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Music Production: Maurice Rickard
11/12/2005 Maurice Rickard: Arts in the Autumn, Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills

Announcement
I and the belly dancers of Wicked Temple will be taking our act up to Pittsburgh's North Hills, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills' Arts in the Autumn festival. While the festival goes for three days, we're playing on Saturday the 12th, from 3-4 PM (the festival runs from 10am to 10pm on Saturday, so definitely come to spend some time. )

I'll be playing atmospheric tribal ambient music on electric guitar and electric ukulele through the PowerBook, and I'll also have CDs ffor sale. The dancers of Baya will do co-ordinated dancing as a group, as well as individual solos. Expect mesmerising dance, trance-inducing music, and an open, contemplative mood. See you there!

2359 West Ingomar Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237, (412) 366-0244. Saturday November 12, 3-4 PM. Map

Report
Well. There are gigs, and then there are gigs that remind you of why you're doing gigs in the first place. This one was quite glorious, with the most attentive, receptive, welcoming, just all-around pleasant audience I've had in a long time.

It was a bit of a busy morning (and hey, quite a musically busy week), dropping off Patricia and the boy so they could attend a family party later in the day, and I got some work in, as well as putting in a string order at the Acoustic Music Works (I'm almost out of D'Addarios) before hightailing it up 279. Google Maps, oddly, suggested a really circuitous route, and the church's own directions were much clearer, so I went with those. After a lot of "Is this it? Did I miss it?" moments, I got there just fine, and started loading in. Nice building, lots of friendly people asking questions about what I was going to do. On my way back out to the car for the second load, the dancers called, looking for directions. In a sign of how the day was going to go, one helpful member of the church community stepped up, got on the cell, and guided them in, no problem.

I brought in the rest of the stuff, and loaded into their meeting room, which is a large octagonal room with a lot of light, and very good sound. I didn't have direct boxes to plug into their PA, but I'd known this in advance (good communication), so I'd brought the Pignose amps as a fallback, which would work pretty well at the lower volume we'd have here. I set up, answered a few more questions, and by the time we had all three dancers, everything was ready. The room had an encouraging number of audients.

We were given a brief introduction, and then Amy and I explained what we were going to be doing (in her case, mixing the dance styles; in my case, why uke--it's an instrument originally from Portugal, and stringed instruments near the Mediterranean have a Middle Eastern heritage). And we were off! As with the RCT solo show, I started with the kind of thing I'd been doing, and gradually introduced more "modern" electronic beats, got minimal, remixed my stuff on the fly. Shortly after we started, there was an influx of more people. I'm not surprised to see people leaving during a set (I've played some really inappropriate venues), but seeing people flood in was nice. I know the dancers are the main draw, but I wasn't chasing anyone out.

A few technical problems cropped up--I had a bad ground going to one Pignose at one point, but reached over and corrected it, and the Pignoses crapped out a bit on some low bass notes, but overall this was good. I was able to watch and play to the dancers, I could hear myself, and people were into it. I was a bit concerned about being too samey, but the remix section varied things enough.

Amy had mentioned that they'd wanted not to have to dance the whole time, so we came up with the idea that they could go out into the audience at the end and encourage them to dance, and it worked really well. One could feel the point of attention in the room broaden, and people did get up to dance. Rather than end it here, they did a few more solos, and I slowly faded my loop. We were done, and it was overall pretty good. Not only that, but we made some decent donations (split among all of us) and I dropped six CDs. They asked if we'd like to come back next year, and of course I'd be glad to do it. A really good experience, all the way around.

Rather than go straight home, I had a party to get to, so I continued North, hopped on the Turnpike, and headed East, watching the light fade and enjoying the glow of a very good (and early!) gig.

Contact:

You can buy my music right now over the 'net at onezero music-- instant music at sensible prices. You can check out free samples before you buy, and there's a discount for buying full albums or EPs.

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Circuits of Steel Tour 2003: Chicago, St. Louis, Muncie
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