Invite the Spirit, 1997

Invite the Spirit
Knitting Factory Alterknit Theater, New York, N.Y.
May 2, 1997

Soon after Sang-won Park came to America, Charles K. Noyes called and invited him to improvise together.The second time they got together, the album “Invite the Spirit” (Celluloid, 1984) was recorded with guitarist Henry Kaiser. On May 2, 1997, the group played two sets at the cozy Alterknit Theater (downstairs in the Knitting Factory) with Jim O’Rourke on guitar and prepared guitar replacing Kaiser.

Sang-won Park sang and played the kayagum, a 12 silk string Korean zither in the same family as the Chinese ching and Japanese koto. Each string had a small moveable bridge. He would pluck with one hand while bending the strings behind the bridge with his other hand. He also played two other instruments, one was a steel string version of the kayagum and the other with a bow.

Charles K. Noyes had a unique drum set. Instead of a floor tom and a bass drum, he used large one headed frameless drums that were very resonant and a shallow snare. He spent the evening abstractly hitting rims, drums and the occasional cymbal. Where has he been for the last fifteen years?

On his third gig with the band, Jim O’Rourke was the quiet member of a quiet group. Playing an acoustic flat top with an electric pickup taped into the soundhole, O’Rourke’s approach to the guitar was quite subtle. One moment plucking chords, then alterknitly attaching alligator clips, then gently rocking the guitar to set the clips bouncing on the strings, he never blotted out the rest of the band with free improv mayhem. O’Rourke is very prolific and seems to be playing everywhere and with everyone these days. Although listed in the K.F. Knotes as also playing piano and hurdy gurdy, he only played guitar during the first set.

By the way, the performance of the band was more then the sum of it’s parts.

db
5/13/1997
Originally published on line at Juxtaposion Ezine.

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