Friday, December 04, 2009

Waffle Shop and Vocal Assembly

I recently was a part of one of the strangest gigs I think I've ever done. A group that I sing in called Vocal Assembly was asked to sing in a Live YouTube Soundtrack Battle in a Waffle Shop. Let me explain. Vocal Assembly is a group of singers who perform our own compositions of things like graphic scores, text pieces, and improvised music. It's fun. Waffle Shop is a restaurant-slash-TV show that serves waffles but also interviews community members about things they might find important. The waffles are delicious. The venue decided to host an event which takes two live bands, and pairs them up against one another, and the two bands "compete" to perform live soundtracks to videos. The videos are projected onto a screen in the waffle shop along with a live feed of the performances. Bands trade off so each group performs the short clip, which is shown twice.
But there's also a catch! The performance was videotaped in the kitchen of the waffle shop. We managed to get a quartet of singers, a drummer, a keyboardist, and an electronic musician with laptop and supplies, along with two video cameras, a monitor, and TV screen to watch the videos all crammed into a tiny kitchen. It seemed like no small feat. And it seems like an unsuccessful idea, but somehow it manages to work. We pulled it off! The videos will go up on YouTube at some point in the future. We also got free waffles (hooray!).
But the best part of the night was for what few people were in the "audience", one woman, a mother of one of the other band's performers, decided to congratulate us on such an interesting performance. She was pretty drunk. She managed to tell us about her life in New York, the lack of new exciting music, how great Pittsburgh is, her rotator cuff surgery, how we should get to know the music of Laura Nyro, and most shockingly, the fact that this woman's mother passed away less than 24 hours prior. She also called our performance "delicious", along with several other things throughout the night that usually aren't termed "delicious" but it somehow made sense. Then she gave us all hugs, and thanked us some more for making her evening so enjoyable, and then asked if she could give us all a kiss.
It was a memorable night. (click on the comic to enlarge.)

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