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Accidentally on purpose

The accidental music festival brings out the best in Orlando's new music scene

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Belt got to work developing a full 10 days’ worth of programming, reaching out to musicians from across disciplines to ask if they’d like to participate. He approached the organization of the festival ambitiously – and perhaps a bit impulsively, considering the fact that he wasn’t sure how he was going to pay for it all. He applied for a grant and embarked on a Kickstarter campaign with a modest goal of $6,000. Apparently, the city of Orlando’s new music connoisseurs saw value in what he was offering, because he ended up raising nearly $7,000 via Kickstarter and small local fundraisers leading up to the festival.

The various composers, musicians and improvisers involved in the event also see the value in what this festival represents: an opportunity for the city’s best modern musicians – including some who have international reputations – to pull together and wake the city up to the talent that’s long been simmering here.

“There have always been these little pockets of musicians doing different things. This is drawing them together for the first time,” says Civic Minded 5 member Jim Ivy. “If you’re someone who really likes to experience new things that will actually be thoroughly engrossing, then this is something you should definitely check out.”

All of the Accidental Music Festival performances are free and they take place at one of three venues. Most are at Urban ReThink (625 E. Central Blvd.) in Orlando’s Thornton Park neighborhood. The festival’s opening night performance by Emily Hay will take place at Timucua (2000 S. Summerlin Ave.), as will the festival’s main concert on Sunday, Sept. 11, featuring premieres by Keith Lay, John Alvarez, Juan Trigos and Matt McCarthy. The final performance of the festival, a solo guitar recital by Dieter Hennings, will take place at the UCF Rehearsal Hall (4000 Central Florida Blvd.). For more information, visit accidentalmusicfestival.com.

Sunday, Sept. 4

Flautist/pianist/composer Emily Hay, with Brad Dutz and Wayne Peet
Timucua 7:30 p.m.

When asked to describe what Emily Hay, Brad Dutz and Wayne Peet will be presenting at the White House on Sunday in 10 words or less, the Civic Minded 5’s Matt Gorney comes up with the following: “Temporal variations of compositional frames. Or compositions with copious improvisation.”

Give him a few more words to play around with, and he also comes up with: “Or screwing around.”

He doesn’t mean that in a pejorative way. Modern free-form, improv, classical and jazz musicians are, after all, not unlike their more mainstream bretheren: They don’t make music to frustrate or thwart audiences (well, most of them, anyway). They make music because they enjoy it. And sometimes, they enjoy just screwing around to see what they can come up with.

Hay is a West Coast musician whose work combines both modern classical technique and improvisation – at times her pieces can seem melodic and comfortable, but they can also be a bit foreign, even jarring.

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