Artistic Direction & “Choice” (TPK Edition)

 

Having moved back to Michigan, I’ve resumed collaborating with my good friend and partner Matt Borghi full time. We’ve been working together for a few years – performing, improvising, rehearsing, recording – both in The Elevator Conspiracy and in various separate endeavors. We understand each other quite well, musically and personally, which makes playing together a real treat. That, coupled with our eclectic collective taste and experience, helps to make us a pretty versatile duo.

Our current project – Teag & PK – is still in its beginning stages but the initial discussions, rehearsals, and performance (pictured above) have all been interesting, surprising, and satisfying, both intellectually and artistically. One facet of our discussions revolved around style and direction. Our past collaborations have gone in a variety of directions: acoustic folk, electronic ambient, rock, mostly improvised, mostly arranged – diverse, but all satisfying. Therefore we discussed whether we’d focus on one style or have an “anything goes” approach. In preparation for our first gig, we decided to head in an acoustic (acoustic guitar, voice, saxophones/flute), singer/songwriter direction.

But, for a variety of reason – gear, environment, where the live energy eventually took us – our first gig quickly evolved from an acoustic “folk” style to something much more rhythm & blues- (the real R&B) and rock-based. We were quite surprised, and rather happy with it. That particular style hadn’t entered our discussions once, yet, without even acknowledging it to one another on stage, we enthusiastically went where the music asked us to go. Now, with that gig behind us, we’re looking at our project from completely different angles, and considering options possibilities we previously hadn’t.

It just goes to show that no amount of planning or decision-making is fully effective in a vacuum. (Even with so much time and effort already spent…) We were aware of this abstractly all along – we had a number of “let’s see how this goes live” moments in rehearsal – however it was still surprising to have such a powerful reminder on stage. We had considered many things, but they all went back to what we – Matt and myself – wanted. It may sound corny, but we hadn’t fully considered what the music itself wanted, and that vote holds the ultimate veto pen. While there are still a number of kinks to work out, we’re excited to see what upcoming gigs over the next couple months hold in store for us…

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