Tour Kick-off show in Oakland

The tour for Polly Moller and Company began last night with out kick-off show at 1510 8th Street in Oakland:

We were a trio last night, rather than a quartet. Guitarist Bill Wolter joins us tomorrow for the trip north.

I also performed a solo set to open the evening:

(Photo by Polly Moller)

Once again, I am playing the ektar (single-string instrument).

This is the first performance in which I used two laptops (both PC and Mac), mainly because not everything I wanted to use last night ran on a single system. I also took advantage of the excellent piano present at 1510. I improvised against the electronics, trying to match the timbre and “vague pitches” – the piano was also picked up by the mic for processing. And I opened the set with a brief rendition of “Alley Cat” (which has been stuck in my head after the bad kitty chaos festival from a couple of weekends back).

I will be doing another solo set for our show in Astoria, Oregon.

Nora, The Piano-Playing Cat

This wonderful video features Nora, the piano-playing cat. Not a synthesizer, but it is a keyboard instrument.

In addition to the simple cuteness of a cat playing piano, I actually found myself listening to music itself. Clearly a lot of major and minor seconds, mostly because they are easy to reach with a single paw, but there is also the strong repeating rhythm. And she seems remarkably consistent over multiple brief “performances.”

I recommend listening to Nora's music without observing the video, as I am now, and you will hear an interesting minimal atonal piece that stands on its own. Many detractors of atonal and free-rhythm music often argue that “their five-year old could do that” or even that their pet could do that, but perhaps the fact that it captures childlike and cat-like innocence is part of the charm such music.