Written by: César Díaz Blanco
I just had dinner at Ikenberry and was ready to go to the Krannert Art Museum. I got to the East Gallery just in time to listen to Bridge #2.2. This diverse group, in both place of origin and age, is constituted by saxophonist and flutist Mai Sugimoto, guitarist Raymond Boni, double bassist Paul Rogers, and Illinois native bassist Anton Hatwich. They all come from different parts of the world: Japan, England, and France.
The event really struck me as I didn’t expect it to flow in the way it did. After a series of announcements about the upcoming events at the Krannert Art Museum, the artists were introduced. The way in which they seated or stood already showed how different their backgrounds were. The guitarist and double bassist both came from Europe and were the oldest members of the group, a fascinating coincidence since Europe is also known as the old continent.
The performance started and it was clearly dominated by the double bass and guitarist for a long time. The experience they had really stood out, but in some cases felt overwhelming. The performance was divided into two parts, divided by a short round of applause. The first part was around 45 minutes, the second one, around 20 minutes.
Both portions felt tragic most of the time. The melody tried to be more energetic and hopeful several times, but it quickly turned into tragic, as a tragic play, you knew it was doomed to fall into an abyss at the end. As I reflect more about this performance, I believe I have come to understand why it was that way. As I said before the leads were the older members of the group. Instead of falling into ageist arguments I would say it has to do more with the perspective of life and chaos as people grow.
Transitioning into the adult life is almost always synonym with reducing the chaos, either financially, professionally, personally or more. You search for a job in which you can stay and progress, you try to be in a relationship with someone to rely on for the years to come. However, as someone young you sometimes see that transitioning period too far away and instead see the chaos as something in which great value can be found, that’s how I see it myself. Following this line of reasoning, it makes sense for the melody to turn tragic each time it tried to be hopeful. Several times I sensed the positive change in mood as the saxophonist dominated the melody, just to turn into grief once again. I would say the performance would greatly enrich itself if there was a consensus about the loudness/participation of each instrument.