"The Very Important" Now
"The Very Important" Now is a new musical collaboration of (alphabetically --in the band each member is equally important!) Sam Ashley, the late Joe Catalano, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Bill Thibault and occasionally Jens Brand and Tim Perkis.
"The Very Important" Now has, of late, organized itself around the theme of "spirit-possession" expressed musically. Actually, initially the idea was that the spirit-possession would manifest in Sam's vocals -- for many years he has been using various forms of spirit-possession in his work, vocal and otherwise. Scot's interests were related enough, though, that the band would inevitably orient itself entirely toward the spirit-possession theme. Scot's work has often incorporated the use of chaos theory in composition. He has a long standing interest in the subject of "chaos magic", also. Tim's work treats the human-machine interaction as a new form of social process, and frequently involves the creation of synthetic social situations complex enough to behave like real life -- considering them to actually be real life of some new kind. He invents instruments which inherently place human beings and machines in cycles of mutual influence and response.
"The Very Important" Now is improvisational.
Even our electrons improvise their spin.
Scot plays interactive electronics augmented by alternative input controllers in a process he has called "playing time". He also incorporates feedback in various ways, the concept being to reflect the spirit possession theme in the electronics, too, via the instability of the feedback -- using the will, to make electronic devices become possessed in the processes of a new alchemy.
Sam does what he abstrusely refers to as "spirit possession stand-up comedy", meaning that kind of "comedy" (it's not necessarily funny) in which one tells anecdotes. But in Sam's version either the performance or the derivation of the anecdotes or both reflect varying degrees of spirit-possession. In other words the anecdotes can be otherworldly, or the performance can be, or both. His voice is also electronically processed.
Bill Thibault is playing software he has developed in conjunction with Sound Traffic Control for interactive 3-D audio using multiple loudspeakers. The spatial positions of the sounds produced by the other bandmembers are controlled with a mixture of direct, algorithmic and video-based controllers.
Tim plays his "instrument" (incorporating a laptop, sliders and foot pedals), riding heard over a cloud of stochastic processes that in turn drive synthesizers.
The sound is directly controlled in "the Very Important" Now.