Last night I met many new friends and joined with them to make music; I went to the second occasion of Laurie Lang’s new Improvisation Music Workshop.
I had a bit of trouble finding the Washington Hotel Coffee Room (look for Lakeside Fibers – it’s in the back) so I was surprised it was nearly full when I arrived 20 minutes into it. I settled into a table with a breeze next to an open window (no AC so a little warm in there), and shortly all the tables were occupied. People kept coming and soon the audience spilled out onto the deck that overlooks the beautiful grassy area leading up to the lake.
That’s a lot of people because it’s not a small room. It’s large and open, but cozy and with excellent acoustics because of the extensive wood. This picture only captures about half of the room.
Maybe it was the cozy atmosphere, or Laurie’s friendly way of integrating everyone into the evening, but the majority of the audience participated at one point or another. There were several pianists, another bassist besides Laurie, a trumpet, a number of saxophones, a flute, guitar, and many singers. Of course everyone wasn’t up there at the same time. Some groups were singers mixed with instruments, others purely instrumental or purely vocal.
The theme was single line songs: someone states a line and each person adds a layer with the last soloing over the top. Each song was different. Flavors ranged from bluesy, to classical, to world/African (at least to my ear).
Except for being more creative, and expertly facilitated, it felt somewhat like sitting around a campfire singing songs. There was a palpable sense of group spirit and goodwill, and I left with a good feeling.
Thanks, Laurie, for putting together the Improv Music Workshop (IMW). I feel confident speaking for everyone when I say we all had lots of fun and are looking forward to the next one in 2 weeks.