Excellent day all around.
IAJE has been referred to as "The Madness" by several in the blogosphere with good reason. I have been to several and I am never fully prepared for the sensory overload. Here are some of the highlights of day one:
Steve Duke's presentation on "Reducing Unnecessary Tension in Performance"
If you read my "favorite CD 2007" list, you know I am not above a little nepotism. Steve was my Saxophone professor when I was in college, and remains a big influence. The topic for his clinic today was a big part of my education back then (1990-1994). The Feldenkrais Method is a wonderful way to learn about how the body organizes itself and by extension where tension "hides". I have always found it very helpful and I still use it. In speaking to Steve, I found out that it has been embraced by the saxophone studio. This makes me happy, when I was there it had a bit of a polarizing effect.
The IAJE/ASCAP & Gil Evans Commissions
These pieces were absolutely astounding. Ayn Inserto's piece with George Garzone, Tim Hagans' piece and Wil Swindler's piece were all amazing and all very different. It is so inspiring to hear these compositions and explore the ideas and inspiration they provide me. I just wish more of the membership would have stayed for Wil's piece. Their loss...
Bill Dobbins' analysis of Brookmeyer's Willow Weep For Me
Dobbins demonstrated what most reading this already know - both he and Brookmeyer are geniuses. An informative and VERY detailed deconstruction of Brookmeyer's arrangement. I hope that he someday publishes what he presented today.
This essentially functions as a big meet and greet. Some photos below.
yours truly with Bob Cranshaw:
yours truly with one of my gurus, David Liebman:
The HIGHLIGHT of the day so far has been Darcy James Argue's Secret Society. I forget how I happened upon Darcy's wonderful blog, but I have been a religious reader for several months and it, in no small way was part of the inspiration for this blog. One of the highlights is that he posts all of his concerts to listen to. I dug his writing very quickly, it has an intensity and honesty that is almost, no it IS visceral. Tonight was the first time I have had the pleasure of hearing his music live (and from the third row!!!) and I am BLOWN AWAY. I actually had to leave the conference and go to my room to absorb and process everything. The one word I have to describe everything is courage.
Musical courage, personal courage, moral courage. Everything. Darcy, if you read this...keep going!!! You are inspiring.