Philharmonic

Last year, I had the pleasure of taking a musical improv intensive from Suzanne Hitchman and shortly thereafter the pleasure of taking an iO intensive in Copenhagen from Tara DeFrancisco and Rance Rizzutto. Tonight, I had the pleasure of seeing those worlds come together when Tara and Rance performed musical improv as part of The Deltones.

One of my main takeaways from Suzanne’s intensive came during the second day when we had to improvise a song about what we had learned on the first day. This was our chorus:

Keep the chorus simple; make the chorus big.
Keep the chorus simple; make the chorus big.
Keep the chorus simple; make the chorus big.
Keep the chorus simple; make the chorus big.

One of the reasons we were encouraged to keep a chorus simple is not only that it makes it easier for everyone to remember and sing along with, but the conciseness adds a bit of punch. Case in point, a year later, I can remember not only the chorus but also the message behind it.

One of the things that hadn’t occurred to me was that a simple chorus also helps with callbacks, which The Deltones did to great effect during their set. The opening number featured a chorus that repeated the line, “Look at them buns,” which was brought back in the closing number, and there were tag lines like “Back to city” that also found their way back to the set in later beats. It may be my brain looking for patterns, but it was also cool to see elements of the Harold and Deconstruction find their way into the set.

The fun didn’t end with the music. Following the set, The Deltones invited an audience member to share their day, and I was that audience member. Tara recognized me, and we high-fived; then Rance led me through my day, and The Deltones did a quick set of what I dreamed about. Tim Soszko’s impersonation of me was spot on!

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