Last week I drove to Holyoke, Mass, for ‘Thursday Experiment #2,” an evening of improvisation and experimental music presented by curator Bonnie Kane at Gateway City Arts, a mixed-use facility in a former factory located on Race Street.
I heard the show competed for audience with a more major concert being presented nearby, and to a degree with “Drag BINGO” being called elsewhere at Gateway City Arts. There are perhaps only so many hipsters to go around on any particular Thursday night in the greater Holyoke area – but I suspect the concert had the bigger impact on attendance here – though if I hadn’t come for the gig, I’d surely have been playing BINGO next door.
What began around 8 p.m. for an intimate audience was two hours of mostly manipulated improvised sound. I haven’t been to a show like this in years, but I’d gladly attend another one sooner rather than later.
Kane opened the show with DUO, Kane on saxophone, flute and electronics; Sam Hadge on cassette deck and electronics.
I played guitar in a noise trio, Iron Works (Inc.) back in the 80s and the co-founder worked a series of old-school cassette players. He would have loved this one for the added level of control it affords. I like the analog approach, but find myself thinking – why not use a tablet? I go back and forth on this mindset.
Buttfort from Albany, NY followed, with guitars, keyboards, electronics and vocals. I must have missed the billed accordion. I gather they bill themselves as a ‘Drone Trio.’
For brief splintered moments during their performance, I was taken back to a Hugo Largo show at Performance Space 122 on 1st Ave. in New York City.
By coincidence, I’m sure, Buttfort offered one-of-a-kind illustrations for sale at the show and I still own a hand-painted Hugo Largo T-Shirt sold by the band 30 years ago – though I probably haven’t seen it in 25.
Hadge returned to jam on saxophone with Scott Prato later in the evening.
The curated Jam that closed the night included Prato, Kane and Vitek Kruta, Co-Director, and resident mastermind at Gateway City Arts.
When I load my cameras and take this sort of a ride I’m on a mission – to keep the creative juices flowing. I found plenty to point the lenses at on this trip.
The complete gallery from Thursday Experiment #2 can be found here.