Denver Post Reverb: Tonight at MCA, Locus Music Project brings new meaning to space music
If you’re looking for a unique musical experience tonight, pop up to the roof of MCA Denver at 15th and Delgany at around 7 p.m.5:30 p.m. for the first performance of the Locus Music Project. Jazz guitarist, composer and multi-instrumentalist David Thomas Bailey (of FaceMan, Orbit Service and Micro Marauder, among others) started the project to compose and perform original works inspired by unique spaces in Denver. Other performances will occur in Confluence Park, on the Highland Bridge and in the Capitol rotunda (if all goes well).
Bailey has recruited some top-notch Denver musicians to help realize his musical vision. For this first performance, he’ll be joined by guitarists Tyler Breuer (the Knew), Matt Skellenger (Ron Miles Sextet, Dean Hirschfield (Bailey’s Micro Marauder bandmate) and members of the University of Denver’s Brassheads Ensemble. The musicians rehearsed together just once and will perform the composition only once, for tonight’s occasion. The performance will be recorded and then given back to the Denver community as part of Bailey’s celebration of our city.
“I’ve played gigs in places that were really crappy, where the spirit isn’t good and I just didn’t feel any inspiration,” Bailey — who holds a Master’s Degree in jazz guitar from the University of Northern Colorado — explains of the impetus for the Locus Music Project. “And then I’d play the silliest gigs in the silliest places, and they were inspiring. I wanted to explore the way that certain places impact the music.”
Inspired by minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Phillip Glass, as well as adventurous rockers like Tortoise, Bailey has taken his inspiration from these unusual venues and let them direct the music. The piece he’s written for the Confluence Park performance (tentatively scheduled for July 17) is written for a ukelele and a clarinet trio. The piece to be performed on Highland Bridge will incorporate the noise of the traffic passing below. In many ways, the Locus Music Project builds on a uniquely American approach to composition.
“Americans are all about individuality,” Bailey says. “I think Denver, Colorado, has some of the best and most unique musicians in the world, and I want this season of music to be about democracy and individuality.”