Walter and Al and me
Walter Wright, known for his work with electronic art, sent me an email a few weeks ago inviting me to co-lead an improvisation workshop with himself and noise musician Al Margolis. Even though I am a dancer and not a musician, I feel very connected to these guys artistically, in terms of aesthetics, form (or formlessness). Here's a picture collage of a set from this year's XFest in Dorchester MA when we all performed together:
You can see what an imp Walter is at his drum set. Al gets right down on the floor and gets his hands into his instruments. The other fellow there is Crank Sturgeon. I had an intense migraine for the entire festival and I looked and felt ancient and bleak — but the great thing about being an improvising performer is that you perform as you are. Ill, half-dead, on top of your game, in a way it doesn't matter. You are existing and you have all that richness to work with no matter what.
I taught a workshop at that XFest which turned out to be really well received:
In this workshop we will take some time to look at instrumental setups as sculptures and scenic designs that become part of our bodies when we perform.
The workshop I'll co-lead with Walter and Al is going to be on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, which is a city I lived in as a child. I wonder what will be recognizable after all these years. I used to study ballet at the Richmond Ballet, which is not too far from where the improvisation workshop will be. It is quite something to feel the arc of 40 years of practice touching ground in the same city.
Walter provided this information about the workshop's format and content (w2 is walter's initials):
Morning session - intro to improv, basics, scores, listening, seeing & feeling form (Al & w2)
Apresnoon session - awareness, tuning in, movement, proprioception (Asimina)
also consider - space, light, resonance, residence, top down & bottoms up
should be fun
Update June 5: I heard from Walter that this engagement is still unconfirmed by VCU. Just makes me realize how flimsy is the hook on which I hang my hat as a "professional" artist.
Update June 13: VCU workshop is cancelled, low enrollment.