Last evening I caught my first show at Pausa. Without even knowing what music act was playing, four of us walked in and sat down at the bar. As we sat there chatting, a number of musicians began to filter in through the front door, with all sorts of wild instruments in tow. After a spell, we decided to move towards the back of the venue, where the production was setting up. It was a good thing that we chose to sit when we did, because shortly into the production, there was not an empty seat in the house. And the show that we were presented with was one that commanded an up close and personal, uninterrupted viewing.
The music act that took the floor was called Unusually Different (FB), and if there was ever a group that lived up to its name, it was this one. Before we knew it we were being transported into another dimension of sound, unlike anything that I had ever heard. All of the musicians played wind instruments, and each instrument was crazier than the next. The somewhat harmonious sounds that came from each instrument interestingly resembled not only the instrument, but also the character holding the piece.
It didn’t take long to catch the musical message that the musicians were sending our way. In my head, it sounded like six different spoken word poets had taken the stage, and were using sounds to express their respective feelings, sometimes leading, sometimes departing, and always keeping us guessing. From Steven Baczkowski’s stellar didgeridoo performance, with the moaning animalistic tones, to Ellen Barnum’s inspired bassoon passages. Dave DeWitt’s solo trombone stint mesmerized the crowd, and Dr. Michael Colquhoun’s oneness with his flute was captivating. Kenny Foster (playing some unidentifiable instruments) and Rey Scott (Sun Ra Arkestra) rounded out the woodwind team, leaving me in awe that so many notes and scales could manage to work together in unison.
While we couldn’t stick around for the entire show (had to catch The Future is History in Black Rock), “Unusually Different” opened my eyes to an entirely different type of music that I had ever experienced, or even thought possible. It was an lesson in sound that needed to be seen and heard in person – if ever this group is back at Pausa, and you can manage to find a seat, then I highly recommend seeing the show. Or any show at Pausa for that matter. The intimate setting that the art house provides allows guests to get up close and personal with the musicians. My only regret about last night is that we didn’t stick around long enough to see the chainsaw in action!
If you’re not familiar with Pausa Art House, click here.
19 Wadsworth Street
Buffalo, New York 14201
Definition “PAUSA” – Pause (as in hesitate in order to contemplate) | A continuation of a note or rest beyond its normal length