A Blog Post by Bill Stevens, Fragile Beauty, vol. III, No. 4 - A Reflection and a Look Towards 2022
Although 2021 had only one Event Series performance, it was one that I had been looking forward to for quite some time. 2021 marked the 30 year anniversary of the first day that Laura and I met at the Whitney Museum in 1991 and to celebrate this occasion we presented a solo art exhibition at the Prince George Gallery in NYC. It featured a broad spectrum of Laura's work and my gift to her of a three movement directed improvisatory suite called Faces based on three of her abstract face paintings to be performed by the trio Sound House featuring Doug Cuomo on guitar & effects and Gary Fogel on percussion. This performance can be viewed from the Projects page on this website.
With the pandemic still present in New York, we did our best to return to a new normal with the help of the vaccines and continued masking. The art museums and galleries began to reopen, as did the performing arts and sporting events returned with fans in attendance. The restaurants adapted with outdoor dining and people returned to the parks. It hardly feels like anything has changed in New York, tourists have returned and so has the traffic and noise that is ever present. The city is rebounding as we who live here knew that it would. It's hard to hold New York back. It's a city that is constantly on the move.
When I first began the performances that I refer to as the Event Series in 2016, I made it a point to dedicate my writing and playing to those who have influenced me, my teachers (Elliot Topalian, Burt Dunlap, Herbert Winters Harp, Donald Bohlen, Ron Miller, Gary Lindsey, Joe Solomon) and to create opportunities to play again both in person and remotely with friends from Syracuse, Fredonia, Miami, Seattle and with my new friends in New York City. Up to this point, as I enter my seventh year of Event Series performances I am looking forward to featuring my friends who I have played with dating back to 2000 in a series of duets as my way of saying thanks for being there to play and for your continued friendship. I have written new music specifically for each of these musicians that we videotaped as duets in 2019 prior to the pandemic. I will be releasing one duet each month beginning in March and culminating in September 2022 through my social media sites. These duets will feature...
Elliot Honing, piano
Rich Russo, upright bass
Charlie Gushee, tenor sax
Corey Larson, guitar
Paul Pricer, upright bass
Gary Fogel, drums
...and in a free improvised duet performance with Doug Cuomo, guitar
I am very excited, not just for the performances of these pieces, but to share my new compositions with you. I feel as though my writing has evolved from the density of my past work to a more open sound that focuses on melody much more deeply.
Watch this space for announcements throughout 2022 for the release dates of each duet. If you would be so inclined, please visit my social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to follow me and currently you can hear this music and so much more on my Spotify page and if you go there, please give me a follow. It would be really appreciated.
I am optimistic that once we get through the winter and enter both the spring and summer, more spaces will be opening and we'll hopefully be performing once more, so until we have the opportunity to see one another again, I wish you all the best.
Thank you for being the most important part of my music.