[This post was written in advance of a one-off concert at the Old Stone House March 10, 2012 and is the first time I contemplated the idea of Musical Ecologies which would later become the name of a monthly series that continues today, also at the Old Stone House]
I am looking very forward to the concert this Saturday with Glass Bees, Ranjit Bahtnagar and Andrea Williams. It's an event that has come about more or less spontaneously, if not entirely by accident. But a series of happy accidents to be sure, and the result of the interaction of multiple threads. As such, it makes for an excellent starting point to my new blog: Musical Ecologies. What are musical ecologies? For me they can include, musical communities and lineages, geographies of sound, families of instruments, tools, and media, and musical economies. These are the ideas I will explore here, and I have been working up to this for a while, writing short prose pieces here and there, in each one trying to understand why I am so crazy about a piece or artist or sound, and how any of it could have possibly come about.
But back to the concert Saturday. Andrea is the one who initiated this and it is part of a string of events she is doing while visiting from the Bay Area. It's a recurrence of a prior collaboration between her and Glass Bees that, in at least one instance also included Ranjit. That event took place at Barbes (also in Park Slope) and by chance I was in the audience. It was a fun event and, if I am not mistaken, was occasioned by a previous "Instrument-A-Day" project of Ranjit's. I think some NPR program covered it. And since Andrea and I recently enjoyed a successful collaboration in Sausalito, she invited me to join them. That I was able to book the event at the Old Stone House is a result of both my neighborhood relationship to the organization as well as my wife Claudia's employment there as the Garden Educator. I have performed at the House several times and the space is perfect for small familial gatherings.
Although I have barely met Ranjit, I have enjoyed encountering his work a number of times. Most recently I marveled at his large-scale scans of produce and other finds from the Grand Army Plaza Farmer's Market that were exhibited at the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Adding to that my familiarity with his Instrument-A-Day project, in past incarnations as well as the current iteration, and I have developed a very favorable impression of him as a fascinating and diversely creative individual. I believe he also lives in Park Slope. And the Glass Bees I have also heard more than once and find their experimental approach to sound exciting and refreshing. Suffice it to say I am happy to be part of this.