Slice of Life: Unexpected Noise

(Slice of Life is a month-long writing challenge to write every day in March, with a focus on the small moments. It is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This year, I’m going to pop in and out, but not write daily slices, as I did for the past ten years of Slice of Life. You write, too.)

Showing up to hear one thing, only to hear another completely different thing, is a bit disorientating. My wife had won tickets to what we thought was a jazz show.

We thought wrong.

Battle Trance is a saxophone noise quartet, an experimental group that explores all possibilities of the saxophone. They used group harmonics, keypads as percussion, the neck as voice amplifier, guttural chatter, the reed as whistle, and all sorts of acoustic dynamics.

A sax player, I was mesmerized by the performance, and the way they pushed the saxophone as an instrument as a group. My wife would have preferred a jazz show.

Here is a video of Battle Trance doing a piece they did last night (I think):

Peace (sounds like),

  1. There is a bit of cognitive dissonance when we expect one thing and get something else. I agree w/ your wife. I hear more cacophony than harmony in the video, but I didn’t listen long!

  2. Saxophone noise quartet – a new term and concept for me. It is probably much easier to appreciate this experimentation when you have some skills and understanding rather than when you expect something more traditional.

  3. Yeah…I think it would be quite a shock to expect melodic music and instead get a noise quartet! I also didn’t listen for long, but I do think it’s interesting. I can imagine as a saxophonist yourself you would be fascinated!

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