TCP landed in Tampa, FL last week – 5 days in the sunshine state culminating in our performance at New Music New College on Saturday, the 22nd.
First order of business was to refuel and recharge at a local eatery, Skippers Smokehouse, thanks to the solid research of TCP’s culinary adviser, Mr. Robert Dillon.
Yes, that is a tree growing out of the restaurant. Other observations include the reaffirmation that many things taste like chicken, including Alligator.
We stopped by University of South Florida for a Masterclass on the music of John Cage with student percussionists before loading a truck full of gear and heading down to Sarasota.
Many, many thanks to Bob McCormick and his wonderful students at USF for a great discussion and their assistance with all of the instruments.
After unloading at New College. We spent the next few days setting up, sound checking, working with students, and falling in love with a new piano.
Yamaha has a new competitor in the auto/instrument business! In all seriousness, 9 times out of 10 when TCP is on tour we end up playing on a $100,000+ Steinway D piano. Problem is, these instruments don’t really work for our repertoire (Cage’s 2nd Construction, Credo in US). The issue is with the structural braces inside the piano that hold everything together. In 100% of the 9 ft. concert grands I’ve encountered, there is a structural beam located right on top of the specific strings I have to mute with one hand in Credo. Structural beams also interfere with Clay’s preparations in 2nd Construction and his ability to create the unique sounds (harmonics, etc.) of his part. For some reason, the engineering on this axe is about as perfect as you can get for TCP’s performing.
Nothing says “New Music Diva” like when a presenter shows you a beautiful concert grand and you complain about not being able to shove screws into it effectively:). So Clay and I generally keep our mouths shut, suck it up and fine unique ways around problematic sections. Not the case with this instrument!
Horowitz used to travel with his own piano – now that would be cool. I’m not sure if the same is going to happen with TCP, especially given the rest of the gear we haul around on a daily basis. But we will be keeping a look out for Hyundai’s in the future.
Our show in Sarasota was fantastic and the New Music College students who joined us for a performance of John Cage’s Radio Music did a brilliant job! Check out a recent review in Arts Sarasota. A special shout out to Stephen Miles for bringing us down to New Music New College and Ron Silver for his amazing talents and assistance with audio and lighting!
After 24 hrs back home on Monday, Third Coast is back on the road, currently in South Bend, Indiana for the premiere performance of Augusta Read Thomas’ Resounding Earth and a short residency at University of Notre Dame. Stay tuned for more musings from the travel log.