Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Surprises in store for audience, performers

If you're intrigued by the idea of concert in which no one, including the performers, quite knows what will happen next, an event Sunday in Sylvania is made for you.

The Native American musical trio of R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton, and Will Clipman will perform original compositions at 7 p.m. at the Franciscan Theatre and Conference Center of Lourdes College.

"We don't have a set program," said Nakai by phone from his Arizona home. "Each one is tailored to the particular venue. [In Sylvania], it will be contemplative, a lot of pieces that are based on our perspectives of being in Sonora, which is where we live. We'll be introducing the pieces as we go to familiarize the audience with our intentions," he added. "We may do one or two improvisations. We won't know until we get there."

Together since 1986, the group has an unusual instrumental lineup: Nakai plays a Native American flute, Clipman plays drums, and Eaton plays the lyraharp guitar, "an invention by William Eaton that incorporates a lyra, which comes out of Africa, and various aspects of the harp and drone strings, which is familiar to the Asian and African continents, and the guitar," Nakai said.

All three men contribute to the songwriting process. "Usually we have a chord progression that William Eaton sets, and we add the melody lines and other percussive effects that will make the song work."

But there's still room for change, even during a performance. "Much of what we work in is our conversation of, let's say, our perspectives and impressions of being in the particular place. They're usually based on how we feel at that particular moment."

The trio performs at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Franciscan Theatre and Conference Center, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania. Tickets are $15 to $25. Information: 419-824-3997.

Contact Vanessa Winans at:

or 419-724-6103.

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