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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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“There’s a lot of textural improvisation in her live shows,” Gorney says. “It isn’t necessarily harmonic or chordal improvisation, as much as feel variations. Timbral. … It’s tough to call it jazz or classical,” Gorney says, “but she’s whisked these elements together with electronics. It’s a good opening salvo/litmus test for the festival. If you’re open to what she’s presenting, you’ll be able to audition everything else.”

Hay will be playing with jazz pianist/keyboardist Wayne Peet and percussionist Brad Dutz, who has worked in the studio with Willie Nelson, Rickie Lee Jones and Alanis Morisette, among others.

“I tell people that she’s a virtuoso of her own design,” Belt says when asked to describe Hay’s work. “There really aren’t any references for what she does. She mixes vocal performances and extended techniques on the flute. ... It will probably be unlike anything most people have heard before.”

So should the audience be prepared more for melody or for mindfuck? “I think both are in store,” Gorney says.

Monday, Sept. 5

Open rehearsal of composer John Alvarez's "In the Beginning"
Urban ReThink 7 p.m.

John Alvarez met Chris Belt while both were students at the University of Central Florida, studying classical guitar with professor Eladio Scharrón. During the festival, Belt will conduct a piece Alvarez wrote, called “In the Beginning,” which combines electronic music and jazz big band elements. Alvarez says that unlike a lot of big-band ensemble pieces, “In the Beginning” is not improvised. It’s composed and each of the parts is written, and the electronic portions are intended to supplement what the musicians are playing. When asked to describe the theory behind his piece, he says it’s programmatic, based loosely on a story about the origin of the universe.

“Astrophysicists believe that the universe began from a singularity – an infinitely dense, hot point that’s usually at the center of a black hole,” he says. “I had this idea where I kind of made up this story in my head of the singularity. I kind of pictured it growing in size and coming back down to its original form because gravity is just so strong. It goes through what I call pulsations. That’s the first movement, a singularity, a process of trying to get bigger, and then eventually exploding into the Big Bang. It then goes into the second movement, and that’s when the big band comes in. The last movement is the expansion, which is kind of like the current state of the universe, where we’re still expanding but at a slow rate.

“The first movement is all electronics, the second movement is the big band … I love the sound of a big band, but I never heard it outside the context of jazz. It’s got this big, booming sound, and I just wanted to use that in a different setting. So that’s what I did.”

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