The trio of Christensen/Robison/Khalifa did a couple sets at the Art House in Middlebury Friday night. This was Brian’s last appearance with Kareem and I (for a while) as he heads off for new adventures elsewhere. It was the usual arsenal – Kareem on electric upright bass, oud and looper; Brian on theremin and assorted electronics; and me on fretted and fretless electric guitars, sampler and loops. Not a huge crowd but we appreciated those that braved the sonic onslaught. One of the reasons playing with Brian is so nice is more people flock to him with questions about his rig in between sets. This takes a lot of social pressure off of me.
Our usual approach is to improvise but with some loose sketches or maps of structure. Just notes on who’s turn it will be to do what, dynamic shifts, etc. Unfortunately I was looking at the wrong chart when we started, causing some head-scratching (figuratively) and wonderment from my cohorts (“What is he doing?!”) and frustration on my part (“Why does what I’m trying to play suck?”). After the first piece things smoothed out some and the rest of the evening held a slight resemblance to cohesion.