Hit Pick

Gao Hong, Saturday, September 18, at Cameron Church, 1600 South Pearl Street, headlines the fifth annual Microstock, a celebration of music-theory deviance organized by Denver's microtonal guru and guitarist Neil Haverstick. In seeking more eloquent expressions, microtonal musicians subvert the dominant paradigm of the twelve-tones-per-octave scale in Western music. Each year, Microstock showcases these alternate sonic universes through a bizarre variety of instruments and visitors; Gao Hong offers both. A special guest by way of Minneapolis, she plays the lute-like Chinese pipa with an appreciation for the type of reinvented music that's at the heart of Microstock. "It's a big place with a long history," says Haverstick of Hong's native China, "so she's quite aware of alternative tunings." Though Hong's pipa may not be tuned to a 19-, 31- or 34-note octave, the virtuoso actually bends notes to accommodate. Also on the bill is an improvisation between Haverstick and two longtime collaborators, bassist John Starrett and Ernie Crews. Starrett brings his homemade lemonica, vegephone and Starrboard to the mix, while Crews performs on the mouth harp, santour (a Persian predecessor to the hammer dulcimer) and electric drums. -- Thomas Peake


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