The third iteration of ***** Hotel will be appearing in a couple weeks, at the GOlive Festival in London.
Sadly only four of the stars will be able to make it. Down 20% from the inaugural performance, but up 33% from the second performance.
I am interested to see how this latest constellation will perform. Again with a live musician, this time a percussionist. The first iteration had a musician who, if my memory serves me, was a bassist who used a kettle drum, a piano and a variety of small hand held instruments. The musician for the second performance is a cellist, Barnaby Tree. What intrigues me is the concept of melding rehearsal with performance. As the members of 5***** Hotel live in four different cities, they are not able to rehearse in the traditional sense. This geographic variation forces the group to rehearse in front of an audience.
When I performed with Nancy S. Smith, in 2008 I think it was, at SFDI, she told me of a rehearsal process with a group of experienced performers. They had agreed upon a score, which during the performance they all abandoned. Granted a score can be abandoned and everything is fine, but then there’s abandoned. Some performers ended up in the audience, some were singing. This is not to say that the performance was “good” or not, but I am relating this anecdote to illustrate the fact that when the lights go up and there’s an audience, plans and people change.
With the group ***** Hotel, because there is no rehearsal, there is no possibility of deviation. Personalities and plans can’t change from the studio time to the stage time. For me, if we are to use the three stages of creation to define an improvisation, this method of performance making is even closer to an improvised performance.
The moments of execution during the GOlive festival will be very close temporally to the moments of experimentation. The exploration stage has already been completed as the personnel, the location, the time of the performance, the costumes, etc., and the concept (open spontaneously composed performance) have already been determined. Looking more closely into the stage of execution, i.e., the performance, what will happen in front of the audience has yet to be determined. So within the execution stage, the three stages of creation as they relate to the performance, will be constantly evolving and informing each other.