On December 15, 2011, the final performance of Tuning the Air will be presented – the 225th show since the inception of the production. Looking back on “Performance Number Zero”; on February 21, 2005, we did a “one time only” test of the feasibility of performance in the circle. The room we occupied at Trinity Church in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle was set up to feel like a living room, with floor lamps for lighting, and a mountain of pillows and cushions on the floor for our audience. The audience was largely made up of friends and family. We simply billed it as An Evening of Music for Large Guitar Ensemble.
Performing that evening were:
Of the 10 guitarists who performed in show #0, 7 are still with the company and will be performing in show #225, the final performance of Tuning the Air’s seven year run.
It was some time after this show, when the commitment was made to pursue this project for an extended run, that we arrived at the name, “Tuning the Air”. During the naming process, founding producer Frank Sheldon presented us with one of several ultimatums: this one to find and agree upon the right name for the production, or else it would default to “Guitar-O-Sphere”.
Here is the setlist for Tuning the Air #0. Where it indicates “shift”, certain players would get up and move to different seats in a highly choreographed maneuver, in order to be in a better position to play particular pieces of music. This harkened back to the very first guitar circle performance which took place in the ballroom of the mansion at Claymont Court near Charles Town, WV, on March 30, 1985. TTA Producer Frank Sheldon had been in the audience for that performance, and was much impressed with this simple and elegant gesture, which he felt demonstrated a level of intentionality and attention to detail in every aspect of the show.
Music for Large Guitar Ensemble
February 21, 2005
Seattle, WA, USA
Circulation in C Major
Voices of Ancient Children (Curt, Travis, Chris)
Not My Sharona
Where Is The Nurse
Lylli in Africa (Greg Meredith)
How Many Times? (The Extended Wilsons)
Where It Goes
One of a Thousand Regrets
Prelude XXII in G Minor
Eye of the Needle