Solo Percussion - Chuck Fisher
Church of the Friendly Ghost
East 3rd & PedernalesJune 15, 2004
It had rained a couple times during the day, and there was a prediction of more, but it did not. This rain coolest things, but left them humid. Still something between 35 and 50 took in this concert.
The 2 memorable works were Jack Stamps' "Bloom Like The Woofer Does" and Graham Reynolds' "The Pleasures of the Bass Drum".
Mr. Stamps confided to the audience during the intermission that the vocal harmonies were manipulated with "Melody Assistant" offered by Myriad.com for an incredible price of 15 euros. The text you can read by clicking above was not comprehensible in the delivery. Mr. Fisher cheerily accompanied the electronic music in the personification of 4 voices (that I could count), 2 female, 2 male. All of this was handled with a true musicality and, indeed, melody. I was amazed.
As Mr. Fisher commented at the conclusion of the "...Bass Drum" piece, "Graham really likes the bass drum". We given to understand in preparation for listening that Graham had specified 6 areas of interest with plenty of opportunity for improvisation, which, evidently, were much to the approval of Mr. Reynolds as he was moved to explain that fully half of the music was Mr. Fisher's. This use of the drum started with our comfortable knowledge and then worked on it as a kettle drum, a gong, a breathy wind hearkening back to Henry Cowell's "Banshee" for harp, a rather more normal beating about the head and shoulders you might have predicted and finished with.... a bathroom plunger! Very successful.
Only from Stopschinski and Reynolds do I get sonic pleasures 2 hours at a time for the princely sum of $5. I enjoy it so much that it seriously competes with "The New Music Ensemble" of Dan Welcher over at UT's School of Music. The fact that "The Church of the Friendly Ghost" lives on the open market adds a definite thrill missing from the cloistered ivory towers of academia.