My second cemetery show: the Little Chamber Music Series That Could – Sunset Sounds

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Adrian Verdejo (guitar) and Mark Haney (double bass) at Mountain View Cemetery, July 3, 2016

Here was the en plein air cemetery performance I’d hoped for last week. The Little Chamber Music Series That Could presented its first Sunset Sounds session of the year. For one hour, between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm, guitarist Adrian Verdejo and double bassist Mark Haney improvised in front of a crowd of… one brief passerby, one attentive gentleman who joined halfway through and stayed until the end, and me.

To this neophyte’s ears, Verdejo and Haney’s improvisations called to mind the ambient, guitar-based soundscapes of White Poppy and Noveller, wilting like the former but crystalline like the latter. White Poppy and Noveller compose some of the most calming music I listen to, and Verdejo and Haney’s live conjurations perfectly complemented the yolky sun still peeking out in the quickly overcasting sky, in the wide open plains spaciously dotted with varyingly ornate headstones. The further the musicians let themselves sink into their performance, the less I felt obligated to pay them attention; instead of standing in one spot and observing them for the hour, I could roam, I could sit in a nook, I could stare across the flats – have moments to myself with the music playing clearly and at a perfect volume around me.

The next Sunset Sounds will involve a quartet. I can’t recall the session’s schedule (other than that at least two more performances are scheduled for the summer) so follow their Facebook page for future event announcements.

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