Thursday, September 1, 2011

“I got to see what it’s like to perform 10 stories in the air with a trombone” | Ottawa Citizen Blogs

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

I knew that the New York-based trombonist/cellist Dana Leong was involved in some pretty adventurous music, having played with Steve Coleman, Dafnis Prieto and others. But I did not know until I read this story today that Leong’s work includes collaborating with an aerial dance troupe, and joining the dancers suspended in the air.
Tonight through Saturday, Leong performs with the dance company Project Bandaloop, during a work called Bound(less) at the Great Wall of Oakland (the backside of a large office building).
Leong, who is from the San Francisco Bay Area, last year flew to California every other week for five months to train with Bandaloop.
“We’d do sit-ups and pull-ups and climb up ropes,” Leong told The San Jose Mercury News‘ Andew Gilbert. “I had an intense crash course as to what these dancers and climbers go through. We performed Bound(less) as a work in progress in Costa Mesa, and I got to see what it’s like to perform 10 stories in the air with a trombone.”
Here’s a clip showing Leong’s first attempt at playing while wall-walking and hanging upside-down:

If Leong wants to bring his aerial music-making skills back into the jazz world, here’s a set list he could draw upon:
Air Dancing, Buster Williams
Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly, Flora Purim
500 Miles High, Chick Corea
Take It To The Ozone, Freddie Hubbard
The Spiderman Theme Song
But seriously, good luck to Leong. The next time someone invokes the risk-taking trope when it comes to improvising, I’ll be thinking of him.

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