The fully improvised piano trio Dawn of Midi stopped by WFMU a few days before their debut at local jazz bastion The Iridium and painted the darkness with their abstractions. And when I say darkness, I mean total darkness. They are the first band I've ever hosted at WFMU's Love Room to turn off every light in the joint. Qasim Naqvi, Dawn of Midi's drummer, commented later that he couldn't even see his drums. Apparently this is how Dawn of Midi have played together since day one, in total darkness.
And it makes sense. Their set, as well as their debut record First on Accretions, is riveting in its restraint, so deliberate at times that you wonder if the whole thing might pull apart and just disappear. It's a surprise, this type of patience by such a young group. The other surprise is that it's totally improvised since there are parts that sound very cohesive. The band's music immediately evokes all kinds of interesting things, at least to me: Morton Feldman, Olivier Messiaen, Ahmad Jamal, Jimmy Giuffre's Free Fall, The Necks. Not influences per se but all concerned with the space between the notes.
The bandmembers, Qasim Naqvi on drums, Aakaash Israni on contrabass, Amino Belyamani on piano, hail from Pakistan, India and Morocco respectively, met at CalArts in San Diego, and reside in Paris and New York. I can't exactly hear how this unlikely geographic melding contributes to their music, but suffice to say DOM embodies a cosmopolitan and world aware vibe.
Thanks to Mark Koch for engineering this set.