I played at a student art and performance showcase this past weekend called Chroma at the University of Michigan. The photography, pen & ink drawings, and paintings showed the talent that the students have in the area, and it was the first time I stood still, looked at a piece, and read the background that the artist wrote about it. I have a poor memory of what they actually wrote unfortunately, but there was a painting of a face/head with gears in the brain that stuck out the most to me.
Outside of the art, there were really great performances. I was one of two musical performances. I played a song I've been working on called "Black Mamba Blues" and "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder (but more in the style of the Stevie Ray Vaughan version). I enjoyed playing, but unfortunately, I have the age old guitarist problem of turning my guitar amp up too much compared to the backing and the vocals. At one point too, the hardware from my strap lock hopped off my guitar and clanged on the ground. My strap didn't fall off or anything, but there was just the awkward realization that it just fell off (made me chuckle while I was playing). Overall, I had fun though! I'll post a video soon of my performance of "Black Mamba Blues" and "Superstition".
I am refining "Black Mamba Blues" to record within the next couple of months. It's just a heavy bluesy tune that came from me having fun soloing over this one riff. It's really simple, but a lot of fun to play, and the main riff has a lot of attitude.
"Superstition" was fun to play, I had been listening to Stevie Wonder a lot, and started putting together the backing for the tune. I started with a more Stevie Wonder version of a song, but I've always been a Stevie Ray Vaughan lover. So, I sped it up, livened it up, and rolled out something that was peppy and fun to play with.
After I performed, Prabhu from 2faced (facebook) laid out two tracks. His guitar fit well and mixed well with his backing tracks. He always uses a great variety of sounds, adding a lot of texture to each piece he performs. He really makes some excellent material. I first met him at a WhatTheSound (video of the event with backing music "Machines Can Kill People" by 2faced) event at the Blind Pig. I enjoy his style of layering in his music, including some fun harmonies, and then breaking out into a different melody.
There was a very powerful poet that came on after 2faced. I admired how she put her thoughts and feelings about life out on the floor. She was followed by another poet, that cleverly weaved a story, humor, and experience into his performance.
Finally, there was a girl who danced. It seemed to be more traditional Indian choreography, but I'm not an expert on dancing or Indian culture, I'll just say that she was talented, and created an excellent performance. Her eye contact is probably what impressed me the most. She kept her gaze outward almost her entire dance. I didn't do terrible with eye contact with my performance, but I could not compare to her. I wish I had talked with her and asked her how she kept her gaze so solid. She was probably just staring at the back wall, but she did it with such conviction and confidence it felt like she was staring at everyone in the room, without even making eye contact with anyone. I hope to be able to create that in my performances in the future.