painting by Joseph Raffael
Bloom W.A. Mathieu

Listen to 'Air Tonic' from The Bloom

The Bloom - Trios for Piano and Percussion

W. Allaudin Mathieu, piano
Jennifer Wilsey, marimba and percussion
George Marsh, drum set and percussion

Bloomin' Music!

Allaudin: People are going to want to know how we came to play the way we do. Jennifer: I always wanted to play a certain way. As a teenager I’d sit at the piano at night and improvise in the dark. It was a feeling of communion with myself, with being-ness through sound, and now I get to experience that same communion with others. Allaudin: When I was seventeen I’d play the piano for my girlfriend, a beautiful dancer, and that created a kind of heaven world for me. I hadn’t the slightest idea what I was playing, but I loved her so much it sounded beautiful. Then I started actually listening to it, and building a musical language that came from that love-feeling. George: For me it’s a bang-wop-ding song I’ve always been singing — maybe a weird way to sing, but it’s how I sing, how I play. When the playing and the listening are the same thing, the music just happens. And knowing that your buddies are also playing and listening, you just do it and music happens. Allaudin: IT does it. Jennifer: Surprise! George: Making sound and being responded to gets more surprising all the time. The music we make can take you anywhere — from a roller coaster to a slow stroll or anything in between.

Allaudin: What’s constant is the way we trust one another. That’s the way Viola Spolin taught theater games…. Jennifer: .…and it works two ways: our improvisational approach depends on our sense of trust and the music helps our sense of trust to grow. George: Trust is a kind of love. Jennifer: Whole-being listening is the presence in which love can arise. Pauline Oliveros has said, “Where there’s listening there’s music”, what’s also true is that where there’s listening there’s love.

George: The games help, and the structures help, but you have to go past the games into pure feeling. Jennifer: I like the continuum between the more structured pieces, like Bloomcicles, Ga-Ga-Ga, and Gong-a-ji to the looser structures of the games like the Duet Circles, all the way to “just play.” Allaudin: I’m glad we spent so many years learning so many different ways of playing together but, yeah, the real magic is when the games disappear…. George: ….when the music opens into the surprise of the unification of us three. Jennifer: It’s an unfolding that happens inside the music through listening together, a flowering of the moment. George: ….and a flower doesn’t have an agenda other than what it is. Allaudin: A blooming flower is a slow-mo version of how it feels in the middle of an unfolding improvisation.

George: When you really look at a flower it pulls you in into its sexuality. Jennifer: Well, a bloom is born, it reproduces, and then it dies. That’s a part of the attraction of improvisation, dealing with beginnings and endings. Allaudin: Sex and death…..George: Oh no! Not again…..Jennifer: You know, this conversation we’re having right now isn’t all that different from the music we play. Allaudin: It’s part of The Great Conversation going on all the time, the human improvisation opening out everywhere at once. George: It’s music, man it’s bloomin’ music.