I called around to different places to see if
they’d be interested in having this kind of performance art in
their place. My first time performing this kind of thing in front of
people was at this small cafe on Clough Pike. Took several trips to get
the equipment there and set up. Being the first time doing this I was
already pretty stressed but taking all the equipment apart and putting
it back together and hoping everything worked was adding a lot more
stress. Sweat was pouring off my head and my shirt was drenched.
The kind lady behind the counter looked quite concerned and offered me
some water and came over every so often to see if I was still conscious
and not about to pass out or anything. When I played that night I found
it to be overall a discouraging experience. I hadn’t put that
much effort and concentration into a performance for as long as I could
remember but it seemed to be providing nothing more than a slightly
annoying background noise for the customers. Oh well. There was also a
lot of ambient noise(espresso machines etc.) which I didn’t
anticipate which kind of threw me. They also forgot to pay me. But I
didn’t persue it. I was glad just to have done it without any
major memory lapses or equipment failures and just to know it was
possible and I could handle playing in front of people when a
significant part of the music is what happens on the spot.
Second time was at Awakenings in Hyde Park. Setting
up during the day people kept coming in and asking about it. A lot of
curiousity. Playing at night Liette, Caleigh and Andy Ward came.
At the end a guy came over with his wife. He said it was the best thing
he’d heard in 15 years and he seemed beside himself with
excitement. Liette told me later that he sat right in front of my setup
with a glass of wine and was glued to the whole performance from
beginning to end. Other people liked it too, but not as much as that
guy. After I finnished packing up the lady behind the counter
said,”Oh, here you go sweety,” and paid me. That was
indicative of the whole experience for me. It was totally positive and
encouraging. Completely the opposite of the first one.
These were sort of warm ups for the main gig which
was playing at the public library in Green Township which happened in
November. Quite a different mix of people, all ages. People sat and
listened to the whole thing and asked interesting questions afterwards.
This was also a good experience. This made me realize that it’s
much better to play in an environment where people can listen.
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