In a 1981 case study conducted at the University of Kansas, researchers described the experiences of a woman with the neurological condition called chromesthesia, which caused her to experience sound as a visual color experience as well as an auditory sensation. Chromesthetics describe every sound they hear as triggering a simultaneous visual component. It is hard to imagine let alone approximate the kind of stimulating world experienced by people with this condition, but Saturday's Feast for the Senses 2: Eat, Love, Play performance at the Hoogland may just come close.
Among the items on offer as part of this (both literal and figurative) smorgasbord will be theTC-11 Multitouch Synthesizer, an iPad app which translates the motion of the user's fingertips across the touchscreen into both sound and image. Local multimedia artist and musician David Cain will demonstrate and perform using the app, with the spontaneous visuals enlarged on a projection screen. People say, 'Oh it’s just an iPad,' Cain scoffs. No! it’s an instrument, a marriage of sound and image. I can't wait for people to see this and experience it.
As in the first Feast last June (recently broadcast on PBS), Cain will be joining forces with renowned, Grammy-winning percussionist Paul Wertico, most recognized for his work with jazz luminaries Pat Metheny and Kurt Elling.They will be performing with a more stripped down ensemble than last time, including double-bass virtuoso Larry Grayand trumpet player David Hoffman. Just like June's performance with a different, larger lineup, every note of tomorrow's show will be improvised on the spot. Last time, a lot of people asked how long we rehearsed, chuckles Cain. It was the first time Paul had played with any of those guys, there was no rehearsal at all. And I thought, that’s a compliment!
In addition to the mix of high-tech and traditional instruments, sound designer Dean Giavaras will be mixing the show in surround sound. Nowadays music is more about entertainment than anything, says Wertico. And I’m not putting that down. What we are trying to do here is make art - we want people to be enlightened and entertained, and we also want to provide the kind of production value you might expect at a rock concert as opposed to a small jazz club.
The previous Feast found Wertico literalizing the proverbial by playing on an actual kitchen sink. This time, in keeping with the food-based theme of the show, Cain plans to utilize a specialized circuit board called MaKey-MaKey, which can be plugged into fruits, vegetables and other produce transforming those items into trigger pads for musical sounds. Of course, food is also for eating, and ticket-buyers who want to stimulate their tastebuds as well as their eardrums and eyeballs have the option of a gourmet dinner created especially for this evening by Chef Shaun Moore of Arena Food Service.
Cain's background in composition has left him hungry for something more purely spontaneous in his musical life, and this may just be it.I don't think I ever want to read another chart, he proclaims with a grin. I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had playing and that’s because of Paul. So the pressures on, Paul!
Wertico sums up the spirit of his collaboration with Cain and what to expect Saturday at the Hoogland: Anything is really possible when you’re not afraid to try things.
Feast for the Senses 2: Eat, Love,PlaySaturday, March 16, 8pm,Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St.523-2787
Tickets are $30, $15 students.$75 ticket includesa 6 p.m. meet-and-greet and 6:30 p.m. gourmet dinner.
Send story tips and comments to Faingold at Large via firstname.lastname@example.org