THE SHRINE OF IMPOSSIBLE LOVE, HOOTENANNY &
A TRIBUTE TO ORNETTE COLEMAN
High Performance Rodeo
Runs January 18 to 20
Big Secret Theatre (Epcor Centre)
For performer, musician, sound designer and, when hes not doing all that, graphic designer Peter Moller, this years High Performance Rodeo is all about exploring.
"Open it up, dont close it in, no constrictions" says Moller as he describes Ornette Colemans 1961 release Free Jazz, the album that inspired his Tribute to Ornette Coleman performance at the One Yellow Rabbit festival. Also billed as Meichel vs. Moller, the tribute, to be performed January 20, features the talents of Moller, Dan Meichel, Brigitte Dajczer, Dave Clark and other guest musicians. Its a stand-alone performance that explores Mollers interest in the philosophy of Free Jazz, and also echoes what hes pursuing in his other two Rodeo shows, The Shrine of Impossible Love and Hootenanny.
"Its just an extension of Ornette Coleman, because its a concept, a thought that goes out there and gets filtered through everybodys heads," he says of the tribute show. "Improv is about that. Improv is about not having any preconceptions. I think with the name Free Jazz or with the name Ornette Coleman
just the concept gives you the freedom to explore."
This exploring links the tribute to The Shrine of Impossible Love, a performance partly inspired by Mollers new CD of the same name. Shrine, too, is a stand-alone work, inspired by words he found written on a door in a funky hotel in Wakefield, Quebec.
Old, and with the rooms in its four storeys all unlocked, the hotel was, in Mollers words, just waiting to be explored. "I went up to have a look and I saw this scrawled on the door The Shrine of the Impossible Love. It just struck a chord with me and I thought I could base a whole bunch of shit on this." He took a picture of the graffito and began developing ideas inspired by it. "As it turned out, it became a CD which consequently has now become a performance," he says. "So its kind of a piece of found art that, like all good found art, inspired a moment and a thought."
The performance, running over three nights, has given Moller the opportunity to gather six of his favourite out-of-town musicians, six local favourites and a couple of filmmakers. "My concept was to keep this (idea) of The Shrine of Impossible Love going by combining a bunch of musicians that Ive met on the scene," he says. "So its not so much a CD release as the CD itself is kind of a map of where were going to go. Were going to nab a few songs from there, but then there will also be fairly long
Hootenanny, which takes place on January 18 and is not concept-based, rounds out the trio of performances. Its goal is simple. Moller describes it as "glorious, like an ultimate folk festival workshop. The Hootenanny just allows us to expose everybody to our music."
And what do you have when you put it all together from contemplating the words on a hotel door to exploring the ideas laid down by Coleman in 1961? Moller laughs as he sums it up. "None of these, The Shrine, Hootenanny or Meichel vs. Moller, are about the music specifically. I think theyre about the event just trying to be inclusive to the audience and musicians, and sort of throwing it all into one big cauldron and hopefully coming out with something very cool."