Colorado University at Boulder

img_2438.jpgAtlas.

Imagine a technology and performance center called The Atlas Building, state of the art technology in education. Next, imagine some of the most beautiful scenery we have in the US. Next, imagine a Music Department with a Jazz Studies Professor completely committed to opening the minds of not only his students, but those of the whole music department.

The WHOLE music department of Boulder’s Colorado University opened its arms to us as we (Todd and Luke) visited for the first time with a Still Life with Microphone residency on January 28th through February 1st. John Gunther, professor of Jazz Studies, was our host, and singlehandedly brought the funding and planning together to create at least 10 events which lead to Saturday night’s performance of Still Life, featuring several performances of new musical and a three-screen, four-projection setup in the Atlas Black Box theater.

Highlights included an hour with the entire String Department, thanks to Erika Eckert, Judy Glyde and Paul Erhard, in which I got to know a group of incredibly strong, impassioned players, as well as a two hour “improvisation from scratch” workshop, an hour of SoundPainting™ with John’s Jazz ensemble as I rode into town, and tag-team workshops with Luke on music and video technology.

John Hadfield flew in to do a gig with John Gunther and Luke and myself at The Walnut Room, which, by the way, has some of THE best pizza I’ve had in awhile… (I’ll put up a clip or two as soon as I have a moment to breathe) Playing with the Gunther/Hadfield show was yet another highlight to an incredible week.

And a special thank you to the Pendulum Series, a new music series directed by composition faculty Dan Kellogg and pianist Hsing-Ay to be lauded for its openness and commitment to excellence across what would be considered stylistic ‘boundaries’ for some. I’m grateful for their invitation to perform Icy Sleeves on their program also featuring the music of Mark Anthony Turnage, in residence for the classical side that week as well.

Some incredibly talented folk there with great vision. Special shoutouts to those we worked with closely like Emily, Brandon, Hunter, Seraphin, Josh, and to all the faculty who were so warm and welcoming. Stephanie, Michael Theodore, Gary, Rebecca of the Atlas Building.

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