Eric Stach wailing at Studio 105 (presumably) with what looks to be a Catherine Morrisey masterpiece in the background … courtesy of londoner.ca … but JBNBlog would love to add the photographer credit
JBNBlog doesn’t know Justin Ford — but salutes JFord for this fine piece on the Eric Stach-helmed Studio 105 four-month Festival of Improvisation Music. Solidarity with QMI Agency colleagues at Londoner where the story ran earlier in the summer.
So get on down to 105 Clarence St.. Soho, #ldnont, 9 p.m. tonight (Friday) for this week’s fest marvel. We should hear Yannik Allwood (maybe Yanick Allwood?), piano, Art Lang, bass, the Bernie Koenig/Art Pratten Duo, the Eric Stach Free Music Unit & maybe some other kewl souls.
Two questions . . . one for Eric & the organizers … when will alto sax ace Karen Ng be back? She’s great.
.., and the second for you, the general JBNBlog public, for the usual prizes … name the 2014 fest participant who will also be writer-in-residence at Western and the LPL … & in addition be part of the big Words fall list, something else JBNBlog would love to know more about.
over to to Justin
By Justin Ford, Special to the Londoner
Residents of London will be able to experience incredible improvisation music every Friday night until they see the streets littered with trick-or-treaters.
The Festival of Improvisation Music starts July 4, at 105 Clarence St. South at Studio 105. The festival will run every single Friday at the same venue until Halloween. The shows were put together by Eric Stach.
Stach is a local musician who loves jazz. His first “band” was a 10-piece church band where he wielded the clarinet. He is now a master of the alto sax.
When Stach first came to town in 1966, his style was considered “too radical.” People didn’t care for his improvisation style, and demanded something more clear-cut.
“I was never invited in,” Stach said. “But then again I never wanted to be in, or play that way.”
Stach has an improvisation background spanning four decades. Some of the professionals he’s encountered over his illustrious career will be the musicians taking the stage at Studio 105 on Fridays.
“They’re all people that stand out over the last 45 years,” explained Stach. “All the musicians are handpicked.”
The shows will mainly consist of improvised jazz sets. Stach went on to explain about 60 per cent of what those in attendance will see and hear will be jazz.
“You get a lot of strange and different backgrounds,” said Stach of the other 40 per cent.
Each Friday you can expect two different groups on stage. They will share the stage for four hours, rotating in 20-minute improvised shifts until 1 a.m. rolls around.
Stach -with the help of his wife- doesn’t put these shows on because they’re profitable. He does it simply for the love of music. Specifically, jazz music. Stach explained that it’s extremely hard to find real jazz shows these days, and the shows that do claim to be jazz are often watered-down mainstream versions of what it used to be.
“I want to look more toward experimental music with strong personal character. I want people to reflect their personalities.”
How does one play a 20-minute set of completely improvised music? Well, talent, and lots of it. All the musicians Stach handpicked are legitimate professionals, who have been “jamming” like this for a very long time. The musicians don’t even bother to talk to each other before their set. No mention of key, time signature, or even melody is needed. They walk up there, musically blindfolded, and let it pour out.
“When you operate that way there’s more risk involved,” Stach said. “It’s like not having a life-insurance policy.”
According to Stach, there’s very little real jazz going on anymore. So come to Studio 105 for a glimpse of the real thing. Each show will start at 9 p.m. and end at 1 a.m. Donations will be accepted at the door.