What to Expect When Fred Frith Performs Gravity

A few things I learned about Fred Frith’s Aug. 25 Gravity show at Slim’s (also see here):

….. The original plan was to have Aaron Novik‘s Thorny Brocky play Side One of the album, and Dominique Leone‘s band play Side Two. That didn’t work out due to the density and instrumentation of certain songs. Instead, the bands will combine, and each song will be performed by some combination of the players.

….. Songs aren’t going to be the same as on the album. Frith started Gravity with written-out music, but during the recording process, and especially during the production process in the studio, new ideas overran the old. The live show, though, will draw from those original notebooks — yes, the ones from 1979 and earlier — so some songs will take “new” (actually “old”) forms, and some will have material that didn’t make the album. Think of it as a handful of new bonus tracks, beyond the ones on the album’s CD release.

….. Gravity is about 45 minutes long, so to make this show the length of a show, the band might also play other pieces from Frith’s catalog — maybe some Art Bears stuff or some of his solo stuff. In any event, the band will be kept busy.

Source: Phone interviews with Fred Frith, Dominique Leone, and Aaron Novik — who’ll be among the 10 or so musicians re-creating Gravity on stage at that Slim’s show.  I’ll be using the interviews in a radio special about Gravity, to be aired on KZSU-FM on Monday, Aug. 20, at 7:00 p.m. Pacific. Listen on the Web at kzsulive.stanford.edu.

2 thoughts on “What to Expect When Fred Frith Performs Gravity

  1. Interesting about the versions. I have a radio broadcast of a Keep the Dog concert that ends with five tunes from Gravity, and they’re a lot looser than the music on the record (especially “Spring Any Day Now”, which seems kind of stiff on record), though still pretty recognizable—I wonder what the approach was for that concert.

    Also—I was really hoping that Thorny Brocky would get to play a set of its own! That band seems to play out really rarely. (Or I just don’t notice.)

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