This simple statement is at the root of the collaborative work between Maumee-based composer-performer, Tim Story, and German composer-performer, Hans-Joachim Roedelius— “Achim” to his friends. On Friday, May 24 in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Little Theater, these celebrated artists will take the stage together, allowing concertgoers to share in their special artistic bond and exploratory spirit. The duo will perform selections from Story’s The Roedelius Cells – a sonic collage comprising shards of Roedelius’ recorded piano outtakes that saw its North American premiere in the TMA’s own GlasSalon and has since found international footholds – as well as excerpts from their 2003 album, Lunz, and some free improvisation.
Impetus for collaboration
This exciting performance is inspired by an excerpt from Cells, which is currently in place alongside Victor Vaserely’s painting Alom I in the TMA’s recently opened exhibition, Everything is Rhythm. “The exhibition was an opportunity to invite some of the performers associated with” the show, says Manager of Programs and Audience Engagement, Scott Boberg. It’s the first of four such concerts coming to the TMA. Boberg and Story agree that, while one can visit the exhibition before attending the concert, or vice versa, there’s a great deal of value in experiencing them together. It’s a unique chance to see how your understanding of a piece grows or changes after hearing it in two very different contexts. Boberg points out that, while the recordings in the gallery are crucial, especially to facilitate the comparison and contrast of the artwork and musical piece, “there’s something magical in a live performance… being in the room with a performer.”
Weaving an experience
That magic pervades Story and Roedelius’ collaboration. The way they sculpt sound and the freedom and rapport of their improvisation— Story describes it as the search of “the right sound” or “the right note”— make it easy to lose oneself in their soundscapes. “We try to do the work that interests us” says Story. “We try to weave together [composed works and improvisation] into an experience that makes sense and resonates.” What would seem to be a challenge— Cells is an immensely complex work that is virtually impossible to recreate live— Story and Roedelius view as a great opportunity. Story describes Roedelius as having “an incredible natural ability to find things in live performance,” creating an environment of experimentation and creativity onstage. In the intimate space of the Little Theater concertgoers will experience and become immersed in that alchemy up close.
Scott Boberg sums up the thrill of this concert: Toledo is “an international crossroads for people to come and make music.” Noting that Story resides in the area, Boberg sees the concert as “an opportunity to let people know what Tim is doing right here in town.”
Recordings of the duo’s various works will be available for purchase after the performance. Story and Roedelius will also be signing recordings— both those bought at the concert and those already in concertgoers’ libraries— along with mingling with those who attend the performance.
Friday, May 24 | 7PM
$16 for nonmembers, $12 for members
$8 for Students and the Military
Toledo Museum of Art, Little Theater. 2445 Monroe St.