Wednesday, October 23, 2013

nothing was lost

Nothing was lost when everything was given away.
John Cage, Experimental Music 

frederic blondy / guylaine cosseron ~ may 2013

The 2013 crow with no mouth concert season drew to a still-point with Michael Pisaro's solo guitar performance on a bracing October night. I can only say, there we have been - and what a ride this year. I am immensely grateful for all who participated, from every point inside and outside a great listening room, Studio Z. 

As in previous years, many potent conversations, many laughs, a few bruises. This season clarified a few salient things for me about how to do what we do, and for that I am grateful. Several musicians were particularly helpful in offering their experience and perspective around generating such events, and super supportive of what I am working for in the cwnm series.

bonnie jones / bhob rainey ~ april 2013

I want to share a few of the metrics I prepared for the year-end report I submit to the arts organization that partially funded the 2013 series. Before doing so, this is the place for me to once again express my gratitude to the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, an extremely generous individual donor who wishes to remain anonymous, and the 66 individuals who contributed through our Indiegogo campaign. This material support enabled us to rent Studio Z and to compensate the musicians, and our amazing poster artist, Jason Zeh. 

What follows is a break down of our efforts to present a music rarely heard in the Twin Cities (note that 28 of the 50 musicians we've presented were Minnesota debuts; of the 22 who have performed in Minnesota, eight are local).
The period reported on is 2.5 years (May 2011 - October 2013):

2011: 4 concerts / 10 musicians / 84 attendees
2012: 7 concerts / 20 musicians / 116 attendees
2013: 8 concerts / 24 musicians / 127 attendees

The 2011/12 seasons were unfunded; musicians played for the door, cwnm paid for the studio rental, food and, unless the musicians made other arrangements, provided lodging.
In 2013 musicians were paid a fee and travel expenses, as well as being offered lodging.

blake edwards a.k.a. vertonen ~ august 2013

For purposes of reporting to our funders (as well as being of interest to me), we track how many new individuals attend a crow event. In 2013 that number was 36, which pleases me greatly. Our audience is generally quite new to the music offered, with some few exceptions. That we are creating an environment welcoming to both new and core, returning participants strikes a value important to me. Every seasoned concert-goer knows how it feels to attend an event in which cliquishness and the like are contaminants.

ken palme / jason soliday / jon mueller ~ march 2013

I am, at this date, uncertain what is in store for 2014; most likely we will seek funding for a combination of some planned events, as well as preserving funds enabling us to respond to a few musicians' requests to perform here. Or I may forego this in 2014. Whatever the case, I am immensely grateful for what has developed within our series to this point.

Where I stumbled, it was principally in allowing my ego to set the tone, momentarily tightening my grip on things, rather than, as Cage says, giving it all away. This year clarified the matter - I want to participate in events in which all experience the possibility of something new, sharing the risks and the rewards. Michael Pisaro and I enjoyed a lengthy conversation about, among other matters of consequence, the ethics of events like our crow series. The experiences of like-minded, if disparate, curators such as the Wandelweiser collective, the Dotolim crew in Seoul, and Jason Soliday's locus of activity for many  years at the Enemy venue in Chicago, have been truly inspiring. I have been fortunate to present concerts, share meals, and gab with individuals integral to all three of these scenes in the past year. As scattered as they are across the globe, and as different as the paths have been leading to their participating in the crow series, I have benefited greatly from getting to know most of the creative people who have visited us. I can only say, there we have been.

hong chulki ~ february 2013

allison goin ~ crow confrere

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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