The other things that was really cool about it is that no one is ever announcing what they’re going to do next, the most you can do is telegraph a chord change in a certain progression; if everyone moves to the 5, you know you’ll move back to the 1. It’s kind of a surrender, and instead of a group think and do the same move at the same time, if one person decides to go off in one direction, the group moves in that way. It’s different when you have a conductor and they’re at the controls of going to the B section. It’s unique and with someone calling the shots and conceptualizing where you want the show to go is a very different experience and it was really cool.
PM: How did you come across The Whisper Dome?
HB: We are always looking for piano rooms and also looking for unconventional spaces for a show. This happened in Portland at The Old Church and people walked out having never heard of the place and wanting to return. I like venturing outside the usual circuit of rooms that get played within our music scene. The style of music, by necessity, is a hybrid of different sounds so playing in jazz clubs, churches, clubs is reflects the variety of music. I think we found a picture of The Whisper Dome online from a jazz series they help and being called the Whisper Dome, it intrigued me. I think it’s good to change it up and give people an opportunity to have this grounding experience in a real quiet space can be really cool. Spaces like The Whisper Dome and really conducive to that kind of environment and listening atmosphere.
PM: Todd Stoops (RAQ and Electric Beethoven) recently moved to the West coast and your hilarious airplane photo rivalry…
HB: We’re gonna open an airline together. It’ll be expensive though, one customer per plane. (laughs)
PM: Do you see yourself performing more with Todd now that he’s out west?
HB: I feel like piano players don’t get to play together very often – sometimes there are two guitars in a band but rarely double keys. There’s an amazing movie Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together that I highly recommend watching. It’s got Tuts Washington, Allen Toussaint, and Professor Longhair. You gotta check it out! But I digress. I’d love to play with Todd. Actually, I have side by side pianos in my living room currently – Todd, if you’re reading this, come over and play one of ’em! Double piano jams!