14 December 2011

Concert Trifecta/A Diatribe Deferred

One more to plug, though there's no labyrinthine score to post this time: today at noon in the Main Gallery, I'll be performing with one of Larry Koonse's two Jazz Faculty Ensembles here at CalArts.

If you speak CalArtian, you know that the term "Jazz Faculty Ensemble" could be a bit misleading to non-initiates: it refers not to the perfunctory, under-rehearsed dog-and-pony show that most schools' faculty throw together more out of professional obligation than a desire to play together, but rather to instructor-led student groups where the faculty member in question performs with the group at all times. It's been a great experience, one of the specific reasons I sought out this school, and I don't know why more institutions don't run things this way. (Actually, I know exactly why and so do you, but let's just play nice for the moment.)

Having paid the school that single compliment, I'll now add that this first semester has been a real struggle overall, sometimes severely so. There's a lot going on here that simply doesn't make a whole lot of sense, administratively, aesthetically, and socially, and there's a general feeling among the students that we are overpaying for what we are getting. I want to leave it at that for the moment. Perhaps it will all come together next semester or next year, or maybe it has all come apart for good; I can't tell yet. I am at least aware of a smattering of special circumstances which converged this semester that are unlikely to align again while I'm here. Thus, a detailed, point-by-point takedown would be unwarranted and unfair to the many fabulous people I've been privileged to work with thus far. If you were expecting more at some point this Blog Month, I have to apologize and ask you to wait. Rest assured that you will understand this place when I do, and also that if you were looking to resolve seemingly contradictory rumors about it, you're safe in assuming that they are in fact all true.

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