Inaugural Events at Studio Toile d’Angles

As previously announced, an irregular series of concerts will commence at Studio Toile d’Angles on August 31 and September 7. The former, a spoken word evening featuring Michael Mann and George Roberts, came to be as the result of a conversation with Michael while the studio was under construction. As he is an unassuming, quiet man whose poetry is meticulously sculpted, and, with the exception of certain pieces appearing in the journal “Unarmed”, keeps most of his work to himself, we were both surprised when he stated that he was going to do a reading in the new space. While he was somewhat aghast that he said this out loud, I was actually delighted, as, up to that point, I couldn’t quite come up with an appropriate manner in which to begin this chapter of my lifework. (Indeed, what better way to bring self-determination home than not only eschew my participation, but sidestep “music” per se as well!) As I thought about it, it also seemed appropriate to invite George Roberts to participate. But, allow me to digress. My relationship with Michael goes backs to the 80s. I can’t quite remember how he got on to my work with Steve Gnitka, but he attended more concerts at the West Bank School of Music than anyone; and, on more than one occasion, *was* the WBSM audience. (Or, almost anyone. Glen DeVore, another dear friend, has been listening since 1972, two years after my initial foray into self-determination at the University of Minnesota’s Lutheran Student Center.) In 1998, possessed by impulses beyond my comprehension, he decided that Steve and I deserved to play in an actual concert hall, and produced “Two Evenings of Improvised Music” at Augsburg College, which featured our duo in various combinations with Scott Newell, John O’Brien, Jason S. Shapiro, and my father, Elliot. He then went on to co-produce the triple CD — SURGES/SUSPENSIONS, COMME TOUJOURS — culled from that music. Concerning George, when it looked like the West Bank School was going to close in 2003 — an ongoing scenario that has, amazingly, not yet come to pass — I approached George about presenting concerts at Homewood Studios. Thanks to his graciousness and generosity, I was, for 10 years, afforded a second venue to present my work, alternating months with the West Bank School. George’s love affair with words runs deep; from sculpting the words themselves to every aspect of their realization, including the art of paper making and hand typesetting. Particularly as Michael and George naturally approach words from differing perspectives, I thought pairing them up was an inspired idea. Thankfully they agreed. (This opening event will also feature a special treat. Mitchmallows has generously offered to “cater” the evening with a special mallow that was indeed renamed for me.)

Solo Music (September 7)
Solo Music (September 7)

Concerning my solo concert, it simply made sense to present my interface with the studio the first time out; particularly as this has been — occasional group sessions notwithstanding — my primary focus for the last seven months. (It’s also worth noting that not only is this the first time in my life I’ve had all my instruments set up and ready to go in a single space, but it’s also my first “proper” solo concert as a multi-instrumentalist.) Studio concerts are now listed on the “Concerts” page.

Lastly, please note the following protocols (& information) for these concerts:

– Entrance is street-side, via the wood gate just to the north of the house. Follow the short path to the studio door. (Please  do*not* go to the house. The person inside will not appreciate the disruption, and will not come to the door.)

– There is a bike rack just off the short path. It will hold 6 bikes. Do bring a lock.

– The Studio is a smoke free/street shoe free environment. Concerning the latter, a shoe rack is provided just inside the studio door. As for the former; particularly out of respect for those of us whose tolerance for second-hand smoke has diminished exponentially with age, smokers are asked to indulge (outside) towards the center of the north side of the studio. (“Butt bucket” will be provided.)

– Please, no outside food or beverage. (Plenty of tap water available.)

– Sweater alert: due to climate requirements for the piano, the temperature is locked in at 68 degrees. 

– Suggested donation is a minimum of $5. All proceeds go to the participants.

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