Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Liz Macy's Gamelan class gets everything and the kitchen sink...oh and Kanye too!

Ian Byers-Gamber / Machine Project
Liz Macy's gamelan class had everything and the kitchen sink thrown at them yesterday! First we tried out Will Kaplan's new piece "Timewarp" (above) which everyone picked up quickly. It was especially interesting when we started walking as a circle. One student aptly pointed out that it felt like we were protesting, especially with the word "Now" being chanted (alongside "Past," and "Future.")

Next we ran "Politeness Counts," also a brand new piece, hot off the press and inspired by a large grocery bag sculpture standing outside the Tang Museum. Students got together into 2 huddles and cheered- "2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate?!" ending each time with someone shouting out the name of a person they'd like to thank, and what the reason for wanting to thank them. Some people got a little shy and felt put on the spot, but I'm hoping for tomorrow's performance we can think of some people we'd genuinely like to thank. Also, I'm not sure how effective this was, but we warmed up with an SNL exercise where one person begins talking and their partner tries to say exactly what they're saying at the same time.

We tried Kate Kendall's "Butte/Mesa" once again (this time it was recorded) which I am envisioning as being performed in the lobby of the Tang with half the group standing on the staircase, and the other half standing perpendicular on the floor. This piece takes quite a bit of stamina so I think it would be wise to go at a slightly slower pace so we can sustain the piece a little longer.

The hardest piece of the evening was probably Jordan Dykstra's "Hooked Up & Going Steady" which I had brought with me from Los Angeles. It is very difficult to get people to whisper! : D (maybe it's youth?) It was, however, very easy to see the poetry and potential of Jordan's piece. Perhaps with more time, we could get this piece down. Nonetheless the class were super good sports for giving this piece ago. One student even asked to do the piece again. And now that I am thinking of it, perhaps it will work to run this piece tomorrow. I had envisioned seeing it performed in the "Affinity Atlas" exhibit at the Tang...

The last portion of the class was spent very quickly arranging a new piece by gamelan class member Sayeed Joseph who had the structure for a piece based on old Kanye West song lyrics and new Kanye West song lyrics. With the help of his classmates we quickly arranged the beginning for a new piece.