Last night we were at a friend’s house listening to a concert of Max ZT and House of Waters. Max is their son who plays hammered dulcimer, pushing it beyond folk tradition into a more global fusion, especially after the year he spent in Senegal and a year in India. There is something about any music which is heard live that transcends CDs or records or radio. Live music affords a very real interaction between audience and players which layers a spontaneity and unique energy to this simpatico. Listening is not one-sided but a dynamic activity which can urge and push musicians to take all kinds of risks. And when this performance takes place in the home of people with whom you have a deep connection, and it is performed by someone you deeply care for, it has an exponential impact.
The Senegalese influence was magical and brilliant, especially the electric mbira. Max stretched/pushed the strings to achieve a more sitar-like sound in some of the fast-paced, high energy compositions. The bass player, Moto Fukushima, and percussionist (note the african percussion instrument attached to his leg at the left), Luke Notary, are similarly accomplished, passionate, and creative. The music they make together is innovative and exhilarating.
And so we sat, in a home that we have been in many times before for seders, celebrations, quiet dinners, sharings of art, this familiar and warm environment, listening to spirited, inspired, and engaging music, created by a young man who has brought the pieces of the beginnings of his global and life’s journeys back to the space (and people) in which (with whom) he grew up… No better harmony than that.
Max ZT’s website: http://www.maxzt.com/
(Thanks to JB for the photos.)