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Local Band Combines Genres


Photo credit: Mitch Colagrassi

Written by: adminJanuary 18, 2017

By: Joshua Storrs

Local indie post-rock band, March On, Comrade, will play with a twelve-piece orchestra and improvised light show at the Artslab theater 8 p.m. Jan. 21.  The show, titled “Sums & Differences,” features expanded arrangements of the band’s catalog and visual elements, plus a few new pieces written specifically with the extra musicians in mind.

Ryan Holquist, lead guitarist for March On, Comrade, said this show will be more expansive than one of their typical shows at the Brass Rail or CS3, thanks to the musical rearrangement.

“It’s not just us playing how we always play and cramming twelve more people in there somewhere,” Holquist said. “We completely revamped all of our stuff and wrote some new music for it.”

Another way this show is different from a typical March On, Comrade set is the added visual elements, Holquist said. On top of home-made video content shot, some of which is shot by Holquist and Jen Hancock, the band has also brought on Alec Johnson to do projection mapping, a system by which one projector can be used to create a three-dimensional image.

“He’ll be projecting the video stuff we’re doing plus his own. He can interact with it live with an iPad interface he’s built, so it’s sort of like interpretive dance,” Holquist said.

One of the biggest challenges in making Sums & Differences happen was finding and organizing the musicians, Holquist said. The band had worked with a quartet of string players from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic when recording their self-titled EP, which came out last year. Unfortunately, they couldn’t use the same players for this event because of scheduling difficulties, so they had to find their orchestra through friends, and friends of friends.

“It’s pretty hard to wrangle seventeen people all in the same place,” Holquist said.

One of those people is Colin Boyd, who is playing in Sums & Differences as an auxiliary percussionist. Boyd is very excited to be a part of the show.

“I’m quite a fan of the music that this group of gentlemen have written” Boyd said. “I love seeing them play, so to be asked to be a part of it was just a total honor.”

While Boyd’s background may be in jazz drumming, he is bringing a wide assortment of percussion instruments to the show including a small gong, African shakers, Indian bells, wind chimes, and a large vintage bass drum that he restored himself, Boyd said.

Boyd runs his own local jazz trio called the Colin Boyd Trio. He described Sums & Differences as a total encompassing emotional experience.