Axons and Dendrites

It is hard to describe the evening tonight. We had Dr. T on guitar, Ailsa on cello, Becky on hang, Mick on sax and mixed percussion, and I conducted via dancing. A visitor, Dan, was on cymbals. We also had Jo and Martin, who did some dance and contact improvisation movement in the latter part. The result was magical. It was a very meditational, spiritual-sounding effect.

What does this mean? We held an initial exploratory jam for the Axons and Dendrites piece. We wanted to see how the musicians would work together, and whether they could interpret the concept. We ended up doing one continuous jam from 8.30 to 10.15, when we had to start closing up. This is only the first step in developing the piece, but I am very happy with it as a first step.

The performance will consist of back projection images, with musicians in front and dancers in front of them. I have a full set of images of neurons, to which the musicians and dancers will respond. I also have a draft of the prose piece that will be read out as an ‘extract from the journal of Rrose Selavy’.

The next step is to group the images into three or four sets that will correspond to the movements of the piece. The next time we practice, we will focus on developing different themes to work with in each movement, and how to achieve variation and balance among the voices.

There are one or two more dancers who are out of the country at the moment, so next time we hope to have the whole group together.

I’m totally chuffed!  It was a great session and the real performance will be captivating.

Oh yeah, and we had a lovely jazzy music jam at my flat with Ted, Mick, and Becky.  Cool evening, indeed.  🙂