'Collective improvisation': 'Coming Alive Through Song' brings artists together with music, dance - Albuquerque Journal

‘Collective improvisation’: ‘Coming Alive Through Song’ brings artists together with music, dance

Alejandro Tomás Rodriguez is the mastermind behind the series “Coming Alive Through Song,” which will take place this fall for the second year. (Courtesy of Ilan Saul Tena)

Alejandro Tomás Rodriguez enjoys bringing artists together to create.

This is the impetus behind the “Coming Alive Through Song” series, which he created last fall.

The series is a cycle of singing encounters open to all that will take place during September, October and November in Albuquerque. The next event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, and Sunday, Sept. 29, at Tricklock Company in Downtown Albuquerque.

The encounters will focus on interaction among the participants, with song, movement and rhythms rooted in Afro-Latin American traditions, as well as spirituals and shouts from the American South.

“It is an artistic community project that we launched last fall in Albuquerque, and now its growing in a very interesting way,” Rodriguez says. “The participants are musicians, actors, dancers, UNM students, professors, writers and mainly individuals of all ages that work in non-artistic fields.”

“We are developing this project together with our long-term collaborator, Lloyd Brickenn from Birmingham, Alabama,” he says. “Lloyd has an extensive practical knowledge with the work on songs of traditions. We are working in tandem with him on many aspects of the project.

Rodriguez says the purpose of the event is to create a context in which individuals can interact and connect.

The tools for these interactions are songs and dances.

“We sing and dance these beautiful and powerful call-and-response songs,” he says. “… Songs and dances are the perfect tools for a direct and alive communication.”

“There is an element of transmission of this songs, but soon after the ‘workshop,’ it gives the chance for a collective improvisation that have few basic rules that anyone can follow. Songs and dances are the perfect tools for a direct and alive communication. What is at work in this encounters is … an exchange of intentions, games in which we are looking for something alive between us but also within ourselves.”

For more information, email comingalivealbuquerque@gmail.com.

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