So I just returned from the solo Keith gig listed above. I arrived about 30 minutes early to find Chris (Letchhausen) just arriving as well. We went in and Keith was just finishing setting up. Recognizing us from the ‘Quake he came over and we chatted for a good 20-30 minutes until he went on. This was really great we talked about ErstQuake, classical music, art and Treatise. This was a really informative discussion for me and I was happy to finally talk a bit about Treatise. He related that every time he performs it, it is a personal tribute to Cardew.

He opened the set with an introduction about first his guitar setup and then about what he was going to play. It was the “room” piece that he has been performing of late, that is made up of elements of depression and anxiety. He said that to some degree this was a reflection of the times we live in, that he can’t help but to channel the environment. Along with this he also was going to play from Treatise (p.54).

I have to say, that I’ve seen a lot of fantastic music over the last week, but that this set moved me the most. It was powerful and you really could feel the depression and the anxiety that had talked about. It opened with a very droney, layered effect that had a melancholy feel to it, after some time he cut into this with a sharp attack using the Bluetooth feedback that he looped on itself and increased in volume. During this set Keith was mostly hunched down over his instrument and seemed deep, deep into it. After 20 minutes or so he pulled Treatise toward him and lowered the sound to gentle hum and began to play it. He attached a spring and alligator clips to the guitar and played both discrete chunks and more continuous bits, looking back toward the score every now and again. He brought up the radio for a good long chunk toward the middle of this segment and it played this syrupy lullaby. I found this rather moving in a way, thinking about Cardew. Anyway it was a real treat for me to see some of Treatise performed live and I found it very engaging and emotionally rich as well.

Afterward a scrum of people came up and talked to Keith. Interestingly they mostly wanted to talk about his setup. Keith was very open and would talk about any aspect of it. One thing of interest was he did say that he was using Reaktor on the PowerBook and that he is using a patch that Phil Durrant made that references Steve Reich. After these people had left Chris and I talked to Keith a bit more again about classical music and art specifically cubism. These talks with Keith before and after the show were really rewarding and informative. It is so refreshing to get to talk about this music with someone who has thought so deeply about it and to whom the intellectual underpinnings are so vital.