Tuning the Air

Tuning the Air has come to an end.

In the mid-nineties, Seattle became home to a group of musicians who were all alumni of Guitar Craft courses. Developed by King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and based on the C-G-D-A-E-G tuning known as New Standard Tuning (NST), Guitar Craft addresses the guitar, the player, and the music in a unique discipline that has influenced players around the world. The League of Crafty Guitarists, the California Guitar Trio, the Argentinean-Japanese trio known as ZUM, and BigTime from Buenos Aires are a few of the groups that grew out of creative relationships born in Guitar Craft.

Drawn to the work of this core group, musicians from around the country have slowly migrated to Seattle. This growing community of Seattle players has experimented with different models of playing and performing together. In 2001, they formed the non-profit Seattle Circle to be a catalyst for music education in Puget Sound, hosting workshops and developing performance opportunities for players.

The first performances of Tuning the Air were held in the Seattle Circle Performance Studio, a third-floor, rented room in a community center in Ballard. This was a wonderfully cozy and intimate setting, with tea service and cushions for the audience. As their following expanded, TTA outgrew this space and went looking for other options that would make it possible to play for larger audiences.

Tuning the Air's fourth season was held at the Capital Hill Arts Center (CHAC) in the fall of 2007. Their CHAC season brought the team more visibility within Seattle's dynamic music scene and gave the players an opportunity to, quite literally, stretch out and play with the boundaries of the living instrument they create. The season culminated with a closing performance that enveloped 83 people.

In the spring of 2008, the company established a performance arrangement at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center (FAAC), home to an eclectic mix of performance groups and educational programs. Continuing the spirit of collaboration and play, the space at FAAC has inspired the players to make a mid-show invitation to the audience to move their chairs around and hear the show from a different vantage point. This small gesture often results in audience re-arrangements of intimate aesthetic solidarity that is a joy to see. Now, as the TTA team prepares for the opening night of its eighth season, this time in Fremont Abbey's Great Hall, they are looking forward to the new possibilities .spontaneous music-making will bring.


Tuning the Air has come to an end. Seven years. 225 shows in 4 venues. Nearly 100 pieces of repertoire performed, brought to you by a company that over 7 years included 45 individuals. It has been quite an experience. Everyone is a little sad to let it go, of course, but very energized that we have accomplished so much and were able to go out on a high note.

What will come next? No one knows. Stay in touch.

Thursday evenings, January 7-March 26*, a 12-week performance series featuring mostly-improvised ensemble work presented by the members of the Seattle Guitar Circle, including former members of the Tuning the Air performance troupe. Surprises: guaranteed each week.

Performances begin promptly at 8pm @Seattle Creative Arts Center in Ballard. Admission is free, donations welcomed.

Seattle Creative Arts Center
2601 NW Market St
Seattle WA 98107

*no performance March 10 - this show may be rescheduled.

Cleaning up some documents, and found this from February 2011, which would have been the beginning of the final year of Tuning the Air. Entitled "TTS Prelude Scheme", it is the seating and circulation arrangement for the Shostakovich Prelude Number 22.

Bonzos Celebration Day - NW drummers play tribute to John Henry Bonham | The Triple Door


The weekly performances in the round may be gone, but the Music goes on.

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Eight years ago today, Tuning the Air was performed for the first of 225 times.

(photo and poster: Ingrid Pape-Sheldon and Frank M. Sheldon)

tuning the air : obliquestudio


A little bit of Tuning the Air history.


Beck Reimagines David Bowie's "Sound and Vision" - 360° Experience Coming Soon


Hmmm. Music in the round. What a concept!

youtube.com The Hello, Again performance started with an idea -- Beck would reimagine David Bowie's classic, "Sound and Vision." But it became more than another cover. I...

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Tuning the Air



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