Revel Unclassified

We're thrilled to announce REVEL UNCLASSIFIED, a weekly series at 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op that combines music, poetry, the visual arts, craft beer, and food, into one amazing weekend event.

For tickets to any REVEL UNCLASSIFIED event, choose "Season 8" from the menu bar above and click on the show of your choice.

The idea for REVEL UNCLASSIFIED came the way wild ideas usually come – in through the back door. In April of 2013, I contacted Nathan Russell about a project I was calling deeper into the world, inspired by Mary Oliver’s poem, The Journey. At the time, I thought I would be producing a solo piano cd of original music accompanied by a “beautiful, photo-rich, coffee-table type book on the creative process… all about concepts like risk-taking, vulnerability, trust, and being enough.” I wanted Nathan to partner with me and supply the photographs, because as I said to him in the e-mail, “You are my favorite photographer.” (Of course now that I’ve gotten to know his wife Amy’s photography, he’s got some competition, but he’s definitely among my top two favorites.)

Nathan didn’t skip a beat and responded immediately with a resounding “Yes!” We got together for coffee and batted around ideas – we were both really excited about the possibilities. By May of 2013, I had sketched out a draft, which I shared with Nathan:

Hey Nathan! Here is a draft of the movement titles, along with the inspiration behind them, which will help give clues to the general mood that I'll be trying to capture in the music. I've included 2 references for most -- a literary reference, and a reference from tarot. Basically, the idea is that the cycle follows the plot of what is known as the "hero's journey," which is present in most epic stories, and very easily described in what are known as the "major arcana" cards of a tarot deck. I didn't know that it would work out this way when I met with you; it's something that sort of emerged. I don't know how much you know about tarot; the major arcana cards are numbered from 0 to 21, with "The Fool," or the hero of the story, being 0, and the rest of the cards describing the various crisis, dilemmas and victories that the hero usually faces on his journey to self-actualization. My cycle begins with 1 since the Fool (or "everyman") is present and represented throughout. So, visually and musically, I'm wanting to capture scenes from the hero's journey in everyday life -- we are all "the hero," and we all face these moments.”

I couldn’t have asked for a more affirming, validating response from Nathan, which began with “THIS IS A DRAFT???????” and ended with “I. Am. So. Excited. (and a little terrified.).”

We were both more than a little terrified, but now, more than 3 years later, the seeds we planted have grown into a beautiful endeavor we’re calling REVEL UNCLASSIFIED. Rather than a solo piano and photography project (which still may happen!), this particular Hero’s Journey has taken root as a 22-event collaboration between dozens of musicians, poets, artists and the wonderful people at 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op. We’re using the same titles and themes from the original concept to offer a point of departure for the performers and artists to frame their offerings. With the addition of food trucks and craft beer, we’ve got an unclassifiable, one-of-a-kind, Austin original, inspiration-packed, Arts-infused, live-podcast-style, street food and craft beer Sunday brunch bonanza.

There is so much to love about this, but what I think I love most is that REVEL UNCLASSIFIED provides a creative playscape for classical music and all its friends (jazz, folk, rock, world music, post-classical) to interact with the other kids in the Arts arena (spoken word, poetry, literature, visual art) in a whole new way.  And that, in turn, has the potential to open up all kinds of doors in our hearts, minds, and souls that might otherwise have remained locked. Makes me think that this was totally worth the wait.