Sweet Spot Series:Coming together for conversation around music, art, and the written word
March 11, 2017

Sweet Spot Series: Coming together for conversation around music, art, and the written word

Event begins at 2pm  Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, brass) & Carl Testa (bass, electronics), Zachary Keeting & Daniel John Gadd

Taylor Ho Bynum has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. Bynum’s expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention on over twenty recordings as a bandleader and dozens more as a sideman.

"Bynum plays a decidedly genre, if you can even identify it as a genre of its own. It’s been referred to as free jazz, or experimental jazz, but he prefers “creative music.” It involves loose modular structures and themes that set a foundation for a healthy dose of improvisation. His playing is inspired by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman, but also Charles Ives, Prince, and Bjork."  Wesleyan Magazine 2015noncommercial

Carl Testa is a multi-instrumentalist and composer at the intersection of improvised, electronic, experimental music, and new media. As a performer/improviser, he is equally comfortable on string bass, electronics, lighting, and combinations thereof. As a composer, he has written acoustic and electronic music for configurations ranging from solo to chamber orchestra, including multimedia pieces that incorporate electronics, lighting, dance, and theater. 

The Hartford Courant wrote that Carl's music has, "an unrelenting tapestry of metallic noises, squeaks, scrapes, buzz saw rumbles and growls, clicks and pops. . . [it's] exhilarating" - Michael Hamad, 2015

Zachary Keeting’s paintings swirl and clatter. They’re down in the orchestra pit under the timpani, and watching quietly from the back of a cafe. Multiple moving parts vie for prominence, some garish some tender.  He punches, scrapes, shakes, blots, pours, and stains.  The surfaces are physical, riddled with overt gesture, yet built slowly. They’re improvisational, yet each image refers to a specific life-situations, to specific people. His is striving for an art of realistic complication, of crosscurrents and contradictions, group energy. 

He admires chaotic Robert Altman scenarios:  overlapping voices, overlapping thoughts, overlapping desires. This is an art of more. More complexity, more concealment, more fluidity, more radical balance. Multiple personalities in every scene, brave with generosity.

Daniel John Gadd writes, "My work is fragile, violent, aggressive, athletic, and painfully sensitive, all at once reflecting—literally, with the use of mirrors—that “human dead center” noted by Rosenberg. I aim to seize upon, fracture and reconfigure the complex range of what makes us most human, reassembling it all into balanced wholes.

The use of the tondo or imperfect circle is my way of trying to make things whole, by taking all of the disparate parts of my life; histories, pains, triumphs, losses, past,  present and future—and making some sense of it all, a beautifully terrible reconciliation and acceptance of the fact that there is no such thing as perfection."