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McCready and Morlot talk music on Art Zone

There’s nothing quite like an artistic match up that doesn’t seem, on the surface, to match up. That’s why I love the concept of Sonic Evolution, an ongoing Seattle Symphony series where a Northwest musician/band is invited to create a new composition to be performed by the Seattle Symphony. Past participants include Sir Mix-a-Lot, Pickwick and Bill Frisell. And tonight Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready will join the Sonic Evolution ranks.

Since last fall, Mike has been working closely with Seattle Symphony conductor Ludovic Morlot to create a rock-and-roll symphonic world premiere. In early December, I got to chat with Mike and Ludovic and listen as they collaborated face-to-face for the first time. It was charming to hear Mike express his excitement and his nervousness. At one point in the conversation he said, “I am WAY out of my comfort zone!”

Even better was watching Ludovic’s face as Mike played the music that he was hearing in his head. It was a master class in the art of listening and within minutes the two of them were tossing ideas back and forth with Ludovic respectfully expanding on Mike’s vision.

I don’t know what happened after that initial conversation, but I do know that I’ll be at the sold-out performance tonight at Benaroya Hall to find out.

Watch these two musical masterminds at work.