Summer is a time for slow and casual, and ahead of a busy ’22-’23 season, that’s just the dog-days attitude I’m trying to bring to my musical life. Five, seven, nine-concert weeks have waned to a performance every few days — after all, it’s still the social activity of choice in my circles. But I still crave some soundtrack to my daily existence, and as a recently-minted commuter, I find myself listening to more recordings than ever. So here’s a glimpse into my disparate musical summer, a few thoughts on some music I’ve experienced recently.
Peter Evans at The Stone, July 30
Armed with nothing but his trumpets, Peter Evans spent his final night at The Stone playing one of the most virtuosic solo performances I have ever seen. Even his long tones tested the limits of technique. Trumpeter Evans would lean into a densely-overtoned multiphonic as an athlete might settle into a stretch, meditating ever deeper as the audience’s ears stretched to meet the unfamiliar sound. He never stopped outright to breathe, but his nostrils flared with every replenishing sniff — judging by his unyielding tone, his lungs were getting all the oxygen they needed. New arpeggios, new scales, new chords emerged as Evans noodled up and down the harmonic series, hitting each partial squarely in the middle before moving to the next. It wasn’t totally clear whether the compositions were improvised or planned, but they showed a sophisticated, well-considered narrative arc. Evans ended every piece with a figure just slightly more difficult than the rest, one final “so there!” to an audience that needed no convincing.
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