Super-talented improvisational pianist Thollem McDonas may make his home out West, but he's worked hard to earn his status as honorary Detroiter, having made frequent stops in our town over the last decade. It's gotten to the point where it's almost hard to call another visit from the avant-garde key-tinkler "news" — but every next project of his pushes the boundaries just a little further out.
That's certainly the case with current his four-day residency at Trinosophes in Detroit, where he'll be teaming up with local composer and piano tuner Clem Fortuna to play different pianos with unconventional tunings. The project is called "micro-tonal," and we don't know what that means. So we sought answers from Fortuna. What kinds of tunings would be featured? He said, "One extreme meantone based on the golden ratio; one all prime harmonics up to the 37th partial; and a third tuning I haven't decided yet. All crazy."
Frankly, we're still in the dark, but given McDonas's talent for lighting up our imagination when he's seated at the bench, we're betting it'll be a scorcher.
Doors are at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, at 1464 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-737-6606; $10 suggested donation.
Also, Thollem performs the next night, Tuesday, Oct. 7, with an ongoing Detroit-based project, the Soar Quartet.