Archive for January, 2007

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KIOKU in NYC and Baltimore

January 29, 2007

It’s been a busy week for KIOKU. We performed at the Rubin Museum of Art during their World Music Series. Their concert hall was beautiful, with hardwood floors and panels, built-in videocameras and mics, and a great stage. This was by far our most formal presentation and we played a bit conservatively despite ourselves. But the audience was appreciative and the music curator seemed pleased with everything.

After that, Ali and I drove to Baltimore with all our equipment in order to record. Chris showed us his brand-new studio (at Towson University) and we set up with Chris in the main booth, Ali in an isolated room, and myself in the large recording space. The first day of recording was pretty rough, but the second and third days went fairly smoothly. Chris managed to get a great sound from all the drums and we’re all excited to hear the initial mixes. On Saturday, we went to the Red Room, a performance space within a books and records store (Normals). This venue is known for its experimental and improv-based aesthetic, so we eliminated all the “tonal” stuff and prioritized the “other” stuff: Miyake, Binalig, Protophonics, Yatai Bayashi, and Pinari. The audience was very attentive and didn’t clap until the penultimate tune. The silence was really cool, but a bit surprising at first. It created an atmosphere that was almost as austere as the Rubin.

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KIOKU in rehearsal

January 16, 2007

After a long break, I got back together with Chris and Ali for some KIOKU rehearsals. Some things felt a bit rusty, but for the most part, it all came back. And some tunes actually sound better! We’re preparing for a big gig at the Rubin Museum of Art as part of the APAP conference and the museum’s World Music series. After that, I start my first day of teaching at Westminster Choir College, and then it’s back on the road to Baltimore where we’ll record and play at the Red Room.

My friend Leslie Anne visited from London and we had a really nice time hanging out. LA informed me that we’ve known each other for fifteen years now. Quite an accomplishment!