I cannot provide an objective review of OMM's Showcase last night at LPR but I'll call it a success all the same. The showcase started off with Trevor Gureckis' 10 minute suite from LES ADIEUX. I've heard this piece three times now and I know some of Trevor's other music. The best part about it is that it's not ostensibly derivative of any other composer, all the while being listenable. It's a young and tentative voice which will grow louder as time goes by. I say this with righteous content in my voice as I feel very strongly about composers who "earnestly" compose their own music but seem simultaneously and deeply indebted to other living composers. I will not name names…
The second set featured the "FOJOTO STRING BAND" of Joel Harrison, Tony Trischka, and old-friend Foday Musa Suso. They performed a half-hour set which people seemed to enjoy. It was mostly a jam-session with the loveliest textures coming from the marriage of Suso's kora and Trischhka's banjo. Suso's got this presence which people love. I first heard him at Harvard probably ten years ago playing music from the Screens. That piece seems to be a never-ending font of inspiration as Glass is still touring selections from it in his continuing chamber music concerts. Wendy Sutter was due to perform a solo cello suite by Joel Harrison, but fell ill and couldn't perform. It was a reason that the set ended up being somewhat informal.
The final part of the show was a set of music by Mick Rossi. Mick is a really dynamic musician. Not only does he compose and play a bunch of instruments, but he's a great guy. Rossi has been a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble for quite a long time, and this last summer was music director for THE BACCHAE in Central Park, to which he added some of his own music to bring the whole thing together. His set was pretty coherent in its variety. His record SONGS FROM THE BROKEN LAND will be released on Orange Mountain Music later this month.
I thank all of those who came out. Not planning ahead, I ended up being MC for the festivities. I thank the tolerant victims of my winging-it. This was really an opportunity for Philip Glass' record label to support these artists who have worked with and interacted musically for the past 10-20 years.
For those interested in the physical OMM sampler, it will be available on Amazon.com soon.