The fall tour that I had talked about has really morphed into more of a short publicity tour as we head out east for a few dates to promote Convocation, two of which are radio performances (WXPN’s Star’s End and Echoes), with The Gathering being the only performance with an audience in the traditional sense.
I’ve never really “worked” a single record like I have with Convocation, but that’s exactly what we’ve done over the last year. I was always afraid this kind of approach would get stale, but quite to the contrary, this approach feels right and appropriate, a good way to honor the recording. When I listened to the first mixes of Convocation I truly felt that we had hit sonic gold. I really felt that we were on to something with our approach and the outcome. While we’ve certainly played selections of this recording around Michigan, to truly bring this work, in a live way, to a Gathering, Star’s End and Echoes, the trinity of live ambient and contemplative music in one go is very exciting and a little frightening.
Confidence through preparation. One of the other things that makes these performances different is that I’ve prepared for them in so many different ways. I’ve always been an improviser, not fixated on outcome but rather on real-time experience. With these performances, however, Convocation’s proper performance is the outcome. Chance elements have been reduced. Of course, I can’t neglect chance altogether, as that was the alchemical stew from which Convocation was born, on the spot, but to use this phrase again, and it certainly could start to get a little cheesy, it’s a way to honor the work that is Convocation.
If you can make it out to the Gathering, it would be great to meet and talk with you.