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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chris Mayer: Solo Ritmo

Metro Coffee
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe  6/2/2012
Chris Mayer: Solo Ritmo . . .I've been hearing a lot about Chris Mayer and Solo Ritmo but never had the chance to attend one of his performances until Saturday night.  I wish I'd made it a point to have gone sooner, this was one of the best performances I have been to in a long while.

The performance reminded me so much of beat poets in the late 50's or early 60's.  I've seen them depicted on T.V. and in films but this was the first time seeing something like this in person.  Mayer did not disappoint.  Using a variety of percussion instruments, drums, cymbals, and found objects, he started his set with a lot of different pieces about time: Before the Drum, Tick-Tock-Sick (which had a Dr. Suess for adults flavor with a variety of clock sounds and finally through the spoken word all the clocks were thrown out and he decided to use a sundial to tell time), What Time Is It? and then he switched to Storm Song and How the Raven Stole the Night (this was one of my favorites, I loved the Native American story flavor to it).

There was even a chance for the audience to participate.  Cards were handed out with an instruction of what was needed, like a noun or adverb, etc. and then he put all of these words together to make up a spoken word poem on the spot.  It was amazing.  It was fun to listen for the words I'd written as he read the poem.  Everyone seemed to smile when he got to their contribution to the poem.  He even had the audience bring him objects and he used those as instruments to create new and unusual sounds.

Mayer's last piece of the night was entitled: Song.  He used a most unusual instrument, (pictured above) called a Waterphone.  Click on the link to find out more about it.  This instrument was created by Richard Waters and simulates the sound of a whale, but it also brings to the ear the sounds of something otherworldly.  It's beautiful to hear in person. You've got to check out Chris Mayer: Solo Ritmo when he comes to The Metro again.  I know I will.

Chris Mayer will return to The Metro at the end of the month, Saturday, June 30 with Five Man Trio.


Chris said...

Thanks for the write-up! I appreciate the kind words, and am glad you enjoyed the show. Hope to see you again soon.

Chris said...

Thanks for the write-up! I appreciate your kind words, and am glad you enjoyed the show. Hope to do it again soon.