REFLECTIONS, SILENCES AND ZEN: Mr. Henry Grimes // High Priest // Hprizm (Duet)

Cooper Moore + Mr.Henry Grimes // High Priest // Hprizm (duet) Sample chops, tonal research, experimentation, exploration  and poetry with the venerable Mr.Henry Grimes (Albert Ayler, Thelonious Monk) SEPT 2013 Issue Project Room-

It was a grand experience for which I felt grossly unprepared. Sparring with the sensei and master bassist was a privilege and honor that daunted me. As a digital improvisational performer, I am constantly preparing for variables.  Fighting technical issues (as per usual) and being ready to listen and respond amidst varying performance environments are critical skills that are constantly reinforced.

In particular, with working Mr. Grimes, his silences are  deep & contemplative. Having spent over 20 years tunneling into his own subconscious, there is a weighty “gravity” in his carriage and his playing, that I was grateful to be in proximity to. For our duet, he was thoughtful and committed to realizing the project in a way that was truly collaborative. After some exciting rehearsals and engaging conversation with he and his wife Margaret, we went to work. With some foreknowledge of the extensive faculty he possesses, I more than went to school.

But beyond technical acumen, being reminded to embrace zen was the invaluable byproduct of working with Mr Grimes. ” Going with the flow”  as cliched as it may ring, is the core tenant of improvisation. The actively meditative state of being in the moment is the place that one aims to occupy totally and wholly as a life time mission in the practice of Zen philosophy. Being present and comfortable with transitional silence in a performative space helps to create dynamic experience and a compositional arc. (W)Holistically, outside of a musical identity, I work towards that balance and hope that it is reflective in my works-

From the beginning of the performance, which opened with an evocative poem written as linear notes for William Parker to the ending, where our interactivity was more showcased, the ride was a great one for the intimately gathered crowd and us- Looking forward to the next one !!!

Photo Credit S.MAR

 

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