she’s accustomed to. I think the story is that Sara wasn’t planning on going out but Andy mentioned my performance and she rallied to give her support. Sara, I hope you still enjoyed the band.
Tom Buescher - “Robert, you’re going to believe this....I forgot my guitar”.
This quote came by phone moments before taking the stage. Tom was en route retrieving his instrument. The pre-performance jitters or just a head-full of thoughts. Whatever the cause of Tom’s forgetfullness the performance wasn’t comprimised. I just mentioned the incident to the audience before we started...tossing it into the closet of rock n roll stories. I told Tom to take his time, be safe and jump on in when he gets back.
Mike Burgett - “It’s like sex when you’re old”
More or less. Like You’re the man and the guitar is the woman and you’re not going to get much out of this pairing unless you take your time. Mike was ellaborating on the musical score I provided in english. The goal was to make it last as long as possible but to also be aware of the other performers. To react as a group and as a couple trying to have quality time. There was some partner sharing but I guess in an unrehearsed frenzy there’s bound to be some of that.
I enjoyed the performance but I also took in a lot of information regarding guitar equipment, recording tips, the secrets of guitar players and audio engineers. I am also overwhelmed by the support from my collaborators and the art community. I will have a video of the performance installed at RAC soon and must thank Tim Meehan for handling the camera work. Please come by and see the video and leftovers of the performance, my sculpture and the work of the other artists involved in the exhibition.