What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
A Mark Rothko retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1998. Standing in a large room with those large, luminescent works vibrating all around me caused the realization that the strongest art is that which causes those experiencing it to feel. That's the response I'm after, as a musician. What the listener feels could be anything, as long as something is felt. Otherwise, the music fails, I believe. And Antonioni's L'Avventura. Antonioni's use of geometry and architecture to frame this film, as well as the hard-focus black and white cinematography, provided a concrete model that I've attempted to apply to music composition. With something as ephemeral as music, thinking about its elements in a tangible way, as solid material, expanded my approach to music making.
Jazz bassist Drew Gress is in residency at Towson University. He performs tomorrow, January 11th, at Towson's Center for the Arts Recital Hall. He will also appear Friday night, Jan 13th, leading an ensemble of student musicians. Both shows begin at 8:15 pm. Gress's 7 Black Butterflies CD was one of the most acclaimed jazz releases of 2005.