Chicago December 7th and 8th, 2007

It’s called a practice gig – usually the first time a band plays the music all together – that’s when things get internalized, mistakes are made but then corrected by the players without having to discuss them. That’s pretty much what happened on Saturday night at Heaven – I flew into town on Friday and had a rehearsal with Josh Berman, Jason Roebke, Jeff Parker and Frank Rosaly – I had brought the Flockterkit music to have them play. Seeing as Roebke and Rosaly were in the original lineup of Flockterkit it made sense to have them play in the group again. Now that the music is more robust than it was a few years ago, adding Berman and Parker were good choices.
We had a three hour rehearsal on friday, going over the charts and even working on Peltep, with electronics. During the practice the electronics were interacting well with the group, and I was satisfied with having two speakers, though it would be ideal to have four. It seemed like in the space a quad set-up wouldn’t necessarily be effective, as the room is wider than it is long – in about a two to one ratio. The night of the show at Heaven, Saturday, we weren’t able to sound check, as there was a show going on at Enemy and we were going to use their PA once that ended. That ended up being important.
Jason Roebke and Ayako Kato performed as Art Union Humanscape along with Josh Berman. The group, which focuses on small gestures by the musicians and free flowing movement by Ayako, has been developing their style as a trio – it was very good, they used the dimensions of the space to their advantage, Ayako using the bodies of Jason and Josh in someways like obstacles to move around, her movement was much more active than I had seen before. Compared to times I’ve seen them in the past there was more music to be heard – a result of the addition of a second musical instrument.
So the Chicago version of Flockterkit played second, and though there were moments, it was definitely a run-through for Sunday night at the Hungry Brain – the one piece I regret that it didn’t go better was Peltep – the lack of the sound check really made the electronics a non-entity in the the piece, the interaction wasn’t happening as it should. Our set at the Brain went very well. The timing of the music was right on – the playing was great. Having a different set of musicians play the music was a good experience, hearing the different interpretation was valuable.
I played my first solo set of this tour at the Brain as well. Using the pieces I’ve created as basics of the set, I felt that I was able to flow from section to section and have multiple layers of sound happening at almost all times – even though I had heard the PA was not so good, I was able to get the sounds out of it that I wanted.