If you stop by the Garver Lounge between 5pm and 7pm on the second Thursday of the month, you will probably see Luke Leavitt playing piano, maybe with a guest. The music won’t be exactly familiar. Instead, it will meander between the familiar and unfamiliar, sometimes hanging in the background, occasionally demanding your attention. It’s all part of a series of performances that Leavitt, a musician trained in the jazz tradition and a UW-Madison doctoral student, calls “Sound Tile.” The name comes from “Carrelage phonique,” a piece the French composer Erik Satie wrote for piano, clarinet, and strings in 1917. Part of a set the composer called “furniture music,” “Carrelage phonique” was intended to be performed live as background music. At the Garver, Leavitt elaborates on Satie’s ideas and incorporates his own into a diffuse, ambiguous performance intended to comfort and unsettle listeners at the same time. If you ignore it, that’s fine. If you really listen, that’s fine too. On Tuesday, February 7th, Leavitt joined WORT’s Peter Haney in the studio to discuss and perform samples of his music. He also shared recordings made with his trio, Laminal Animal at Audio for the Arts. On Thursday, February 9th, cellist Max Dyer will join Leavitt at the Garver for the monthly SoundTile performance.
Photo credit: Peter Haney