My friends know this about me: I don’t like Jazz. I can appreciate Jazz and I am fortunate to take advantage of the brilliance of the Wooten Brothers who perform regularly on Wednesday’s at 3rd and Lindsley. Their musicianship never ceases to amaze. But as a general rule I prefer music as a process where form is a primary means of expression. In short, improvisation is not my thing.
So, when Dawn of Midi took the stage at the Bijou Theatre at the Big Ears Festival my first thought was: “who let the jazz trio in?” What followed, much to my pleasant surprise, was a mesmerizing 60 minutes of calculated minimalism. The piano strings are almost always manipulated (a la Henry Cowell or John Cage) to give a percussive if not “computer-generated” quality, while the upright bass’ syncopation balances drones in the lower register and blips and squawks in the higher register, and the mathematical patterns immenating from the drum kit push the groove forward with just enough variety to keep you interested and listening. Loosing all sense of time and space their entire set flew by leaving me and the audience in an almost trance-enduced state. The meditative effect of Dawn of Midi is the result of juxtaposing their precise almost flawless and computer-like accuracy with just enough of a conscious human-like rubato; a machine that is organic and life-like.
I highly recommend listening to the Spotify playlist below in its entirety. You can buy their debut album Dysnomia via BandCamp, also embedded below.