Nate Matson

Dessner, Friends and Spaces by Liquid Music

BY VIDEO PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR NATE MATSON                                                                                                                              

I don’t know of another program quite like Liquid Music. It’s fresh. It’s edgy. It pushes creative boundaries. It challenges artists—and sometimes audiences.

When Kate Nordstrum, the curator and producer of Liquid Music, approached me about creating video content for its series, I didn’t have to put much thought to it.

Drummer Glenn Kotche’s excellent show last year sealed the deal. I went as a Wilco fan, but as the evening progressed, and the songs were performedusing household items and toolsI gained a new perspective on his artistry. About midway through the show, as I took in the eclectic repertoire and visuals, I realized what I was experiencing was not an everyday concert. It was chance for an artist, in this case Mr. Kotche, to showcase a different side of his creativity. I left feeling like I’d just eaten a gourmet meal by an award-winning chef. And in Saint Paul, Minnesota, no less!

I was a fan then. I’m a fan now. 

Very rarely is someone in my positiona videographer with a musical background, hungry for artistic pursuitsgiven such intimate access to such a wide caliber of talented and respected artists. Although Liquid Music focuses on orchestral music, it’s much bigger than that. Nearly every musical genre is represented, from Indie Rock to World Music.

Yet there is always a twist.

More recently, Bryce Dessner’s show at the Walker Art Center is a perfect example. Known as the guitar player for the Grammy nominated band The National, Dessner brought along so many friends with so much content, he booked 2 concerts with completely different programs. Night 1 focused on strings. Night 2 focused on percussion. Dessner allowed his friendsnotably Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire and vocalist Caroline Shawto try new things, debut new music, and in one case, debut new music on invented instruments.

Again, this is a rare opportunity.

My team, Spaces, and I will be present for many performances, watching as fans with the audience, and filming from the shadows on stage. But we’ll also be behind the scenes capturing conversations, tearing down walls traditionally built between the artist and the fans, and exposing the creative underbelly of artists and the passion driving them beyond their norm.

So, needless to say, I am pleased as punch to help out Liquid Music for the 2015-16 season.

Please enjoy the Bryce Dessner highlights video and keep an eye out for more of Spaces’ work on the Liquid Music blog and on social media.