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Gig Alert: Butch Morris

Monday, September 12, 2011

Butch Morris
“Nowhere Everafter”
Playing Monday at: Lucky Cheng’s
(24 First Ave, East Village)
Get: Tickets | Directions

Plenty of musicians make music, but how many can claim to have invented a new way of thinking about music?

Butch Morris is the father of a musical system called “conduction.” It’s a way of conducting groups of musicians to collectively create music on the spot, with no sheet music involved. Morris does this with a series of hand gestures he has designed that give musicians cues as to the kinds of things they should be doing -- playing loud or soft, sustained or short -- though the musicians come up with the notes themselves. The idea was to merge the improvisatory language of jazz with the compositional language of classical music, finding a third way to think about the act of making music.

This summer, Morris has been conducting a rotating cast of musicians called the Nublu Orchestra. On Monday, he leads a group of players on instruments ranging from harp and bassoon to keyboards and guitar at Lucky Cheng’s, Nublu's temporary home. This track, “Nowhere Everafter,” comes from Butch Morris’ original soundtrack to the film L’Amour Caché.

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