LIVE: Billy Martin @ The Falcon, 9/2/18
Review, video and photographs by Rudy Lu
Billy Martin is best known as the percussionist and drummer for the jazz/jam band group, Martin, Medeski & Wood. But he’s much more than that; he is a composer educator, visual artist and CEO of the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock. He showcased all these talents at a recent two-part performance at The Falcon in Marlboro.
The first performance was conducting a guitar orchestra in front of the beautiful Marlboro Falls using the rhythm of the falls as his inspiration.
The second performance was moved inside the club. It was primarily a solo performance, with Martin playing electronics, piano, various percussion instruments and drums. Many unconventional techniques were used, such as bowing a cymbal. He also included a performance with some of his students. He also invited his mentors, Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso, to sit in on one session. The last performance involved audience participation. Audience members were given two pieces of bamboo and were instructed on various rhythms to play.
Two forms of rhythm were demonstrated, the open mode and the locked mode.
The open mode is non-traditional and strange to the western ear. It could be best be described as the rhythm of water flowing over rocks or crickets in a field. The locked mode is a set cadence, what we are used to hearing.
It was a truly ear-bending evening for adventurous listening.