Stet Lab is, and has been for some time, on indefinite hiatus. [More info…]

Lab report November 15th 2010: Let the rant begin…

I took momentary snapshots with my ears where sounds linked, danced, collided and certainly interrupted. A friendly salute followed by a stab in the back is the best way I can describe this music. I capture the sonic moments that would make butter melt, once I find my moment, I cherish it, as it leaves just as quickly as it entered. We improvisers’ dig the ego or can’t escape it. Like a game of snakes and ladders, we chop and change direction every 2–5″. Everyone’s snapshot moment is different and its these moments that keep this music alive and kicking. I chase the moments and record and recall it in memory many times.

At this month’s Stet Lab, to name a few, we saw trumpeter Ian Smith, guitarist/gadget man Andrea Bonino, guitarist/pedal man Han-earl Park, guitarist Kevin Terry and vocalist Veronica Tadman. I must say I loved the ‘diva’d’ session from Veronica Tadman and Helena Reilly which failed to be recorded 🙂 Why is it that all the stellar sessions never get recorded…. Never!? I enjoyed Veronica’s exploration into Indian vocal percussion, very distinct, clean and well layered and executed. Helena provided the sonic theatrics between the two vocalists which inevitably became ‘O No you didn’t, O Yes, I did!’—the battle of the divas commenced and it was brilliant from start to finish. I believe I heard a drone at some point coming from Han-earl’s guitar: it emerged out of the mist of chaos like a bright light, heavenly Han 🙂

Kevin Terry always surprises with his unlimited array in playing styles from Psychedelic rock to Pastoral, Classical, Eastern, erratic, to the delicate. His sound is layered with many undertones which makes it hard to ever label this man; tonight was another classic Pick N Mix shop from Kevin Terry. Andrea Bonino laid out on a magic carpet with his guitar and an array of unusual but wonderful sounding gadgets-some resembling a vibrator!? Actually this seems to be the weapon of choice for many guitarists? Andrea has an intense approach to detail which draws you in from the beginning; he seems to understand that a slight nuance can make the world of difference in sound. I particularly enjoyed Han’s and Andrea’s duets, great spark of energy between the two.

Finally, Ian Smith who was a breath of fresh air, beautiful tone and great expression. I found Ian to possess a unique sensitivity to other performer’s material, which is rare in free improvisation- a real pleasure to play with.

Come and take your own snapshots people. This music is open and honest, its all laid bare for your perusal. You will sit there curious, perplexed, surprised, liberated, violated and many times enlightened. Whatever way you take it, I guarantee a part of you will want to get up and join in.

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