The Gatherings Concert Series
19 November 2005 8:00pmSt. Mary's Hamilton Village
3916 Locust Walk in Philadelphia, PA
Review: The Gatherings with Ashley + Story
Sustained conceptual daring.
Curtains close on the 2005 Gatherings Concert Series. The near-quiet echoing through St. Mary's as the last emerges back into the City are the recombinant creations of Dwight Ashley and Tim Story.
Listen acutely and one can rediscover the resonances of a Chapman stick; and the soundwaves of a spacemusician's journey; and the voice of a Buddhist nun.
Ashley + Story are fourteen-year collaborators; releasers of a lovely three (including this year's absolutely wonderful "Standing + Falling"); creators of compositions ranging from "the irrational to the fantastic, while exploring the dark beauty of dread, obsession and sublime ambiguity". This night's appearance represents an initial collaborative venture from the studio.
The opening piece features Story on synthesizer and Ashley on NS Bass Cello. Characteristic blends of melody & mystery -- beguilement -- from the hands of Story; tweaks and strums of discordance from Ashley. Ashley is also to perform on electric guitar (but rarely) and on synthesizer. Often times, evening throughout, the musicians shift positions, swap synths; but compositions remain experimental, sometimes vaguely coherent, reshaping, exposing themselves at the fine edge, orbiting the outer circle -- daring, challenging, but ultimately rewarding the listener.
One must either "entertain" or sit in this series' audience to appreciate the connection between those performing and those being performed to.
Curtains and farewells, "Until spring!"; another season closes. Gear is disassembled, carried away. I make it a point to be last man out; the empty church. With each step away the echoes of the past reconfigure. A final ear, an eye over the shoulder; it's all beauty.
|Above Concert Photos by soma611
|For more about Ashley/Story, please access the:
The Gatherings Concert Series is presented by the all-volunteer staff of The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania