What’s heard at a live performance of music only happens once. In that sense, it only exists in that moment. But the songs at a typical concert are often recorded, and played by a group that’s touring. So while they’ll never sound the specific way they sounded the time you saw them on that amazing night, you still have them. At High Zero Festival, the music is truly of the moment.
The Sept. 15-18 event at the Theatre Project puts groups of musicians who have never played together before, playing music they have never played before. And because the music is improvised, it’s more than likely it’ll never be heard again.
The musicians who gather range from internationally known improvisational artists from Europe, Japan and other parts of the U.S. to younger musicians. About half the roster is from the Baltimore-DC area.
The instruments themselves also make for interesting combinations. On Thursday night, you can hear what it sounds like when trumpet, flugelhorn, violin, saxophone and computer get together. Or see what happens when improvised dance combines with voice and electronics on Saturday night. Then, on Sunday night, the combos are left fully to chance at a closing session called The Night of Randomization.
Attending the festival takes suspending expectation. But the tradeoff means you get to see something completely new.
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