Monday, August 4, 2014

Adventures in Audio: 1: Hessismore @ The Kennedy Center

I had a conversation with a fine friend a couple of weeks ago and they asked me that I have done since being back in the D(dot) C(dot), and in a moment of panic, I realized that I haven't done anything.  Well, except setting up house, starting a new job, perfectly timing my commute, figuring out the trick to actually get the washing machine to work, calling Comcast at least once a week (fun!), pricing coconut milk at ALL the grocery stores (FYI, Trader Joe's is the cheapest, by at least a quarter) . . . 


One of the reasons why I came back to this area was because of well, the area. I love this place and all the wild and wonderful (sorry WV) things to do and see and become. And it is about time I get going and doing stuff. And then like a lightbulb shinning in closet full of cobwebs,  came the bright idea of trying to see live music at 50 different venues. Why not?  We all have to have goals, right? Might as well make those tangible goals instead of, “one day I might,” or “it might be cool if I . . .”  goals. And music adds a depth to my life that makes me feel whole, so lets start there too.  It could take me months, it could take me years. But now, Hey, Hey, I’m girl with a list, and I find a little bit of happiness in that.  And in the little while since I have taken action on this moment of enlightenment, and have been going about actively looking for opportunities to catch a tune or two, I found myself excited about once again opening my life up to, well, life. 

Adventures in Audio #1: Hessismore @ The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
The idea for a National Cultural Center was born in the late 1950’s and was championed by both President Eisenhower and President Kennedy. After the assassination of JFK, it was decided that the new cultural center would be named after him and serve as a “living memorial,” to the late president who was a dedicated advocate of the arts. Opened in 1971, The Kennedy Center has helped Washington DC become a national stage and attract and entice some of the world’s most prestigious and exciting performances.

But the Kennedy Center isn’t only about red carpets and expensive box seats, although the Center does have fanciness  in loads and levels. One of the initiatives of the Center is to provide “Performing Arts for Everyone,”  and they exemplify  this mission by  providing free public concerts every day of the year. Theses performances on the Millennium Stage ranged from local, national and international acts and surveys the wide ocean of the musical genres.

Recently, I had a co-worker from my last job in Missouri come a- touring the DC area with her family and we met up at the Kennedy Center  to enjoy one of the Millennium Stage concerts. Hashtag: Culture.  On stage that evening was Hessismore (Hess is More), a seven-piece live orchestra based in New York, led by Danish musician Mikkel Hess. Hess has long been a contributor and collaborated to the fields of dance, film, theater, and even provided the music for a ballet that premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 2011.  Lately he has focused on Hessismore, which has the sound of free form jazz played in very hip European discotheque. Don’t worry, I stayed seated, I am not sure the world is ready for 90% of my dance moves, I am not sure I am even ready for 90% of my dance moves.  A few songs, well, frankly, I had no idea what was going on. But, I think that is the power and loveliness of music. Everyone has the right to tell and share their stories however they so please; in a whisper or a scream, solo with a single instrument or not instrument at all, or filling the stage with all the people and all the instruments.  I have found that listening to and experiencing music outside of my day to day familiars, helps me expand my love for music and storytelling and appreciate more the rich cultural experiences of this little marble of an earth and all my fellow wanderers.  So, I may not have completely understood every song that night, I did completely appreciate them, and the passion, talent and stories behind them.

You can check out The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage free concert schedule here.


  1. What a fantastic goal! You've inspired me to come up with a list of my own...of some sort! Can't wait to hear about the other 49 adventures!

  2. Brilliant. Can't wait for your review on the Westminster Jazz Church. And Strathmore. And the 9:30 you're gonna have a blast!