I just got home a little while ago from an incredible concert here in Anchorage. I saw Bill Frisell, an AMAZING musician, with Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar (among other instruments) and Jenny Scheinman on violin. Absolutely amazing. They performed a number of pieces composed and/or arranged to accompany a slide show of photos by Mike Disfarmer. The images themselves are compelling. The music, in Bill’s typical style, is quirky, yet flowing. Together, the performance is beautiful.
I’m still on a little ‘high’ from the show. It was THAT good. Bill Frisell’s been a favorite guitar player of mine for some time, and it’s a treat to hear him perform live. In an intimate setting at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium, UAA, in Anchorage, the 3 people came on stage, with none of the glamor that we so often associate with entertainment today, and did their art. The crowd, small, but almost a full house, were in for a special night. Everyone turned off their phones, nobody talked and chatted about oil prices or the JC Penney Sale, or the memo by Smithers, from the cubicle down the hall; it was just music and imagery. It was also that ‘thing’, that synergy, that an audience gives back, the reciprocity that distinguishes art from spectacle. A sublime experience for all of us.
And does any musician play and compose with more imagery than Bill Frisell? I can’t think of anyone. His music is like a soundtrack for much of the American Landscape, and it struck me when I learned of this project that he, of all people would do a performance of music accompanying images; a perfect match.
If you get the chance to hear or see this performance, definitely go ahead and take it. The universe is a better place because of art like this.