Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon’s marvelous improvised concert at the May Chapel rings out againBill Meyeron May 15, 2020 at 5:11 pm

Has it really been just two months since the Illinois shelter-in-place order went into effect? Sometimes live music seems like a fading memory. But when the original experience is especially vivid, it’s not hard for a record like To Catch a Bird in a Net of Wind to bring it all back. The album captures a duo set that electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and percussionist Tyler Damon played at the May Chapel in Rosehill Cemetery, which was part of Elastic Arts’ 2018 Exposure Series. It opens with the sound of Damon striking hand chimes as he walks down between packed pews, sending metallic tones up to the chapel’s vaulted ceiling. As their metallic reverberations bounce back to meet Damon’s advance, Dorji builds from humming feedback to a constellation of shimmering, electric tones. After Damon takes his seat at the drum kit, the duo enact an improvised sonic contest in which they exchange slashing attacks and tumbling retreats, encircled by a halo of overtones. The album feels a bit like a martial-arts flick where each climax tops the one before, but the champions never fall. v

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