Once the clock struck 5:30 I powered down my computer, packed up my bag and headed out. I braved the traffic of central Austin, crossed the parking lot that was I-35 and wound my way through the neighborhood streets of the East Side to finally arrive at our haven: Gourmand’s Neighborhood Pub. Even though I had arrived 15 minutes early there were already several members gathered together in the center of the main room. After the usual cordialities and catching up amongst friends the conversation quickly turned to the night’s performance. From the energetic exchange it was clear that the Creative Experience had really piqued the crowd’s interest and we were sure to be in for an intriguing show. As The Creative Fund we strive to support the entire spectrum of performing arts in Austin, but the opportunity to fund a percussion ensemble doesn’t come our way very often and everyone was clearly excited to see what our grantees could do.
After a couple of bread bowls filled with clam chowder and hopped beverages to wash it all down we headed out to the venue. Upon walking into Canopy Austin you’re immediately taken by the sleek, modern design of the space but our attentions were quickly consumed by the impressive spread of objects for which to beat and bang upon:
Before the show the members of Line Upon Line came up and introduced themselves, enthusiastically thanking us for funding their show. The thanks and love that we receive is overwhelming at times; to get a sense of the impact we’ve had in the artistic community here makes me incredibly proud to be a member of TCF. We mingled briefly and discussed the upcoming show, the inspiration for it, the challenges of being a performing artist in Austin, and the state of the up-and-coming performing arts scene in our beloved city.
Once the show started all eyes and ears were captivated by what was happening before us. Three incredibly talented artists, completely engrossed in their craft, took us through a sonic landscape like no other. We were taken from low, somber tones giving way to large, crashing crescendos and back again. In all we experienced three pieces of three movements apiece. The first was a deliberate and mercurial experience, the second a challenging and unique piece involving all sorts of unusual instruments, and the third was a large, bombastic affair more in-line with what one thinks of when imagining a percussion ensemble. Each piece was fascinating and the three covered such an impressive range of musical expression, when surveying the crowd post-show it was impossible to pick a favorite.
There was one last treat for the night: after the show Line Upon Line invited the crowd to stick around, have another drink, and test out all the percussive instruments themselves. It was a pure, childlike joy to meander around the room knocking on a myriad of drums, bells, and whatchamacallits with a room full of five year olds of all ages.
Line Upon Line truly embodied the ‘Creative’ element that is so much at the heart of TCF, we’re all so proud to have helped bring this show to life. Here’s to hoping we see you at our next show!
Newest Fan of Percussion Ensembles