Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Dan Clucas | October 13

Hello, improvisors!

This Sunday, we are excited to present cornetist and composer Dan Clucas, visiting us from Los Angeles! Clucas has been active on the LA scene for the many years, having recorded with Jeff Kaiser's Ockodektet and Harris Eisenstadt's Ahimsa Orchestra, performed with Vinny Golia, Nels Cline and Steuart Liebig and Henry Grimes, just to name a few - and in addition to leading his own groups.

Dan Clucas will be joined by an ad-hoc ensemble of friends: Tom Varner, Heather Bentley, Matt Crane, and Chris Icasiano. Their improvisations will build and break, ebb and flow, before heading into the jam session! Make sure to get yourself to Cafe Racer at 8pm for their set, and stick around after to play with new friends and old. And read on for more words from Dan himself:


“The Lost Iguana Ensemble is a name I came up with for any group of improvising players which I’ve brought together to play a directed improvisation. One day I was walking to the train station and there was a flyer taped to a telephone pole: LOST IGUANA, with a grainy photo of the hapless creature attached. I began to think about this domesticated reptile having to negotiate all kinds of unfamiliar territory, how it might respond to the various stimuli it would encounter, and if it would ever make it home in one piece. I began to think about a method of directed improvisation in which the form itself (basically who plays with whom and when) would be the only influencing factor over the content (improvisation), as opposed to the usage of directives re articulation, range, dynamics, etc. Specific juxtapositions of players become the directive; the wayward iguana is presented with a shifting scenario to which it responds as it will, and is itself part of that scenario.

Of course this is what we do in pure improvisation anyway, and the retaining of any externally imposed form can be seen as a false abdication of authority. But therein lies the interest to me - to thin the formal aspect without breaking it down completely, and to see what good can come of it. 

With that in mind, as regards the jam portion of our evening, let’s all just keep in mind the formal structures which we consciously and unconsciously impose on ourselves and each other when we play, and meditate on their relative validity."

Dan Clucas

Dan Clucas