Integrative Arts Medicine Fund Raiser, Wellspace, Cambridge, MA. May 22, 2004
(Click links to see photos.)
The Integrative Arts Medicine (IMA) is a group of doctors, practitioners, and volunteers who are working to integrate traditional and alternative medicine. I had played for another of their functions in the past. (See gig journal from Dec 8, 2002.)
The Wellspace building has character. The high ceilings with their painted ductwork and metal beams give the appearance of a converted warehouse. But the layout is creative and inviting. I set up in the atrium, near the water cooler, facing the open area in front of the large gas fireplace. There were all kinds of interesting shapes to the walls, the stairway, the ceiling. Too interesting, acutally, acoustically. There was not a lot of echo, but the sound, rather than benefiting from all the surfaces, seemed to get lost. It wasn't bad, acoustically, but it was neither warm nor reverberant.
We set up the Frogstory Records display at the welcoming table in the lobby. A portion of sales went to the organization. While I played and people mingled, Mal and other practitioners offered Reiki and other treatments in one of the rooms.
It was not a jazz crowd, but I decided I'd do a lot of single-line improvising anyway. People seemed to enjoy it.
I got into an interesting chordal improvisation on Keith Jarrett's "Days and Nights Waiting." I surprised myself with that one. I also took an extra chorus of chordal improvisation on "Polkadots and Moonbeams" -- which is a tune I don't usually do that with -- and was pleased with the results. On the other hand, my single-line solo on "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise," which is usually pretty good, was dull.
I took two very short breaks, and I noticed that while I was on break people wandered out of the atrium and into the other rooms, and that they returned when I started playing. The purpose of the music on this gig was to provide ambiance, and I think I succeeded in that.