Friday, December 16, 2016

Recording: Micro-Ritmia Ensemble

Artist: Micro-Ritmia Ensemble

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Music Gallery Departures Series), November 20, 2016.

Micro-Ritmia Ensemble - unknown

On the first really cold day of the year, The Tranzac's furnace was struggling to keep up but there were plenty of warm sounds in the Main Hall. That lead to something of a cold-shock for the visiting Mexican headliners, whose nine members were often kept busy shifting around from station to station on the stage. The brainchild of composer Ernesto Martinez, Micro-Ritmia is not only an ensemble, but also a set of compositions as well as a system for instant composition. The latter would often be accomplished by Martinez, sitting at the side of the stage relaying realtime instructions to the musicians via wireless earpieces giving verbal instructions to change the patterns or instrumentation.

Some pieces deployed deconstructed guitar riffs, with fragments being passed along by up to four players while other relied on percussion from marimba or drumkit — and in all cases, there was often a heavy dose of hocketing. A unique show, rewarding now only for the music but for watching to see the ensemble's method revealing itself — and given that this was a large ensemble travelling across the continent to make their debut appearance, this was definitely an occasion where an institution like the Music Gallery is needed to make it happen.

[The Departures Series heads home for the holidays, so to speak, with an onsite foray to the Music Gallery proper to host American composer, sound artist, and electroacoustic performer Andrea Parkins. She'll be joined by Lina Allemano, Germaine Liu, Jason Doell for an improvised electroacoustic set next Tuesday (December 20th). There will also be sets from Joyfultalk and Magic Hour.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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