Jeff GreinkeLive at
The Gatherings Concert Series
11 September 2004 8:00pmSt. Mary's Hamilton Village
3916 Locust Walk in Philadelphia, PA
Review: greinke rising up and rising down
Jeff Towne effected a perfect mirror-imaged fading to darkness during the final composition performed at last night's Gathering, a piece which imperceptibly drifted to silence. At its conclusion, those at hand sat motionless for several moments, before Jeff Greinke stood, bowed, his evening completed; and only then would we acknowledge with emphatic applause our deepest appreciation.
The artist silently retreated to the back of the darkened cathedral and Chuck van Zyl recited for Greinke thoughts he wished expressed after the playing of this final song.
Spoken with gifted eloquence, "The last piece in Jeff's performance is entitled '5000 Falling Souls,' and was composed for a large dance piece by the same name. It is also on Jeff's new record of soundtracks. This dance piece was inspired by the events of 9/11 and was published in memoriam to that tragic day.
This concert is dedicated to all those who were lost September 11, 2001, to all those who suffered the loss of loved ones, and to all those who have since died as a result of our aggressive response. May we all be messengers of peace."
On the way up to Philadelphia last night, I drew upon Greinke's "Cities in Fog 2" release and realized, whether by choice or accident I am not sure, that the perfect choice had been made for the September 11, 2004, Gatherings concert-series performance. Many Greinke compositions exude the emotions of loss, slight disarray, the somber, the dark, the unknowable. Those pieces expressing such during Greinke's performance, and there were a few, were enhanced with a keen sense of knowing this unknowable by Jeff Towne's ingenious ability to tie the visual with that heard; the effect was simply sublime. Midway through the first set, Greinke revealed the crevice of sound while Towne beamed a vortex of light into the church's apse and centered this with plumes of billowing, menacing smoke.
This is not to say that the entire concert was somber in nature. As promised, Greinke's performance was multifaceted, leaving one never really knowing just what to expect next. The first set concluded with a bizarre "electronic keyboard" piece which would qualify itself as a drum solo. The animated artist literally leaped around the stage, sweat glistening off his forehead. Greinke's second set included an avant-garde combination of trombone and vocals. This mixture of a fast-paced interchange of grunts and howls from both the instrument and voice, which concluded with such a strange, almost epileptic vocal and body-movement barrage, may have left a few somewhat uncomfortable.
Before the concert, van Zyl gave Greinke credit for having helped the successful Gatherings series turn the corner. The artist had performed for the then smaller innovative-music scene back in 1994 and his date marked the first time an enthusiastic high-in-number turnout would appear.
I still recall with gratitude Tom Heasley and Jim Cole most effectively breathing life back into me from the very same seat I sat in last night ... then only "five days after." Jeff Greinke "reminded" last night, replayed; then he softly, somberly, almost beautifully, faded away.
Concert Photos by Bill Forcier
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The Gatherings Concert Series is presented by the all-volunteer staff of The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania