Bill Shoemaker on improvised music
- Bill Shoemaker, June 2005 in Point of Departure
Vitamin S - First Trio, Part C Excerpt, 20th August 2004 [2'12]
Free Parking for improvisation in multiple environments.
Today's post is about a new musical project in Auckland - the Dominion Centenary Concert Band. The DCCB is a 7-piece ensemble of improvising musicians involved in the Vitamin S collective. (And yes, I play in it.)
DCCB's instrumentation, stage appearance and repertoire is largely a tribute to New Zealand's brass band tradition, and particularly the amateur community bands (Salvation Army, Women's Temperance Union, Maori and Ratana bands) that abounded during New Zealand's colonial period. The DCCB has specifically been established to mark the approaching centenary of New Zealand becoming a Dominion of the British Empire in 1907.
The format of DCCB performances revolves around "islands" of orchestrated composed pieces (drawn from multiple sources) connected by passages of free improvisation.
The 17 minute performance posted here was recorded at our inaugural concert, on June 16th 2005 at St Kevin's Arcade on Karangahape Road, one of Auckland's few remaining orginal shopping arcades. The composed fragments heard here are Hala Vuna, a traditional Tongan folk song; Ennio Morricone's movie theme from My Name is Nobody [Update: I am reliably informed that this theme is in fact High Plains Drifter, by Dee Barton, not Morricone's spaghetti western melody] ; and Bonnisseau, a brass theme of French origin.
Dominion Centenary Concert Band - Performance #1 , June 16th 2005
The personnel on the recording are: John Bell (concert master, glockenspiel, tenor horn, whistles and percussion); Paul Winstanley (marching bass drum, percussion and guitar); Bruce Morley (drums and percussion); Jaekyung Kelly Choi (clarinet, recorder, fife, hojuk and bass clarinet); Richard Cotman (trumpet, flugelhorn, bugle and shofar); and Tim Sutton (bass trombone).
Our next gig is in Wellington on October 30th as part of the Wellington International Jazz Festival. I hope you enjoy the music, and I'd be interested in comments, whether positive, negative or bemused!