Myrmyr/Oakland Active Orchestra @ The Uptown, Oakland, CA
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The second Tuesday night of each month has become a musical laboratory at Oakland's Uptown Nightclub. The considerable talents of the Oakland Active Orchestra take a turn toward testing out new compositions, collaborations and group improvisation strategies with an informality that allows for rough, unpolished sound that often bends toward promising directions.
The opening set from Myrmyr - a duo collaboration featuring Agnes Szelag and Marielle Jakobsons - offered up some improvised live sample-and-playback textures that skirted just around the edge of promising and never completely coalesced. Their composed work written specifically for the Oakland Active Orchestra hit a nice nerve with its 5/8 rhythmic thread that would appear at key structural points.
The final work of the evening, "Is Ahab A Hab?" by trumpeter Tom Djll, proved to be the most rewarding musical experience of the evening with its pulsating rhythm section over a structure-long crescendo.