This year’s programming is using music as its guiding theme or constraint. This theme, because of its approach, and dually due to the high level of creativity, originality, and accomplishment showcased by the performers is far from being cliché in Nashville. The events also earn their respect by constantly meriting recognition within a city with world-class music programming regularly available. As it might seem though, music is not always at the forefront of the events. By way of the structure of the event, the discussions can really lead to many places – part of the design. Often without moderation, artists are invited to present and discuss works. They are introduced, and then the attendees are free to engage and enquire – not only the artist(s) presenting, but each other oftentimes.
Another thematic characteristic of the series, and in part the more subversive element being aware of our location in Music City (a city which others often compare themselves to in the attempted workings of some invisible authority but quiet enough to keep influx down while it thrives and invents itself behind the seasons of university migration), is that the self-described indeterminate natures of these presentations intentionally keep the works presented and the preconceptions of the audience in stasis, a limbo at least, while the two hour (often longer) event develops to define and contextualize the work and the artist and audience’s place in relation to it. The events has greatly talented performers perform original pieces of music, most of which have not been heard by most if not all of the people in attendance. The idea is that the approach to the music can be kept fresh, temporarily free of predetermined values within aesthetic preferences and psychological projection. That the event is hosted, how and where the event is hosted, are promotion enough, opting out of the configuration of the exclusive and the high-profile – a respectable and reasonable way to go about the generation of economy in a culture.
Tony Youngblood, Theater Intangible founder and curator at Open Lot among other venues in Nashville, has been really coming through over the past years for the creative community here, and has provided us with yet another great podcast [available HERE] of the last Indeterminacies: Stan Link, with accompaniment, March 15th. [See Stan Link's Electro-Acoustic Music.] On Theater Intangible, there are great interviews with both curators and a great spotlight on Zeitgeist Gallery.
|Photo by Kim Sherman, Cotten Music Center;|
in photo: David Maddox and Stan Link, 2011.
Thanks to Lain York, Lesley Beeman, Tony Youngblood, David Maddox, and a very special thanks to Kim Sherman for permission to use her photograph.