Jon Silpayamanant as a Klingon performing before a production of The Pirates of Penzance (in Outer Space) in New Albany, Indiana.
So, as I mentioned in the previous post, there is an embarrassment of riches as far as performing options are concerned, if you’re willing to think outside the box. The past few years I’ve been playing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy circuit. I hesitate to call it the “Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention circuit” if only because some of the best paying gigs I’ve gotten recently happen to be at organizations outside of the Convention circuit proper.
And some of that has started to creep into the so-called ‘high arts’ realm with organizations such as Symphony Orchestras playing themed shows dedicated to particular Sci-Fi or Fantasy franchises (e.g. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars) as part of their pops seasons.
On the whole, however, there’s always been music at conventions–even if it only consisted of filk music. Part of the Klingon schtick is as much act as play and the idea came to me as a whim after il Troubadore started playing Sci-Fi conventions at the request of some bellydancers. We decided we needed our own act and schtick, thus was born the il Troubadore Klingon Music Project.
Ok, so I talk about the short series of events from bellydancer request to Sci-Fi convention to developing a full blown Klingon Band personae as if it’s an everyday thing. But seriously, for me, it is.
That’s the specific issue at hand here. Over the years I’ve heard all manner of musicians grouse about the lousy economy and the lack of work. And here, I’m talking primarily about those musicians who do not hold full time or professional positions as musicians–this includes freelancers, but also just your normal everyday band musician. I know I’ve brought up this issue plenty of times in the past, but don’t want to flood this post with a ton of links.
il Troubadore playing Klingon Opera and Sci-Fi themed tunes during the Sci-Fi Day Celebration at the Indianapolis Children's Museum "Incredible Costumes From Film and TV" exhibit on March 26, 2011
That was the official number of paying patrons that attended the Sci-Fi Day Celebration at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis that I performed at this past Saturday. Granted, the performance was just a small part of the total event and there were many activities for the patrons to participate in–the Frog Prince play; all the wandering folks/fans in full costume with all the concomitant photo opps; and the raison d’etre itself–the Incredible Costumes From Film & TV exhibit itself.
So no, most of the folks there didn’t come to hear il Troubadore play tlhIgan QoQ (Klingon music)–not most of them anyway–they were there for the total experience that Eric Edberg and Greg Sandow are talking about here and here. And while I have some misgivings about that issue that I commented about here there’s a different issue I’d eventually like to blog about relating to what we might call an audience development issue that I was reminded of regarding the whole “Pop vs Classical” [non] issue that was being discussed in Greg’s blog.
Incredible Costumes from Film and TV at the Indianapolis Children's Museum
If you are reading this, it’s because it was written earlier today and set to future post as I will be performing at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in Indianapolis (IN) when this autoposts. The group I’ll be playing with is one I co-founded with vocalist and mandolinist, Robert Bruce Scott, in May of 2004, il Troubadore and we will be presenting our Klingon Music Project.
Yes, you read right, il Troubadore will be playing three sets of Intergalactic Music (because World Music just wasn’t enough for us), so we’ll be singing in Klingon, and Ewok, and other languages. Also, we’ll be dressed as Klingons. So if you’re in the area and need something to bring your kids to, then the Indianapolis Children’s Museum exhibit, “Incredible Costumes from Film and TV” might be you thing today.
There will be a children’s costume contest at 1:30 which we will also be playing background music for, as well as three sets of music starting at 10:30.
If some of you folks have noticed banners and advertisements around Indianapolis that look a bit like the image to the left, that is none other than Indianapolis’ own naHQun, Commander of the IKS lIywI’ and professional Klingon translator. He is also helping il Troubadore with the Klingon Ballet as well as other projects.
il Troubadore at the Greek Islands Hafla on 17 March 2011 (photo by Kat Hill)
Just got back home from the show–the Indianapolis gigs are a good two hours drive (give or take 30 minutes for stops for coffee). So many interesting things to share/talk about but don’t have the time as I head to Bloomington, Indiana (home to the renowned Jacobs School of Music) to play another show with my Balkan group. Still deciding if I have time to get to this month’s GLMTA (Greater Louisville Music Teacher’s Association) meeting in the morning (urm–later this morning) but also have to go pick up a part for Hello Dolly which I’ll be playing in the pit for in April.
Still been having tons of thoughts about the economics of underserved audiences, and a recent discussion at Greg Sandow’s blog really had me thinking aloud on the drive up to the show last night. Fortunately the wife is finishing her MBA so I got to bounce some ideas about the economics of music(s) off of her. See, the discussion–as you can tell from the post and responses–frames the issue of Classical Music versus Pop music as a classical binary opposition that gets collapsed into a false dichotomy. Basically, that’s the problem with binary oppositions in that they often get treated as binary distinctions, which are a different kind of logical animal altogether.